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Roll bar, race seat - Is OEM seat belt safe?

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Roll bar, race seat - Is OEM seat belt safe?

 
Old 03-19-2019, 05:20 PM
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Default Roll bar, race seat - Is OEM seat belt safe?

Hi all, I installed a Harddog roll bar and Sparce Evo II drivers seat. Is it safe to do track days using the OEM seat belt run through the openings in the side bolsters? Or do I need to install a harness? My plan was to install a harness, buy a HANS device, and a compatible helmet (I currently have an M-rated helmet), but that's a ~$1.5k-$2k investment that I'd rather not make just yet if it wasn't absolutely necessary. I've done plenty of autocross, but am fairly new to DE, having only done one Track Night in America event. My intent is to do more TNiA and HPDE events this year - nothing competitive like TT.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:02 PM
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:38 PM
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no, and pretty much any org with tech is going to turn you away if you aren't 5/6pt and HANS once you get rid of the stock seat.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:39 AM
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You can get a SA2015 helmet, HANS, and a 6 point harness for $600 on Murray Motorsport. They just had a 10% off everything sale as well.
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:30 AM
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the club i run with allows 4pt asm harness but requires a harness for any bucket seats.
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:29 AM
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In regard to being turned away or not, there's no blanket answer to that question. It will vary by region organization, and track rules. In the southeast, you could show up with factory roll hoops, 3pt belt and a bucket seat at many groups and have no problem. In the northeast this setup could be a no-go. Call or email the orgs you want to run and they will give you their rules. Once you build solid skills and start pushing hard, it would be smart to get a harness+hans setup.

I dont believe the rollbar + race seat w/o harness is unsafe at a low to mid level of track speed. The rollbar gives head clearance in a rollover, and the 3pt allows your head/torso to have some movement so you don't get your neck hurt (by the ground anyway, whiplash will happen on a fixed roof car with 3pt too). The worst combination possible is a full harness + bucket seat without HANS, and especially with stock roll hoops. If you were to roll over your head would become the rollbar, since the harness and seat will not allow your body to move. If you have a harness, you need a HANS.

Good middle ground could be this HANS-like thing that you wear like a backpack. Allows you to have most of that protection while still using a 3 point. I have seen them made by Stilo but i am sure there are others.

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Old 03-20-2019, 07:24 AM
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Getting rid of a stock seat shouldn't disqualify you or fail you from tech. IMHO, removing the airbag should disqualify you if you're still using an OEM belt.. If you have a harness, you want a HANS.

Last edited by freq; 03-20-2019 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by freq View Post
Getting rid of a stock seat shouldn't disqualify you or fail you from tech. IMHO, removing the airbag should disqualify you if you're still using an OEM belt.. If you have a harness, you want a HANS.
The stock seat belt is only designed to sit on the collarbone. Depending on how it sits with the new rail/seat I'd get rid of it if it doesn't fit well.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:25 AM
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Also consider how the belt no longer correctly runs across the pelvis, the belt buckle not fitting through the seat hole on the Evo (so you need an extension that sits inside the seat), and how the explosive belt retractor now needs to take up more slack than before.

It is a safety system. One way or the other, not half way.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:33 AM
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OEM seatbelts are designed for maximum speeds equal to the lowest speeds you will see on the track. They are not designed for 100+mph. The shoulder harness, basically unchanged since the 1960s, is not designed for a rollover.

A 6-point or 7-point (the 7th is called the negative G belt to keep the driver in the seat on a rollover) should be mandatory. As is the HANS device, the only protection from a basal neck fracture. Containment seats are very rare on track days leaving drivers open to sideways movement in the seat. But they would be the next step and are in all professional series TTBOMK. The big issue should be 2" or 3" straps and which HANS device.

A wrist restraint is inexpensive and would keep a driver's arms from flopping around in a violent crash or rollover. There seems to be no fire protection. This is a bit disorienting to me because since the 1970s SCCA and oval tracks have required one or two layers of SFI3 or 5 fire protection clothing and a fire extinguisher or fire system and often a fuel cell. My last race car had a manual fire system in the interior extending next to the carb and an automatic fire bottle next to the fuel cell. Fires are rare but when they occur they are very nasty, especially if the driver is trapped or unconscious.
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