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Old 07-08-2005, 06:45 PM   #1
mAdatee
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Subaru Banner Safety product questions.

I will soon be buying another subaru and I want my interior to be more toward the racing inspired side than comfort. Recently I have been hearing horror stories of caged cars killing their occupants in accidents less that 15 miles per hour when their head hits the metal bars.

Would it be smarter to install just the harness bar, or a full cage.

Would it be safe if I put some form of padding where it is likely that my head would hit the bar, or is there really no way to make it safe to have a cage in the car unless wearing a helmet.

Keep in mind that I do plan on attending track days and autocross events. Would like to be safe in the event of an accident on the track. But I don't want to throw the safety of my passengers away in the event of a normal traffic accident.

Input please.
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Old 07-08-2005, 07:00 PM   #2
migs76
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have you taken a look at the cg lock?

http://www.cg-lock.com/
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Old 07-08-2005, 07:20 PM   #3
mAdatee
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Does the 3point belt work with aftermarket seats?
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Old 07-08-2005, 07:36 PM   #4
eltrouble
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetrapunk0120
I will soon be buying another subaru and I want my interior to be more toward the racing inspired side than comfort. Recently I have been hearing horror stories of caged cars killing their occupants in accidents less that 15 miles per hour when their head hits the metal bars.

Would it be smarter to install just the harness bar, or a full cage.

Would it be safe if I put some form of padding where it is likely that my head would hit the bar, or is there really no way to make it safe to have a cage in the car unless wearing a helmet.

Keep in mind that I do plan on attending track days and autocross events. Would like to be safe in the event of an accident on the track. But I don't want to throw the safety of my passengers away in the event of a normal traffic accident.

Input please.
Roll cages are illegal in road cars because they do significant damage when the person hits their head against the cage...you heard correct. Although in design...they are safer than your average car, there's a reason why they work well in professional racecars...the drivers wear helmets!! And unless you're gonna wear a helmet at all times, they're quite dangerous.

If you're going to get a harness...then a harness bar is an excellent idea. Keep in mind your backseat passengers are going to become VERY agited with this bar, assuming they can fit inside. Most harnesses aren't even considered safe until you install a harness bar.

No helmet...no cage...that simple.

Also keep a fire extinguisher or two lying around in case there are fires. Many people who go out on the tracks prepare themselves for a full accident...rarely a fire. And fires do happen quite a bit, so a fire extinguisher located in a convenient place would certainly make your car 'safer' for the tracks. A good place to put them would be behind the seat...on the bottom edge of your driver floor mat, in the trunk, such and such. There's a thread here on the forums about which fire extinguishers work the best, with extremely helpful input from firefighters themselves, who know how to deal with car fires.

Harnesses work with aftermarket seats...in fact some even work with the STOCK seats. My personal recommendation would be to purchase the Schroth harnesses...which I myself plan to get. They're the only harnesses that are DOT legal, which means...you can safely wear them out on the road and be perfectly safe, be it at the tracks or on the daily commutes, and if the police harass you for the harness, you can simply tap the DOT APPROVED tag on the harness to show them.

An improperly installed harness might mean they'll completely snap off in case of an accident...which renders them useless, which is why everything else is not DOT approved, you won't have that problem with Schroths. They bolt directly to the stock mounting points, so they're perfectly fine, others (in order to be safe) have to be connected to the chassis frame.
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:26 PM   #5
Psydotek
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A harness bar is a good idea, but i'm still not completely convinced of their effectiveness in a collision or even their legality, at least here in california. I'm not saying they're a hazard, but you should do a bit of research before getting one.

I have a Schroth 3-Point harness belt in my car simply because it's the only DOT approved one on the market, well, 3 point DOT approved one that i know of. It costs 2-3x as much as a Sparco or Recaro 3-point harness, but it's street legal. Actually, they don't have a tag saying "DOT APPROVED", but rather they say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by www.soloracer.com
1. Are the Schroth Rallye line of harness belts really street legal AND how can I prove it?
Located on the plastic ASM mechanism on the inboard shoulder belt of each harness, you will see the letters/numbers "FMVSS 209". The DOT created this Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 209 and Schroth has certified that the Schroth Rallye belts meet or exceed that standard, and therefore are street legal.
There's only one major concern about using a harness belt versus a traditional seat belt and that's danger in case of a rollover. The argument alot of people use is that if your car rolls over and the roof collapses, a harness belt won't allow your body/neck or seat to bend/fold over thus holding you upright and allowing the collapsing roof to hit your head and snap your neck. The counter argument to that is that if you're in a collision that flips your car over, your OEM seatbelt will probably be locked up and would hold your body upright anyways resulting in the same thing.

Fortunately, the Impreza chassis with it's whole "ring reinforced chassis" has proven to be pretty robust in accidents and i think the benefits of having a harness belt outweigh any disadvantages (which is why i use mine everyday).

The only other thing to consider with using a harness belt is that by not having the OEM seatbelt attached to the OEM buckle, the car will think you're not wearing a seatbelt and if you're in an accident where the airbags deploy, they will deploy alot faster and more violently. Here's a good option that uses the OEM seatbelt buckle to prevent this: http://soloracer.com/wrxstirallye4.html

Here's mine:


Last edited by Psydotek; 07-08-2005 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 07-09-2005, 07:25 AM   #6
JnJassociates
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A rollbar with the proper installed padding is safe on the street. In fact it may save you and your car in an accident. As long as it is properly installed. Most properly installed/designed roll bars are not cheap. They really wind up being cages...

A safety harness sucks on the street plain and simple. It can be dangerous as most people do not install them correctly... It can cause you to submerge on a hard impact, dislocate your shoulder and increase the chance of neck injury. If it is not installed correctly, it is dangerous. Period.

Not to mention the lack of comfort for your passengers...

If all you are doing is just a few track days and autocross, the CG Lock works great.

Easy to install, does not affect how your seatbelt works and inexpensive when compared to a proper harness.

As a vendor we do offer the CG Lock at a substanial savings over other vendors...

We also offer Bell/Pyrotect harness's...

We steer people to the CG Lock for those who want to autocross/track their car a few times a year...

We steer people to the harness when they are building a dedicated track car...

Bryan
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Old 07-09-2005, 11:38 AM   #7
mAdatee
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Thanks or all of your imput! From the sound of things, the schroth harness is the smartest safety product... I didn't even concider fire extinguishers, thanks for keying me in. Now it's time to search for stuff on the schroth harness. Again, thanks!
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Old 07-09-2005, 03:51 PM   #8
Psydotek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JnJassociates
...A safety harness sucks on the street plain and simple. It can be dangerous as most people do not install them correctly... It can cause you to submerge on a hard impact, dislocate your shoulder and increase the chance of neck injury. If it is not installed correctly, it is dangerous. Period....
It's true. The two biggest mistakes people make when using a harness include mounting the tail strap at too low an angle and not wearing it properly. The tail strap should not be mounted lower than a 45 degree angle from where it comes over the seat. Best places are to use the stock mounting bolts for the rear seatbelts, preferably using the highest ones possible. Also, if you're going to use a harness, you need to wear it tight all the time, every time. It's not the most comfortable thing, but if it's going to work properly in a collision, it needs to be tight (not so tight you can't breathe, but you can't have any slack in the straps). Always tighten the waist straps first, then the shoulder straps. If you do the shoulder straps first, it'll pull up too much on the waist strap which will alow you to submarine under the harness in a collision. Plus you gotta sit up straight when you wear it. No slouching down, leaning back, hanging over to the side "gangsta style", etc...
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