Can the front seat belt retractors be swapped from driver to passenger side? The driver side on mine is shot and I rarely have passengers, so I thought I might swap them if possible until I find a replacement.
I had the same problem on my 96 Toyota Camry. My drivers side was stuck on fat man, and it was really drivin me nuts. So I took it out to try and fix it, but made it worse. So I threw away the bad one, and moved the passenger side to the drivers side. Worked great, almost. For me, the seatbelt was ALWAYS locked or whatever. I could put it on, but had no movement, so I was "trapped" or whatever, ya know? Like you're hitting the brakes and it stops allowing it to come out, but, it was always like that. Drove me nuts!! I think it was because it was being pulled out the opposite direction than designed. I bought a used driver, swapped it back in and now I'm happy again.
So...that was from a 96 camry mind you, but, same surgery as you're attempting.