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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering what my options were for harnesses on my 65 fastback with a roll bar and crossbar. The car will be mainly a street car but will probably see an occasional open track event.

-Do I want 4, 5, or 6 point harnesses?
-Should I choose a seat with a opening for a sub belt (I'd rather
not if I don't have to)?
-Is there a more streetable (comfy) option?

Any help would be great!
Craig
 

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Depends on how you are going to use it.
A car faster than 11:00 at an NHRA track, you'll need the submarine belt too.
High speed track? Might need it too.
13:30 or slower, you don't need it. The NHRA will LOOK at the date code on the belts, they must be within the 2 year inspection date. The SCCA might not look if its an autocross. Funny, but it's OK to use 30+ year old Ford belts. Those belts can be rewebbed if you send then back to the manufacturer, and then only 2 times.
 

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The last time I was out at Sears Point, a guy in a Subaru WRX put it into the wall at Turn 10 - Hard! Here's the thread with some pictures. I'm not sure, but it may have been his first weekend on the track. With the modern car, I don't think he was seriously hurt, but in our older cars, that could have been very serious. While the odds of something like that happening to us during an Open Track are slim, there is a chance that it could happen (some fluid on the track, somebody else does something to cause you to lose your line, mechanical failure, etc.).

Given that you are in the Bay Area, I'll assume you'll be trying out Sears Point or Laguna Seca (maybe a trip to Thunderhill once in awhile?). If I was going to take my car on either track at speed (I've been to SP and TH), then I'd go with a 5 or 6 point harness (6 point is better at protecting the, um, softer parts of our anatomy). I decided early on that safety was really important for me and I built the car accordingly. I used to feel silly about driving on the street with the harness hooked up, but, as a member of the Shelby Club put it, you'd feel a heck of a lot sillier if you got into an accident and weren't using all the safety equipment available to you!

With the anti-sub belt, if you run it in front of the seat, it will really decrease the effectiveness of the belt (ideally, the mount for the anti sub is behind your hips), so a slot for that belt would be ideal. I was talking with Shaun (another VMFer) about this yesterday as he doesn't want to go with an all-out race seat either. I suggested he contact an upholstery shop to see if they could add a slot to a seat for the anti-sub belt (specifically, we were talking about the Scat Procar Rally seat).

Speaking of streetable/comfy: I think the Rally seat I just mentioned is an excellent choice for our cars. It is quite comfortable, provides good support on the track and looks really good in these cars.

The more I read about safety equipment, the happier I am that I've done as much as I have to improve my safety when in the car (I have racing seats, roll bar and five point harnesses). The forces involved in even a 50 MPH accident are tremendous and, while I truly do not expect to have an incident, the possibility is always there. On the positive side, it sounds like you have already done much to improve the safety of your car.

Having tried to impress upon you the possibility of serious consequences, I'll add that Open Track is an absolute BLAST!! :: If you are around August 30th/31st, you should really try to come out to Sears Point (sorry, I just can't use that new name!). The Shelby Club is having it's big annual event (the Mini-Nats) and many of us from the VMF will be there. Look for a VMF signs or a Street or Track))booth - Shaun and Bill (both of the VMF) will have a spot and we'll no doubt be hanging out with them. There will be about 6 of us VMFers actually driving our cars and I'm guessing another dozen hanging out with us and catching rides. Come by and see what others have done to their car to make it safe for the track - and meet some of us (maybe get some seat time if you are interested and there is room - there may well be!). I won't speack for myself, but really it's a great group of people and you'll have a good time! Money back guarantee - ok, it's free to get in, so you are SURE to at least get your money's worth!

Check out the Mini Nats at the Shelby Club website (scroll down near the bottom is a link to Mini-Nats).

Hope to see you there!
 

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You want the 5-point or 6-point. The 6-point being what I'd do had I to do it again now.

If the seat does not have a hole for the anti-submarining strap(s), then don't bother with the 5/6-point belts. My Recaro seats have a moveable bolster for under the legs, which allows the anti-sub belt access.

Mount the sholder belts on the cross-bar. Then when driving on the street you can remove them, since having them can get you tickets and using them can be a real pain on the street. Just remember when putting the bar together that the crossbar needs to be at the proper height (about 2" below your shoulder) for the belts to work right.

You may want to put in the curved bar from the coupe instead of the straight bar for the fastback too, since the straight bar can impede seat movement in the rearward direction (ask me how I know).
 

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Just one other small point to think about...most of the 4 and 5 point harnesses are SFI approved for the track, but they are not DOT approved for the street. Did that stop me from putting in a set of Simpson belt? No...
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info guys. I like the idea of having a slot installed in the Procars (that's the seat I've been leaning towards) by an apholstery shop. I wonder if it can be done. Something else I was thinking about - What do you all think about setting up a standard style shoulder belt attached to the rollbar hoop. You could have an easily switched out lap belt setup to switch between 5pt racing harnesses for the track and the diagnol shoulder belt for the street. I don't know, just thinking out loud.

By the way, who sells 6pt harnesses?

Craig
 
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