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Tall Man - Safety Compromise - Seats & Roll Bar

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Tall Man - Safety Compromise - Seats & Roll Bar

 
Old 05-14-2019, 09:54 AM
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Default Tall Man - Safety Compromise - Seats & Roll Bar

I've read all the threads on the subject multiple times and can't find quite what I'm looking for, so I'm hoping you guys can help out.

Info:
  • My car currently has pole positions with oem seatbelts and oem steering wheel.
  • I street drive the car a lot in the summer & I HPDE the car ~4 days/year and push pretty hard, always looking to improve my times.
  • Understanding safety is always a compromise I have been considering lately if I should tailor my safety for track. I.E. roll bar, harness, hans, aftermarket steering wheel.
Questions:
  1. Which compromise?: Given my above mentioned use case, should I bother going track safety focused or better off staying as is?
  2. Seats: If going with harness, roll bar, etc. Which seats offer the highest harness holes that fit in our car? I'm 6'1" 180lbs, but very long torso. Pole position harness holes are nearly at my armpits.
  3. Roll Bar: Since I'm looking for high harness holes, can I get away with the typically too high harness bar height on the Hard Dog? Or maybe even the Safety 21 (flame suite on).
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:15 AM
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put the stock seat back in and leave it alone
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by s2000ellier View Post
put the stock seat back in and leave it alone
But then I can barely see out of the car, and my head sticks up real high above the OEM hoops. I take the base pad off the recaro at the track and it at least gets me sitting nice and low. I seriously doubt oem seat is safer on track in my particular situation. On street without a helmet, oem is probably safer since I don't have an ABE pole position with extra padding.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:58 PM
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I'm the same height and weight as you are and I see just fine out of a stock s2000 so I'm not sure I get where you are coming from. The OEM safety stuff is designed around the belt, seat, and airbag. Most people will tell you leave the set or change the set. So either put the stock seat back in or remove/disable the airbag, install a rollbar with a harness bar, install a 6 point harness, and wear a HANs device for a SA2015 or newer helmet. But then you are diminishing your street safety which if you are driving it a lot on the street I think you are more likely to be in an accident there vs on track.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:32 PM
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The seat manufacturers have dimensions on their websites. If a dimension is posted, you can call or write to them. They are trying to sell seats.

There are several threads on how to mount the seat lower. You really want the rollbar higher than your head.

There seem to be three off-the-shelf rollbars: Ballade, HardDog, and Rockstar. There are threads, some recent. And you can call them. Any rollbar that has a correct harness bar, supports OEM shoulder belts, and is triangulated will require some cutting and fitting of interior panels and removal of the OEM roll hoops.

Remember, at track speeds a relatively minor accident can total the chassis. That accident doesn't have to be an error you made. It can be a component failure on your car or someone else's car, or an error by another driver, or even an error by track officials. Remember low speed on the track would be considered a high-speed street accident.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by s2000ellier View Post
I'm the same height and weight as you are and I see just fine out of a stock s2000 so I'm not sure I get where you are coming from. The OEM safety stuff is designed around the belt, seat, and airbag. Most people will tell you leave the set or change the set. So either put the stock seat back in or remove/disable the airbag, install a rollbar with a harness bar, install a 6 point harness, and wear a HANs device for a SA2015 or newer helmet. But then you are diminishing your street safety which if you are driving it a lot on the street I think you are more likely to be in an accident there vs on track.
I disagree. I would say you're much more likely to get into a serious accident on the track than on the street, at 4 HPDEs per summer and a bunch of street driving. Serious meaning an accident where these differences would matter. So in my opinion to maximize safety you would go with seats, harnesses+hans, and roll bar, but also retain the stock belts for use on the street, making sure to set them up so that they fit correctly. IE not over a high side bolster, and if passing through a belt harness hole, then not zig-zagging on the way there, as some setups using extenders do. Would probably make sense to retain the stock steering wheel and air bag. (Air bag won't make a difference on the track when you're wearing harness and hans, but would be good with the oem belt on the street. Stock wheel makes rapid egress more difficult, especially with a high-bolstered seat, but imo the tradeoff is worth it if you're doing a lot of street driving.)

FWIW I also doubt there's significant difference in terms of safety to running a racing seat (properly installed with a properly fitting stock belt) on the street compared to the stock seat. The main added risk in street driving would come from the roll bar, but you definitely want that if you're going to track.

OP, I don't think one of the high harness bars is going to work, regardless of your height. In order to be under the roll bar you're going to need a hard mounted seat, as low as you can get it, and so hopefully your shoulders will end up lining up with the standard harness bar location. If they were high enough for the high ones, your head would definitely be over the roll bar.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Nate Tempest View Post
I disagree. I would say you're much more likely to get into a serious accident on the track than on the street, at 4 HPDEs per summer and a bunch of street driving. Serious meaning an accident where these differences would matter. So in my opinion to maximize safety you would go with seats, harnesses+hans, and roll bar, but also retain the stock belts for use on the street, making sure to set them up so that they fit correctly. IE not over a high side bolster, and if passing through a belt harness hole, then not zig-zagging on the way there, as some setups using extenders do. Would probably make sense to retain the stock steering wheel and air bag. (Air bag won't make a difference on the track when you're wearing harness and hans, but would be good with the oem belt on the street. Stock wheel makes rapid egress more difficult, especially with a high-bolstered seat, but imo the tradeoff is worth it if you're doing a lot of street driving.)

FWIW I also doubt there's significant difference in terms of safety to running a racing seat (properly installed with a properly fitting stock belt) on the street compared to the stock seat. The main added risk in street driving would come from the roll bar, but you definitely want that if you're going to track.

OP, I don't think one of the high harness bars is going to work, regardless of your height. In order to be under the roll bar you're going to need a hard mounted seat, as low as you can get it, and so hopefully your shoulders will end up lining up with the standard harness bar location. If they were high enough for the high ones, your head would definitely be over the roll bar.
This. There is no reason to believe a stock setup is going to be better than aftermarket rollbar, seat, hans/harnesses, and stock belts for street use, when they are routed appropriately, for mixed use especially if you are quick on track. I have this setup minus Hans/harnesses but am moving in that direction. Other cars such as GT3s, GT4s, etc come with a rollbar (and no padding) out of the box. I have a hard time believing the roll bar would make safety worse when your head sticks out above the stock roll hoops w the stock setup.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ottawas2000guy View Post
I've read all the threads on the subject multiple times and can't find quite what I'm looking for, so I'm hoping you guys can help out.
Questions:
  1. Which compromise?: Given my above mentioned use case, should I bother going track safety focused or better off staying as is?
  2. Seats: If going with harness, roll bar, etc. Which seats offer the highest harness holes that fit in our car? I'm 6'1" 180lbs, but very long torso. Pole position harness holes are nearly at my armpits.
  3. Roll Bar: Since I'm looking for high harness holes, can I get away with the typically too high harness bar height on the Hard Dog? Or maybe even the Safety 21 (flame suite on).
Q1: A lot of others have already shared there thoughts here, but this choice is strictly up to you, your priorities, and your spot in life. Where are you more likely to need the safety equipment? How bad will it be if you need the safety equipment and don't have it?
Q2: I`m 6'-1" 210lb and had a hard time finding a seat. Ultimately I picked up an OMP-ARS. The shoulder straps properly pass through the openings and land on my shoulders, without touching the seat, but it's close. It was tough to fit them in the car and I lost access to the center console. I recently sat in a Sparco QRT and found it to have similar shoulder holes and I think it's skinnier in width, so it might preserve access to the center console. It was also more comfortable. I also liked the Sparco Evo2. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a sparco dealer in the North East so I didn't realize I liked the Sparcos until it was too late. I found the Cobra brand seats rolled my shoulders forward too much. Ultimately, I think its important to find seats and sit in them before you buy them.
If you don't have a local motorsports shop, spend some time at your next track day asking everybody to sit in their seats. As you`re already aware, check for comfort and for the location of the shoulder holes.
Q3: At 6'-1" I don't love the angles of my shoulder belts to the lowered harness bars and my seat is as low as it could possibly be/scraping on the floor pan. I`m not sure how much higher the alternate bar location is, but it's worth reaching out to hard dog to ask them about it. I`m thinking about reaching out to a rollcage shop to have my bar relocated up.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidNJ View Post
The seat manufacturers have dimensions on their websites. If a dimension is posted, you can call or write to them. They are trying to sell seats.

There are several threads on how to mount the seat lower. You really want the rollbar higher than your head.

There seem to be three off-the-shelf rollbars: Ballade, HardDog, and Rockstar. There are threads, some recent. And you can call them. Any rollbar that has a correct harness bar, supports OEM shoulder belts, and is triangulated will require some cutting and fitting of interior panels and removal of the OEM roll hoops.

Remember, at track speeds a relatively minor accident can total the chassis. That accident doesn't have to be an error you made. It can be a component failure on your car or someone else's car, or an error by another driver, or even an error by track officials. Remember low speed on the track would be considered a high-speed street accident.
Thanks for the reply. My pole position is essentially rubbing the carpet mounted on PCI mount. When driving on track I remove the bottom seat cushion and I think I would pass a broomstick test with any of the typical roll bars. I have researched all of them extensively. I was more wondering if anyone had specific recommendations for a seat that fits in our car with very high harness holes and also if the Hard Dog, with the removable harness bar that sits above the secret compartment would be too high for a tall guy like me. Hard Dog, mentions on their site that it's too high for harness', but maybe that's not the case for me?
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Nate Tempest View Post
I disagree. I would say you're much more likely to get into a serious accident on the track than on the street, at 4 HPDEs per summer and a bunch of street driving. Serious meaning an accident where these differences would matter. So in my opinion to maximize safety you would go with seats, harnesses+hans, and roll bar, but also retain the stock belts for use on the street, making sure to set them up so that they fit correctly. IE not over a high side bolster, and if passing through a belt harness hole, then not zig-zagging on the way there, as some setups using extenders do. Would probably make sense to retain the stock steering wheel and air bag. (Air bag won't make a difference on the track when you're wearing harness and hans, but would be good with the oem belt on the street. Stock wheel makes rapid egress more difficult, especially with a high-bolstered seat, but imo the tradeoff is worth it if you're doing a lot of street driving.)

FWIW I also doubt there's significant difference in terms of safety to running a racing seat (properly installed with a properly fitting stock belt) on the street compared to the stock seat. The main added risk in street driving would come from the roll bar, but you definitely want that if you're going to track.

OP, I don't think one of the high harness bars is going to work, regardless of your height. In order to be under the roll bar you're going to need a hard mounted seat, as low as you can get it, and so hopefully your shoulders will end up lining up with the standard harness bar location. If they were high enough for the high ones, your head would definitely be over the roll bar.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply as usual Nate. I tend to agree with you, that there is more likely to be a serious incident on track, and therefore I was heavily leaning towards going roll bar, harness, hans. My pole positions are currently installed on PCI mounts, with the oem seatbelts ran properly using the same setup as Andrew Hake. So I'll continue with that setup even with the rollbar/harness for street driving.

Thanks for your comment re: high harness bar. It did appear in photos that it might end up too high even with the right seat for me. Any tips on seats that fit with high harness holes?
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