R129 SL Rear Child Passengers

Discussion in 'Interior' started by tmwsccsh, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. tmwsccsh

    tmwsccsh Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Location:
    Letchworth, Hertfordshire
    Car:
    2001 Jaguar X Type, 1994 Ford Mustang Convertible
    All,

    Firstly, a quick hello as this is my first post having picked up my first SL today - I didn't do it by halves either - SL500 on an M plate. Very nice too...

    But we have instantly spotted a problem, and apologies if this has been covered off many times in the past. We have a 4-year old child and will occasionally need to carry him around with us too - the main car is a Jaguar X-Type (can I say that here???) which takes a child seat with no problem at all. We also have a small booster seat (the sit-on, rather than in kind) and this was put into the back of the car so he could come along too. Or so we thought - it kind-of went a bit wrong...

    The booster seat, although only about 4-5 inches in height, puts him too far up in the car and he sits up just too much. Also, with the rear seatbelts being just the lap kind they don't offer much support and when I took a roundabout a little too sharply, he fell over, so this was not good.

    So some questions have now arisen that I have tried to Google but lost interest very quickly looking for the responses as I am sure that I can't be the only one in this situation:-

    1) As the rear seats in the R129 are classed as "child seats" in the car, do we actually need to use a booster seat / child seat?

    2) If a booster seat / child seat is required has anyone found one that is compatible with just a lap belt to hold it in place and also one that is shallow enough to not put them waaay up high in the back?

    3) If 1 and 2 above do have to apply, how do you stop them falling out if the seat used for the child has no additional harness?

    I have already found QuickFit SBS in Stanmore (who are close to me) that can fit a 3-point seatbelt to be back so that may be a possible answer, but this still doesn't help with the height of the base of the booster / child seats.

    So any advice and guidance on the legalities greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance to all.

    Regards

    Tim Watts
     
  2. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Berkshire
    Car:
    R129 SL500, W639 Vito 120, S203 C230
    Hi Tim, and welcome :)

    Yes this has been discussed before, but I'll save you searching!

    First, although the rear seats were specifically designed by M-B as child seats they aren't certified to the latest requirements (hardly surprising since it pre-dates them by 20 years) ... therefore legally you would be required to use a booster. Practically this is a bad idea, not least because it raises the child's head very close to the roll bar (you are meant to have this fully raised when the rear seats are in use - you really wouldn't want to be sitting in the back if it fired from the stowed position).

    So ... we just use the rear seats as M-B intended. The alternative is to put the child in the front and the other adult in the back, the practicality of this may depend on whether you can disable the passenger airbag or not (on my '97 there's a weight sensor in the front seat, so you can't ... therefore you really want the front seat fully back if there's a child there).


    My two step-sons aged 3 and 6 in the back (just about to get out, so roll bar lowered). Note the border collie in the front too :D

    [​IMG]


    My son at about 13 months

    [​IMG]


    A bit older

    [​IMG]


    Older again (he is 4 now)

    [​IMG]

    A 3-point belt in the back without a booster is a good solution, again at least one person here has done this. We very rarely have any of the kids in the back now and if we do it's nearly always for a short local journey, so we've stuck with the lap belts (btw our Audi A4 estate only has a lap belt for the centre rear seat!).
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    tmwsccsh

    tmwsccsh Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Location:
    Letchworth, Hertfordshire
    Car:
    2001 Jaguar X Type, 1994 Ford Mustang Convertible
    Hi,

    Thanks for the response.

    We have decided that we are going to get 3-point rear seat belts fitted so that the rear is slightly safer.

    Unfortunately, the only place I have found so far is only open weekdays and I have used all my work holiday for the year already... :-(

    Alas...

    TMW
     
  4. Martyn_n

    Martyn_n Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    609
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Location:
    Leicester
    Car:
    W124 E320, ML270
    The only thing that has put me off replacing the 124 with a 129 is the lack of three point belts in the back. My 5 yr old daughter has been badgering me to get another crazy car (her name for the westfield we used to have, but now the general term for convertibles in our house). If the three point conversion is really do-able it may put them back on the agenda. Let us know what the results are like if you get it done.
     
  5. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    18,481
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Berkshire
    Car:
    R129 SL500, W639 Vito 120, S203 C230
    It is do-able ... have a search, someone here had them fitted previously.

    Although it's certainly an improvement a booster would still be required (legally).
     
  6. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    18,481
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Berkshire
    Car:
    R129 SL500, W639 Vito 120, S203 C230
  7. OP
    OP
    tmwsccsh

    tmwsccsh Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Location:
    Letchworth, Hertfordshire
    Car:
    2001 Jaguar X Type, 1994 Ford Mustang Convertible
    There's a place in Stanmore that can do it for £300 plus VAT so as that's just down the A1 from me it's definitely going to happen - when I get the time!!!

    TMW
     

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