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New mods for the year - seat, harness, and steering wheel....

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New mods for the year - seat, harness, and steering wheel....

Old 11-22-10, 08:00 PM
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New mods for the year - seat, harness, and steering wheel....

OK, gang, I'm gearing up for the next set of improvements on the car. I can't go any faster without flying out of the stock seat, and I need the upgraded safety of a race seat, harness, and quick disconnect steering wheel in case I need to make a hasty exit...the airbag is also not going to be needed with those other modifications so I can ditch the wheel airbag and save weight.

I've been thinking of going with a Kirkey full containment seat and seat brace vs. a honeycomb fibre unit because you never need to replace the aluminum seats, while NASA makes you replace carbon shelled seats every 5 years due to deterioration. I'm also wanting 6 point harness vs. 5, per recommendation from my father who races a Corvette in TTS and ST2 and he stuffed one in the wall with a 5 point, the anti-sub harness bruised his 'nads for 2 months. Was thinking a Schroth unit for that.

On steering wheels, I have no real exposure, so I'm hoping for advice from those who've gone this way before - Momo seems to have a wide variety with hubs and disconnect adaptors, and I think I want one that is suede covered for the grip with driving gloves, and circular vs. cut off at the bottom, I think there is going to be enough room since I can do it pretty well with the stock seat and steering wheel (the stock seat is bolted to the floor without the sliders to drop it down a few inches), but not sure on the diameter of the wheel. I have retained the power steering for now.

So, looking for input. The Kirkey I'm thinking of is the series 45 unit, but I could upgrade to the more expensive 3 piece custom layback full containment units if they are worth it. I'm 5' 10" and 195 lbs, so I'm not a skinny guy, I wear a 46R coat...

Also need to get a driving suit while I'm at it....I've got Grassroots Motorsports writeup on suits from last year.

So, if you've got a link to a favorite steering wheel setup or seats/harnesses, please post. Thanks, see you on the track next year!

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Old 11-22-10, 08:18 PM
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Let me see if I can help a bit as I just spent the last few weeks researching this topic and speaking with a bunch of race prep shops and retailers.


Seats - After speaking with some local race car builders and companies that retail both AL and composite seats, I prefer to go with the composite options. You may want to call and speak to a few people before deciding. From what I've been told, they are easier on the body in the event of a big hit unless you go about pouring a foam insert and proper padding on the AL seats which gets very expensive.

Also, on the topic of composite seats - don't cut them. I have read threads on here about people "trimming" the seat so that it fits the interior w/o cutting. That is bad as it weakens the structure. If you can't get the fitment right, then an AL seat would be safer than a cut composite seat.


Regarding harnesses, I'm still in the process of selection right now. Rather confusing as they all look alike except for the cam lock style vs. latch and link. I like the 6 point as it keeps the "gentlemen nuggets" (Top Gear) from taking the brunt of the force if **** hits the fan. I'm probably going to for the 6 point G Force cam lock harness at $160. I haven't found anyone that can provide me with a good reason why I should spend twice as much for the Schroth belts.


Regarding quick disconnects, everyone I spoke with said to get the NRG ball bearing quick disconnect. They said it had the least amount of slop and was easy to use since it only goes on one way. I found mine on Amazon.com and "bought" it using credit card points. You will need to get both the QD and the "short" hub. I bought mine from No Limit


Wheels are personal preference. Momo, Sparco, its about the same. Of the few Sparco wheels that I have owned, the rim is thinner than the Momo wheels. I have long finger so a thin rim wheel is annoying.



Some local shops with seats and safety equipment include:
Wine Country Motorsports at Infineon
IO Port - http://www.ioportracing.com/
CS Gear - http://cs-gear.com/
Griffen (Recaro distributor) - http://g-werke.com/products.cfm


Lets see what other more experienced people have to say
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Old 11-22-10, 08:40 PM
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Before I get into the rest of this, you do have some type of a roll bar? I'm sure you do, I know you have been doing the track stuff for many years and it sounds like your dad is a seasoned racer. Just wanted to double tap for safety reasons as seat, harness, wheel, should be used in conjunction with some type of roll bar.

I have G Force harnesses in my LS1 FD and Schroth harnesses in my Z06. Never wrecked in either, but I'm sure either one would do their job.

Seats: Used the Sparco Evo L, the Magnum(FIA approved), a Cobra, RaceTech Full Containment, and an aluminum Kirkey. Never wrecked in any of them so I thankfully can't speak on that matter. They are all good. I really like the full contaiment kirkey seats. Especially the ones that they take your measurements and build them to your exact specifications. Kind of hard to get in and out of, but when you are driving they are absolutely amazing! You can completely relax and let the seat hold you in place as you are completely... contained. My personal opinion is also that a Hans device with a halo/head containment seat is the best safety option for protection of head/neck.

As far as suits go, there are several cheaper ones like the Lico Jade that work well that you can pick up for a couple hundred bucks. Alpinestars also makes some that are cheaper and around $700-$800. I have an Alpinestar suit. It serves it's purpose. I don't wear it as often as I should though.
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Old 11-22-10, 08:42 PM
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OK, very good Gracer- I had planned on getting the air knit upgrades and foam pour/padding on the AL seat...while there are limits to the money I can spend, I'm not a pauper and can afford to do this right.

I use a men's cadet golf glove, so my fingers are short, smaller than my palm...but I still like to use oversized grips since it's hard to wrap your palm around the club with standard grives. Steering wheel is no different - like you, I prefer thicker to thinner so it looks like I'll take a look at Momo.

Cam lock 6 pt for me, the Schroths do have some tabs to help adjust easier when you've got gloves on. I'll look at the G-force. I have the tab and latch 4 point system on my Triumph and it's sort of a pain, while my father's cam lock system looks much easier to use.

And I realize I left out stating I can heel/toe with the normal wheel and the lowered seat, so that's why a wheel with a cut-off bottom is not needed. Fingers are not as fast as brain when typing.

Memphis - yes, the cage went in last year, thank God, built by Brian Lock of Calculated Risk/GOTO Racing fame, he races Honda Challenge and is an excellent craftsman. Cage is well padded with Longacre padding all over. Car is completely gutted, and the doors were cut to allow for the door bars. I am also keen on getting HANS and fire system, but I don't think I'm going to be able to swing all of that from both a money and time perspective this year....maybe the HANS can be done this year, but I'd also want to get a new helmet that is HANS compatible vs. retrofitting the one I use now.

And yes, if I go Kirkey I'd get it custom fit. Fortunately Brian is an IO Port vendor and can get me some discounts from them on these components.....I think my father uses the Alpinestar suit as well, and he's got a Cool Shirt system as well, which is the way I'll go. Time and money, that's all you need ....

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Old 11-22-10, 09:37 PM
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here's my $2. its really nice when you can go see and touch this stuff, especially the seat

seat: we've been running enduro's for the last 3 years, so the car has to fit various drivers without moving the seat. so each driver has there own back pad.

the back pad is actually really handy even if you don't have to put mario in your car, it basically makes the seat custom fit.

steering wheel. we're running a momo. the diameter is important as well as the grips. not super complex, but can you see all the gauges with a 320mm wheel?

harness; we're running the schroth, the narrower belts are nice, but we spent a couple hours getting the drivers up to speed getting in and out, not as easy as the previous ones... i think they are both cam lock.

not a big deal if you don't have to swap drivers in less than 2 minutes...
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Old 11-23-10, 02:14 AM
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Beast,

I have a Sparco Evo 2 Plus seat, Personal wheel and Schroth Profi II-6H harness in my car. I live on the Peninsula and you're welcome to check out my set up, sit in the seat etc.

As for fire suits, I have the Sparco X-light. It's a really nice lightweight three layer suit. Make sure you read your rules regarding how many layers of Nomex you are required to wear. An inexpensive 2-layer is pretty heavy weight and if you are required to wear three layers and have to add the Nomex underwear it's not so comfy...my 2 cents...

Guy
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Old 11-23-10, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Beast From The East View Post
NASA makes you replace carbon shelled seats every 5 years due to deterioration.
Not true. FIA specs are only good for 5 years, add a seat back brace like an AL seat is required to have from day 1 and your seat is now compliant. No reason to replace it every 5 years.

Sparco Pro ADV
Momo Mod 78
Schroth Profi II-6 Hans
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Old 11-23-10, 08:43 AM
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Guess I will throw in my meager opinion-


Seats- I prefer AL. I really do not like composite shell seats anymore because 90% of them are installed improperly or bought for looks/brand appeal rather than function. YOu just cannot go wrong with a AL seat with poured foam insert. The other nice thing about AL seats is you can literally bolt them into the chassis and cage structure giving you a very secure mount. One should not drill holes into composite seats, although people do.

Harnesses- I have used many (if not all) of the brands out there, and they all do thier job just fine. However my personal preference are the Teamtech harnesses with sternum protection and pull-down adjustment. Not cheap, and we usually custom ordered the colour combinations we wanted, but well worth the $$ spent and unfortunately I have seen them "tested" in a major incident.

Wheels- Really a personal preference here, although I tend to prefer MOMO, OMP, or Sparco. You should really spend some time figuring out what dish etc. you need then get the wheel that fits your needs the best, rather than just go with what looks good.

Hub and disconnect- I have an NRG and a Sparco disconnects, the NRG was cheap, works decently well, and has little to no slop, however it is big and heavy. The Sparco is a very small, lightweight, Formula car type unit that has no slop, can be a bit of a PITA to line up, and was expensive. I generally use Sparco hubs, although I have had a couple of "off brand" hubs come through the shop and you honestly could not tell the difference.

Right-side net- ABSOLUTE MUST- have Teamtech make you one up custom, mount it properly and thats that. I "think" someoneelse out there is currently making right side nets (check BSR) but I think they are more expensive than they need to be.

Window net- Teamtech and virtually everyone else will make you a custom one, or you can just buy an off-the-shelf one for a few bucks. Make sureitsmounted decently well and your fine. If you drive your car around on the street you can make the net easily removable so you dont have to deal with it in the way all the time.


Cheers,
Don
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Old 11-23-10, 10:47 AM
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Don,

Can you elaborate on which Team Tech harness you use? Is it the pads that make those harnesses stand out for you?
http://www.teamtechmotorsports.com/r...ess/index.html

Is it any harder to get in to and out of the harness b/c of those pads?
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Old 11-23-10, 11:22 AM
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Re the steering quick release - I really like the Snap-off - very positive engagement, simple and no slop

http://www.tekniqauto.com/US/snapoff/snapoff.htm

I also like the Sparco ring steering wheel:
http://www.customcarscentral.com/spr...all-makes.html

The flat bottom of the wheel and smaller than stock size make it so I can get a proper seating position in the car without banging my knees on the wheel.
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Old 11-23-10, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gracer7-rx7 View Post
Is it any harder to get in to and out of the harness b/c of those pads?
I have TeamTech JetPilot harnesses in my Corvette. I've also used a lot of different harness brands over the years and the TeamTech is really really comfy. Not cheap, but comfy. I don't think the JetPilot passes SCCA/NASA tech with the sternum strap, though. The "single point of release" requirement...

My RX7 will be getting Schroth and it'll be my first time using them. But the hardware looks great as does the quality. The cost isn't stupid, either. My alternative was re-web and relocate the TeamTech which I may do if the Schroth and I don't get along...
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Old 11-23-10, 01:22 PM
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Thank you all

This is what I love about the Racing section of the Forum - quality signal to noise ratio. This is all very helpful.

j9fd3s - I have grand designs to someday run the 25 Hours at Thill, and that will require multiple drivers. I appear to be the biggest, so we'll get the seat fitted to me and then do the custom padding for the smaller drivers as you suggest....but this is far in the future, I"m just working my way through Group 3 of HPDE and am hopeful to move to Group 4 and Time Trials in 2012, so 2013 is probably when I'd go for the competitve school...so this is a few years out. Still, gotta have goals and a plan to get there.

finger lock - I may take you up on that, since there doesn't appear to be anyone local with a setup for a 3rd gen. Will also take your advice on the suit, might be worth it. The NASA rules list a variety of SFI ratings that need to be met so I"ll have to compare those to the suits, and what level of suit needs underwear or not, etc.

SCCAITS - thank you, checked the NASA rules again and you're right, if you go with a seat brace even the older carbon shell seats can be used....but I still think I'm going AL full containment and the brace.

D Walker - will look at Teamtech products. As far as right side net, I had not considered it yet, but it is required and in the long term plan. I already have window nets on both sides. Definitely want to take function vs. form on the steering wheel. For gauges, we mounted the Darth Vader helmet directly to the crossbar of the cage, and tack welded a mounting plate for the tripod gauges in the middle of the crossbar, so I just need to fab up some different diameter circles of cardboard that match the wheel sizes to see how visibility will be once I get the seat in and mounted.

jkstill - great, now I've got many choices to work from.

gkmccready - my father used to use the JetPilot in his Corvette, too, and loved it, like you he had to ditch it due to age and rewebbing/recertification requirements. He offered to send it to me to use for HPDE and TT, but I passed...maybe I should reconsider? Which Schroth are you looking at?



So, question for all - of course it would be great to actually get a chance to touch and feel some of this stuff ahead of time, but I'm unaware of any race shops that carry the needed inventory in my neck of the woods (Sacramento area). Where are some places I can go? We had hoped to go to the big race expo in Reno two years ago, but the economy tanked and the event got canceled.....any shops within a couple hours drive?
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Old 11-23-10, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by gracer7-rx7 View Post
Don,

Can you elaborate on which Team Tech harness you use? Is it the pads that make those harnesses stand out for you?
http://www.teamtechmotorsports.com/r...ess/index.html

Is it any harder to get in to and out of the harness b/c of those pads?
The pads and sternum strap are what does it for me. I really like (and use) the RamPac, and have not used the JetPilot, but it makes sense to me. Keeping the belts from trying to tear you in half in an impact makes even more sense, which is why I am a firm believer in the sternum strap. Plus they are comfy as mentioned and TeamTech has great support when you need them re-webbed or what-have you.

AFAIK SCCA doesnt care about the sternum strap, as I have never been given any issue and know guys currently running in SCCA, SCCA PRO Racing, PCA, etc. with no issues either.
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Old 11-23-10, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by D Walker View Post
AFAIK SCCA doesnt care about the sternum strap, as I have never been given any issue and know guys currently running in SCCA, SCCA PRO Racing, PCA, etc. with no issues either.
You made me go back and look and neither the GCR or CCR say anything about sternum straps any more. GCR 9.3.19.C does have some odd wording about "single release for seat belt and shoulder harness" so I'm concerned some tech inspector would take issue with the sternum strap being a second release for the shoulder belts. The CCR 15.5.5 says "there _should_ be a common release for all belts." Not the most useful wording.

In any case, I love my JetPilot harnesses. Comfy comfy comfy. Know guys that have tested them and they've worked very well with minor bruising. Know guys that have tested others (without the pads) and been bruised pretty badly for a while.
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Old 11-23-10, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Beast From The East View Post
So, question for all - of course it would be great to actually get a chance to touch and feel some of this stuff ahead of time, but I'm unaware of any race shops that carry the needed inventory in my neck of the woods (Sacramento area). Where are some places I can go? We had hoped to go to the big race expo in Reno two years ago, but the economy tanked and the event got canceled.....any shops within a couple hours drive?
Does IO Port racing keep stock these days? www.ioportracing.com You might also give MSI (Motor Sport Image) in Roseville a call and see what they have. Not sure who else has stuff. [email protected] Design showed me his recommendations in the cars he had in his shop...
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Old 11-23-10, 07:25 PM
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Steering wheels, Do you really need it removable? Why not go with a Works Bell flip-up hub?

Riz.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tofuman FC3S View Post
Steering wheels, Do you really need it removable? Why not go with a Works Bell flip-up hub?

Riz.
Well, I'd never heard of this before.....

http://www.tunersgroup.com/Online_St...k_Release.html


Interesting, but the steering wheel is still in the way if you are working inside the car, and there is precious room to spare inside a 3rd gen with a full cage. The quick release definitely gets the steering wheel completely out of the way, while this device keeps the steering wheel partially occupying space that you might want open, either for working on the dash or seat area, or if you need to GTFO cause the car's on fire

This would be a cool add for a street car that is hard to get in and out of, but I think I'll go with the complete disconnect on a pure race car....but thanks for the suggestion, it's a cool option.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Beast From The East View Post
This is what I love about the Racing section of the Forum - quality signal to noise ratio. This is all very helpful.

Agreed. There are a lot of good, experienced, helpful racers on this particular forum.


Originally Posted by Beast From The East View Post
So, question for all - of course it would be great to actually get a chance to touch and feel some of this stuff ahead of time, but I'm unaware of any race shops that carry the needed inventory in my neck of the woods (Sacramento area). Where are some places I can go?

Some local shops with seats and safety equipment include:
Wine Country Motorsports at Infineon - They have suits, HNR, gloves, shoes, Sparco, OMP, Cobra seats

IO Port - http://www.ioportracing.com/ They have AL seats and a bunch of other safety gear

CS Gear - http://cs-gear.com/ He has some suits, HNR, gloves, shoes, helmets

Griffen (Recaro distributor) - http://g-werke.com/products.cfm
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Old 11-24-10, 06:04 PM
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Road trip....

Well, I didn't realize IO Port and TC Design were in the Bay Area, only a couple hours drive, so maybe I'll ring them up and take a road trip if they've got some items in stock, and I could get measured for the seat while I'm at it....road trip!

I'm now gung ho for the Team Tech Jet Pilot (with the rotary cam lock), but did anyone get a ruling on the sternum strap? Should I contact Jerry Kunzman (Norcal NASA director) and get a ruling?

Beast
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Old 11-24-10, 06:15 PM
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TCD doesn't stock stuff. They don't really do retail. They'll order stuff if they're working on the car, or put you in contact with somebody to get what you need. I can tell you now Tony will recommend a RaceTech RT4009 or Recaro SPG Pro Racer HANS.

The suggestion of Wine Country Motorsports sounds good, too. I always forget they're up there with things in stock.
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Old 11-25-10, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tofuman FC3S View Post
Steering wheels, Do you really need it removable? Why not go with a Works Bell flip-up hub?

Riz.
When the car is upside down, on its side, on fire, or may soon be on fire, possibly the best feeling in the world is to pop the steering wheel off and throw it away so you can GTF outta there.
I "think" but would have to go back and check the GCR etc, that ALL GT, Production, etc. cars are required to have steering wheels that remove completely. A "flip-outta-the-way" hub is probably cool hanging out at Sonic, but not cool onthe race course.
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Old 11-25-10, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by D Walker View Post
When the car is upside down, on its side, on fire, or may soon be on fire, possibly the best feeling in the world is to pop the steering wheel off and throw it away so you can GTF outta there.
Hear, hear...
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Old 11-25-10, 08:38 PM
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When the car is upside down, on its side, on fire, or may soon be on fire, possibly the best feeling in the world is to pop the steering wheel off and throw it away so you can GTF outta there.
I "think" but would have to go back and check the GCR etc, that ALL GT, Production, etc. cars are required to have steering wheels that remove completely. A "flip-outta-the-way" hub is probably cool hanging out at Sonic, but not cool onthe race course.
Although I only know Sonic as a blue hedgehog, I'm guessing that is a ricer comment? Flip wheels have been used for many years now in professional events like Le Mans. It maens you don't need to run the cables of your steering wheel buttons trough the hub using connectors, or using those long spiral telephone cables, however they are called. Although I do get yout point. Assuming your wheels has three turns lock to lock, you also have only three steering wheel positions where you can properly exit the car.

Riz.
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Old 11-26-10, 03:20 AM
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Being around ALMS, World Challenge, Indycar, etc. I can't say I've EVER seen a flip up hub utilized.
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Old 12-01-10, 02:57 PM
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Will I be able to get out with full containment seat?

Ok, guys, no hijacking my thread with a ricer insult flame war This is the race forum, not the Lounge.....

I think the Sonic refers to a burger joint, meaning the flip-wheel has some visual 'oooh' factor at the drivein but it still keeps the wheel occuping space in the cockpit that is in the driver's way, therefore not optimal in a race car setting.

So I was talking to my father about his set up and my proposed new items and he pointed out that I need to be careful that I can still get out of the car via the window opening - granted, my doors still open but you can't count on that when you are in an accident. Any thoughts on that? It's currently tough enough for me to fit though that little opening, I"m concerned the shourlder bolsters and halo will block the opening even more....the intermediate road race seat would not have that restriction sticking out....this also validates the need for the 'complete disconnect' steering wheel vs. the flip type.....

Who is running full containment in their FD, and how does it affect their ability to exit the car via the window?
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