Detracting the Retractable

I have a 1974 Karmann Ghia that has the old 3 point seat belts. They are not currently in the car. Unfortunately, when they were removed (by me) they completely retracted. Now I cannot get them ‘unretracted’. I could open them up but before I do I want to know what I’m getting into and if it will even help. Am I on a fool’s errand? Should I just buy new ones? I hate to since they are original to the car. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Buy new ones?? Not…

I’ve never opened a seatbelt retractor, so I know not what’s involved, but you’ve nothing to lose by trying. If they turn out to be unrepairable you can always buy replacements.

I loved the Karmann Ghias, by the way. Using a budget platform to create a budget sports car is such a great idea. I don’t know why nobody does that anymore.