Tempo retracting seat belt mechanism problems
I have been having problems with the driverside retracting seat belt on my 90 Tempo. The problem involves the plastic belt or tape with the square holes that retracts or extends the sholder belt when the door is shut or opened. The belt engages with a plastic gear that alternately pushes or pulls on the tape, to retract or engage the seat belt. I replaced this belt about 2 years ago, and now I have had to purchase another one (at Ford for $53!)
The problem with the belt is that (especially upon opening the door, when the drive gear has to "push" on the plastic belt) the drive gear tends to not "engage" properly with the plastic belt, with the result that it can suddenly slip---thus rounding out the square holes in the belt at one location and ruining it. Then the motor will just spin and run without stopping, further damaging the belt.
When I replace this belt, do I need to apply something like graphite or other lube in the track? Do I need to replace any other parts as a matter of course (like the drive gear or guide slides) when replacing the belt? The gear and slides appear to be ok.
Finally, can someone tell me if this is a common problem with the Tempo seat belt mechanism? The way this system works on this car seems, to me anyway, not a very good design and that it would be prone to trouble. It looks like there have been quite a few posts in this discussion group about this problem.
Thanks for any advice!