A laboratory test fixture was designed and built to simulate seat belt assembly installations. The anchor positions of the retractor and pillar loop, and the engaged or free-hanging position of the latchplate can be varied to either simulate a vehicle's seat belt system geometry, or to optimize a proposed geometry. The required retraction forces for a simulated geometry are determined by replacing the retractor action with a motorized load transducer that measures the force required to stow the latchplate. The pillar loop, webbing, latchplate, and their relative positions can be varied until the minimum retraction force that successfully stores the latchplate is determined. The geometry of such a condition can then be applied to future designs of seat belt assembly components and their anchor positions.