If anyone has accidentally (or otherwise) taken the plastic cap off the return spring of the inertia reel for the seat belts, there is hope. I was told by a BMW dealer that the spring cannot be re-wound and has to be replaced at some ridiculous price.
Well, it can be re-wound, the trick being to take the assembly out of the car, mount it solidly to a simple wooden jig with the spring up and start rewinding, with the natural curve of the spring. Wind it tight, hook it on the cap and replace. It can then be loosened by letting the cap rotate, while still retaining the spring, until it's just completely wound up when the belt is all the way out.
Author: Steve Dull
272 Langley Road, Newton, MA 02159.