1997 Ford Ranger Seat Belt Buckle Replacement

1997 Ford Ranger seat belt buckle with broken button
1997 Ford Ranger seat belt buckle with broken button

The belt buckle (the part connected on the seat that the seat belt latches into) on my 1997 Ford Ranger failed. The button would stick in a pushed state and the belt would not latch or it would latch and then pop out while driving. Sometimes I could hit the button housing and the button would pop out, but it was getting more and more difficult to do. Normally I would search online and order the parts but not wanting to wait any longer to replace the buckle I purchased a new part from a local Ford dealer for $130. I could have probably found it cheaper online but when it comes to safety equipment I prefer to have OEM.

The new buckle came with instructions and will fit 1995 through 1997 Ford Explorer and 1996 through 1997 Lincoln Mountaineer. It also came with instructions but I could not access the screw holding the buckle on the seat which left two options, removing the seat or the center console. I chose to remove the center console.

First the cup holders were removed to access two screws underneath. The cup holds are held on by two clips in the front and sort of hinge of two plastic tabs in the back. I pulled up on the front of the cup holders then pulled the cup holders out.

Cup holders pop out to get to the screws underneath
Cup holders pop out to get to the screws underneath

Once the cup holders are removed two long screws can be removed and this will free the front part of the console.

Remove these two screws
Remove these two screws

In the rear of the console there are plastic covers on each side that need to be removed.

Screw cover
Screw cover

Under the covers there are 4 screws (2 on each side) that will allow the arm rest to be removed.

Screws need to be removed
Screws need to be removed

Once the arm rest is removed there is one final screw to be removed. One the center console is removed access to the seatbelt screw is straight forward.

1997 Ford Ranger center console removed by gregjsmith, on Flickr
1997 Ford Ranger center console removed by gregjsmith, on Flickr

The belt buckle can be removed with a standard T50 torx bit.

I Won A DuoFast FloorMaster 250BN Nailer

One Project Closer had a give-away for a DuoFast FloorMaster 250BN Nailer. I made a comment to enter the contest and and won.

And it’s time to declare the winner of our latest giveaway for a DuoFast FloorMaster 250BN Nailer.

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The competition was intense but we only have one nailer to handout and this one goes to Greg from Greg In The Desert. Greg left a comment on the giveaway announcement good for one entry and he got real lucky. Congratulations!

What the Winner Gets

Greg gets a brand new DuoFast FloorMaster 250BN Nailer delivered to his front door, a retail value of about $275.

This nailer features a 45° angled tip- perfect for installing hardwood floors, 120PSI max pressure, and sinks 16 gauge finish nails through 1.5″ of solid material consistently. This nailer is a great addition for the tough spots where a traditional nailer won’t fit.

What am I going to do with this floor nailer? I’m not sure as I have concrete floors. I’m sure I will find use for it in the future.

Making A Small Repair With Hydraulic Cement

This last summer I had issues with my under ground duct work leaking water from where the evaporative cooler connects to the cement duct work. The fix involved fixing a large amount of cement in a vertical application. It’s easy to miss something when patching cement on the inside of a 18 inch hole. I’m not sure if the picture I posted to Flickr shows it very well but I missed one little void, a slot just big enough for a quarter to fit through.

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IMG_1104To my great frustration this small slot was enough to flood the underground duct work with water during a rain storms. Once I indentified the problem I had to figure out a way to fill that hole back up with cement.

Regular cement shrinks when it dries. I used hydraulic cement which expands as it dries. To apply it to the hole I mixed a very small amount of it in a ziplock bag with water. I then cut the tip off the bag and and squeezed it into the hole like cake frosting.

It worked great and so far there hasn’t been any more leaking. The real test will come during the summer monsoon season.

Instruments Part I

I was able to adapt the Hot Rod series speedometer and tachometer to fit into the original housing of my Ford Mavericks gauge cluster. I still need to figure out how to mount the rest of the gauges.

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