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Discussion Starter #1
I found that I can get a much better installation of my Graco infant seat base in a second row seat if I use the metal locking clip.

When trying to use the belt in ALR mode (pull all the way out and retract slowly), I can't get the seat rock solid because it is hard to push that last 1/2" of belt into the belt retractor...It's like trying to shoot pool with a piece of rope. Also, the seat is tilted a bit transversely since the shoulder portion is tensioned and lifts up on one side of the carseat.

Then I left the belt in ELR mode (like front seats) and used the metal locking clip. I moved the seat all the way back, tightned things up, and then pushed the seat foward...much better. The belt is pulled against a smooth surface on the seat base and totally immobilizes the metal clip. rock solid...And since the shoulder portion of the belt is not in tension (except for the slight retracting tension), the carseat sits flat on the seat.

But, I'm just wondering if using the clip and the standard ELR mode is not as good as using the ALR mode and no clip?

Or...should I use the clip as mentioned above AND put the shoulder belt into ALR mode? Although, intuitively to me, the locking clip and ELR mode seem a better match.

Thanks in advance for any tips.

for those unfamiliar with acronyms:

ELR = emergency locking...you can pull the shoulder belt out and it gets pulled back in over and over...like in the drivers seat...but in a crash, it locks up or tightens

ALR = Automatic locking...you pull the belt ALL the way out to switch into ALR mode...then you let it back in slowly. The belt takes in the slack but won't give it back until you completely release the belt into the retractor.

If I have anything wrong in this post...someone please correct me!

Thanks,

-Brian Adkins
 
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I don't know if one -LR setting is safer, but I personally prefer the ALR setting. I don't have to fuss with a locking clip and there's no slack that can come out at the top. I also think it's much easier to install the seat because you don't have to readjust the clip every time you adjust the length of the belt.

How were you installing the base? We you just trying to buckle it in and then pull out the slack? I was able to get a rock solid fit of my brother's seat (not an infant seat) using the ALR mode. My trick to getting it very tight is to buckle it in, set the ALR and then kneel in the seat. I then unbuckle the seat while holding the belt so it doesn't slip away. I let the seatbelt recoil two clicks at a time and then buckle it in again. I redo this until I get it tight enough. I have found that it's about tight enough when I literally have to jump into the seat while guiding the buckle and latch together. If you haven't tried this approach, you might consider it.

We had the problem with the car seat tipping too. I just rolled up a towel and suffed it under the "tippage" and it seems to work just fine.

If all else fails, you can always have a CPS tech check it and tell you how to get a good fit.

Good luck!

Michelle
 

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Michelle, that's an absolutely fabulous method you have of getting the car seat installed (he says, having used pretty much the same method for years).

Imagine having 260 pounds jumping on that seat and having it latch at the bottom of its travel. Do you know what that puppy's like when you UN-latch it? Seriously, I tend to use a stick or something to pop the latch. The tension is incredible.
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Michelle, that's an absolutely fabulous method you have of getting the car seat installed (he says, having used pretty much the same method for years).

Imagine having 260 pounds jumping on that seat and having it latch at the bottom of its travel. Do you know what that puppy's like when you UN-latch it? Seriously, I tend to use a stick or something to pop the latch. The tension is incredible.
</font>
I'm no where near 260 lbs, so I have to jump into it in order to get it tight. (I'm no physics major, but I'm working on the priciple that the force of gravity is 9.8 m/s^2 plus my weight, etc...)

I'm also pretty short so it's second nature to be crawling, climbing, jumping on things, etc...

No explosive UN-latchings here. LOL! I'd be more concerned about denting the leather than taking out someone's eye with that installation method.

With 260 lbs, one could get the seat in very tight just by sitting in it. And you also get to skip looking like a total goof.

Michelle
 

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Using a locking clip and leaving the belt in ELR mode is an acceptable method, especially to prevent excessive tilt with certain carseats. As long as the locking clip is used properly within an inch or so of the latchplate, it should be OK.

I should note that it isn't critical to have the carseat rock solid. If the seat moves less than an inch forward-backward and side-to-side when grabbed on the base where the seatbelt path is, then it is a good fit.

Technically, the Odyssey has SLR (Switchable Locking Retractor) belts :) ALR belts will retract and lock at any length, even without pulling it all the way out to engage it...

Also see:

http://www.car-safety.org/odyssey.html for some installation tips.


[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 01-17-2002).]
 

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Brianadkins, I have had the exact same experience that you are describing. See
http://www.odyclub.com/ubb/Forum13/HTML/000047.html about the fourth paragraph of my longwinded post.

At first I thought the ALR mode was the ticket, but after a short time found I didn’t like the pressure the opposing seatbelt sections were putting on the infant seat, didn’t like the way the car seat rode above the seat cushion when unweighted, and found the infant seat difficult to install correctly and quickly (let sleeping babies lie) onto its base because the shoulder portion of the belt was preventing us from pushing it completely down into place so that all the latches would catch.

We now use a hybrid of ALR & locking clip and a foam booster wedge (from BabiesRUs) which we cut down to work correctly. The wedge does two things; 1. it levels our older, non-self-leveling seat out, and 2. it keeps the rear lip of the infant seat from hitting the seatback and pushing it forward, which makes it more difficult to latch. The ALR/locking clip goes like this: push the auto seat all the way back, place the infant seat base in position, install the locking clip on the seatbelt and latch it as firmly as possible, then move the auto seat forward making the seat belt very tight, pull out the shoulder portion of the belt to engage ALR, then let the belt retract to within about 1-2” of tight, slip the shoulder portion of the belt between the folded up arm rest and seatback to hold it in this limp position.

If the locking clip were to fail ALR is engaged (except for the last 1-2” of belt) and you don’t have to hope ELR works. Leaving the belt a little slack does allow for some play in the event of an accident, but it also allows for a quicker, easier, and therefore better installation. We found that with the shoulder portion of the belt under tension in either ALR or ELR modes, we had to push harder and wiggle the seat a lot more to ensure that all the latches were engaging. With a little slack in the belt latching worked correctly each and every time.

Just my .25 cents worth ...


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  • ’90 4Runner – lacking for a family of 5
  • ’02 GG Odyssey EX-L-RES – my new best friend

TNUCKELS

[This message has been edited by tnuckels (edited 01-28-2002).]
 

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Tnuckels-

Great suggestions. I would like to add that the ELR systems are pretty reliable. Usually, the recommendation is to use either the locking clip, or the locking retractor. Using both is fine, but not necessary.

Also, the locking clip WILL fail in a severe crash. It is not intended to withstand crash forces. It is only intended to keep the carseat in position before a crash, so that the ELR can do its job restraining the carseat. That is why it is important to use a locking clip correctly if you use one at all!
 

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I use the LATCH anchors. Much better than fumbling around with any seatbelt and much more secure. For those who have them, '01 Odysseys and up I believe, you can get a LATCH strap from various manufacturers. Mine is by Evenflo purchased at Babies R Us.

[This message has been edited by vquan (edited 01-28-2002).]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Anyone know if I can get a LATCH kit for a Graco infant car-seat?...

Or are LATCH kits available only for forward-facing seats for older kids?

-Brian
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by vquan:
I use the LATCH anchors. Much better than fumbling around with any seatbelt and much more secure. For those who have them, '01 Odysseys and up I believe, you can get a LATCH strap from various manufacturers. Mine is by Evenflo purchased at Babies R Us. </font>
I would love to use LATCH on this particular infant seat, also an Evenflo, but it is about 6 years old and therefore pre-LATCH. When Evenflo recently came out with their LATCH retrofit kits, my particular seat was not on the list of models the kit would work with. When I called Evenflo, all they could tell me was that my seat base was wider than the LATCH attach points, not to use the LATCH retrofit, and that I sould replace any car seats older than 6 years.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by brianadkins:
Anyone know if I can get a LATCH kit for a Graco infant car-seat?...
-Brian
</font>
I don’t know about Graco and LATCH straps. You can go to their web site here and poke around: http://www.gracobaby.com/ If it’s like several other car seat manufacturer sites I tried back last summer and fall, you’ll probably have little luck finding anything about LATCH on the sites, even if you know, for sure, that they make them. In my case, the sad fact was that shopping Toys and Babies R Us from time to time was the best resource I could find. Maybe the web sites were just behind the manufacturing plants (cart before the horse?) at that particular time.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by brianadkins:
Or are LATCH kits available only for forward-facing seats for older kids?
-Brian
</font>
I believe you are thinking of tether straps which, in all but a couple of seat models from Britax, are not recommended for use with almost all rear facing infant seats. I could easily be wrong as to how many seats will work in this configuration (tether on rear facing infant seat) as new seats are coming out all the time and I only look into things when we are expecting another child. Car seats are a fairly fast moving target.

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  • ’90 4Runner – lacking for a family of 5
  • ’02 GG Odyssey EX-L-RES – my new best friend

TNUCKELS

[This message has been edited by tnuckels (edited 01-28-2002).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by brianadkins:
Anyone know if I can get a LATCH kit for a Graco infant car-seat?...

Or are LATCH kits available only for forward-facing seats for older kids?

-Brian
</font>
Graco does not yet have a LATCH retrofit kit for most of its models. Even though Graco owns Century, the Century LATCH kit should not be used on Graco models, unless specified. For example, the brand new Stay-in-Car base for the SnugRide infant seat CAN use the Century EZ LATCH kit. See:

http://www.gracobaby.com/default.asp?redir=http%3A//www.gracobaby.com/Sections/ProductCatalog/ModelDetail.asp%3FProductCategoryID%3D2%26ProductModelTypeID%3D369

For more information on LATCH and retrofit kits, see:

http://www.car-safety.org/latch.html
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the Info!

I called Graco and asked if my infant seat from our travel system would fit this base. The guy said that I have a snug-rider and that they all fit this new base.

He offered to sell me the seat base, but said I'd need to go to Babies-R-Us or Toy-R-Us to get the Graco/Century EZ LATCH kit:

From the Graco website:
=======================
- Allows Graco SnugRide Infant Car Seat to be adjusted to proper recline
- Convenient extra base for second vehicle
- Compatible with Graco/Century EZ Latch Lower Anchorage belt system
- Stay-in-car adjustable base sold separately
=======================

Thanks again for the help...I was really wishing I had the LATCH capability to make things easier.

-Brian
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
At the top of this weblink page, there's a picture of an Ody! Cool!
Maybe the webmaster has a bit of a bias? The Odyssey in the logo bears a striking resemblance to the one that used to be at honda-odyssey.com hehe.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 01-29-2002).]
 
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