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In this small article, I will show you how to dye seat bets a darker color, or re-dye your belts the same color for a fresh look. This process only works when going from a light color to a dark color. I am sure this process has been shown on the web before, but I will do it again as it really works well.

I needed some seat belts for my '74 Bronco and realized that I was missing two of the belts. I had the belts with the latch, but was missing the other two. I have a big box full of seat bets from all kinds of classic Fords that I have collected over the years, and I found the two missing belts that I needed, but they were a tan color and I needed black. I like the look of the original Ford belts and hardware so I decided to dye the tan belts to match, as well as re-dye the black belts so they would look fresh and new.

Here are the belts I was going to dye, the black belt was a little faded, and the tan one was the wrong color:


The belts are cleaned with hot water and soap and left to dry:


You will need some lacquer thinner, and a can of whatever color to want to dye your belts. I used enamel paint, but lacquer also works well:


Some lacquer thinner is poured into a shallow container, an old hubcap works well. You only need enough to fully submerge the belt. Let it soak in for a few seconds:


With the belt soaking wet, remove it and hang it somewhere so it can be painted. You can now completely soak it with the spray paint. You don't want to paint as you normally would with strokes, but you need to depress the nozzle and spray until the belt is completely soaked. The lacquer thinner will let the paint soak in to every nook and cranny. Don't worry about the hardware as it will be cleaned off later:


Once dry, the hardware can be cleaned off with some lacquer thinner on a rag:


The finished belts look new and the dye job will not come off. The tan belt is now completely black, and the original black belt looks new. The lacquer and thinner will not hurt the belts. I have used this method for years with great results every time:




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Pretty cool F15... Interesting how you use the lacquer thinner to soak the belt and then soak it with the enamel while wet. I never would have thought of that. The finished product looks great. I have 3 cars I am working on now and will give your method a shot.

PS... watch the overspray on your stang there bud....;)

Keith/Bumble
 

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Well, I posted it on another site, and I was getting all kinds of PM's about how I was going to get someone killed as the solvent would weaken the belt and it would eventually break. The thinner evaporates really fast, and is dry in less than an hour. As a test a few years ago, I dyed a belt, and then used it to tow a car around my yard, and it took some pretty good abuse and it never broke.
 

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hmm, that is amazing! I do have a question though. what about color fastness? is it durable? I wouldn't want to go to church in my best white dress shirt only to have a diagonal stripe across my torso.:mad:

TIA

-carlos
 

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This is awesome! Wish I'd seen this earlier, since I passed on getting a complete set of faded and old mustang belts. I'll try to dig up my old ones and see if they can be restored.
Thanks!
 

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Did you spray everything including the latches? Im wondering what a pain in the ass it is to clean off the chrome and latch internals. Also, do the belts feel more loose or rigid?
 

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Does it matter what material your seatbelt is? I know they have nylon and polyester. Do you think this method would work for both?
 

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it stay's soft. The pigment stay's but the thinner allows the filler chemicals to run free.
I just tried this yesterday and I don't know what happened! I followed step by step how to do it and my belts are darker (tan to black) an they hard as hell!!!!

Any input would be appreciated

As of now my belts are crap,
 

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You willhave to work them back and forth to get them back to being pliable again.
Oh, didn't think of that, I tried soaking them in hot soapy water to see if that would help, that's not bad for them is it? I thought it may clean any residue off,

thanks for the tip, I'm goin to try that now
 

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To dye mine I got a quart of color match paint from Sherwin Williams and just brushed it on. The drawbacks were they came out stiff and the paint keeps wearing off the buckles.

I like your presentation but it sounds like the results might be the same?

Tom
 

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genius...

I've been concerned about belts for my car as I seem to only be able to find the front ones.

I've located a TON of back belts but they're usually red, gold, green... never black which I need and the new black ones sell for stupidly high prices.

Thanks!
 

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Stupid high is right! I paid $215 bucks for a PAIR of belts for the front of this 64 1/2 mustang....


Heh yeah I hear you on that. I *thought* I found a good deal on a set from one of those Dearborn like places that sells OEM equipment.

$75.00 but it turns out that it was seriously 1/2 of 1 seat belt. You had to buy the buckle side and the clip side. Given that price it would have been around $600.00 to replace all the belts in the car.

I'll go without before I'd spend that $$$ on seat belts. Not like I'm going to live through an accident in my car anyhow. :p
 

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Dupli - Color makes a spray on dye for interior, seatbelts, seats, etc. and it won't harden on you. You have to clean them well, and they'll come out like new, Mike.
 
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