Install Tips for a Radian with forward of the bight seatbelts


Senior Community Member
Forward of the bight seatbelts happen when the female part of the buckle is 1 - 2 inches in front of the vehicle seatbight (crease where the vehicle seat bottom and vehicle seat back meet).

The pictures and instructions for these installs all come from a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport. Many of the tricks can be used in other vehicles as well to achieve a great install.

Foward Facing Lap Belt installations in the third row

The tether anchor for the 3rd row is located in the center position, so I will give instructions on how to install the seat there.

Start by lowering the recline foot on the Radian. This is the part that pops out of the Radian (*not* the foot that attaches).

Remove the vehicle's center head restraint for easier installation and stow in the under storage bins so you won't lose it.

Loosely attach tether to the anchor to keep from losing it between the carseat and vehicle seat while you are installing.

Position the seat approximately 1.5" out from the vehicle seat bight.

Open the velcro openings on the seat for easier installation.

Feed the lap belt through the forward facing belt path. Twist the female end of the buckle two full 360 degree twists and buckle the lapbelt. Pull the majority of the slack out of the 'tail' of the lapbelt.

Feed the tail end of the lap belt from the back of the seat, through the velcro opening to the front of the seat.

Kneel straight down in the seat (*not* back) and pull the tail end of the belt straight up and in towards the center of the seat to get all remaining slack out of the lapbelt. You may need to make sure the seatbelt buckle is not trying to untwist in a weird angle, preventing you from getting the seat tight (I'll include pictures so you know what I mean).

Check for movement by using your weaker hand AT the belt path. Give it a gentle tug looking for less than one inch of movement both side to side and front to back. No "reefing" on the seat when checking for movement.

If the seat is not tight enough, kneel in the seat again and pull more slack out of the lapbelt.

Once the seat is tight, feed the tail end of the lapbelt through the velcro opening to the back of the carseat again. Refasten the velcro openings.

Tighten up tether strap on the back of the seat.

Pictures... all pictures were taken in the third row of an '03 Grand Caravan with 50/50 split bench. It is the same design (with the exception of no stow n' go) as the '04 - 07's. The 2008's are the same basic design with the exception of swivel n' go and they have added a lap/shoulder belt in place of the lapbelt only in the 3rd row center position.

Here is the buckle side of the Radian. You can see the twist in the female portion of the buckle and the space between the vehicle seat and the carseat...

Here is the opposite side of the Radian. Again, you can see the space created between the vehicle seat and the carseat. This is okay since it is space at the lower half of the Radian and not all the way up...

Here's the final install. The seat looks very reclined, bad picture angle (sorry). You can see the recline is popped down on the base of the Radian...

This picture shows the tail end of the lapbelt pulled through the velcro opening to the front of the seat. Much easier to get a tighter install by doing this...

Just for fun. Here's three of them installed across the 3rd row. This picture shows that it's not always necessary to use the recline to get good installs. It is necessary on the split part of the 50/50 split bench, but not necessary on the outboard seats where there is no split...

Forward Facing with lap/shoulder seatbelts

You will use the same tricks as above with the exception of the following...
*Since you are using a lap/shoulder belt instead of a lapbelt only, you will pull a portion of the shoulderbelt through the velcro opening to give you the leverage needed to pull straight up and in when tightening the seatbelt.
*Instead of pulling a portion of the shoulder belt through the velcro opening, it can sometimes be more helpful to pull the shoulder portion straight out along the vehicle seat to get all slack out of the lap portion.

If you have switchable seatbelts where you pull the seatbelt out all the way and it switches into locking mode, then you will use the above tricks but need to add the following...
*Once you have the lap portion snug, pull the seatbelt out all the way to engage the locking mechanism and then feed all slack back into retractor.
*Check for movement. IF the seat still moves more than one inch side to side OR front to back, then you will need to use the following trick...
*Carefully unbuckle the seatbelt and allow the shoulder portion to retract back into the retractor 2 - 3 clicks. Then have one person sit/kneel/rock/bounce on the carseat while the other person works to rebuckle the seatbelt. Check for movement and repeat if necessary.

RearFacing Tether Locations
I always try to tether straight ahead or towards the center of the vehicle when possible. This is just an additional form of protection for keeping the child restraint from going towards the edge of the vehicle, especially helpful in side impact collisions.

Since a rearfacing seatbelt/latch install is generally fairly easy I won't go into those details. I will show a few d-ring locations specific to the '03 Grand Caravan. You can use these locations as guides for finding suitable spots in your vehicle...

Seat track leg of the driver's position...

Metal plate under the front passenger postion...

You need to open the front passenger tray to wrap the d-ring through the hole...

Once attached it will not interfere with the tray opening/closing. D-ring attached through hole in metal plate...

LATCH/UAS Forward Facing Installs
*Use the lapbelt only instructions to help you achieve a great LATCH/UAS install.

**The most important trick for foward of the bight seatbelt installs is to remember to postion the seat 1.5" away from the seat bight and to push down, not back when tightening up the seatbelt.
Last edited:


New member
Thank you! I fell in love with the idea of this seat, all its features and specs, but the first time I got my hands on one, I couldn't get an install better than 4" at the belt path. SOOO disappointed. Then I read your article, tried again, and now it's in there rock solid. Thank you thank you thank you.


New member
I know this is an old thread but I had to add a giant THANK YOU! I don't have seat belts that are in front of the bight but your trix for it fixed my install problems in DH's 1996 BMW convertible. I was never able to get a tight install due to the small molded leather seats. I tried and tried every couple of months trying every tip I could find but every time there was about 4 inches of movement from front to back at the seat portion. I've had it sitting in a closet since the end of 2007. I was so frustrated that I had never been able to use it. I desperately wanted to make this seat work now that ds was practically out of his blvd and dd is almost out of her ra rear facing and I really didn't want to have to buy him a new seat. Especially since the radian will likely fit until he is ready for a booster. Now with the recline down, the slight gap at the bottom in the back of the seat and pushing down instead of back and down when I tighten the seat belt I am able to get a rock solid install. The only thing I did differently was I pulled the cover all the way down and pulled up on the belt from there instead of going through the velcro portion. I felt that I had even more leverage that way. Once again thank you so much.


New member
I must've been doing some very bad searching because I come here every once in a while looking for precise and detailed tips on how to install a Radian FF with seatbelts.
This is awesome; thank you so very much!!!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I know that this is an old thread but I just finally got my Radian 65 installed successfully in my husbands 1998 Camry with these tips - by myself. I have been fighting with it for a week now. I moves a little much for my taste still since I can strap my Frontiers in my van so that the vehicle seat would unbolt from the floor before they would come out, but it only moves about 1/4 inch with my weak hand at the belt path. The trick for me was pulling the shoulder strap on the belt along the seat to tighten it and pushing straight down on the seat once the lap portion was tight, in case that helps anyone else. Will post on the successful Radian installs in a ______ thread too! Yay!

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