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Thread: Driving safely to/from the track in dual-duty track car

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    Default Driving safely to/from the track in dual-duty track car

    Hello all,
    I have an dual-duty NB1 Miata with a custom rollbar, Kirkey racing seats, 6 point Schroth harnesses, and an aftermarket steering wheel. I am planning on getting Sparco Ergo seats with a removable halos for side impact protection. The OEM 3-point belts have been removed.
    I drive the car to and from the track without a helmet/HNRS. This is a bad idea and I'm not going to do it anymore, but it has me thinking whether there is a better way to be safe in a dual-duty situation.
    At this time I can't manage a dedicated tow setup, so I'll be doing dual-duty for the forseeable future.

    The only two ideas I can think of are still compromises, but I would like to hear opinions on these and any other options.

    -Buy a rollbar that allows mounting of the OEM 3-point harnesses. Install the seatbelts and the stock airbag wheel. Use the 3-point belts for driving to/from the track.
    I know most street-oriented bars have mounts for the stock belts, though they probably don't intend to use them with racing/bucket seats.
    The disadvantage is that the OEM seatbelt geometry is now changed, and the shoulder belt will likely be tensioned against the seat rather than the body of the occupant.
    The fab shop that made my current bar told me they wouldn't make a bar with mounting tabs for the OEM harness because they didn't want that liability.

    -Use Schroth Profi II ASM 4-point on both sides and reinstall the airbag wheel. I would also get separate sub straps for the track.
    Schroth claims the ASM works with HNRS, but the efficacy is unknown/untested. Additionally, I assume this is still not safe for the street (though safer than my current setup, correct?).

    Thanks
    Last edited by scenturion; 01-13-2016 at 09:42 PM.
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    ETK
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    How safe do you need to be? I think your setup sounds pretty safe for occasional street use. Just use sfi or fia rated padding on the roll bar anywhere near your head.

    Airbag would be nice, but there were cars before there were airbags. Lots of people drive classic cars and they are not considered lunatics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ETK View Post
    How safe do you need to be? I think your setup sounds pretty safe for occasional street use. Just use sfi or fia rated padding on the roll bar anywhere near your head.

    Airbag would be nice, but there were cars before there were airbags. Lots of people drive classic cars and they are not considered lunatics.
    I am mostly concerned about basilar skull fracture if I get into an accident on the street.
    I am talking about adding back the airbag steering wheel as it is part of a complete safety system with the 3-point belt (and potentially the 4 point ASM belt). I already have SFI padding on the bar.

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    Sounds a lot like my car, everything done like that and driven to and from the track. Then it gets driven to work about once a month. I would expect a basilar fracture would be a lot harder to do without a helmet on.

    This will be the last year of this for me, plates are coming off when it gets fully caged

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    I agree what ETK said. Occasional street driving you are okay. Even better if you reinstall air bagged steering wheel.

    You didn't say, but I hope you have seat brace on those Kirky.
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    Now, if you said "this is going to be the daily driver for my 16 year old that just got her license" I think we might all consider you a lunatic. But for getting to and from the track, I don't worry that much. Heck, honestly, it's almost certainly safer than almost every motorhome out there, even the shiny 2016 models. And I just don't live a life of fear driving my motorhome, nor did I panic driving my 1982 Volvo 40 miles a day to/from work for three years.

    Sure, I was aware of it's limitations (especially no ABS) and always drove with that in mind, but I didn't worry that much. I still kinda miss that Volvo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    I agree what ETK said. Occasional street driving you are okay. Even better if you reinstall air bagged steering wheel.

    You didn't say, but I hope you have seat brace on those Kirky.
    I don't think the airbag wheel will add any additional safety with the 6 point harness. I sit pretty far from the wheel and would not think the belts would stretch 10+ inches.
    The seats are braced to the roll structure. The shop that did my safety setup is the most respected in the area, so I am confident they have it set up properly for on-track safety. I am concerned about getting on-track

    So, what do we think of switching to 4point Schroth ASM belts + sub straps? At first I thought this was a great idea, but now I'm not so certain.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that the ASM belts are just designed as a compromise to provide some stability/security on track and to prevent submarining in a situation where sub straps cannot safely be installed (like with an OEM street seat).
    Would switching to them from my 6-points and using sub straps actually add any safety? Theyre not intended to prevent basilar skull fractures, just stop submarining?

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    I would think the Schroth belts would be a great compromise, they are designed to be a 4 point harness you can use on the street and track... personally with the roll bar padded up properly for you and a passenger I think you're fine but going with the ASM belts certainly wouldn't be a bad thing... I'd contact Schroth with your concerns and questions see what they have to say

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    I don't think a 4 point ASM is going to offer much additional protection vs a 6 point. The ASM feature is just for anti-submarining. Whether it reduces likelihood of BSF is anyone's guess. One criticism of the 4 point ASM is that it's only good for one impact.

    Like Terrasmak pointed out, BSF is less likely when you don't have the weight of the helmet pulling your neck in an accident.

    You might want to look into using dual density foam padding liberally around your roll cage.

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    Thanks for the responses everyone. Good point, I'll give Schroth a call. I suspect the ASM belt won't add much but it's worth asking them.
    I have a rollbar, not a full cage, so I'm not worried about hitting the cross bars. The bar is covered in dual density 45.1 padding everywhere.

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    One other thing to consider regarding the 4 point ASM: Even if it is safer than a six point harness on the street (which i am not convinced of), it is most certainly less safe than a six point harness on the track.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ETK View Post
    One other thing to consider regarding the 4 point ASM: Even if it is safer than a six point harness on the street (which i am not convinced of), it is most certainly less safe than a six point harness on the track.
    Yeah, I was actually thinking I can get a non-ASM shoulder strap and swap them out once I arrive at the track, turning the ASM belt into a normal belt with 3" shoulder straps.

    edit: I spoke to someone at Schroth who told me that (1) ASM won't help with BSF/whiplash, (2) ASM + sub straps will be strictly less safe on the track, and (3) in my situation an ASM belt would add no safety as compared to a standard Profi II which is always worn as a 6-point.

    One other place where I discovered room for improvement is that my driver's belt has 2" shoulder straps, which shouldn't be used without a HNRS (unless you want broken collar bones). I'll replace it with a belt with 3" shoulder straps.

    edit2: Kirkey actually makes a bolt-on halo attachment for the series 47 Road Race seats, so I ordered them up rather than switching to entirely new seats. The part number is 00900S, and it's the halo portion of the kit in this picture:
    10440051f7ca96a7_medium.png
    They make a tubular version that has improved visibility and uses molded foam instead of upholstery (P/N 00900T), but they look impractically huge to fit into my Miata with my other gear.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image_187.jpeg  
    Last edited by scenturion; 01-14-2016 at 02:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scenturion View Post
    Yeah, I was actually thinking I can get a non-ASM shoulder strap and swap them out once I arrive at the track, turning the ASM belt into a normal belt with 3" shoulder straps.

    edit: I spoke to someone at Schroth who told me that (1) ASM won't help with BSF/whiplash, (2) ASM + sub straps will be strictly less safe on the track, and (3) in my situation an ASM belt would add no safety as compared to a standard Profi II which is always worn as a 6-point.

    One other place where I discovered room for improvement is that my driver's belt has 2" shoulder straps, which shouldn't be used without a HNRS (unless you want broken collar bones). I'll replace it with a belt with 3" shoulder straps.

    edit2: Kirkey actually makes a bolt-on halo attachment for the series 47 Road Race seats, so I ordered them up rather than switching to entirely new seats. The part number is 00900S, and it's the halo portion of the kit in this picture:
    Attachment 9741
    They make a tubular version that has improved visibility and uses molded foam instead of upholstery (P/N 00900T), but they look impractically huge to fit into my Miata with my other gear.

    Just make sure the HANS you use is compatible with 3" straps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superpilun View Post
    Just make sure the HANS you use is compatible with 3" straps.
    Yup. I am actually upgrading from my Sport II to a fancy new Schroth Flex SHR, though both work with 3" shoulder belts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scenturion View Post
    : Kirkey actually makes a bolt-on halo attachment for the series 47 Road Race seats, so I ordered them
    Yes that is good but the seat still bends and deforms. FIA plastic seats meet a load standard. Metal seats need to be properly supported. For example my custom Ultrashield aluminum full containment seat needs to be supported by 6 to 8 locations per manufacturer's requirement. People need reasons for the seats they select. Research the difference between halo and full containment seats. In my case I wanted full containment and proper position of my shoulder belt seat holes that a plastic seat at the time would not provide. Metal also does not expire. So custom for me was the way to go and the price was right. If cost was too much I would have bought a stock metal seat and cut the holes and welded as needed to get the shoulders where I wanted. If I did it all over again I would buy a slightly bigger stock seat, modify as needed, and poured a custom insert. The ultimate seat is really the monocoque single seater design or the current DTM integrated seat in tub design. Technology moves on....
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    Quote Originally Posted by scenturion View Post
    Yup. I am actually upgrading from my Sport II to a fancy new Schroth Flex SHR, though both work with 3" shoulder belts.
    Dang, that Flex SHR looks really nice.

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    I have a bfw gt3 6 point, Schroth Profi 6 point belts and cobra suzuka pro fia seat in my nb1. I retained the oem 3 points for driving to and from the track although I have removed the oem steering wheel for a racing typ wheel. The steering wheel is my compromise piece. Moti makes roll bars that are able to maintain the 3 point belts without issue and my 3 point functions perfectly with my seat and does not create the issues you speak of with regards to the 3 point with a racing seat.

    I drive very defensively to and from the track and wear my 3 point belt. I drive as if rear ending some one would kill me even though I feel like I could survive such an incident without much issue. I'd honestly give Moti at blackbird fabworx a call. I'm not sure which fab shop you are dealing with but the issues you note with the seat geometry are not real in my opinion. The issues with the non airbag steering wheel and a 3 point is a real issue.

    I am too tall to use the oem nb1 steering wheel so the aftermarket wheel was a must have for me to get proper knee clearance. My solution is no doubt a compromise but I have chosen to stay vigilant on the street to save my life. I'll try and get out to my garage to snap a few pictures of my setup as it stands now. I likely will be moving to a cobra evolution as I'm looking to move into a full containment seat

    One option that showed up lately is this D shaped steering wheel from motor-o-polis motor-o-polis | automotive boutique This may help you get to your ultimate goal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superpilun View Post
    Dang, that Flex SHR looks really nice.
    Agreed. It's a step in the right direction to be sure.

    But for me, forward-backward articulation is less important that horizontal movement, which this design doesn't seem to improve. I can't turn my head for sh*t when wearing my Hybrid Pro.
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    Hey guys, great thread. too bad I am late in the game; I am new to the forums. Just wanted to comment in a few things.
    I was on the same boat not too long ago. I gutted my car, installed a bolt on roll bar (5 point), race seat with halo from OMP and removable steering wheel. I am currently using a 4PT ASM profi and will be upgrading it to the 6 pt.
    I have driven the car on the street a few times since doing away with the factory seat belt and airbag steering wheel and plan in driving it to the track in a few weeks. I am hoping that my current setup offers the degree is safety required should I get in an accident at the track or street.

    One thing I read above that I did not know about is the basal fracture.. or maybe I did know but was not conscious of it. Do you folks wear a hans for track day? should this be something I invest into?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxSTI View Post
    Hey guys, great thread. too bad I am late in the game; I am new to the forums. Just wanted to comment in a few things.
    I was on the same boat not too long ago. I gutted my car, installed a bolt on roll bar (5 point), race seat with halo from OMP and removable steering wheel. I am currently using a 4PT ASM profi and will be upgrading it to the 6 pt.
    I have driven the car on the street a few times since doing away with the factory seat belt and airbag steering wheel and plan in driving it to the track in a few weeks. I am hoping that my current setup offers the degree is safety required should I get in an accident at the track or street.

    One thing I read above that I did not know about is the basal fracture.. or maybe I did know but was not conscious of it. Do you folks wear a hans for track day? should this be something I invest into?
    Yes! In fact, the 4 pt ASM is probably a safer setup for the time that you spend on the street without a hans.

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