Tether anchor retrofit for our 1996 Chevy Caprice

Amanda4uni

New member
Looking for tether anchor retrofit suggestions for our situation. We were advised we need part# 10197672 for our 1996 Chevy Caprice. However, this part has been discontinued and we cannot locate one. We can keep my 4 year old rear facing for a bit longer, but looking for the best suggestion for my 6 year old (75 pounds, in a belt positioning booster in our other car). Can we make an anchor at home?
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Looking for tether anchor retrofit suggestions for our situation. We were advised we need part# 10197672 for our 1996 Chevy Caprice. However, this part has been discontinued and we cannot locate one. We can keep my 4 year old rear facing for a bit longer, but looking for the best suggestion for my 6 year old (75 pounds, in a belt positioning booster in our other car). Can we make an anchor at home?
Hi!

You can't make an anchor. If your child does well in a booster, that's an appropriate choice. If a child can't rear face and isn't booster ready (Thinking when the 4 year old turns) there are 3 choices:
1. Use a conventional seat without the tether.

A few seats do not allow this at any weight and some require a tether over a certain weight. There's a danger in this of lessened performance in a crash; the standard for untethered harness seats and boosters requires the same head excursion but in crash testing studies, most boosters seem to do better than most harnessed untethered seats on head excursion as well as other metrics. There are a few systems that have alternate load limiting and excursion limiting effects even without a tether, like Britax SafeCell or Clek REACT/EACT, but they still do even better with a tether. (Your older child has outgrown harnessed seats with a harness currently available anyway, other than large medical seats that are very expensive to the consumer. I'm directing these options more at your younger child.)

2. Install an aftermarket tether anchor and use it to install a conventional seat.

I think Britax had a part available to order for use with their seats; EZ-On makes a Heavy Duty Tether Anchor for use with their vests that they have approved using with other seats on a case by case basis as long as a total system weight (seat p plus child) of 168 lbs is not exceeded. While this is usually not an officially approved option (sometimes the vehicle manufacturer says to use a tether kit supplied by the car seat manufacturer if the factory retrofit is unavailable, in which case if you used, say, a Britax anchor with a Britax seat, you'd be following all instructions), this is usually widely considered the best of not-ideal options by many. This is probably what I'd choose, in your shoes.

3. Install an aftermarket anchor for use with a vest instead of a conventional seat.

The EZ-On HDTA mentioned above can be used with the 86-Y add on harness from 66-168 lbs. From 40-66 (or if fit needs improvement above that) it can be used with a booster. Unfortunately the booster they used to approve is no longer sold as far as I know, and no one officially approves using it with their booster; this is a parental decision I'd make if necessary though. (However, using it with a lap/shoulder belt can be a pain. With or without the booster.) They also have other car vests, some of which are useable with a seatbelt (again can be a pain) and some only with the Floor Mount system. There are a lot of trade offs to this so it's usually reserved for special situations, but it is an option. Www.ezonpro.com is their website.

Good luck with your choice, let us know if we can help more!
 

Amanda4uni

New member
Thank you! For the 6 year old, do I need to use a regular booster instead of a belt positioning booster then with no latch or anchor? If so, will any booster work or are there specific ones that don't require the anchor (or maybe none do?)?
 

MelodyoftheForest

Active member
I am a bit confused by the way you are using the booster terms. In a belt positioning booster the seat belt goes across the child and the booster to secure them together into the car. A harnessed booster, otherwise known as a combination seat, generally requires a top tether. It is installed with lower anchors or the seat belt then the child is harnessed to the seat.
If your 6 year old is in a belt positioning booster in your other vehicle, that is a good option for the Caprice. As long as they are in a position with a lap-shoulder belt and have adequate head support, you're good to go!
 

Amanda4uni

New member
I am a bit confused by the way you are using the booster terms. In a belt positioning booster the seat belt goes across the child and the booster to secure them together into the car. A harnessed booster, otherwise known as a combination seat, generally requires a top tether. It is installed with lower anchors or the seat belt then the child is harnessed to the seat.
If your 6 year old is in a belt positioning booster in your other vehicle, that is a good option for the Caprice. As long as they are in a position with a lap-shoulder belt and have adequate head support, you're good to go!
The belt positioning boosters in our other cars are convertible car seats that were previously used with the 5 pt harness so may be different. So any belt positioning booster can be used with just the seat belt and no latch or anchor?
 

MelodyoftheForest

Active member
Yes, BPBs are generally not made to attach to the vehicle. They are simply to allow the child to fit the adult seat belt safely. Some have optional lower anchor attachments to make it easier for the child to get in and out without the seat shifting.

Because the back seat of the Caprice is likely lacking the height to provide head support to your booster rider as they grow, look for a booster that does not require vehicle head support. That way, the child will have adequate head support to prevent whiplash. The good news is that many common boosters so not require vehicle support behind the head, so it should be easy to find one that works.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
For a typical 6-year old at 75 lbs, you can also use a backless booster. You still need a vehicle seat with a lap AND shoulder belt, like any booster. As mentioned, you would not need lower anchors or top tether attachment with a booster seat, though some offer these attachments for convenience to keep the booster from moving around (especially when not in use).

This is a popular big kid backless model: https://fave.co/2tO43sf . With any backless model, the main consideration is that your vehicle seat (or vehicle head restraint) is tall enough to support the child's head when seated in the booster. A rough estimate can be taken when the child is sitting on the booster and the top of their ears is below the top of the vehicle seat (or head restraint). As Reta said, your Caprice probably lacks head restraints, but the seat backs may be tall enough for a child that age on a low profile booster. If you buy at Walmart, it's easy to return if their head is too tall for the seat and you need to exchange for a high back model.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
It sounds like you may be using a combination seat (harnessed seat that converts to a booster) for your older child. Do you happen to know which one? And is the belt positioned well on her currently, with the lap belt flat on the lap and the shoulder belt crossing her shoulder at the center, with the guide the belt goes through on the seat above her shoulder?
 

Car-Seat.Org Facebook Group

Forum statistics

Threads
219,306
Messages
2,201,235
Members
13,315
Latest member
nikkil7701

You must read your carseat and vehicle owner’s manual and understand any relevant state laws. These are the rules you must follow to restrain your children safely. All opinions at Car-Seat.Org are those of the individual author for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Carseat Media LLC. Car-Seat.Org makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician. Before posting or using our website you must read and agree to our TERMS.

Maxi Cosi is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Graco is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!

Please  Support Car-Seat.Org  with your purchases of infant, convertible, combination and boosters seats from our premier sponsors above.
Shop travel systems, strollers and baby gear from Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Safety 1st, Diono & more! ©2001-2020 Carseat Media LLC

Top