68 rear shoulder belts?

I’m more concerned about that fuel tank / passenger compartment thing (solvable) but my SO doesn’t particularly like the fact that the Cougar doesn’t have rear shoulder belts. I read elsewhere that “CBTN [indicates] there were 99 68’s produced with the rear shoulder harness option.”

Neither 65-72 Ford nor Mercury MPC illustrates the rear shoulder system. Scouring the net didn’t find any photos or diagrams or anything either.

Does anyone have photos or diagrams of a 68 OEM rear shoulder system? I’d also be interested in any used parts as a first choice, if anyone’s ever come across any.

If OEM is shoot-the-moon unlikely, what have folks done as an aftermarket solution?

Thanks for your insights and expertise!

The buckles are the same as rear lap, python restorations will web them in any length you want, any color. I have cores for you. Stay away from snake oyl

Agree - snake oyl very bad for you, especially when used as a safety restraint!

I’d definitely be interested in cores. How are the shoulder belts configured? Are they retracting? Where is the shoulder belt mounting location? Etc.

The lower just uses the same hole near the center as the inner lap, the upper bolts to the C pillar down low just above the package tray IIRC. No retractors. My blue GTE had them, he is a member here and MC.net, search 1968 rear shoulder maybe? There has been threads.

I have a set of rear shoulder belts from a 68 Cougar. The upper belt bolted through the package tray. There is a caged nut that installs into a square hole in the metal below the package tray.

Are these belts about 31" in total length?

I’ve searched all three forums for this topic and am not finding any definitive info. Don, does “My blue GTE” refer to a former car of yours or a member’s name? If the latter, I’m not finding him/her on either the 3C or MC.net member lists.

Nonetheless, if I’m beginning to understand this correctly, the optional OEM 68 rear shoulder belts were split belts (just like the front), with a bottom/latch belt (paired with the lap latch belt, like the front) and a non-retracting top/insert belt connected to either the C pillar or the package tray.

I don’t feel any attachment points through the headliner at the C pillar. If that is the attachment location, I wonder if the threaded attachment point was only installed when the option was selected, just like with the front shoulder belts.

Since my back seat is already out of the car I’m going to take a close look at the bottom of the package tray tomorrow – photograph it in detail and perhaps even produce a scale drawing of it – to see if there are any likely hole candidates for caged bolts.

Without a retractor, how was the top/insert belt stowed when not in use?

No need to look any further… “I have a set of rear shoulder belts from a 68 Cougar. The upper belt bolted through the package tray. There is a caged nut that installs into a square hole in the metal below the package tray.”

This will give you an idea where the upper belt mount should be

Sorry about the photo that was here - used the wrong link

1968 Cougar rear shoulder belt description

There are two parts to each shoulder belt, the lower piece with the buckle and the upper piece that snaps into the buckle.

The lower piece is identical to the normal rear seat belt buckle peice. Both the normal piece and the shoulder belt piece are installed using the same bolt. Because there are two belts on one bolt, the bolt is longer than the normal bolt (2 ¼”).

The rear upper piece is similar to the front seat upper belt. It is 30” long where the normal front one is 40”. The one other difference is that the normal front belt has Velcro to help hold the belt in place but the rear shoulder belt does not have any Velcro. The rear shoulder belt has the same pocket to hold the end of the belt that the front one has.

There are four pieces of hardware to install the upper belt. There is a seat belt bolt (2 ¼”), a chrome spacer ( 5/16” thick, ¾” diameter) that goes under the belt but above the fiber package tray, another spacer ( ¼” thick, 7/8” diameter) not chromed, that goes under the package tray and sits on top of the nut. Note, there is a circle perforated into the factory insulating mat under the package tray that is removed so this spacer can be installed properly. Finally, there is a caged nut that clips into a square hole in the metal frame work under the package tray. This hole is in all 68 Cougars that I have seen.


Thanks for the great, detailed description; that really helps me understand it!

I haven’t found the square hole in the package tray framework yet, but I’ll keep looking.

I have used the wrong words and mislead you. The hole is rectangular not square. It measures about 3/4" by 1 1/4". It is located about 3-4 inches from the speaker hole towards the outside of the car. Also, the caged nut is not actually a nut but a rectangular pieces of metal measuring about 1" by 1 1/4" and 1/4" thick.

Here are some pictures of the “nut” showing both sides and an edge view.

That gets me closer. Here’s a photo of the underside of my package tray. Is this the hole?
Not entirely clear on how the nut would clip in, but feel that I at least know all the pieces.

Yes, that is the hole. The clip slips on the edge of the large hole, the nut lines up with the large round hole and the tab on the cage sticks into the small hole.

Excellent. Now it all makes sense to me :smiley:, which is my preferred starting point.

Big thanks to everyone who has shared their knowledge on this topic! I hope the thread will be valuable for others, as well.

Once I’ve finished off my current steering column and clutch pedal repairs, I’ll get after the rear should belt installation. Since they weren’t stock on my car, I may vary a little from the 68 OEM design and use a retractable belt in lieu of two male belts. I’ll probably use that original mounting location, though. I’ll definitely get a replacement package tray --and preserve the original-- so that my non car-specific addition can be fully reversed.

Do you happen to know of any suppliers for this caged nut? AMK sold out several years ago.

I don’t. (That was probably pretty obvious.)

But I have a friend with a machine shop who’s a fabrication wiz. He’s not inexpensive but may be able to help. Ideally, I could borrow one to measure for him to duplicate. The threaded “nut” will be easy; it’ll be the cage that is time consuming.

Any thoughts on quantities? As we all know, that’s how to drive down per-item cost.

I wouldn’t worry about originality of the nut since you are not planning on making it look stock. Just put a seatbelt bolt through the round hole with a heavy washer and a standard hex nut on the back. It will be as strong as the original installation but would require two people, one to hold the bolt and one to turn the nut.

I wouldn’t worry about originality of the nut since you are not planning on making it look stock.

Agreed if I go with non-stock install. I was just responding to the (repro) stock nut inquiry because I may be able to facilitate if there are not better options.

What seat belts are you guys using? Im looking to put in three point seat belts in the front and rear but I can only find front kits. Do you use the same kit for the rear as you would the front? Im looking to put a child seat in the cougar so something that’s compatible with that would be the way I want to go

What seat belt companies are good? ive seen things about Wesco performance and also from WCCC and CJponyparts.com