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Race Seat Project (308)

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by enjoythemusic, May 26, 2004.

  1. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
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    HEW, what a long day. Included two trips to the hardware store (various bolts/nuts/etc) and one to Home Depot (for DeWalt electric drill, tired of running out of battery power).

    First pic is with seat out

    Second and third pic is Sparco seat in driver, stock passenger.

    Basically, i sit at a nice incline and about 1 inch higher. There is still a touch of headroom with the roof on (i am 5' 11"). While not pictured, have the roll bar done and the shoulder harnesses all mounted to it. All i need to do tomorrow is mount the passenger seat and bolt up the roll bar and i am done. Must admit, you really need to be a contortionist to get the seat in. It is better to leave ALL seat bolts loose during fitting.

    IMPORTANT: attach the innermost seat bracket to the car first, then mount the seat (with door side bracket already on the seat, yet with screws loose). The "trick" is getting the innermost side seat screws tight and also the innermost rear bottom bolt tight to the frame. i customized a hex wrench to make the shorter part of the "L" very short. i have more pics and will write a full description after the first of the month.

    As for feel, a brief drive with the lap belts and WOW, i will NEVER go back to those stock seats! More descriptions to come once i get everything mounted tomorrow.
     
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  3. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    Looks terrific!
    I'm sure sitting a bit higher is interesting.

    Did the stock seat mounting points work on the Sparco rails?

    Great job!!
    rt
     
  4. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Great question. The answer is... YES!!!! A-friggen-amazingly so the stock OMP short seat side mounts ( 730 Side-Mount low-rise) were PERFECT. i swear this is the part i sweated the most!!! The bolts just all lined up and that was that. A MIRACLE!!!!

    The car looks MUCH better with both race seats inside of her, yet posted the one with each as comparison. Siting higher seems to give me an easier reach to fourth gear and also more steering leverage.
     
  5. zebra308

    zebra308 Formula 3

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    Hey Steve,
    What color belts are you going to use and how are you going to secure them?
    BTW, It looks great!
    Will
     
  6. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Will,

    Schroth Profi-II asm belts (DOT legal) in black. My European friends gave me great information (privately) about many things including installing a roll bar to each of the shoulder harness bolt points. Therefore am using ALL the stock/existing points for bolt/lap belt attachment while the shoulder harnesses will attach to the roll bar.

    NOTE: During this project am using as much Grade 12+ i can, with "standard" Grade 8.8 when i can not locate better. i REFUSE to reduce ANY safety factor and, in fact, the car is more solid and uses better than stock bits now. THIS IS MY LIFE AND SAFETY (and the safety of others), SO DO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY!!!
     
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  8. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    All done, too tired to write an article but here are a few pics. As for how it all feels... GREAT! For once i am enjoying driving and not being tossed about in the seat. This allows more of my efforts to be for driving.
     
  9. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    GTS, right?

    How do you get the targa top behind those seats?
     
  10. cavallo_nero

    cavallo_nero Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
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    Wow, looks great. those seats give the car more aggressive character. Are you still groovin on the new suspension??? i cant imagine lowering my euro anymore with the deep chin spoiler - do you bottom out the spoiler more often now??? someday, i would like to update my suspension as you did.
    My 78 is a euro also, and i notice you have the vitaloni baby turbo mirrors. i just ditched mine (they would never stay put over 100mph - talk about a safety compromise), and have replaced with vitaloni californian mirrors - they work great and stay put because the mirror is adjusted inside the housing instead of adjusting the whole housing. keep up the mods, sure is fun..
    john
     
  11. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Storing the top? Top? Badges?? We don't need no stinkin' badges ;-)

    i never take the top with me (nor the spare tire). She is either on or off (and in the garage). With the engine sounding so glorious, why use a top at all??? And no, we really never get FAST rain shower here so i am fortunate. If this was Florida, carrying a top just in case would be a good idea.
     
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  13. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
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    Sep 25, 2002
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    Very nice, it looks wonderful!
     
  14. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Have not bottomed out as the front lip is 3.75 inches off the ground. Am NOT overly careful, yet i do keep an eve out. The front chin spoiler was ALSO fully restored during the suspension upgrade. As for the mirrors, mine seem fine. i DID lighten all the bolts and whatnot i could then i replaced the enamel Prancing Horse on them a bit ago. Actually what i HATED about the mirrors is that, with stock seats, could NEVER get them angled as i liked. With the new Sparco seats the mirrors are PERFECTLY adjustable as i like due to a different driver angle. BTW: my mirrors are electrically adjustable from the inside, were yours??

    In fact the arm rest now actually feels comfortable too with the new seats, while with the old seats they seemed too high.

    This whole project has been nothing but smiles and magically other bits have wonderfully fallen into place.
     
  15. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
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    The seats look great!

    Red flag on the shoulder harnesses though......it looks great and I just want to apologize right now for making any negative comment, but based on your previous statement, I thought you would want to know. So, speaking as a mechanical engineer, I believe you have severely compromised the strength of the shoulder harness design. In the original design the shoulder strap is bolted to a very short spacer, about 5mm tall and 10+mm dia if I recall. So the load on the on the bolt is the shear of the belt pulling plus the bending because of the height and diameter or the spacer. You have increased the height by a factor of 5 which increase the load by a factor of 5, then you decrease the bearing diameter...it looks like it’s about 2/3 or what it was, but that is a D^4 relationship so that increase load by a factor of 5 as well. So the bolt is now seeing about 25 times the bending load it was originally designed for. I recommend you replace the nuts that you are using as spacers with a spacer that is the largest diameter that will fit and contact anything solid under it. Also moving the harness mounting tabs to the bottom side of you bar will make a big difference. With those 2 changes, you will be back very close to the original strength and if you go up to the grade 12 bolt, you will probably match the original design strength
     
  16. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
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    They do look great and Im sold but I wish I sat lower not higher. Im 6'2" and already bump my head going over dips in the road and being a GTB, head room with a helmet will be a problem. Can I get lower ones from sparco?
     
  17. ASG 86TR

    ASG 86TR Formula 3

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    I put red Sparco's in my TR a year ago and also put red 5 point Sabelt's. I have to take photo's to post, but they look and feel great on the track.
     
  18. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    mike,

    Great info! Debated mounting the harnesses with the bolts the other way around (nuts on top) and the belt on the bottom. This would also allow me to use a shorter. lower height bolt on the frame connecting parts as well. i have all the necessary hardware here and may do as you suggested shortly. It makes sense so yes, will do it shortly.
     
  19. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Newman,

    It is the mounting bracket that hinders being lower and ALSO the ability to get to the lowermost screws to attach the seat to the car. This is the advantage of a seat on sliding rails is that the seat can slide away from the bolt hole to be mounted. With a setup like this, there is NO movement in ANY direction once the seat is secured.

    PS: No one seemed to have grade 12 bolts in that size :( Perhaps i should find them on the web and order the proper lengths. Hmm, that sounds like a good plan :)
     
  20. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Photos please :)
     
  21. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Mike,

    Took your advice to heart and as someone who is VERY retentitve about security and safety...

    Does this look better?
    And yes, those are Grade 12 locking nuts. i found those at the hardware store and the guy said someone specially ordered them but never came to pick them up... so i got four :)
     
  22. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
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    Steve,

    We do not want you to die especially moving at driving event speeds that can be north of 100mph. I'm not safety expert but I do tech inspection for a race group. Did you have a pro look over your setup on the belts? There is more to grade 12 and safety. Your system has to be engineered as a system. You cannot add one new thing in without potentially upsetting something else. I may be totally lost but... 1) I have never seen anyone use square tube stock for a harness bar. What is the bar made out of and how thick is the wall? The correct stock is DOM tubing of a minimum thickness 2) I have never seen anyone drill harness anchor holes in a supporting harness bar (tube). You have severely weakened the squar tube and square tube by design can't take the bending forces as well as round tube of same material and thickness. Tabs are welded to the tube to house the harness. 3) the OEM shoulder design does not put as much load on the anchor points as you have introduced into the system. Because: a) side impacts effect both anchor points and are subject to failure, b) unknown torques onto the anchor points relative to your harness attachment points, c) proper harness bar design would use a "foot" welded to the dom tube so that you do not apply bending forces to the fastener. The fastener should have a grip section for shear that goes against the foot. d) really your harness bar should be at least supported in the middle of its long span but that means more holes in your car. Also, your seat is an integral part of your safety system. It must be properly bolted to the seat rails and rails to the car. Again the bolts should have a appropriote length grip section for shear and proper grading. I assume you did that. Finally I only see 4 points to your harness. Perhaps this is beacuse it is dot legal. Anyway for higher speeds I think 5 points is a minimum. You need the anti submarine but only do this if you are running a 4 point roll bar too. Perhaps the 4 point is dot legal because there is desinged into the unit slop so you can slop around on impact. There are reasons you need slop and reason you don't want slop depending on your safety system.
    To do this kind of modification you have to ask yourself what is the purpose and then build your system. Those seat look cool by the way.
     
  23. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    fatbillybob,

    TRULY appreciate everyone's help here. i truly do.

    >>>Did you have a pro look over your setup on the belts?<<<

    Not yet, am using the help of the pros here for now. Once i feel things are set i can get a pro in to look-see.



    >>>There is more to grade 12 and safety. Your system has to be engineered as a system. You cannot add one new thing in without potentially upsetting something else.<<<

    Agreed my friend.


    >>I may be totally lost but... 1) I have never seen anyone use square tube stock for a harness bar. What is the bar made out of and how thick is the wall?<<<

    Perhaps Europe is a bit different, yet this is what a few folks there have done. The thickness of the tube is .120 (gauge 11).

    >>>...really your harness bar should be at least supported in the middle of its long span but that means more holes in your car.<<<

    That is "easily" done.


    >>>Also, your seat is an integral part of your safety system. It must be properly bolted to the seat rails and rails to the car. Again the bolts should have a appropriate length grip section for shear and proper grading. I assume you did that.<<<

    Yes, correct. Used an OMP seat mount and the bottom of the seat bracket bolts directly to the cars stock locations.



    >>>Finally I only see 4 points to your harness. Perhaps this is because it is dot legal. Anyway for higher speeds I think 5 points is a minimum....<<<

    There is a fifth point (eye bolt), yet for DOT it is not mandatory. This way it needs not be hooked up all the time and the strap is not dangling about when not being employed. The reason i went with Schroth is for their reputation and "asm" technology. This technology reduces submarining and also reduces the speed of impact forces in a controlled manner (by 30% according to Schroth).

    So yes, i really do care about safety and not just going with what is popular or "in vogue". Thanks again as ALL help is ALWAYS appreciated.
     
  24. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
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    Steven, I like your avatar, nice job.

    On a grim note, after taking my 308 apart I realize no matter how well Im belted in, Ill be turned to mush in an accident. The car simply wont protect you in a frontal collision at any reasonable speed. The car is too low, no structure inside the fenders, fiberglass firewall and so on. A Euro car is even worse and Im not just talking about the bumpers. I accept that fact and just hope I never crash.
     
  25. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Newman,

    You make a good point... and one i was not going to mention, but... Frankly i am not overly impressed with the full safety of the car. As i have been restoring her i can see various things that, well... you know what i am going to say.

    In fact have NEVER had full faith in the stock seats/belts and why i have ben moaning about them. While my current system might not be perfect, IMHO it is MUCH better than stock. The stock shoulder belts feel lackluster (at best), though this could be due to the age of the hardware and mesh. Seat belt mesh has a certain lifespan and have a feeling these 20+ year old units are FAR from their prime. What would amaze me is if those conducting tech inspection for track would allow these old belts to pass. SFI allows only 2 years from manufacturer on race belts (!) and FIA is five as best i can recall. And this is with modern race harnesses, not 20+ year old belts/technology.

    Food for thought folks.
     
  26. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    fatbillybob,

    FYI: From Schroth's website:

    The patented SCHROTH asm® system offers a unique safety advantage for 4-point harnesses. asm® is the acronym for anti submarining. The risk of submarining (sliding underneath the lap belt), a well known phenomenon during frontal impacts, is significantly reduced by the asm® safety system. The energy converter is located in the inboard shoulder belt. Therefore make sure you purchase left and/or right harnesses. Severe injuries or death are possible using 4-point harnesses without the SCHROTH asm® safety system or an anti-sub strap. SCHROTH harnesses designed for use on public roads (FE models) or those likely to be used as 4-points come with the asm® safety system. The performance of the SCHROTH asm® safety system has also been tested in conjunction with airbags. However newly developed Head And Neck Supports (HANS) further reduce head deceleration and neck bending. The asm® system is not compatible with such devices. Therefore all SCHROTH models likely to be used with such additional devices come without the asm® system. SCHROTH recommends the HANS use with a SCHROTH HANS compatible restraint (H-indicated models). Non-asm® racing harnesses must always be worn with the anti-sub strap!
     
  27. ASG 86TR

    ASG 86TR Formula 3

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    #24 ASG 86TR, May 28, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I removed the stock seats and put them in storage. I also removed the sliders and mounted the seats directly to the frame mounts that the sliders were attached to. While the seats do not move, I am the only one who drives it. I also mounted the 5 point belts using the stock lap belt bolt holes for the new lap belts, a mount in the frame for the anti-sub, and eye bolts with a steel mounting plate into the firewall.

    As for the belt mounts on your bar, I have seen the belt just looped around the bar, and no drill holes. This will keep the integrity of the bar high.
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  28. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    ASG 86TR,

    WOW, wonderful! Alas, i believe that setup is not DOT legal because of the snap on harness versus bolt on. You may want to double check with your local DOT to confirm. Of course if you only track the car this point is moot.

    As for my setup, looping is fine IF i also get proper added (welded) additional bars to keep the harness belts from sliding on the main bar itself BUT i believe that is not DOT legal to loop. From my research it MUST BE directly bolted on.


    PS: i believe for DOT approval, your harness MUST have on them from the manufacturer "Meet Applicable Provisions Of FMVSS 209". While SABELT is popular, i believe they do not offer a DOT legal solution. Also, if you have a rotary buckle then it most definitely is not DOT legal. You need a more normal buckle with the reddish/orangish "PUSH" button on it.
     

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