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What is the Safest belt system for my Recaro Pole Positions with no roll cage

Joined
12 August 2004
Messages
161
Hi Everyone,

as I am starting to see that I will be doing more and more track days, I want to start doing what I can to make my car as safe as possible. Currently, I have recaro pole positions, and am using the stock seat belts and the oem steering wheel with airbag...I don't want to install a roll cage as I will only be doing about 10 track days a year and its still a street driven car, so from my research this seems to rule out 5 point harnesses, but since the oem seat belt doesn't fit through the recaro seat belt hole, my current setup is probably not ideal since the lap belt does not get that tight...

So what would be the best option for me to do? My car actually has a harness bar (installed when I bought it) and mounting for a 5 point harness, so I would be willing to buy any combination of harness, or do anything available to modify the 3 point OEM system to make it better..

Anyway, any suggestions or recommendations (or links if this has been discussed before, I tried searching but couldn't find much for this specific situation) would be greatly appreciated.

I also would like to know if its better to retain the factory steering wheel with airbag, or get an aftermarket one without..


thanks in advance,
Shaun
 
Hi Everyone,

as I am starting to see that I will be doing more and more track days, I want to start doing what I can to make my car as safe as possible. Currently, I have recaro pole positions, and am using the stock seat belts and the oem steering wheel with airbag...I don't want to install a roll cage as I will only be doing about 10 track days a year and its still a street driven car, so from my research this seems to rule out 5 point harnesses, but since the oem seat belt doesn't fit through the recaro seat belt hole, my current setup is probably not ideal since the lap belt does not get that tight...

So what would be the best option for me to do? My car actually has a harness bar (installed when I bought it) and mounting for a 5 point harness, so I would be willing to buy any combination of harness, or do anything available to modify the 3 point OEM system to make it better..

Anyway, any suggestions or recommendations (or links if this has been discussed before, I tried searching but couldn't find much for this specific situation) would be greatly appreciated.

I also would like to know if its better to retain the factory steering wheel with airbag, or get an aftermarket one without..


thanks in advance,
Shaun


Not ideal? Its downright dangerous. If the lap belt can't tighten across your waist the chances of submarining are very high.

That setup actually would not pass technical inspection in the AZ region for NASA.

That being said, get a harness bar that puts the harnesses at shoulder level or ever so slightly below (10 degree downward angle is idea).

I prefer cam-locks with pull down type harnesses...

Brand wise, just pick something thats SFI rated.
Crow is great because they have a very inexpensive re-certification process as they expire.

Just a few starting points! More to come I am sure!


NASA AZ Technical Inspector
NASA AZ Instructor
Driving with NASA AZ since 2002
 
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Thanks for the response..So what type of harness would you recommend (3,4,5 point) to go with the harness bar, if I am not going to get a roll cage?..Before doing any research I was about to purchase a 5 point harness since my car was already set up for it, but then read some posts about 5 points being dangerous without a roll cage in the event of a rollover, but maybe the additional safety and benefit of the 5 point outweighs the increased risk in the rarer event of a rollover?

Not idea? Its downright dangerous. If the lap belt can't tighten across your waist the chances of submarining are very high.

That setup actually would not pass technical inspection in the AZ region for NASA.

That being said, get a harness bar that puts the harnesses at shoulder level or ever so slightly below (10 degree downward angle is idea).

I prefer cam-locks with pull down type harnesses...

Brand wise, just pick something thats SFI rated.
Crow is great because they have a very inexpensive re-certification process as they expire.

Just a few starting points! More to come I am sure!


NASA AZ Technical Inspector
NASA AZ Instructor
Driving with NASA AZ since 2002
 
My $0.02...

Get a 5-point.

As for the arguments of which is best, etc., etc., etc., the best way is of course a full cage with a 6-point, plus a HANS device, fire suit, fire suppresion system, etc.

Most folks here in Prime (myself included) do not have all of these things.

You just need to acknowledge that fact, and then do what feels best to you for your sense of safety and wellbeing in your car, for the amount of time you track it and where and whom you track with.

For reference, I have a Harness Bar, a G-Force Camlock 5-pt harness, a 2.5lb extinguisher, Snell 2005 helmet, Nomex Balaclava, shirt, and driving gloves. I'm currently using the OEM seat with a sub-belt mount, but intend to install a racing seat within the next 6-9 months. I also intend on completing the Nomex undergarments and getting a fire suit.

As for experience/skill I run NASA DE-3 (and usually finish last):wink:

Enjoy!:biggrin:
 
we have had lots of in depth discussions about this I just picked a random one started by the official prime inquisitor Dave:wink: http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php?t=149508&highlight=harness+system just pop harness system in the search function and you can pick your own.BTW personaly I like the 5 or 6 point solution because it stabalizes my torso freeing up my arms and legs to do the work they need to at speed.
 
I prefer 6 point purely because your manhood isn't pinched as much hahaha!

Crow offers 6 point camlocks locally for 250 so I scoop em up when I need to!

Brand wise, its all personal preference as long as its rated!

As far as the 5 point being dangerous in a rollover, we've had 2 rollovers in the AZ region in the last 3 years. Both occupants were wearing 5 point harnesses, and both walked away. The harnesses kept them glued into their seats and they didn't ever hit the ceiling of the car.

If they were wearing a factory 3 point, the results may have been different.
 
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Official prime inquisitor Dave here, I agree after all my research on an off this forum you should go with a harness. The majority of injuries happen when you are being thrown around in the cabin and a harness eliminates most off that. A 3 point is really a shitty system, especially without a side torso or curtain airbag.

I also agree what you have right now is very bad. I can send you a bunch of videos if you want and you can see what happens with 3 points to your body. It's not pretty. It really really is a compromise. BTW the Audi R8 V10 GT comes with 4 points.
 
Thanks again for all the responses..Seems like the consensus is that any harness is significantly better then what I have now, so now I just need to do a bit more research on which one..Some questions I have then are:

1.What about the 4 point harnesses with ASM? Would this be the best of both worlds in terms of locking you in place, preventing you from submarining, but also allowing your body to slide down in case of a rollover since there is no 5th lower belt?

2.what about for the street, can I have the harnesses installed and just flop them out of the way and use the oem 3 point? (I did some research and some guys on here are using prelude receptacles to allow the oem seatbelt to fit in the proper location and be tight, so I will do that for the street)
 
2.what about for the street, can I have the harnesses installed and just flop them out of the way and use the oem 3 point? (I did some research and some guys on here are using prelude receptacles to allow the oem seatbelt to fit in the proper location and be tight, so I will do that for the street)

Yes. This is how I run to keep the car street legal.
 
Whatever you do, keep the 3-point for street use at least. It is pretty ridiculous seeing someone wearing a harness on the street. I don't even know if that's legal, but it just looks silly.
 
Whatever you do, keep the 3-point for street use at least. It is pretty ridiculous seeing someone wearing a harness on the street. I don't even know if that's legal, but it just looks silly.

I'm confused.. why is it silly to wear a harness on the street? From the response to this thread it sounds like a 4+ point harness is safer than the 3 point factory belt. Safety should be a high priority no?
 
I'm confused.. why is it silly to wear a harness on the street? From the response to this thread it sounds like a 4+ point harness is safer than the 3 point factory belt. Safety should be a high priority no?

It's not silly. It's actually where safe, just inconvenient. I'd do it.
 
All theorizing aside, if you actually see someone wearing a harness at the mall, or at the drive-thru, going to get gas, or groceries, trust me. You will laugh.
 
All theorizing aside, if you actually see someone wearing a harness at the mall, or at the drive-thru, going to get gas, or groceries, trust me. You will laugh.

I would laugh at someone whose lap belt goes over their "tuner" seat and whose airbag is missing for some "tuner" wheel.
 
I personally wouldn't install a seat that didn't allow me to use the factory 3-points in a safe configuration, for a 99% street car. The steering wheel is another matter and it all factors into someone's personal risk tolerance. Im still undecided if I would ditch my airbag. My previous car had a Momo wheel and I didn't mind it too much. I think a harness on the street is a little dorky but that's just my opinion. There are other safety considerations at play. I don't think harnesses have much "give" or stretch during a collision, which can put more stress on your body. Of course it's a plus if it keeps your head from going through the windshield or your chest from the steering column (if you removed your airbag). But OEMs design the restraint systems to stretch and be easily unlatched in an emergency. Anyway, each design has its merits and it's up to each of us to make that choice.
 
Well I wouldn't worry about the "look" is what I am saying, as long as it is safe. If someone wants to laugh let them. At one point I was thinking if I cage my car I will drive it to and back from the track with a helmet on. How dorky and funny is that... LOL... I don't think a harness on the street is a bad thing, it's just inconvenient. Forget trying to reach the radio or AC.

Also harnesses stretch, just less. The forces on your body in an accident are truly violent. The nsx has a real low roof. It allows your head to really bang around in there, to the side and stop... That is where most of the serious injuries occur. A harness keeps that to a minimum.

3 points are a serious compromise. Seat belt pretensioners try to do to a 3 point what a harness does already. It's a big engineered system all designed to work around one giant compromise: comfort. You won't sell too many cars asking people to put on a 4 point. Ask Audi why it is standard on the R8GT. It is also standard on a number of other serious performance cars sold to the public as a street legal car. An Enzo does nt come with a 3 point belt.

If you have a lot of DB's around where you live that think it's cool to wear a 4 point in a civic around the mall, I agree, it's probably funny. But at least in my area, no one would laugh at you. Especially in an NSX that looks like it sees track duty.
 
For reference, I have a Harness Bar, a G-Force Camlock 5-pt harness, a 2.5lb extinguisher, Snell 2005 helmet, Nomex Balaclava, shirt, and driving gloves. I'm currently using the OEM seat with a sub-belt mount, but intend to install a racing seat within the next 6-9 months. I also intend on completing the Nomex undergarments and getting a fire suit.

As for experience/skill I run NASA DE-3 (and usually finish last):wink:

Enjoy!:biggrin:

This is nearly the same setup I have. 5pt harness with OEM seat, a small slip was cut and the seat was modified to allow for the 5th point. I have a fire extinguisher mounted on the floor that I can reach, helmet, gloves, etc.

I would NEVER user OEM seat belts with an aftermarket seat. My setup allows for OEM seatbelts and then I can use the 5pt on track days. I recommend the same.
 
FWIW, Schroth has a DOT approved 4 pt harness which is street legal. From what I recall, it was one of very few, if any, harness that actually have this approval. It allowed me to actually remove my existing 3 pt. harness altogether since I keep a copy of the DOT approval in my glove box.

As for the harness itself, while many disapprove of a 4 pt harness, I'm a big fan. It is actually easier and faster for me to put on than a 3 point harness. I can actually put it on and off with one hand. It's infinitely more comfortable than a 3 pt harness (and 5 and 6 pt for that matter). And as far as security and submarining, when installed properly in a race seat I am strapped in so tight, there is no way I'm going anywhere. The lap part is sitting low across my hips in an angle that will prevent any forward movement. The chest straps have me pinned against the back of the seat. The key is to sit in a more upright position so that it eliminate any chance for you to slip under the lap belt. When I'm properly strapped in, I'll lose a limb or part of my torso before I shift out of my seat.

Just my 2 cents, I'm sure people will disagree with me vehemently.
 
FWIW, Schroth has a DOT approved 4 pt harness which is street legal. From what I recall, it was one of very few, if any, harness that actually have this approval. It allowed me to actually remove my existing 3 pt. harness altogether since I keep a copy of the DOT approval in my glove box.

As for the harness itself, while many disapprove of a 4 pt harness, I'm a big fan. It is actually easier and faster for me to put on than a 3 point harness. I can actually put it on and off with one hand. It's infinitely more comfortable than a 3 pt harness (and 5 and 6 pt for that matter). And as far as security and submarining, when installed properly in a race seat I am strapped in so tight, there is no way I'm going anywhere. The lap part is sitting low across my hips in an angle that will prevent any forward movement. The chest straps have me pinned against the back of the seat. The key is to sit in a more upright position so that it eliminate any chance for you to slip under the lap belt. When I'm properly strapped in, I'll lose a limb or part of my torso before I shift out of my seat.

Just my 2 cents, I'm sure people will disagree with me vehemently.

I tend to agree with you... I think a 4 is better than a 3 and done right, the chance of submarining is slight... but DONE RIGHT is the key. It's probably a good compromise for a street driven very part time track car.The seat itself is very important though, and often overlooked.
 
A few interesting articles about seat belts here:

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=434695

This one seems to conclude that a 5 point harness without a roll bar will leave you dead or paralyzed in a roll over accident.
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/20...will-paralyze-you-and-other-fun-safety-facts/

I'm not claiming that one is better than the other, but I think it is important that the seat belts properly match the other safety equipment of the vehicle. The car was engineered with certain parameters as constant and for all those parameters to work together. When you change them, the whole system reacts differently and unintended consequences could occur.


Anyway, here's the Ferrari Enzo with a 3 point belt
ferrari-enzo-seats-interior.jpg


http://autos.aol.com/cars-Audi-R8-2012-GT__2dr_All_wheel_Drive_quattro_Coupe/expert-review/
AOL Autos said:
While the Sparco bucket seats, four-point racing harness, red roll cage and ignition kill switch replacing one of the cup holders certainly look trick, they sadly won't be fitted to the 90 vehicles earmarked for U.S. customers – blame the DOT, again.

Audi R8 GT with a 3 point
http://www.wekop.com/2011-audi-r8-gt-price-and-gallery-picture
2011-audi-r8-gt-seat-cover.jpg


Audi R8 GT Spider with a 3 point
2012-Audi-R8-GT-Spyder-Le-Mans-seat-500x332.jpg
 
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I recently installed the Recaro Pole Positions seats as well, but I have the ABE version instead of the FIA version (which has the smaller belt hole).

I can use the 3-point belt in the way it is supposed to, and it is acually very tight across my hip.
Since the basic shell of the Recaro PP is carbon or polyester, I think it should not be that difficult to have the seat modified with a larger hole to be able to fit the OEM seat belt recepticle through the hole as it is supposed to.
It might be worth your while.
 
This has all been discussed so many times, lots of you guys posting in this Thad haven't read my many threads about this subject.

The rollover thing has been discussed over and over... A LOT. There is NOTHING in this article hapa posted that is any new news. Yes, if the roof caves when you are in a harness, it's bad. Yes, a street car is not a track car and there are great risks. This is why I have personally cut my track days down to almost nothing for now.

The question is do you wan to prepare better for the 1% rollover scenario or the other 99% accident scenario.

MVM, I have serious, serious reservations about cutting into a seat to enlarge a hole. I just wouldn't do it.
 
The rollover thing has been discussed over and over... A LOT. There is NOTHING in this article hapa posted that is any new news. Yes, if the roof caves when you are in a harness, it's bad. Yes, a street car is not a track car and there are great risks. This is why I have personally cut my track days down to almost nothing for now.

You've cut your track days out completely because you're afraid of a rollover? :confused:
Are you making your NSX a dedicated track car?
 
You've cut your track days out completely because you're afraid of a rollover? :confused:
Are you making your NSX a dedicated track car?

No I have cut back because this is a really expensive car to be tracking. It's too nice. I need a used mx5. No I am not making the NSX a track car. I will take it on the track once in a while to enjoy the car in an arena without cops and idiots texting. But I plan to continue getting better in a different car. For now skip barber... Eventually, my own caged miata.
 
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