Kids in back of SL R129

HPW

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Firstly, thanks to the many of you who have already helped me with other questions as I continue my quest to convince my bank, wife and self that an R129 is the way to go !

I would need to occasionally put my 2 kids in the rear seats, which I was thinking would be OK now I know from this forum that I can have 3-point belts retro fitted. Clearly it is always going to be a tight fit even for kids but one of the attractrions of the SL is that we could get out as a family rather than this just being Daddy's selfish pride and joy ! However, on the last test drive I took along the kids to see how well they would fit and I discovered a new and totally unexpected concern....

My 6yr old by law needs to sit on a booster seat but as that is flat bottomed and the SL seat is curved, she sits much much higher than Merc would have orginally envisaged. Net result = her forehead can touch the roll bar (which I understand from other posts should always be up with kids in the back). She's slightly above average height for her age but no giant. Even moderate braking would probably knock her head on to the bar, which I assume is not good !

I also have a 15mth old who needs a full child seat which is necessarily bulky and means space is extra tight. Head is not touching the roll bar at least, but very little room for her legs/feet.

Has anyone come across booster seats that work well in the rear (perhaps one with a thinner base, or that has a better shape or material to fit the Merc's deep seats) ? Has anyone found an easy way around this problem ?

Perhaps the answer is obvious, I've seen a few related posts but am still scratching my head.

Thanks as ever

Hugo
 

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Why not take the seat squabs out, and put the special seat directly to the floor
 

Alex M Grieve

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My 6yr old by law needs to sit on a booster seat but as that is flat bottomed and the SL seat is curved, she sits much much higher than Merc would have originally envisaged. Has anyone come across booster seats that work well in the rear (perhaps one with a thinner base, or that has a better shape or material to fit the Merc's deep seats) ? Has anyone found an easy way around this problem ?

Hi Hugo,

The purpose of a booster seat is to raise a child so that the adult seat belt can be used safely. In this situation, the seat belt is much lower, so the argument for a booster seat/cushion becomes pointless.

Is there any wiggle room in the Regs? I suppose they have not foreseen this situation, and you would only be able to rationalize with a thinking enforcement person if stopped. The odds of that happening are poor, I fear.

Maybe worth contacting your local authority Safety Engineer, or Road Safety Liaison Officer (yes they do exist). They might know more than us and could be very helpful.

The reality is that they might just recite the rules, and worse still, not understand the point you are trying to make, but it is worth a try and you will need them onside if you are to progress with this.

Good luck (otherwise its a CLK 500 Cabrio).
 
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HPW

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Why not take the seat squabs out, and put the special seat directly to the floor

Thanks Malcom (and Alex). Is removing the squabs and easy affair - I have seen the backs folded down, but is it simple to remove the bases as well ? This might well be the option seeing as the kids will essentially have complete seats of their own.
 

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As Alex, consult a safety engineer.

Can't take chances, especially where little ones involved, hence me abandoning my pipedream (for the next 5 years or so) of owning a W107SL.
 

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brianbrian

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I think you should buy something more sensible for now that would suit the children and get your dream car at a later date. Hope this helps
 

davidsl500

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Even moderate braking would probably knock her head on to the bar, which I assume is not good !


Hugo

It should be okay as the rollbar is quite robust so shouldn't be damaged:)

I have never managed to activate my roll bar but I believe they come up with a thump when activated so yes, it should always be up when there are rear passengers.

Maybe you should attend one of the GTG's when there is one close to you and ask a friendly SL owner to remove the squabs and try your seats?
 

hawk20

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Removing the squab defeats the whole object of the child booster seat which is to raise children so that the adult seat belt is suitable.

Why not look at a CL500 (magnificent beast). Or a CLK.
 

Quick Silver

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Firstly, thanks to the many of you who have already helped me with other questions as I continue my quest to convince my bank, wife and self that an R129 is the way to go !

I would need to occasionally put my 2 kids in the rear seats, which I was thinking would be OK now I know from this forum that I can have 3-point belts retro fitted. Clearly it is always going to be a tight fit even for kids but one of the attractrions of the SL is that we could get out as a family rather than this just being Daddy's selfish pride and joy ! However, on the last test drive I took along the kids to see how well they would fit and I discovered a new and totally unexpected concern....

My 6yr old by law needs to sit on a booster seat but as that is flat bottomed and the SL seat is curved, she sits much much higher than Merc would have orginally envisaged. Net result = her forehead can touch the roll bar (which I understand from other posts should always be up with kids in the back). She's slightly above average height for her age but no giant. Even moderate braking would probably knock her head on to the bar, which I assume is not good !

I also have a 15mth old who needs a full child seat which is necessarily bulky and means space is extra tight. Head is not touching the roll bar at least, but very little room for her legs/feet.

Has anyone come across booster seats that work well in the rear (perhaps one with a thinner base, or that has a better shape or material to fit the Merc's deep seats) ? Has anyone found an easy way around this problem ?

Perhaps the answer is obvious, I've seen a few related posts but am still scratching my head.

Thanks as ever

Hugo


CURRENT SEAT BELT REGULATIONS

http://www.desktoplawyer.co.uk/dt/browse/law/index.cfm?fs=lga&sid=75993&aid=35274
 
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HPW

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Thanks everyone. I have found the following on a Government website. Does anyone know whether the rear seats have the "E" label referenced below (something tells me they will not given the age, but I live in hope...).
? This would mean the eldest could sit safely and comfortably without a booster (which is really irrelevant as the seat belt will be the correct height for her without). Youngest would of course continue in full baby seat.

- has small extra seats only suitable for children?
Some sports cars or convertibles also have small rear seats that are only big enough for children. These seats may only be used without a child seat or booster if they are labelled to the required UN ECE Regulation 44.03 (or later) type-approval standard.

If the seat complies with the type-approval standard, it will have an "E" label, with "44.03" or ".03" (or later eg "44.04") and the weight range of the child for which it is designed. Check with the car handbook or the vehicle manufacturer whether the seat is approved to the required standard.
 

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This post is a little old, but caught my eye.
I had the same issue when I got my SL320. My daughter was about 3-4. At that age, my Brittax baby seat was ok sat on/in the bucket seat, but as she got too big for that I dispensed with it and wanted her sat her directly on the mercedes seat. I had a 3 point belt professionally fitted - on the near side rear so that I could have my drivers seat all the way back.
The seat belt was perfectly aligned for her, even though she technically was not tall enough to go without a booster seat. I took the decision that she was safer like this than being perched on a booster, and she had the important added side protection from the SL bodyshell. I was never stopped or queried on this, but would have argued it or just taken the rap since it was obviously the safer way to do it. Occasionally I let her sit up front with a booster seat, but that was pushing it.
But remember - you need the 3-point belt in the back for this, not the standard lap-belt
 

AMck

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This post is a little old, but caught my eye.
I had the same issue when I got my SL320. My daughter was about 3-4. At that age, my Brittax baby seat was ok sat on/in the bucket seat, but as she got too big for that I dispensed with it and wanted her sat her directly on the mercedes seat. I had a 3 point belt professionally fitted - on the near side rear so that I could have my drivers seat all the way back.
The seat belt was perfectly aligned for her, even though she technically was not tall enough to go without a booster seat. I took the decision that she was safer like this than being perched on a booster, and she had the important added side protection from the SL bodyshell. I was never stopped or queried on this, but would have argued it or just taken the rap since it was obviously the safer way to do it. Occasionally I let her sit up front with a booster seat, but that was pushing it.
But remember - you need the 3-point belt in the back for this, not the standard lap-belt

Hi Dringo

I have a R129 and have been trying to find out if fitting a 3 point rear seat belt was possible and was pleased to see it is and has been done as I want to make it as safe as possible for my son and his friend to travel in the back.
I would really appreciate any info you can give me. Would it be possible to give some details of how they are fitted (photos would be really appreciated) and what manufacturer made the belts.
Thanks
 

Alex M Grieve

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Hi Dringo

I have a R129 and have been trying to find out if fitting a 3 point rear seat belt was possible and was pleased to see it is and has been done as I want to make it as safe as possible for my son and his friend to travel in the back.
I would really appreciate any info you can give me. Would it be possible to give some details of how they are fitted (photos would be really appreciated) and what manufacturer made the belts.
Thanks

Dringo's point about child seats and booster cushions is a very good one.

In the back of the 129, the roll over bar will deploy explosively and automatically, so what ever arrangements you come to, best test that they do not obstruct the arc of the roll bar as you raise it and lower it.

Such a test would be your best logic (and defence) for not using a booster cushion or child seat.
 

hairyg

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To re-inforce the point about the roll bar deployment.

The bar is driven up by powerful springs when triggered by the tilt switches on the rear suspension. From experience I can confirm that it moves VERY fast and with a loud thump. It would almost certainly cause injuries to anyone caught in its path.

On the rare occasions I carry anyone in the back of my car I manually raise the roll bar. End of problem.
 


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