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Old 10-19-2012, 06:36 PM
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Best value in 5 point harness?

Hey everyone, I'm thinking of replacing my 4 point harness with a 5 point. This is a street/strip Hot Rod 58 Chevy PU. I want to go with the best value approved belt. So let me know your thoughts on brands or styles and brands to stay away from.

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Old 10-20-2012, 03:46 AM
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loose the word value..
good ones are not cheap..
whats more important your safety of saving a few bucks..
unless it's only going to be for "looks"
in that case you should be able to find tons of out of date belts
if you feel you need them... for safety... then value isn't a reason..


simson is one...
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:59 AM
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Actually I chose the word value very carefully. At no time did I say cheap.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:23 PM
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SFI rated is the standard. Inexpensive belts pass the same SFI tests as the expensive ones. The difference in price is usually in the latch and the ease of having the belts re certified rather than buy new again in two years. I would be more concerned with properly mounting the belts to the manuf specs than the brand. If you are going to wear gloves, make sure the latch is easy to operate with the gloves on.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:31 PM
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I've always used RJS, but they're not the least expensive by far. G-Force is SFI-1.6 rated and will pass all tech for about half the price of RJS or Simpson.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:50 PM
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Going from 4-point to 5-point is simply adding a crotch strap. Mount the belt directly under your gonads or further back in the car. Further forward will not pass tech (not if I were teching it anyway). The main purpose of a crotch strap is to keep the lap belts in place at your hips. The sport of drag racing has had fatalities from the belts riding up on the driver's body. I remember one "incident" where the driver's aorta was torn from his heart.

SFI-approved belts are not required until 11.49 on the drag strip. 11.50 and slower can use OEM belts, even if they're 40 years old. Here's info from SFI that shows near total disintegration by year 2 on 16.1 belts. It is the ozone in the atmosphere that reduces the material to junk.
http://www.sfifoundation.com/seatbelt.html

.

Last edited by techinspector1; 10-21-2012 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:54 AM
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The fifth belt just needs to be back from the leading edge of the seat to pass tech. How far back from the leading edge doesn't matter, as that edge determines where it sits.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 1971BB427 View Post
The fifth belt just needs to be back from the leading edge of the seat to pass tech. How far back from the leading edge doesn't matter, as that edge determines where it sits.
Under no circumstances should the 5th belt (or crotch belt) go around the front of the seat! If tech in any series passes that, they are a joke. There needs to be a hole or oval cut in the seat bottom so the belt can attach to a tube or floor mount directly under the seat belt latch (or just a little back, as stated earlier).

If you go around the front of the seat, it tries to pull the lap belts away from your hips, which is backwards. The seat can also tear the belt. Lastly, the seats are not strong enough anyway.

Try flipping a sprinter with the belts like that...if you're still around, you've learned real quick how not to to a crotch belt. I've seen aluminum race seats with the bottom folded up after a crash, due to the belt going around the front edge. The shoulder belts mainly hold your torso back, and shouldn't be pulling you down too much.

Remember, the lap belts are what hold your butt down and back into the seat. A good crotch belt is part of the equation and has to have a good direct downward pull thru the seat so that when you pull the shoulder belts tight, the lap belts aren't pulled up, and your butt can't slide out from under in a headon crash.

No safety tech guy here, just a seasoned sprint car racer that's had a couple hard wrecks...
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971BB427 View Post
The fifth belt just needs to be back from the leading edge of the seat to pass tech. How far back from the leading edge doesn't matter, as that edge determines where it sits.
This is bad information. The attaching point for the crotch strap must be at or behind a line drawn down the middle of the driver's body and intersecting at the floor. I have always told racers if they just mount it right under their gonads, or anywhere rear of that point, they'll be legal. If the belt doesn't hug your private parts, you can submarine out of the lap belts and it gets ugly in a hurry. Adam65 has a handle on the correct way to do it.

I have seen racers using a seat with the pass-through for the crotch strap. They mount the belt out in front of the seat, run the belt under the seat and up through the pass-through. This arrangement WILL NOT pass tech at Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix because I taught the entire tech crew there over the past 20 years.
In an incident, the belt will easily tear through a glass seat and you're sitting there with a loose crotch strap when she goes over again. BAD JUJU.

Last edited by techinspector1; 10-22-2012 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
This is bad information. The attaching point for the crotch strap must be at or behind a line drawn down the middle of the driver's body and intersecting at the floor. I have always told racers if they just mount it right under their gonads, or anywhere rear of that point, they'll be legal. If the belt doesn't hug your private parts, you can submarine out of the lap belts and it gets ugly in a hurry. Adam65 has a handle on the correct way to do it.

I have seen racers using a seat with the pass-through for the crotch strap. They mount the belt out in front of the seat, run the belt under the seat and up through the pass-through. This arrangement WILL NOT pass tech at Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix because I taught the entire tech crew there over the past 20 years.
In an incident, the belt will easily tear through a glass seat and you're sitting there with a loose crotch strap when she goes over again. BAD JUJU.
Seriously?!?!? Amazing... That's just as bad, or worse, than around the front edge!
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:49 AM
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I will never cease to be amazed that people will go to any lengths necessary it seems to try to GET AROUND passing tech; and complaining about rules that are there to SAVE YOUR LIFE.

Find the tech info for the class that fits your truck the closest; and use a belt that meets A) the SFI requirement and B) your budgetary constraints.

Also, you might want to look at different types of locks, and find the one that is easiest for you to operate, suited up, blindfolded. If you intend to have a passenger in the same setup, make sure that you both know how to get the other one OUT of the harness. Also make sure everyone involved knows how snug these harnesses are supposed to be. If the 'crotch strap' is NOT snug and your beanbag slides into it at 70mph...well you might survive, but your wife may wish you hadn't LOL. People forget that objects in your car are moving just as fast as the car. when that car stops (say a Tbone at a stopsign), everything in there is still moving as fast as the car was. I got hit in the back of the head by a tissuebox that was on the rear package shelf in an accident at 55mph. It hurt like hell!
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam65 View Post
Seriously?!?!? Amazing... That's just as bad, or worse, than around the front edge!
You think that's nuts? I used to walk the staging lanes when the cars were firing to make their pass and find crotch straps laying loose on the floor of the car. This was usually in Super Gas and Super Comp doorslammers. You can mandate all the rules you want to, but unless the drivers use the equipment properly, it's a moot point.

AutoGear makes a good point of getting out of the belts blindfolded. That test is part of the licensing procedure for a 9.99 and quicker license. You put the driver in the car, completely suited up, just like he is going to make a pass. You blindfold him and have 2 or 3 other tech guys shake the car side to side for the first few seconds, like he is off the end of the track and going through the rough stuff. This shaking completely flubbers some drivers who have no idea that it's going to happen because he's been practicing at home, where the car is perfectly still. "Perfectly still" doesn't happen in the first few seconds of an incident. He has 30 seconds to reach and touch the electrical shutoff, touch the 'chute release, get out of the belts and then get out of the car, still blindfolded. The reason for the blindfold is that the car is on fire and full of smoke, so the driver can see nothing at all. It's called a "cockpit orientation" test.

Setting up the angles and proper mounting of the belt system is so foreign to most builders that when I used to encounter a "textbook" installation in the tech lanes at a race, I'd call all the other tech guys over to look at it. The car owners/builders used to grin from ear to ear. Way cool.

Last edited by techinspector1; 10-22-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:20 PM
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Here's the rules for NHRA. The 5 point is not alwyas used with a race seat, but if it is used it would follow that it be run through the proper hole, or it wont meet the requirement that says the equipment must be used as designed.
If used with a stock seat the belts must use the factory mounting points, unless the car is quick enough to require a cage, and then the belts must be attached to the cage or frame of the car.
I have no idea what sprint racing requires, so my answer applied to NHRA rules. Once the crotch belt is behind the front of the seat, (or hole in the seat) how does mounting it any farther back change anything? If it's back a couple inches, or a couple feet, does that change the front edge of the seat, or the hole in the seat for racing seats?
As you can see the rules don't even mention race seats, as all classes don't require them. Some don't even require harnesses. And you can't simply add a 5th strap. The harness system must be built for 5 and it must be compatible with your harness and the same brand.

And this from the NHRA rulebook:
"Cars using original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or an OEM-type seat can course their crotch strap in front of the seat instead of through the seat."

Driver Restraint Systems
A quick-release, 3-inch shoulder harness meeting SFI Spec 16.1, including crotch strap, is mandatory in all
cars in competition required by the rules to have a roll bar or a roll cage. Driver restraint system must be
clearly labeled as meeting SFI Spec 16.1 and be dated by manufacturer. System must be updated at two-year
intervals from date of manufacture. All seat belt and shoulder harness installations must be mutually
compatible, originally designed to be used with each other, and produced by the same manufacturer. Cars
using OEM or OEM type seat may route crotch strap in front of seat instead of through seat. Only those units
that release all five attachment points in one motion are permitted. When arm restraints are worn with a
restraint system that utilizes a "latch lever", a protective cover must be installed to prevent arm restraint
from accidentally releasing the latch lever. Protective cover not needed if system uses "duckbill" latch
hardware. All harness sections must be mounted to the frame, crossmember, or reinforced mounting, and
installed to limit driver's body travel both upward and forward. Seat belts may not be wrapped around lower
frame rails. Under no circumstances are bolts inserted through belt webbing permitted for mounting. Check
manufacturers instructions.

Last edited by 1971BB427; 10-22-2012 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:20 PM
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1971BB427, what you wrote in post #13 differs considerably from what you wrote in post #7.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971BB427 View Post
Once the crotch belt is behind the front of the seat, (or hole in the seat) how does mounting it any farther back change anything? If it's back a couple inches, or a couple feet, does that change the front edge of the seat, or the hole in the seat for racing seats?
You still don't understand the geometry and dynamics involved. Again, the whole idea of the crotch strap is to prevent the lap belts from pulling up on the driver's body and having the driver "submarine" under the lap belts, where the aorta can be ripped from the driver's heart on the next hit. If the mounting of the crotch strap is TOO FAR FORWARD, like forward of the centerline of the driver's body as I explained above, it will not prevent the driver from submarining under the lap belts.

I'm done here, go argue with someone else.
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