Britax Marathon installation question

Britax Marathon installation question***UPDATED WITH PICS AT THE END OF PAGE 1

Both my girls ride in Britax Marathons in captains chairs of my 08 chrysler t&c. When I install their seats, I put all my weight on the seat and once I've tightened the LATCH straps, that thing doesn't budge AT ALL. I of course use the tether thing too, both rear facing and forward facing.

My question is: is it okay if the base isn't all the way completely flat to the seat as long as the seat doesn't budge in either direction? In order for me to get the base 100% flat I have to recline the seat back a ways and then that makes the car seat recline too much.

Thanks!

****PICS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF PAGE 1, IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO POST PICS. LOL
 
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LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
As a general rule, 80% of the base needs to be on the seat, but I think that mainly refers to overhang. It sounds like the back of the base doesn't touch the seat? Am I interpreting that correctly? If so, I don't think I'd be comfortable with that. Maybe I'm misunderstanding, though.

I have done installations where the back of the base is off the seat BEFORE installing, but then once weight is put into it, it mashes down. I guess I'm having a hard time envisioning it.

Is there a headrest getting in the way? If so, can that be removed?
 

yetanotherjen

CPST Instructor
I agree with Maedze, picture please :)

I have an 07 Chrysler Pacifica with captain's chairs with a BLVD installed rfing and I have not had any issue. I don't know how different the captains chairs are between the two cars...... but again pictures please
 

autumnlily

New member
Are you reclining the Marathon for the RF installation and setting the MA in the FF installation upright using the recline bar?
 
Are you reclining the Marathon for the RF installation and setting the MA in the FF installation upright using the recline bar?

I don't know how to post pics so I'll try to explain it better. My captains chairs are deep and the part your butt goes on is at an angle. Like when I use my graco snug ride, I have to use a rolled up blanket AND the foam thing where the seat where your butt goes on meets the back of the seat your back goes on, just so I get the correct incline for the infant seat.

The britax isn't as bad. The base of the car seat isn't hanging over the captains chair, but when in rear facing mode I have to use one of the foam things so there isn't a small gap under the base of the car seat where our butt would be if we were sitting in the captain chair.

Also, I just realized dd2's marathon's recline is broken. When not installed, the incline kind of hangs out in the middle, it won't recline anymore. I think I might had broke it by using the top tether in rear facing mode to help get the incline, because like I said the captains seat is deep so in order to get the angle I have to use something to fill the gap at the back of the seat. Is there such thing as too tight of an instalation? I guess I just can never use it as a rear facing seat anymore. I dunno, maybe I should call britax?
 
As a general rule, 80% of the base needs to be on the seat, but I think that mainly refers to overhang. It sounds like the back of the base doesn't touch the seat? Am I interpreting that correctly? If so, I don't think I'd be comfortable with that. Maybe I'm misunderstanding, though.

I have done installations where the back of the base is off the seat BEFORE installing, but then once weight is put into it, it mashes down. I guess I'm having a hard time envisioning it.

Is there a headrest getting in the way? If so, can that be removed?


You are right. I took the head rest off. When I mash the car seat down into the captain chair it takes away most of that gap, but the majority of the pressure of the car seat is at the front of the base (the part of the base that faces the front passenger seat.) No part of the base of the britax car seat is hanging over or off the captains chair. The seat won't budge, not even a little. Is there such thing as too tight of an installation?

I do have the incline of the car seat at the up right position, as that is what it says in the directions to do. However, the incline doesn't work anymore. It stays locked in the middle, but when I install the seat it is completely in the incline position. When I get back from my 1 hr glucose test I'm going to call britax about that matter. This is the first problem I've had with Britax.
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
I don't know how to post pics so I'll try to explain it better.
If you have a web site where you currently upload photos to (i.e. Facebook, PhotoBucket, Flicker, etc.) you can just link to those photos here; when you are writing your post, click the yellow icon that has a mountain on it and then paste the link in the box that pops up.

If you don't have a place where you currently upload photos to, then when you are writing a post, click the paperclip icon and it will allow you to attach a few photos directly from your computer. If you don't see the paperclip icon, click "Go Advanced" at the bottom right of the post and then scroll down to the section titled "Attach Files" and you can attach them by clicking the button "Manage Attachments".
 

Kat_Momof3

New member
I have the 05 Caravan, so I've had a similar problem (but I know the newer ones have a more significant slant.

this is what you do...

first... recline your vehicle about 10* (about 2-5 "clicks") (this wasn't necessary in my Caravan, though it made it easier... but in the newer ones with more signifcant slant, this is probably needed)

Then, making sure the Marathon is in the UPRIGHT position... put it on the seat... if you see that it is not touching the seat portion... "walk"/scoot the base forward... which will make the top portion slide down the seat back a little... this is fine... it does not have to touch the WHOLE back of the Marathon... as long as a good part of it is flush against the vehicle seat back, you'll be fine

Now you have your base flush against the vehicle seat... so hook up the latch (make sure that they were switched when you turned the seat from rearfacing) or use the seatbelt... put your knee in it... get it tight... hook up the tether... now... before you tighten the tether... IF YOU WANT TO (don't have to do this), you can push the vehicle seat more upright... do NOT force it... you may have to push some, but don't push hard enough that you could damage the carseat.

then, tighten your tether, and you're done

when it's installed it SHOULD look like this

ForwardFacingMarathonInstalledLessU.jpg

ForwardFacingMarathonBase.jpg
 

Shanora

Well-known member
Also for a future FYI, the top tether when used for rear facing is only supposed to be taut not tightened....it is not supposed to be used to adjust the angle. Thats what pool Noodles or towels are for.

My Marathon was installed with about 80% of the base not touching the seat, and I have VERY squishey seats. If I didn't install it that way it was WAY over reclinded for forward facing.


**sorry about any spelling...I'm at work, and no auto spell check**
 
I have the 05 Caravan, so I've had a similar problem (but I know the newer ones have a more significant slant.

this is what you do...

first... recline your vehicle about 10* (about 2-5 "clicks") (this wasn't necessary in my Caravan, though it made it easier... but in the newer ones with more significant slant, this is probably needed)

Then, making sure the Marathon is in the UPRIGHT position... put it on the seat... if you see that it is not touching the seat portion... "walk"/scoot the base forward... which will make the top portion slide down the seat back a little... this is fine... it does not have to touch the WHOLE back of the Marathon... as long as a good part of it is flush against the vehicle seat back, you'll be fine

Now you have your base flush against the vehicle seat... so hook up the latch (make sure that they were switched when you turned the seat from rearfacing) or use the seatbelt... put your knee in it... get it tight... hook up the tether... now... before you tighten the tether... IF YOU WANT TO (don't have to do this), you can push the vehicle seat more upright... do NOT force it... you may have to push some, but don't push hard enough that you could damage the carseat.

then, tighten your tether, and you're done

when it's installed it SHOULD look like this


I'm so glad you understood my ramblings. It's hard to explain!

So I reinstalled the seats today in the parking lot while I waited the 1 hour for my glucose test. LOL The pressure is still mostly on the front part of the base that is facing towards the front passenger seat because in order to get the base flat on the captains chair seat I have to recine the captains chair seat waaaay too far back. I love my van but HATE the seats.

The gap at the back of the base isn't very much at all, only a few cm's once the seat is smooshed down and tightened, but I didn't know if that was safe or not. It's impossible for me to get the base flat prior to tightening the seat with the captains chairs being so deep of an angle. Is this okay?

As for rolled up towels and pool noodle like things. It is safe to use them? I have NO other choice when using my graco snug ride infant seat for a newborn. I actually bought the noodle looking thing from toys r us made just for car seats, and wrapped it in duct tape and also have to use a full sized rolled up towl. It's ridciouls really. I wish they didn't make the seats in my van so deep. I didn't have that problem in my 05 pacifica. As for rear facing the maraton, I also have to use a portion of the noodle in order not to have a gap at the base at the back of the captains chair.
 
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Also for a future FYI, the top tether when used for rear facing is only supposed to be taut not tightened....it is not supposed to be used to adjust the angle. Thats what pool Noodles or towels are for.

My Marathon was installed with about 80% of the base not touching the seat, and I have VERY squishey seats. If I didn't install it that way it was WAY over reclinded for forward facing.


**sorry about any spelling...I'm at work, and no auto spell check**


this is good to know. So this answers my question as to if it's safe if the whole base isn't touching the seat then. In order for my base to be flat on the seat the back of the captains chair has to be reclined so far, it's ridiculous.

Thank you everybody for your responses!!!!!!
 

autumnlily

New member
You still need to call Britax about your broken base and whether it is still safe to use either FF or RF.

Hope you passed your 1hr glucose test!
 
You still need to call Britax about your broken base and whether it is still safe to use either FF or RF.

Hope you passed your 1hr glucose test!

I forgot to even mention that part! :D

I also called Britax while waiting the 1 hr for the glucose test and they are sending me a new seat within 5 bus days and a label to mail the broken one back. Thankfully it was still under warranty. She hasn't even been sitting in the seat for a year yet. The lady at Britax didn't say that it wasn't safe, but I didn't like that I could never rear face the seat again since it didn't recline anymore.

As for the 1 hr test, this is my 3rd baby and I've never had GD, so I'm hoping I passed this time too.
 

Kat_Momof3

New member
80% of the base touching refers to overhang... not the back portion of a ff seat... (and you weren't rambling... I've seen this problem come up in vehicles with super straight vehicle seats so many times)

with my van, while I can't illustrate it, you can see how much the front of the seat is compressed... very very much... and that was partly because the back of the base wasn't perfectly flush until I put my knee in... but then it was not only flush, it pushed in and, when I removed the seat to clean under it, you could see the marks (which of course pop back after time) from the ENTIRE rim of the base having dug into the fabric.

Pool noodles and rolled towels are not acceptable.

I'm going to ask a few other questions, though

1. make sure that you walk that base forward on the seat... even if some of the FRONT of the base overhangs... it's better than the back of the base not touching.

2. did you remove the vehicle headrest? I know the 2010 ones are like the ones in my IL's grand caravan... you lucky son of a gun... flat headrests (mine are horribly angled)... but they can still get in the way and cause problems... remove them... that may help

Now, if it still doesn't work, I'd honestly consider it an incompatibility (rare for me to say about a dodge/chrysler vehicle and ANY seat I've encountered other than an evenflo backless booster in my captain's chairs) and would recommend getting a different seat...

But I hate to say that without seeing pictures of the seats installed to make sure that I'm getting an accurate picture in my mind here.
 

safeinthecar

Moderator - CPS Technician
Sometimes when I come across a Britax seat that won't stay in the upright recline mode, I can force it to click in by pulling the back of the base down hard.
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
*****Currently trying to figure out HOW to upload pics still. The facebook method didn't work.
I just tested posting a Facebook photo and it worked fine. Once you go into a photo, right click and there should be an option that's something like "copy image address" (that's what it is on Safari on the Mac, should be something similar on the PC) and paste that in to the box that pops up when you click the yellow image icon. You can just use the "copy link" (or similar option) as that copies the link to the page which isn't what you want. The url you copy should start with http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net
 
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I just tested posting a Facebook photo and it worked fine. Once you go into a photo, right click and there should be an option that's something like "copy image address" (that's what it is on Safari on the Mac, should be something similar on the PC) and paste that in to the box that pops up when you click the yellow image icon. You can just use the "copy link" (or similar option) as that copies the link to the page which isn't what you want. The url you copy should start with http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net

When I did it, alll it was was a box with a red X. Maybe it's because my profile is private?

I just created a photobucket account and am trying to do it that way. Sorry for all the blank posts. I can't figure out how to delete them completely.
 

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