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Thread: Harness for road and track

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NYC
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    5,128

    Default Harness for road and track

    There are a quite few studies out there, with some conflicting results, including some that are self serving “marketing studies”.

    From reading them over time, my observations:

    - it depends on what car you are driving
    - legally we should not be using harnesses on the street. We should be using DOT three pointers. These give a little in an impact and therefore presumably ease the trauma on your neck being flung forward.
    - harnesses hold you firmly and so the head is pretty much the only thing fling forward in an impact situation. The example is Dale Earnhardt. He died from neck injuries using a harness but no Hans.
    - however, we are driving sevens so if we have a heavy impact (+45mph) then we should remember the driver is the airbag installed in the crumple zone. Neck injuries may be the least of our problems when we use a harness. A harness may be preferable to the DOT 3 pointers, especially if the car rolls.
    - so it depends on a lot of variables.
    - Hans was designed specifically for a 3 inch harness. So it makes sense a Hans is not recommended for a 2 inch harness.
    - in most states it is illegal to wear a helmet on the street so you cannot use a Hans. It is in NJ, ask me how I know.
    - just to make it more complex, at one point Caterham were recommending you not use 3 inch harnesses without chassis mount modifications (need to move the shoulder mounts out to give parallel upper belt alignment). At another time there was guidance on not using Hans for the same reason. Not sure that still applies as I have not checked in a while.
    - Hans is not the only restraint out there. Simpson have some very good options plus there are others. Each has their own requirements as to belts.

    I bet I have listed something which is contradicted by one study somewhere, illustrating the difficulties in getting clear guidance on something like a Seven.

    It’s complicated and I am not sure there is a clear cut path to the right decision (at least not to my mind). It is good that we think through the topic and make our own educated decisions. I think it is good you raised the topic for discussion.

    So we all have to apply our judgement to assess the compromises needed to make a decision on our own safety equipment.

    Sevens are immensely strong vehicles and I really like the idea of relying on active safety to keep out of danger.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration finished - track set up time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A (suspension restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (suspension set up)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (radiator replacement)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (dyno time)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic
    and another project car coming....

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    177

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SanderGA View Post
    I got the Caterham Schroth belts directly from Caterham. They are Schroth Formula 2X2. Six point harnesses. Two inch shoulder straps with pull down tighteners. I believe Caterham throws in the necessary 7 specific hardware. Key thing to know is that the crotch straps do not have male fasteners that plug into the cam lock. Instead, they have loops. The loop on the end of each crotch strap goes through a loop on the end of each lap strap. The shoulder strap goes through the loop on the end of the crotch strap and is then inserted into the cam buckle. Be aware of this feature/flaw before you buy them. I would much prefer a metal tab to insert into the cam lock over the loops as it would be easier to deal with.

    Mine are labeled as FIA certified through 2025.

    Here's the link.
    Interesting. I have the four-point harness that came with the kit, and just received the crutch straps to make six points. Unfortunately they are not FIA labeled, but one would hope that the differ from the manufacturer's (Luke) version only by that label. These have the tab for inserting into the cam lock.
    Greg

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    177

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Croc View Post
    There are a quite few studies out there, with some conflicting results, including some that are self serving “marketing studies”.

    From reading them over time, my observations:

    - it depends on what car you are driving
    - legally we should not be using harnesses on the street. We should be using DOT three pointers. These give a little in an impact and therefore presumably ease the trauma on your neck being flung forward.
    - harnesses hold you firmly and so the head is pretty much the only thing fling forward in an impact situation. The example is Dale Earnhardt. He died from neck injuries using a harness but no Hans.
    - however, we are driving sevens so if we have a heavy impact (+45mph) then we should remember the driver is the airbag installed in the crumple zone. Neck injuries may be the least of our problems when we use a harness. A harness may be preferable to the DOT 3 pointers, especially if the car rolls.
    - so it depends on a lot of variables.
    - Hans was designed specifically for a 3 inch harness. So it makes sense a Hans is not recommended for a 2 inch harness.
    - in most states it is illegal to wear a helmet on the street so you cannot use a Hans. It is in NJ, ask me how I know.
    - just to make it more complex, at one point Caterham were recommending you not use 3 inch harnesses without chassis mount modifications (need to move the shoulder mounts out to give parallel upper belt alignment). At another time there was guidance on not using Hans for the same reason. Not sure that still applies as I have not checked in a while.
    - Hans is not the only restraint out there. Simpson have some very good options plus there are others. Each has their own requirements as to belts.

    I bet I have listed something which is contradicted by one study somewhere, illustrating the difficulties in getting clear guidance on something like a Seven.

    It’s complicated and I am not sure there is a clear cut path to the right decision (at least not to my mind). It is good that we think through the topic and make our own educated decisions. I think it is good you raised the topic for discussion.

    So we all have to apply our judgement to assess the compromises needed to make a decision on our own safety equipment.

    Sevens are immensely strong vehicles and I really like the idea of relying on active safety to keep out of danger.
    Thanks Mike, this is a topic I've been looking into of late primarily because the four-point doesn't fit my petite wife as tight as I would like so I was debating replacing with the three point or adding crutch straps. I know the latter must feel like a silly overkill for road use, but the composite seats are slick and I'm more concerned about her slipping under than other (horrible) alternatives so opted for the six points. I still need to deal with the sloppy fit of the shoulder straps, so if anyone has any great ideas I'm all ears. Perhaps just adding padding to the straps, or maybe putting the passenger seat on the adjustable rails like the driver side so she can move a little forward and take up the slack?
    Greg

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    5,128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokey View Post
    Perhaps just adding padding to the straps, or maybe putting the passenger seat on the adjustable rails like the driver side so she can move a little forward and take up the slack?
    I like that idea of the seat being on tracks. Also, you can buy shoulder pads for the belts - a bunch of places sell them, I just picked the first search item to link.

    https://www.demon-tweeks.com/us/cate...s-pads-241857/


    However, the tillets are slippery and even I find I slip with a 4 point belt using them. A crutch strap really is the only way to stop the submarining problem.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration finished - track set up time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A (suspension restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (suspension set up)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (radiator replacement)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (dyno time)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic
    and another project car coming....

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    8

    Default

    How are you all running the crutch straps on standard cloth Caterham seats with no cut out in the seat? Do you have to modify the seat or are you sitting on the belts? Did you install new anchors for the crutch strap or run them to the lap belt anchors? I know a nice set of carbon Tillets would fix this problem but sadly those will remain on the wish list.
    -Justin

    2005 Caterham SV Zetec SVT
    1968 Datsun 2000 Roadster Comp Package
    1977 Datsun 280z RB25DET
    1974 Datsun 260z (SOLD)

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    5,128

    Default Harness for road and track

    Sit on belts. The seat base lifts up, pull the belts through and replace base. No seat mods needed. I used this way for years without an issue.

    Crutch belts should be bolted to chassis frame at rear firewall. Not the same mount points as the lap belts.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration finished - track set up time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A (suspension restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (suspension set up)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (radiator replacement)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (dyno time)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic
    and another project car coming....

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    566

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Croc View Post
    Crutch belts should be bolted to chassis frame at rear firewall. Not the same mount points as the lap belts.
    Just a note (so as not to confuse someone and probably doesn't apply to @DatsunBRZ), if using the formula type 6 point belts, the anti-sub belts can be mounted on the same location the lap belts. In my S2, I sit in more of a reclined position (partially to get my helmet under the roll bar) and run the formula style belts mount where the lap belts. I also run 2" shoulder harnesses and Croc's conclusions are the exact ones I've come to.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    143

    Default

    Same way I use the crutch (crotch?) straps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Croc View Post
    Sit on belts. The seat base lifts up, pull the belts through and replace base. No seat mods needed. I used this way for years without an issue.

    Crutch belts should be bolted to chassis frame at rear firewall. Not the same mount points as the lap belts.
    1997 Caterham, BDA
    1991 Miata, supercharged
    2017 VW GTI

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueBDA View Post
    Do you drive on the street? I believe 2" shoulder belts are not recommended to be used without a HANS device.
    It's a 1,300 pound, 30 inch high, 200+ hp car without airbags, doors a roof or NHTSA safety testing in a world full of 5,000 pound SUVs. Whether the shoulder straps are two inches wide or three inches wide is well down my list of concerns. In fact, I can't even say it's on my list of concerns.
    Last edited by SanderGA; 08-26-2020 at 03:39 PM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pokey View Post
    Interesting. I have the four-point harness that came with the kit, and just received the crutch straps to make six points. Unfortunately they are not FIA labeled, but one would hope that the differ from the manufacturer's (Luke) version only by that label. These have the tab for inserting into the cam lock.
    My car has the set-up you described. I believe the Luke/Caterham four points were added around 2008 and the original owner added the crotch strap later. The crotch strap is clearly newer than the four-point harness. That set does have an expiration date which is around 2012 as I recall. I'm replacing them because I want a set with a current date and the old ones are pretty oily and will deposit oily dirt on anything I'm wearing when I strap in.

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