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Help with Safety Devices

Old 05-09-08, 11:22 AM
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Help with Safety Devices

I know I know itís been gone over 1000 times in the past but here's what I'm trying to accomplishÖ.
This is a track/street car (more track then street). I have a 6 point bolt in roll cage from Autopower that officially is a big piece of carp! I spent a good day aligning everything just to find out that the drivers side bar that runs down along the A pillar to the floor will in no way shape or form fit past the **** for the head lights on the instrument panel. SO that being said I will now eliminate the front 2 point and just keep it as a 4 point in the hopes that it will suite all my needs. Do you think this is a good/smart idea? Is a 4 point cage going to be enough got some autocross and drag racing? I know that each event has different safety standard and the problem is trying to fit the car into all the requirements.

Lat night I was having major problems trying to install my 4 point harnesses because I didnít know if I should bother with the 4 point cage and without the cage I really have no idea where a good mounting point for the shoulder straps would be. To properly have the shoulder straps mounted they have to be almost parallel to your shoulder or 10-15 degrees bellow the height of the shoulder and I really donít have any place to properly mount the harness. For that matter I really donít even have a place to improperly mount it. An suggestions and please donít say the strut tower brace? Then I was doing some research on the forum and anybody that knows what their talking about insist that running harnesses on the street is a pain in the butt and suggest not doing it for several reasons and here is when one of my problems lies is that Iím starting to run into the problems of trying to balance street ability and race car. This line becoming very hard to follow. Some of the people say that running harnesses without any type of roll bar is extremely unsafe because in the event of a roll over if the roof caves in and youíre stuck in your seat sitting straight up and down with your head pinned against the crushed in roof because thatís what a harness does, it keeps you planted in the seat. So God forbid if the roof comes in, your body has nowhere to go and your head and neck take the blunt of the blow causing sever trauma. They say that if your going to run a harness that you have to run some kind of cage just say to help prevent the roof from coming in contact with your head. Obviously this is very true BUT is the cage really needed just because I'm running harnesses?

My main concern here is trying to keep the car a little comfortable and at the same time safe. My last question for now anyway, is with the harnesses themselves and this is a little harder to explain. Without getting into grave detail as to why the problem occurs what happens is when you have the entire harness situated on you sitting in the seat, when you tighten the lap part then tighten the shoulder part the shoulder part pulls the lap part up causing the lap part to sit high on your stomach. This is beyond unsafe because again God forbid if your in an accident the lap part is running across the soft flesh of your stomach and not the hard hip bones of your pelvis so the lap portion of the belt can literally cut right though your stomach due to the force of the impact. Any ideas on how to correct this?
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Old 05-10-08, 05:17 PM
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You should be ok just running a roll bar. You are correct in how the shoulder harnesses should be in relation to your shoulders. Are you running a racing seat with an opening for the shoulder harness? Your lap belt should not be pulling up the way you describe unless it is mounted too far back. The lap belt should be just behind your butt and come up at approximately a 45 degree angle. Also the shoulder harness should not be mounted too far behind the seat (rear strut brace is a definite no-no).
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Old 05-11-08, 08:04 PM
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so far you are describing a 4 point harness....... the 5 (or better 6) point is there to reduce potential submarining (you sliding down/out under the lap belt), but also to hold the lap belt in that position low on your hips.....
many will debate using racing belts without a racing seat / roll bar or cage, without an anchored seat there can be a lot more mass pushing you into your harness in a frontal "abruptly stopped" situation.
As to the cage/roll bar Q......in vintage racing most run only a roll bar with a harness, it is the norm.........it is your call......
A harness on the street can become a Q of being DOT compliant, + it is a PITA to latch in, so most leave and use a stock belt on the road and harness up for track only......
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Old 05-12-08, 09:06 AM
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Yeah let me also add that I'm running a Corbeau racing seat. I've ditched the 4 point in favor of the 5 point. and have also decided to definitely install the 4 point part of my cage. Sure if I had the entire 6 point installed it would be that much stronger BUT if I'm keeping it as a street car as well I don’t know if I want to deal with headache of having to climb in and out over the additional bars associated with the front half of the cage.
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Old 05-12-08, 09:18 AM
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If what you have is designed to be a 6pt, I would sell it and buy a 4pt if that's what you want. It "might" be ok to do what you are thinking, but I wouldn't guess with something that could risk your life.

You might also check out Kirk Racing as they may have a better product for your purposes:

http://www.kirkracing.com/pictures.htm
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Old 05-12-08, 09:35 AM
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I fully agree but all I did was cut the small 5" posts off at the top and bottom of the main hoop that you slip the roof and door bars over. The main hoop is still funny intact with no compromise to rigidity and crush force (as far as I know)
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Old 05-12-08, 12:25 PM
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For your use a 4 point roll bar (not a cage), a racing seat and 5+ point harnesses would be the way to go. You don't really need a cage unless you're wheel to wheel racing or going very fast in drag racing. In the end a bar, not a cage is probably safer on the street because you're less likely to hit your head on it. As for the belts, just keep the stock belts for street driving for legality, comfort and cops hassling you reasons.
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Old 05-12-08, 12:32 PM
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I apologize for calling it a cage, its just force of habit because that’s what it started out as but you’re correct it’s not a cage any longer, its just a roll bar.

I don’t know how much wheel to wheel I’d ever be doing but as far as going fast at the drag strip is concerned I'm assuming that the 4 point roll bar may not be adequate for my speeds. I know that if the car is an 11.999 or faster you need a 4 point roll bar but other then that I haven’t really looked into it and I'm rather certain that my car IS much faster then a high 11 second car.
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Old 05-12-08, 12:35 PM
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For those that have a roll bar where do you suggest mounting the shoulder straps?
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Old 05-12-08, 12:44 PM
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There should be a horizontal cross-bar on the main hoop around which you loop your shoulder belts. The bar should be right at shoulder height, lined up fairly close to the strap holes in the seat. Some times they do not line up and this is bad. On the Autopower bar that originally came with my FC, I had to have the bar repositioned higher to work correctly with my seats.

-bill
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Old 05-12-08, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wrankin View Post
There should be a horizontal cross-bar on the main hoop around which you loop your shoulder belts. The bar should be right at shoulder height, lined up fairly close to the strap holes in the seat. Some times they do not line up and this is bad. On the Autopower bar that originally came with my FC, I had to have the bar repositioned higher to work correctly with my seats.

-bill

Yeah I have that bar but I wasnít sure if I was suppose to mount the belt directly to it OR have the belt lets say mounted to the floor then looped over the bar before it slips thought the seat.
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Old 05-12-08, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by trueimport View Post
I fully agree but all I did was cut the small 5" posts off at the top and bottom of the main hoop that you slip the roof and door bars over. The main hoop is still funny intact with no compromise to rigidity and crush force (as far as I know)
I'm no safety expert. However, just from viewing pictures of various installs (like on Kirk's page); I typically see the 4pts with a little rearward slant to their structure, where as the 6pt are usually vertical. What I would be concern about is where the loads are going to be in case of an accident. If the 6pt is built in a way that it expects the bars you removed to share some of that from the top, it may not be as safe as a 4pt built to take the loads "as is". It's up to you and your life/car, but I would urge you to use a 4pt built to be a 4pt, rather than use something that wasn't necessarily designed to be used they way you are implementing it.
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Old 05-12-08, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahjik View Post
I'm no safety expert. However, just from viewing pictures of various installs (like on Kirk's page); I typically see the 4pts with a little rearward slant to their structure, where as the 6pt are usually vertical. What I would be concern about is where the loads are going to be in case of an accident. If the 6pt is built in a way that it expects the bars you removed to share some of that from the top, it may not be as safe as a 4pt built to take the loads "as is". It's up to you and your life/car, but I would urge you to use a 4pt built to be a 4pt, rather than use something that wasn't necessarily designed to be used they way you are implementing it.
Holy **** I didnít even think about that! I just called Autopower and they said that I have nothing to worry about because the 4 point "race" roll bar is the same section that they use to create the 6 point bolt in cage. He said that the angle of the main hoop and all associated bars are the same from one to the next and that eliminating the front section will not cause failure.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by trueimport View Post
Yeah I have that bar but I wasnít sure if I was suppose to mount the belt directly to it OR have the belt lets say mounted to the floor then looped over the bar before it slips thought the seat.
Looped around the bar for sure. You do not want it mounted to the floor, because then the belts are a lot longer than they need to be and are able to stretch a lot more. This is why it's bad to mount the belts to the trunk floor or something like that where it'd get you a more favorable angle than mounting them on the floor right behind the seat. This is why you NEED a roll bar in an FC if you want harnesses, because all other possibilities are too far back or at too steep an angle.
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Old 05-15-08, 04:54 PM
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Are you really sure that you can't install the front legs and retain the light switch? I was able to retain the light switch with my bolt in Autopower cage. The bar should go right up against the tip of the switch. It is not easy to pop up the headlight switch but it is possible. Simply turning on the headlights is not affected.

More annoying is that the tip of the door vinyl will split if it has to rub the bar when you open the door.

For me the more difficult job was to position both the left and right forward bars so that they line up with the respective A pillars when viewed from the driver seat. You don't want the roll cage blocking your view out the windshield or more importantly the mirrors. The forward bars will not be symmetrical to the center of the car but they will line up to your view from the driver seat.


I chose to install a 2 point submarine belt attached to the front bolts of the seat rails. It kept the lap belt nice and low on my hip bones. I have had no problems with that configuration in tech inspection for 10 years until last year when one inspector felt that the anti sub belt should be attached to the same bolts that the lap belt s are attached to. However I think that decision has been overruled.
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Old 05-16-08, 08:28 AM
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edmcguirk - Yeah man, I've tried EVERYTHING to get that bar to clear and it no matter what I did it would not fit. I mean i spent hours trying to get this in and it just wouldn’t go. I called Autopower to see if they've had any issues with fitment and he said no. He gave me the part # to check and see if I received the correct cage and i do have the right one but it still just wouldn’t fit. At this point I'm done dealing with the front half and just bolted in the rear half last night.

As far as the bets are concerned I'm going to run a 5 point harness and only use the lap part of the harness while on the street and then when at the track I'll use the shoulder and 5th point of the harness. I figured that the lap portion of the harness should suffice for street use considering all older muscle cars only ran a lap belt. Sure a 3 point would be much safer for obvious reasons BUT my FC is an 89 and it came with that stupid mechanical track style belt that was broken so I removed all the stock belts and will just run the lap belt.
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Old 05-16-08, 11:31 AM
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That's not a good idea, as the cops will be likely to stop you for not wearing a belt and will be able to ticket you. Why not just get a proper 3 point belt from an S4 or a Canadian S5? (apparently we were smart enough to do up our own belts at that time)
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Old 05-16-08, 02:57 PM
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I don't own an 89 but most cars still had the shoulder mounting points installed so you could bolt in a normal shoulder belt from an 88.

That's what I did in my Suzuki Swift. The doors are noticeably lighter with their double retractors removed.
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