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Old 04-19-2006, 02:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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LATCH car seat system?

Hey guys,

My wife and I are due with our first kid in June. Tonight we have a class on car-seat safety so I was looking at our kid carrier last night and it says it has the LATCH system. Does my '01 X have the necessary connections for LATCH? Does any year X have LATCH? Any body have any tips for car seats/carriers in the X? Thanks!

...danny
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Old 04-19-2006, 03:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

i bought my wife an X for "SAFETY REASONS" for our first born. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smokin.gif[/img]

Our boys car seat is positioned in the middle of the 2nd row seat. the middle seat belt is used to hold the car seat in position and there are latches on the floor under the 2nd row seat so you can hook it to them as well.

I felt like the X would be a good vehicle for my wife and kid to travel in; Lord forbid them get in an accident.

going to class is a good idea, they will show you how to install it properly.

i called over one of the police officers in our small town, he is certified child seat person, and he went thru the procedure, made me feel better. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

for US...
We always used the side seats that had the shoulder harness...
felt more secure to us than the lap belt only in the center...

guess if we had taken the effort to investigate the latch system like you have it would've been smarter [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] but being in the Ex gives us a sense of security and "above the fray" for a discusssion with most vehicles...
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

I have an '05 Ex. No LATCH, which I think is required now in passenger cars, but maybe not trucks/large SUVs. My 2003 Jetta has the LATCH system. We buckle the car seat in the middle of the rear bench seat using the lap belt. Just belt it in really tight (put your weight on the car seat with your knee as you tighten the belt), and you'll be fine. The seat should barely move when it's pulled on after it's installed.
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

Your 2005 Excurion has the LATCH anchor system whether you have the bench or the captains chairs. LATCH has been mandatory on every passenger vehicle built since 2003. Only a few vehicles in 2001 came with LATCH and I doubt your Excursion did. Don't let that be an issue at all. I am a certified child seat installer (have been for about 10 years) and I use the regular belts in my truck instead of the LATCH (which my 2003 has).

Statistics show that 95% of child seats are installed incorrectly....what they don't tell you is that the vast majority of those seat are installed the way they should be, they just are not fastened in tight enough. There is no secret to installing a car seat correctly. The key is to compress the padding in the regular car seat so the baby car seat is in so tight it feels like one unit. The only way to get a car seat in properly is to have an adult put all their weight on the seat, then belt it in. My personal preference is to use a locking clip on the seatbelt. Our Excursions have switchable-locking retractors which means the belt will ratchet tight after it has been pulled out fully then allowed to rewind back in. The only problem with using the seat belts retractor to tighten the seat is the shoulder belt wants to pull up on the side of the car seat. Using a locking clip (one comes with every baby seat) allows the belt to be tightened using just the lap portion....the shoulder portion still gets routed through the seat, but it is not pulling the seat up.

I hope this helps you a bit.....Congratulations on your upcoming addition to your family. Just have a friend sit in the baby seat while you get the seatbelt tightened absolutely as much as you can. If you grab the baby seat and pull on it, the whole truck should move....if the baby seat still moves in the car seat, the belt needs to be tighter.

I almost forgot to add....the recommended position for a baby seat in any car is ithe middle of the back seat (middle row for us Excursion owners). If you have the captains chairs, put the seat on which ever side works better for you. Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2006, 02:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

My 2002 has the LATCH hooks... 2 for the middle seats and one for the 3rd row seat.
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Old 04-21-2006, 05:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

Thanks dgreen!

You pretty much summed up what we were told in our car seat class! Good to get it reinforced here again. I was actually surprised at how tight you could get the seat by having someone sit on the base while someone else tightened down the belt! Now I just want to make sure my seats don't get scarred from the seat. Of course from what people tell me with kids, the seats are going to have it rough from now on!

...danny
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Old 04-23-2006, 09:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

I tried to post to this thread earlier, but my post appears to have disappeared.

Anyhoot, LATCH is "lower anchor" and "tether" of which the Excursion has the tether attachment, but it doesn't have the lower anchors. I was dismayed to find Ford has deliberately chosen to ignore basic safety equipment. I guess there's a loophole for truck-class vehicles. Disappointed.

I made anchors using 5000lb motorcycle handlebar straps and 7000lb rated shackles. If anyone wants to put a LATCH seat in, I'll take a couple of picks.

There's also a thing called something like Mighty Tite available from places like BabiesRus, which does a great job of cinching down a car seat using the factory belts. That, plus a seat pad or wedge is needed so that the seat compresses a large area (not just pushing into the seat cushion.)

ConsumerReports.com has a review of current model car seats. Some failed their tests. Also, Recaro makes an excellent car seat, the Young Sport in their "Young" product line -- recaro-nao.com
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

[ QUOTE ]
I made anchors using 5000lb motorcycle handlebar straps and 7000lb rated shackles. If anyone wants to put a LATCH seat in, I'll take a couple of picks.

[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks YMMV,

I would love to see pictures of your homebrew setup!

...danny
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

[ QUOTE ]
I tried to post to this thread earlier, but my post appears to have disappeared.

Anyhoot, LATCH is "lower anchor" and "tether" of which the Excursion has the tether attachment, but it doesn't have the lower anchors. I was dismayed to find Ford has deliberately chosen to ignore basic safety equipment. I guess there's a loophole for truck-class vehicles. Disappointed.

[/ QUOTE ]

All 2003 and newer Excursions have LATCH....the lower anchors are there, they just aren't easy to find.
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

Those are not the LATCH hooks. Those are the anchor points for straps from the top of the seat if it is facing forward. They look similar, but if you look in the manual and on the loops, they have anchor imprints. I clarified this with Ford when I bought mine. The email from them stated that they were not installed due to the size/weight of the Excursions. Based on Federal standards, this size of vehicle was not required to have them. Ford saving money again! You may be able to utilized them as LATCH points, but if you look how they are spaced, that was not their designed intention. I know those that have used them for that purpose, but again they are not for that intention.

As far as the center belt option, use an aftermarket anchor strap from the seat base, under the rear seat and attach it to the anchor point on the back and the center is very usable for safety reasons.
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
I tried to post to this thread earlier, but my post appears to have disappeared.

Anyhoot, LATCH is "lower anchor" and "tether" of which the Excursion has the tether attachment, but it doesn't have the lower anchors. I was dismayed to find Ford has deliberately chosen to ignore basic safety equipment. I guess there's a loophole for truck-class vehicles. Disappointed.

[/ QUOTE ]

All 2003 and newer Excursions have LATCH....the lower anchors are there, they just aren't easy to find.

[/ QUOTE ]
There's not much to debate here. I have a Prius, it has LATCH lower anchors, they're in a specific location and spacing (as mentioned in this thread) and, sadly, Ford has decided it's not a necessity ... safety, that is ...

My '05 has the tether, but not the lower anchors (which have to be near the surface in the gap between the seat and back cushions.)

I'll try to get a couple of decent pics of my workaround. I used to have a pic of the welded anchors which were clearly an after-thought retrofit on -- I think -- a Toyota and could easily be used as a basic template to modify the X 2nd/3rd row seats. I can't imagine the liability, but it would be so nice.

I've checked my setup several times for security (holding the seat without movement) and durability (evidence of wear on the straps or the shackles) and I'm confident it will hold up. But of course, your mile might vary and I'm not promising you anything ... this is California here ... I'm not recommending you do the same thing or think it's safe or legal or whatever ... no warranty expressed or implied, all that ...
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

[ QUOTE ]
There's not much to debate here. I have a Prius, it has LATCH lower anchors, they're in a specific location and spacing (as mentioned in this thread) and, sadly, Ford has decided it's not a necessity ... safety, that is ...

My '05 has the tether, but not the lower anchors (which have to be near the surface in the gap between the seat and back cushions.)

I'll try to get a couple of decent pics of my workaround. I used to have a pic of the welded anchors which were clearly an after-thought retrofit on -- I think -- a Toyota and could easily be used as a basic template to modify the X 2nd/3rd row seats. I can't imagine the liability, but it would be so nice.

I've checked my setup several times for security (holding the seat without movement) and durability (evidence of wear on the straps or the shackles) and I'm confident it will hold up. But of course, your mile might vary and I'm not promising you anything ... this is California here ... I'm not recommending you do the same thing or think it's safe or legal or whatever ... no warranty expressed or implied, all that ...

[/ QUOTE ]

I apolygize for the confusion and I stand corrected. I went out and checked my truck, and sure enough the Tether attachments were there but not the Anchors. As I stated earlier, I used the belts instead of LATCH because that is what I am most comfortable with. I know every vehicle from 2003 to present is supposed to have LATCH, but as you said....maybe the requirements are different for vehicles over 8600lbs. GVWR. I guess I should have kept my mouth shut until I got off my lazy butt and looked at my truck myself. Thanks for clearing things up for everyone.
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

no apoligies needed from anyone on these things as they are confusing. Having to inspect these sometimes I see some funky attachments too! I agree, Ford should have not taken the $50 shortcut on a vehicle this big...our families safety should be a priority with this much size.

I have seen a lot of confusion on the seats because the industry (auto and baby product) do not do enough to educate the public.
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Old 04-28-2006, 05:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: LATCH car seat system?

My 2001 does not have LATCH points but does have anchor/tether points behind the seat.
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