Need carseat for 1997 Expedition center 2nd row (lap belt only)


New member
So, I'm looking for a FF harness seat for a very tall child that will install successfully in the center position in the 2nd row of my 1997 Expedition. The belt there is a lap belt only and is several inches in front of the seat bight on a rigid piece of metal.

Would like to leave an outboard position with shoulder belt for adult passengers.

One suggestion was the SureRide. I also was looking at the Britax Frontier 90. Can I tell if a seat will install well there without trying it just by looking or measuring? We don't live anywhere near a Babies R Us or any store that will let you try it out in your car. Our local options.... Walmart x2. Blech.


New member
This picture shows where the female end of the seat belt is located. Is there any FF seat that would be compatible with this? It looks like they all have the FF belt path on the very back of the seat. The XTSL I have tried to install there moved at least 8 inches front to back because of this. I can't get the belt to tighten any further (retractable) to prevent the front-back movement.



Well-known member
I tried, but was not able to make sure. The Frontier90 will fit for sure and it looks like the center belt will work for it, but I learned that my center belt is broken when I tried to make sure it would work. It would only pull out 1 foot and then locked and wouldn't go back in or come out any further. I really does look like it would work well in that spot though. Good luck!


New member
Thank you 2BunniesMommy - you are SUCH a great help!

That's a bummer about your belt. Mine has been locking up and not going back in on occasion, too. I have to jiggle it and pull several times to get it to unlock. I was wondering if it was because it had a car seat in there for 2 years (until I figured out I had a horrible install - YIKES - good thing we never had an accident!). I wonder if there is a part to replace it with just the manual pull type belt. The self retracting just means more to break and it's harder to install a seat with it (for me at least). I think I will call the dealer and ask if there is a part to replace the retracting belt with a plain belt while they are installing the top tether anchors. :)


Active member
Did you check to see if there's anything down in the slot the belt retracts into?

That...when DD was a baby we were having trouble tightening the seatbelt in my old 1979 Pontiac Grand LeMans. It turned out the female buckle was so full of lint etc, once we vacuumed it out it tightened perfectly. :)

Even yours has had almost 20 yrs for stuff to fall in ;)


Well-known member
Did you check to see if there's anything down in the slot the belt retracts into?

I just tried pulling on it a few times. The belt comes out of a shared hole with the female end for the belt where I had the Pinnacle 90 installed. I had just reinstalled it when I realized the lap belt wasn't working, so I didn't want to mess around anymore. ( At first I tried to move the Pinnacle over to try it, but tried to do it with just loosening the tether because it is hard to get to, but it wouldn't let me move it that far. Then I reinstalled it and got the Frontier 90 out of my car and tried to install it in the Exp. I didn't feel like playing with it anymore and was in a rush because DH was about 10 minutes out from leaving for work in the Exp. ) I will see if a vac will pull anything out of there in the near future though, because I am pretty sure it was working not long ago. I will have to ask the girls, but I do believe they had a doll belted in last week.


Moderator - CPS Technician
Even yours has had almost 20 yrs for stuff to fall in ;)

And kids to help the process along. DD1 had a friend in preschool who thought those slots were piggy banks.

Also....HOLY CARP!!!!! Said DD is within spitting distance of turning 18. How did that happen?

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