Harness // rollbar options

General chat that fellow COM'ers may be interested in.
beatus
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Harness // rollbar options

Post by beatus » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:27 pm

Hey all,
I'm hoping folks can help me navigate the options for upgrading seats in my car (Saab 92x). I'm currently at 73 points

I think as I grow as a driver, staying in T70 makes sense. It gives me more room to change the car and it doesn't feel "uncompetitive" as it sits. I'm not even licensed yet, I'm not making a run at any trophies or trying to be competitive in 2020. Just trying to get more seat time.

- Option 1
Full cage, the works. This seems like the safest, but would basically require removing the car from the street. Doesn't seem like a full cage is at all safe for street use.

I can see myself going down this road, eventually. For now I'm not entirely sure i'm committed to making this car a full time race car only.

- Option 2
Harness bar // roll bar. This, in combination with a 6 point harness (and retaining the factory 3 point for street use) seems to be the best combination of "street legal" plus rules compliant.

- Option 3
Mount harness to factory hardpoints for the rear seats. My rear interior is already removed, so this could be an option? Is this COM legal? I'm not entirely clear on that based on the rules.


Did I miss anything here? I plan on checking out HMS motorsports to see what my seat options, how they fit, etc. Should I be buying a firesuit // HANS at this point too?

Thank you!
Brandon Ganem
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by TunaNoCrust » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:20 pm

Hey whats up man!

Option 1: I would put off Option 1 as long as you can. It adds a lot to the process, having to have a trailer, tow vehicle, etc. I found that it sucked some of the fun out of it for me years ago when I no longer could just hop in and drive to an event....plus you have the room for tires without a tire trailer which is huge.

I have been in this scenario before, and I regret not having something I could track, while I built the new track vehicle. It may be more expensive, and take longer to build the new one, but it will keep you motivated, continue to build your skill set, and you can apply what you learn on the current car to the new car.

Option 2: A harness bar with the proper harnesses and seats is a great improvement to safety and allows you to be more stable in the seat, and feel the car better.

Option 3: Harnesses require after market seats in order to put the shoulder straps through the seat cut-outs otherwise the straps can slide off your shoulders. They have kinds that buckle the two straps together, but I would not do harnesses without the proper seats anyways.

HANS requires the proper harness as it works in conjunction with the shoulder straps. HMS has a great selection of seats to sit in and try out, and ask them about the expiring seats they have in their warehouse.

As for a firesuit, I believe they are only required if you are in Super classes. You can find them on clearance at Speedway Motors sometimes.
Chuck Comeau
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beatus
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by beatus » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:32 pm

Appreciate the reply! Even with Option 3, I'd be doing aftermarket seats that have the correct holes for a harness.

I was already leaning towards a harness bar so I can keep the car on the street. Your perspective on a full cage helps a ton. Thank you!
Brandon Ganem
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by dtlemoine » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:12 pm

You may not like this response, but in my opinion you really need to look at safety as a comprehensive package. A few thoughts for consideration, and would love to hear others' perspective on this as well. While our rules to allow for aftermarket seats and harness bars without aftermarket rollover protection, I would not personally recommend it. And it's just plain dangerous to run a 5/6 point harness without a HANS (check this out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanto-o ... islocation)

The moment you move to a bucket seat, you lose the ability to safely use a factory 3-point belt (it won't be able to get low and tight across your pelvis, basically allowing you to submarine right under the lap belt in a frontal impact.

If you decided to add 5/6 point harnesses to alleviate the submarine issue, now you don't allow your face to reach the airbag in a frontal impact, so you'll need to wear a HANS (and helmet, obviously) on the street. Check out this video for demonstration of a frontal impact with/without HANS:



When you add the 5/6 belt, you're also not allowing your body to twist out of the way (to the right, if you're in the drivers seat) in a rollover where the roof caves in; the stock 3-point is designed to allow for this specifically. Now, you'll need a rollbar...

Now that you have your rollbar, harnesses, and bucket seats, helmet and HANS, this is no longer particularly practical to drive on the street...

HMS does make a 4 point harness that can be used with stock seats from a few manufacturers, a few folks in COM have run them in the past. They've integrated "ASM" (Anti-Submarine Technology), so it'll still theoretically work in conjunction with the car's built in safety gear, airbags, etc.: https://www.schrothracing.com/products/quickfit

Hit me up with a private message to discuss further.
Dave

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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by gcranston » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:00 pm

dtlemoine wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:12 pm
Check out this video for demonstration of a frontal impact with/without HANS:
Came across that video last year while researching HANS and it horrified me. That head whip happens entirely in one frame.

A note to others considering safety upgrades but not ready for seats + harness yet: you can use the Simpson Hybrid S with 3 point belts and with harnesses. No need to wait on head restraints.
Graham Cranston
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by gcranston » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:34 pm

dtlemoine wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:12 pm
While our rules to allow for aftermarket seats and harness bars without aftermarket rollover protection, I would not personally recommend it.
OK I have a couple questions here:
What would be your concern with running seats and harnesses without rollover protection? How much structure would you recommend? I see three "levels" of rollover protection out there.

Four-point with a roll bar:
Image

Six-point with a main hoop:
Image

Full cage with double door bars:
Image

Obviously this is a case of "more is better", but if the car isn't going wheel to wheel, is the full cage with door bars warranted? Is the 4-point roll bar really more window dressing than functional rollover protection? Obviously the door bars are a big step up for side impacts, but would a hoop diagonal or rear x-bracing do enough if the car's not going wheel-to-wheel?
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by dtlemoine » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:45 pm

gcranston wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:34 pm
What would be your concern with running seats and harnesses without rollover protection? How much structure would you recommend? I see three "levels" of rollover protection out there.
The scenario to be concerned about is in a proper rollover where the roof caves in - the 3-point allows the driver or passenger to slide/rotate to the center of the car, since two objects cannot occupy the same space, we reduce the risk of crushing the head/neck/shoulders etc.

There is great debate as to whether modern OE roofs have the rigidity to handle this on their own. Folks from HMS believe they do. I don't believe the tests that DOT puts the manufacturers through really simulate a proper racetrack rollover, my understanding is it's a static test in many situations.
gcranston wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:34 pm
Obviously this is a case of "more is better", but if the car isn't going wheel to wheel, is the full cage with door bars warranted? Is the 4-point roll bar really more window dressing than functional rollover protection? Obviously the door bars are a big step up for side impacts, but would a hoop diagonal or rear x-bracing do enough if the car's not going wheel-to-wheel?
4-point rollbar could easily vary from window dressing to a strong structure that offers true protection. I don't think you can make a blanket statement without looking at the specific car/bar combo. Critically, the attachment points need to be tied in to strong enough locations on the vehicle to disperse the load. I've seen plenty bolted directly to the thin sheet metal in the floor - not much help those are going to do...
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by gcranston » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:07 pm

OK let me clarify my question a bit: do you think a properly constructed and installed 4-point roll bar could provide the kind of roll over protection needed for track use, or would you recommend at least a 6-point structure with an overhead hoop and members along the A- and B-pillars? Notwithstanding HMS's opinion on factory roofs.
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by TunaNoCrust » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:07 am

Good questions! Factory roofs are made for factory road accidents. Most rollovers on the road barely touch the roof and pillars and mainly supports the car if the car ends up resting on the roof. (I bought a Jeep like that)

I know the pictures you used are just examples, but here are some points with those cages.

One of the most important part of cages is the cross support, without it...that cage is useless in my experience.

The first picture has a cross support although only one, it is not connected node to node and does not offer proper protection...plus its autopower and their stuff is crap.

Second picture has absolutely no cross support, bolt together which I would rather have no cage at that point, and the a pillar has too much of a bend that lessens the integrity of that tube and would just collapse in a hard impact.

Third picture is much better, and yes door bars I feel too are mostly for wheel to wheel...you get stuck sideways on track, another car doesn't see you and impacts you in the side. In a side impact where you slide into the wall, the distribution of force is extremely great, so it likely will barely crumple the car...but there would be little impact absorption and distribution so its gonna hurt. And its not down bar, its "A" pillar.


In my opinion the best cages to look at are rally cars...they are made to take impacts from any direction and often times they are impacting rocks or trees...which don't move, trust me.
Last edited by TunaNoCrust on Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Chuck Comeau
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by TunaNoCrust » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:23 am

gcranston wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:07 pm
OK let me clarify my question a bit: do you think a properly constructed and installed 4-point roll bar could provide the kind of roll over protection needed for track use, or would you recommend at least a 6-point structure with an overhead hoop and members along the A- and B-pillars? Notwithstanding HMS's opinion on factory roofs.
In the vast majority of impacts a car may see, yes. Look at the factory cage in an M4 GTS, that is a properly done 4 Point. And like Dave said, it must be tied in properly, see upside down Mustang.

Really need to look at the most common places a car may impact. Are most of them head on, front corners, rear corners, sides, roofs? Then you protect it from those most common scenarios.

Image
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by gcranston » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:29 am

Shiny side down mustang looks like he's having a bad day.
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by SandyClam » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:54 pm

A bit of a tangent, but you have 14 engine points... any thought towards using a dyno run instead of adding up mods? You may find you wind up in T60. Not that we don't want more cars in T70, mind you :D

I've run no cage, half cage, and full cage. If you're going to run on the street at all, the half cage makes a lot of sense for what we do, and you don't lose all the utility of the car. Suby pillars are very strong, and an Autopower rollbar/half cage would add some much needed strength, plus a great anchor point for your shoulder straps. So no, it's not fluff, but it won't help in all types of crashes. With a half cage in my car now, I feel a lot better than in my last car that was cage-free.

Going to a full cage really is going to relegate you to an expensive to run track car, and lets face it, you can probably buy a fully built race car for what adding a cage in (properly) might cost you, if you aren't a cage builder yourself. I might even know where you can find a fully caged Honda, but I digress.

Most of the wrecks I've seen at COM events, my own included, have been hits to the front, side or rear. Not that rollovers don't happen, but they are far less frequent, so i think it's fair to consider this in deciding what to add to the car. We'd all be safer/better off cocooned in an 8 pt caged car, but many drivers don't have harnesses, so we all weight the risks.

beatus
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by beatus » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:28 am

Great discussion, I really appreciate all the input.

I've definitely been talked into a HANS, when I get a 5/6pt harness. No questions it's a requirement.

That said, I'm not really clear if it's worth making the jump yet. I don't have great options for trailer storage (but do have a vehicle that could tow), so I'd be looking into a few hundred a month for a place to store the trailer, in addition to losing our second car. I don't use the car on the street that often, but it's enough that it's nice to have. So, barring taking the car off the street, that leaves what?

- Leave the car as is
Obliviously, I can run the car per the rules as it sits. Do another year as it is and kick the can down the road one more year (this was my first year running with com, third year of HPDEs).

- Swap STi seats
Reading the rules, this seems like it'd be allowed, but I'm not entirely clear. Also doesn't seem like the greatest use of money, for what amounts to a pretty marginal gain in bolstering (though they have slots for a harness).

- 4 point cage, proper seats, HANS
With the back and fourth, I'm not really clear if this is actually a viable option to both do it safely AND keep the car on the street.

- 6pt cage
As likely that I'll buy something else and do this rather than cage the Saab. RX-8s are cheap (but rotary)...

Problem is the space constraints and needing to buy a trailer in addition. Not out of the realm of possibility in the next few years, but it's not happening this year.

Code: Select all

A bit of a tangent, but you have 14 engine points... any thought towards using a dyno run instead of adding up mods? You may find you wind up in T60. Not that we don't want more cars in T70, mind you :D
Considering it for next season, but really only when the driver mod is up to a point where I'm feeling remotely competitive in either class honestly. Not really worth the $$ until then. It was dyno tuned, but on a land and sea dyno (250whp), so I don't think I'll end up dropping that many points. Was also considering making a specific t60 tune for the car, dropping enough power to sneak into t60.

The fun of starting with a street car (that was initially modded in more street car ways) and then going racing with it.
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by gcranston » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:34 am

I think The Clam's point about the dyno was not to tune it, but to get you some points back without changing the car. Generally, it will cost you fewer points to class the engine based on power/weight from a dyno pull than to take each point from each engine mod individually. The logic being that when you 3 points for a reprogrammed ECU, if you could have pushed that tune further and got more power at the expense of reliability on the road then you're not fully using those 3 points.
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Re: Harness // rollbar options

Post by beatus » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:26 pm

Yup, that makes sense. The reason I don't think I'll get points back is the 14 engine points is putting in the Dyno numbers I have now (just not an allowed Dyno type). Using just modifications it's only 13 points.

A dynojet may read less, so there may be a point or two to get back, but I don't think it will be 4 or 5 to get me into t60.
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