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Old 10-27-2002, 06:26 PM   #1
spidey02wrx
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Default harness / harness bar questions

As I auto-x and track the car more and more these days I need something to keep my butt planted in the seat. Does anyone here use a harness bar in their WRX? what are my options? I'm open to anything that will keep me planted firmly.

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Old 10-27-2002, 08:13 PM   #2
twrx1
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I am in the same boat - hopefully we can get some thoughts/suggestions on this.
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Old 10-27-2002, 08:33 PM   #3
twrx1
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Does anyone have a bolt in rollcage/bar in their WRX?
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Old 10-28-2002, 08:53 AM   #4
spidey02wrx
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bump... anyone?
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Old 10-28-2002, 09:00 AM   #5
elgorey
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Do not use a harness bar or harnesses without roll-over protection.
The proper, safe way to do this is a roll-bar and harnesses.
autopower has a bolt-in rollbar for the WRX that is reasonably cheap. www.ioportracing.com is a good place to get them.

goodfinder has the bar installed, Im sure he will chime in here.
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Old 10-28-2002, 09:21 AM   #6
jamz
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I've got it in my car as well. It works pretty well, and is not too hard to install. It's kind of a permanent modification though.

Here's what it looks like:

http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/sho...p?threadid=590


The total cost for the bar and removable bits was about $350.00
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Old 10-28-2002, 09:36 AM   #7
GoodFinder
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spidey02wrx, twrx1, and elgorey,

On the subject of harness bars, an EMT posted the following dialog on the NSX boards earlier this year:

"Be aware that installation of a 4/5/6 point harness with harness bar in a vehicle without full rollover protection is not advised. In the event of a rollover, where the roofline may compress, wearing shoulder harnesses will prevent your head/neck/upper body from being able to "duck" and prevent injury. With OEM 3 point belts, when the car rolls over, the tendency is to lean forward and/or "fall out" of the shoulder harness. With a 4/5/6 point harness, your back cannot separate from the seat - thus, you can not "lean forward" to "duck" or "fall out" of the harness and your head/helmet takes all the weight."

One should think carefully about whether you want to do 4-point or 5-point or 6-point safety harnesses. Here is a further note from the EMT, regarding belts to use when you've got proper rollover protection in place:

"I can't stress enough the importance of having a anti-sub (5th or 6th point) belt. With a four point harness, any forward movement as the result of a frontal or glancing impact will cause the lap belt to ride up off your pelvic bone structure (where it should be) and into your abdominal cavity and lower rib cage. As an EMT with several years of heavy crash/rescue experience, trust me when I tell you that you do NOT want a lap belt putting pressure in a crash on your abdomen."

You may agree with what he says, you may disagree with what he says, but you will want to be certain in your position. As for me and my personal opinion and my approach to this subject, my impression is that the above information is spot on correct, which is why I put the Autopower 4-point race roll bar setup in my WRX before I start using my Shroth 6-point harnesses.

Here is information on the Autopower setup for the WRX:

$269.95 race roll bar
$54.95 removable shoulder harness bar
$54.95 removable cross brace
$100.00 approximate truck shipping charges

When my WRX is not on the track, this allows me to take out the shoulder harness bar and diagonal cross brace for rear seat use. (But, I only need a two-seater anyway, so I usually just leave it all in place.) Yes, one should "pad" the entire roll bar for safety. Also, Autopower does have a 6-point cage (and various other configurations) as well as the 4 point roll bars. Listed below is the full contact information for Ken Myers if you want to discuss the Autopower products further.

Ken Myers
iosales@ioportracing.com
www.IOPortRacing.com

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Old 10-28-2002, 11:00 AM   #8
spidey02wrx
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Thanks for all the responses. The autopower bar looks like a little too much for me right now, not money wise, just overkill for the amount I exercise the car. It does seem the only way to do it though. I agree with you on rollover protection, gives me something to think about. The bar looks very beefy, how much does it weigh approx. ?

one more thought, has anyone replaced the stock retractable belt with something non-retractable. I just need something that I can sinch up and keep me in the seat.

mark

Last edited by spidey02wrx; 10-28-2002 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 10-28-2002, 11:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by spidey02wrx
has anyone replaced the stock retractable belt with something non-retractable.
If something like the stock belt keeps you in place firmly enough, you can easily lock it up. Press yourself into the seat, pull the belt as tightly as you can (belly in! ) with your left hand, grip the belt close to the top mounting point with your right hand, and give it a quick tug to lock it up. Breathe out, and the belt will stay locked until you do the same in reverse.

I've been doing this for the whole auto-x season, and I never felt like I had a problem staying in the seat. I'll probably still get a harness for next season to keep me planted even better.
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:05 PM   #10
jprowland
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Quote:
Originally posted by GoodFinder
On the subject of harness bars, an EMT posted the following dialog on the NSX boards earlier this year:

"Be aware that installation of a 4/5/6 point harness with harness bar in a vehicle without full rollover protection is not advised. In the event of a rollover, where the roofline may compress, wearing shoulder harnesses will prevent your head/neck/upper body from being able to "duck" and prevent injury. With OEM 3 point belts, when the car rolls over, the tendency is to lean forward and/or "fall out" of the shoulder harness. With a 4/5/6 point harness, your back cannot separate from the seat - thus, you can not "lean forward" to "duck" or "fall out" of the harness and your head/helmet takes all the weight."
Is he implying that one would deliberately "duck" and prevent injury? This seems unrealistic in a real crash situation. I'd more than likely try to lean backward, against the seat and AWAY from the dangerous points (namely, the joint of the A-pillar and the roof). Not that that's the correct response, I just think that's what I'd do in a crash.

Maybe that's the whole point of rollover protection

I was in my first crash this weekend co-driving at North Woods Clubrally. It was a slow plow straight off the road at a turn, we impacted at maybe 10 mph. I deliberately braced myself backward into the seat, but then, I knew I had a 5-point harness and roll cage around me. No injuries other than sore shoulders, chest, and neck (the harnesses were probably slightly looser than they should have been, and my body yanked forward about 1/2 an inch.)

At an open track day, where your car is more likely not to have rollover protection, the speeds are higher and everything happens faster. I don't know if I'd have time to react.
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:56 PM   #11
dwx
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Speedware also makes their removable harness bar although it costs more than the autopower roll bar. I may get one next year for autox use. I'm not going to say the chances of a WRX rolling over at an autox are zero, but it's pretty close. If you are doing alot of track stuff, then you might as well just get the roll bar.

There are multiple ways that you can cinch up the stock seatbelt if that's all you are looking for. You can do the method where you tug on it before a run, or you can get it tight and then twist the end 360 degrees to keep it from retracting. I have another little thing I put the end of the belt near the tensioner to keep it from retracting.

Phil
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Old 10-28-2002, 01:07 PM   #12
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I agree with GoodFinder.

I just put the AutoPower race roll bar in my WRX on Saturday. It is easy and inexpensive, but somewhat time consuming (3 hours of pulling, pushing and gentle persuading). Two of us did it - I'm recovering from shoulder surgery and my friend is recovering from flu - how hard can it be?

I'd put my trust in a roll bar before I'd assume that I could "duck" (I can't because of my harness) or be able to hold my head close to the B pillar (I couldn't because if the car's rolling/flipping - God forbid - I'll be trying to keep my head attached to the rest of me).

I followed jamz excellent installation instructions. Except I forgot to loctite the double nut arrangement AND put those nuts on the inside of the rear wheel arch and not inside the car. I didn't realize this until after I sprayed the undercoating - whoops! I'll play it by ear and see what happens after my first session at Laguna Seca.
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Old 10-28-2002, 01:42 PM   #13
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HoRo1, you simplified a point I think you guys are missing from the EMT's quote. You are correct, you don't have time to duck. I rolled about as slowly as physically possible in my friend's truck and I didn't even have time to cuss let alone react and move my body to a safer position. Even if I was fast enough to voluntarily duck, nobody in the world is strong enough to overcome the forces of even a very slow wreck. Try bracing yourself in your buddy's car and have him hit the brakes as hard as possible to get and idea of what a wreck may remotely feel like.

What the EMT means by "ducking" is your body is forced by the roof (or ground in a convertible) out of the 3pt belt. In a static shoulder harness setup, your body can't move and what ends up giving is your neck... which snaps. Think about reaching for the glovebox in a 3pt vs shoulder harnesses. You have enough "give" left and right with a factory 3pt to get squished up in the car without turning your neck into an "L".

BTW, in my very slow roll (toyota pickup) I ended up with my head pressed against the ceiling and my body crooked in the seat. Would NOT have wanted a shoulder harness!
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Old 10-28-2002, 02:25 PM   #14
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Exactly

Hence my decision to put in a roll bar.
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Old 10-28-2002, 03:23 PM   #15
jamz
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To take this in a slightly different direction, I have had additional thoughts on the potential hazards of hearing a harness on the street. My thoughts involve not rollover protection, but rather frontal-impact protection.


In a front impact in a normal 3 point belt, the upper body is able to move forward a bit, and the right shoulder is able to rotate forward and around due to not being restrained. The head and neck will naturally snap forward during this impact, and because of the forward-leaning angle of the shoulders, would impart more of a "pulling" force on the neck. Your head and upper body then coem to rest against the airbag.

Now imagine the same crash in a tight harness- you've heard the whole Dale Earnhardt story- in that same crash, your shoulders would stay planted in the seat back, and your head would snap forward, but at a more acute angle to your upper body. (Typical basilar skull fracture thing). You would probably never even reach the airbag, depending on how close you sit to the wheel.

So I have come to the conclusion that unless you wear head and neck protection and the necessary helmet, it is more dangerous to wear a harness than not in a front impact. I've read a lot of stories about people drifting into oncoming traffic, and there is not much time to react.

Any thoughts? Am I mistaken, or overly worried?
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Old 10-28-2002, 09:25 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the responses and pictures - very helpful!
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