:. Projects/Mods .:. Autopower Rollbar, Simpson Harness, OMP RS Seat .:
Rollbar Install |
Harness Install |
Seat install |
As your car gets more and more modified, safety starts to become more and more of an issue. As soon as your car runs faster than 11.99, drag strips usually require you to have a roll cage in your car. If you do any kinds of open track days, then the added security - mental and actual - of a good rollbar is hard to deny.
For those that do a lot of driving that involves turning the steering wheel, having a harness to properly hold you in place is extremely important. Being firmly planted in your seat, rather than gripping the steering wheel with a death grip will lead to lower lap times for certain. Additionally, with a rollbar in place, it will keep you planted in your seat should the car fail to keep the shiny side up.
The last piece of the safety puzzle is the seats. Stock DSM seats are atrocious. They offer horrible lumbar support, hardly any lateral support, they weigh a ton (40-50lbs each, up to 80 for 2g power seats), and on 1g's, they don't even have the good grace to provide holes for a harness to be fed through. A good aftermarket seat will be stronger, more comfortable, lighter, and will provide pass-throughs for a harness. The lightest models are as little as 10-15 pounds!
As such, in this VFAQ, I'll take you through what I did to solve all of these problems.
First let me go through a few implications of changing all of these parts.
First, the rollbar. While the bar greatly increases the safety of your car if you happen to roll it over while racing, it can be a bit of a liability on the street. First and foremost, from now on, your DSM is a 2-seater. In the event of a crash, large metal pipes in front of your rear passengers would be extremely dangerous. If you have a six-point cage (either drag-race style or full SCCA style), then you will need to pad the rollbar with padding available to prevent from cracking your head open on the bars in the event of a crash.
Second is the harness. Again, the harness does a great job holding you in place when racing, but if you manage to pile it up, then the very fact that you're being held in so tightly can become a liability. If you are strapped into your seat unmoving, and don't have a rollbar to protect you in the event of a rollover, your head just became the highest point of the car, and you can't go anywhere. Bad. If you don't have a rollbar, then you do NOT want a full 5-point harness. Stick with a 4 or 3-point that will allow you to "submarine" under in that kind of wreck.
Mounting of the harness is critical. The shoulder straps are not supposed to make greater than a certain angle relative to horizontal when mounted in the car. The reason for this is that certain kinds of wrecks can lead to the belts pulling the shoulder straps down, squishing you down into your seat. This will lead to what are called spinal compression injuries. This is why mounting the straps directly to the rollbar is such an elegant solution.
I'm never sure if this is something I need to mention, but I take no responsibility of any kind of you read this VFAQ and then go get yourself injured or killed. This is informational only, etc etc blah blah.
OK - enough of that. On to the rollbar install.