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Feeling safe in that bolt in cage?

Old 10-30-09, 12:27 PM
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Feeling safe in that bolt in cage?

Might wanna check this out. You better make sure you got that thing mounted right.

http://www.corner-carvers.com/forums...&postcount=139
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Old 10-30-09, 01:26 PM
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Yikes!
Looks like it was just a roll bar, not a cage.
In any case, hope they were all right.
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Old 10-30-09, 01:40 PM
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holy ****
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Old 10-30-09, 01:41 PM
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From the report at Jalopnik both driver and pass suffered minor injuries.

There has been a lot of discussion about this accident going around several forums and I think it can be summarized thus:

1) The bolt in bar was an Autopower. Yes, it looked too small for the weight of the car it was in. Yes, one leg did punch through the floorpan.

2) The way they car flipped was pretty much a worst-case test for roll-over protection - it pancaked.

3) The tire-wall was not constructed correctly and probably contributed to the 'stang going airborn and then doing the noseplant.

I will admit that those pictures definitely give me something to think about with repect to the 4-pt bolt-in bar I'm currently running in the FC.

-b
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Old 10-30-09, 01:41 PM
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AND AND AND it just so happens that the AUTOPOWER cages bolt right into the plugs on the floor they used to drain the paint.

they will almost pop out by hand

at least on a 1st gen (i think FC too though)
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Old 10-30-09, 02:58 PM
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That is why I don't use sharp corners on my plates when I do a bolt in bar or cage. If you round off the corners of the plates you get rid of the 'paper punch' feature of the sharp corners. I even do it to weld in main hoop plates if I have to put them on the floor.

And it looks like both legs poked through.

That was worst case, and most likely to have a plate punch through. Glad they got out with minor injuries. They are actually pretty lucky, the shoulder harnesses probably dropped with the bar so they could 'think small' as the roof came down.
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Old 10-30-09, 03:00 PM
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Woah! I'll definately be welding in a cage if I do put one in. Thats nuts. Cages are not for looks and should be properly engineered to be effective in any type of accident, that roll bar wasn't... yikes. Hope they're alright.
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Old 10-30-09, 03:03 PM
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Bill,

I see two legs sticking out the bottom of the car in 2 of those pictures, the floor mounts failed. I doubt the strength of the roll bar is a question, it's the strength of the floor it bolts to. At the minimum, if I had one of these cages, I'd have the mounting points reinforced heavily for added strength and welded in at least two planes.

Frankly I'm shocked the driver isn't dead. with a 5 point harness holding him upright, there's no where for his head to go.

I would think real hard about it, the subframe is right behind there and makes for a beautiful place to mount a roll bar or cage to and way way stronger.
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Old 10-30-09, 05:41 PM
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Can anyone confirm the actual bar used? I know AutoPower, but I'm curious on whether it was a 2 point, 4 point, etc? I noticed when I installed my M2/Race Shop how flimsy the floor is in the FD. I actually fabricated my own backing plates and I will most likely eventually end up welding it in, but it seems to me it would just punch a larger hole in the floor(on the outside of the welds. I'm no engineer though. I've thought about fabricating some type of a brace, but my other track car has a ridiculously nice cage and it's about to be ready for the track.
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Old 10-31-09, 09:09 AM
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Old 10-31-09, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Silkworm View Post
..I doubt the strength of the roll bar is a question, it's the strength of the floor it bolts to.....
plus one..
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Old 10-31-09, 12:24 PM
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Wow, that is crazy. No matter what, I think all 4 pt roll bars would have a hard time taking that impact. I agree that the tire wall, no gravel trap and even the chain link fence contributed to this. Car safety is something we can control but there is a lot that can be done for track safety.

They are lucky to be alive.
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Old 10-31-09, 01:07 PM
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The bar itself looks like it stayed intact or at least stayed in a shape big enough to protect the driver. The problem is the floors on cars are not what they used to be. The rockers are designed to take the load, not the floor. It probably collapsed more BECAUSE the feet on the main hoop punched through. If they were still attached, the load would have been sent through the hoop the way it was designed. Since they were taken out of the equation the rear supports were put under a bending load instead of a compression load.

When doing a weld in cage in almost any car now if I have to go to the floor for part of a mounting plate I can tell the difference when welding. I have to be way more careful to not burn through the floor pan than the inner rocker or cross member behind the front seats.

The name on the bar has nothing to do with the problem.
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Old 11-01-09, 12:35 PM
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Dear god. I have been tossing around the idea of taking my car to Piper for a full cage for a while, but the $$ has prevented me. I am definitely going to push the issue further now, i'm sure the thin floor of my FD could do the same thing with my kirk bolt in bar.
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Old 11-01-09, 09:55 PM
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As much money as we send in performance mods on our cars... we should spend the little money(in the grand scheme of things) and do the safety mods... our lives are worth more than the cars
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Old 11-01-09, 10:09 PM
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IMO, its not the cage that fail or the design. Its the vehicle structural rigidity and reinforcement. I mean the rollbar placement could did a better R&D and positioning the bar, but other than that it will prolly have the same effect of caving in, unless you go full cage/ cutting up the vehicle making into a tube chassis.
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Old 11-02-09, 10:28 AM
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I certainly don't believe that we should condemn all bolt-in roll bars as useless. Nor should we require full weld-in SCCA-style cages just to go out on track in an HPDE (and I did see someone claim this on another forum).

If nothing else this serves as a reality check that a) what we are doing has inherent risks, and b) there are limits to what *any* safety equipment can provide and we will see occasions where these limits are exceeded.

By understanding these limits we can make better decisions on where we should be investing our time, money and effort in this hobby.

Good luck and stay safe,

-b
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Old 11-02-09, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wrankin View Post
I certainly don't believe that we should condemn all bolt-in roll bars as useless. Nor should we require full weld-in SCCA-style cages just to go out on track in an HPDE (and I did see someone claim this on another forum).

-b
there was a worse mustang accident locally a year or two ago, and the car was NEW no cage, and the occupants were ok, they even left helmet imprints on the roof.

the track has one turn with a wall, and at the drivers meeting they tell you if you go off there don't try to save it cause it'll put you in the wall, so he tried to save it there...

in a perfect world everything has a cage and belts and stuff, but really at HPDE 1 speeds, its overkill, even though you can total your new mustang
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Old 11-02-09, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by wrankin View Post
I certainly don't believe that we should condemn all bolt-in roll bars as useless. Nor should we require full weld-in SCCA-style cages just to go out on track in an HPDE (and I did see someone claim this on another forum).

If nothing else this serves as a reality check that a) what we are doing has inherent risks, and b) there are limits to what *any* safety equipment can provide and we will see occasions where these limits are exceeded.

By understanding these limits we can make better decisions on where we should be investing our time, money and effort in this hobby.

Good luck and stay safe,

-b
well said
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Old 11-02-09, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jgrewe View Post
The name on the bar has nothing to do with the problem.
It does if said name dictated that installation mount method.

Granted, anyone with a sense of race car engineering would not have followed their directions, but still...
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Old 11-02-09, 09:27 PM
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I think a bolt in roll bar/cage can be a worth while safety improvement if the area where it bolts to is reinforced. Which to me is the most frustrating part of this deal with the Mustang. It is obvious that allot of time was spent on the car but an extra 8-12 hrs preping the mounting locations with some welded in .125" steel would have made a big difference. To tag on to the comments made by memphisraines82, a little more time spent on safety would have been a good idea.

Sorry for the "nag" that follows.....but I want anyone involved in Open Tracking their street car to think about this stuff.

There is another issue here that goes beyond the obvious issue concerning the prep of the Mustang. That is had this accident gone horribly wrong and killed one or both of the people in the car it would be a very bad thing for Open Track events in general. If people start getting hurt at these deals, liability insurance will get harder and harder to get. Perhaps there needs to be some policing of the kinds of cars being run, how safe they are and how qualified the drivers are. This is an issue that could kill your sport.

I get that the attraction of open track events is that it easy to get involved in with none of the safety red-tape that exists in club racing. But on the other hand the typical open track car has allot more HP than a club racing car with none of the safety equipment or driver protection. Also, in my experience, the open track events are typically under staffed in regards to corner workers and safety professionals.

The safety argument made by the open track promoters is that passing zones are regulated and events are not competitive. My response is that most accidents at a club racing events involve only one car. Usually very similar to what the one the Mustang was in. The driver makes a mistake and goes off the track into something hard. My SCCA region typically co-hosts a Regional Club race/PDX event every year. At several of these events a PDX driver crashes. So far no one but the cars have suffered any damage but it scares the crap out of me everytime we do one of these events.

I guess what I am trying to say is that please be careful when you are on track and do not assume that because you are not "racing" you are absolutely safe. You need to consider what an off track incident or fire will do you and be prepared for it. That means that before you hit the track, make sure that your car is in excellent shape. You should have a roll bar - installed properly, if you are using shoulder harnesses. Also, you should ONLY use n SA Full Face helmet and your car should have a fire extinguisher. Also consider wearing a one layer fire suit....they are cheap....$50 to $100. The cost of this equipment is nominal compared to the alternative.
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Old 11-03-09, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mustanghammer View Post
I think a bolt in roll bar/cage can be a worth while safety improvement if the area where it bolts to is reinforced. Which to me is the most frustrating part of this deal with the Mustang. It is obvious that allot of time was spent on the car but an extra 8-12 hrs preping the mounting locations with some welded in .125" steel would have made a big difference. To tag on to the comments made by memphisraines82, a little more time spent on safety would have been a good idea.

Sorry for the "nag" that follows.....but I want anyone involved in Open Tracking their street car to think about this stuff.

There is another issue here that goes beyond the obvious issue concerning the prep of the Mustang. That is had this accident gone horribly wrong and killed one or both of the people in the car it would be a very bad thing for Open Track events in general. If people start getting hurt at these deals, liability insurance will get harder and harder to get. Perhaps there needs to be some policing of the kinds of cars being run, how safe they are and how qualified the drivers are. This is an issue that could kill your sport.

I get that the attraction of open track events is that it easy to get involved in with none of the safety red-tape that exists in club racing. But on the other hand the typical open track car has allot more HP than a club racing car with none of the safety equipment or driver protection. Also, in my experience, the open track events are typically under staffed in regards to corner workers and safety professionals.

The safety argument made by the open track promoters is that passing zones are regulated and events are not competitive. My response is that most accidents at a club racing events involve only one car. Usually very similar to what the one the Mustang was in. The driver makes a mistake and goes off the track into something hard. My SCCA region typically co-hosts a Regional Club race/PDX event every year. At several of these events a PDX driver crashes. So far no one but the cars have suffered any damage but it scares the crap out of me everytime we do one of these events.

I guess what I am trying to say is that please be careful when you are on track and do not assume that because you are not "racing" you are absolutely safe. You need to consider what an off track incident or fire will do you and be prepared for it. That means that before you hit the track, make sure that your car is in excellent shape. You should have a roll bar - installed properly, if you are using shoulder harnesses. Also, you should ONLY use n SA Full Face helmet and your car should have a fire extinguisher. Also consider wearing a one layer fire suit....they are cheap....$50 to $100. The cost of this equipment is nominal compared to the alternative.
Great Points! I am still amazed at how many high horsepower cars show up at the track and don't even have a roll bar. I have never been to an event that requires a roll bar for anything more than a convertible. To me, this should be a minimum. It is amazing that people will spend thousand on wheels, tires, horsepower and yet don't have a fire suit or roll bar.
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Old 11-03-09, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by wickedrx7 View Post
Great Points! I am still amazed at how many high horsepower cars show up at the track and don't even have a roll bar. I have never been to an event that requires a roll bar for anything more than a convertible. To me, this should be a minimum. It is amazing that people will spend thousand on wheels, tires, horsepower and yet don't have a fire suit or roll bar.

I'm always amazed how many high HP cars show up with an owner that can't drive it....


Good points above nonetheless.
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Old 11-03-09, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by gracer7-rx7 View Post
I'm always amazed how many high HP cars show up with an owner that can't drive it....
To be fair, some of them are at the track to learn how....

Good points by mustanghammer. I would be interested to know what contributed to the incident. Brake failure, driver running out of talent, etc?
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Old 11-03-09, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by gracer7-rx7 View Post
I'm always amazed how many high HP cars show up with an owner that can't drive it....


Good points above nonetheless.
Me too, but it does make for good video's when we are passing those guys

Edit: And as Mahjik said, there are plenty of guys in slower cars that are plenty faster than I am.
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