Considerations for those using Sector111 Sys.6.pack - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Considerations for those using Sector111 Sys.6.pack

Let me first set the stage by saying I'm not a safety engineer and that it's not my intent to make recommendations about safety equipment because I'm admittedly unqualified to do so. I've done no tests, but I have done a lot of reading. I could certainly be guilty of not analyzing the entire 'system,' mostly because I don't have the knowledge. Perhaps I'm just a guy with too much time on his hands. I should also state that with my limited knowledge, I do like the INTENT of the sys.6.pack's approach to safety, but I've got concerns about some of the details of the product.

Anyway, I've recently had an up close look at the sys.6.pack and I've made some observations I'd like to share with the forum. We should probably start with a primer on hardware and metals:

Primer On Hardware:

A fastening system is only as strong as its weakest link. Metric bolt classes come in numbers like 8.8, 10.9, and 12.9. Higher classes appear to be stronger bolts. I did come across some concerns of 'hydrogen embrittlement' with 12.9 bolts, which seems to mean that improperly manufactured 12.9 bolts can fail at tensions below their rating (so if you buy high strength hardware make sure its from a reputable place). If a nut is part of the fastening system, the article I read indicated the nut should have a rating equal to or better than the bolt. For example, a class 10.9 bolt should be paired with a class 10 nut. It could be paired with a class 12 nut, but should not be paired with a class 8 nut. For what its worth, I could not find any class 12 nuts available for purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions on Bolting Matters
American Fastener - ASTM, SAE, and ISO Grade Markings
http://www.steelmasters.co.nz/webfil...rittlement.pdf

Primer On Metals:


Metals can be classified according to their galvanic series. Any two metals that are far apart in the galvanic series chart are susceptible to galvanic corrosion in the presence of an electrolyte (water would qualify as an electrolyte). Aluminum is quite low on this chart, so if you put a different metal that was higher on the chart next to it (such as stainless steel) and add some water, you'll get galvanic corrosion , and because aluminum is the least noble of the two it will be the aluminum that corrodes. This situation can be mitigated by adding an insulator between the two metals (think paint or silicone). Many times you'll see bolts that are zinc coated - the zinc coating improves resistance to corrosion , but another important point is that zinc is much closer to aluminum on the galvanic series chart, so zinc plated hardware next to aluminum should have less chance of galvanic corrosion.

Galvanic corrosion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Galvanic series - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Observations on the factory hardware:

On the drivers side of my car, the bolts on the front rails have a class of 8.8. The rear bolts and all the bolts on the passenger side were class 12.9
socket head bolts. I was not able to observe the class of whatever holds the bolts in on the other side of the aluminum. If they are nuts welded to the aluminum, the first thing that comes to mind is that I was not able to find a nut greater than class 10 (although Lotus likely has much better resources than I do).

Observations on the sector hardware:

Sector did not give me much detail on the hardware used, other than telling me its stainless steel. The button head screws included do not have any markings on them, so their class is unknown. The nuts that come with my kit are class 8, so no matter the strength of the screw, the maximum strength class of the hardware fastening the seat to the plate underneath is class 8, but it may be less than that if the bolts are stainless steel and have no class at all.

Observations on hardware in flight applications:

All I've read online suggests that AN hardware be used in flight. AN hardware is in standard units (no metric) and from what I've read, it seems to be the case that AN hardware is comparable to standard GRADE 8 that has certified lab results. The rough metric equivalent of GRADE 8 is class 10.9. Stainless steel is often NOT used in aircraft applications because aircraft tend to have alot of aluminum (see primer on metals).

Aircraft hardware and commercial hardware

What does it all mean?

Well I really don't know, other than I have concerns about the strength and type of hardware used in what looks like an otherwise good approach to adding safety to the lotus's cramped cabin. Maybe it doesn't matter because some other part of 'the system' will fail long before the hardware provided,ie maybe the bolts on the seat rails will shear long before the bolts going through the tub will separate. Maybe someone with more knowledge can fill in the gaps. It is not my intention to cast a cloud on this product, but I think swapping out the hardware that comes with the kit is an idea worth considering.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 09:11 PM
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I'm interested in what Shinoo has to say on this - I just ordered a set of Tillet's for my exige and I'm looking to make sure my ass is strapped to the car as securely as possible. Sector seems to be the only people offering any kind of improved mounting solution.

As you point out the system is only as strong as it's weakest link - it may be that the increased safety of the mounting plates strengthens the weakpoint of the system resulting in a net gain in safety. Course if there is an issue with the hardware it could result in the reverse.

Depends on the weakpoint before and after I guess - I know Sector111 said Schroth was involved in the design of the 6pack. *shrug*

*Subscribe*

FWIW: I've met Shinoo in person a few times while living in San Diego and he seemed like a stand up guy to me - so no axe to grind here, I'm just trying to make sure my ass is as safe as it can be.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 08:20 AM
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Digging this up because I was planning on buying the 111 hardware pack...
Did anyone get anywhere with this? It mentions high strength stainless hardware in the description, is the consensus to replace the hardware then?
Input is appreciated!!

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 08:52 AM
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This should be standard upgrade on our cars.
I have put this in 4 cars up to this point and getting ready to do it again.
Just got a 2-eleven and was surprised that the race seat was still bolted to the floor and not through.
Lotus puts a pinch plate for the crotch strap in the 2-eleven as well as the waist harnesses are bolted thru the floor as they should.
I would suggest doing the sector 6 pack as well as using harness eye bolts thru the floor.
I think the advantages of the system 6 pack outweigh any slight disadvantage to bolt strength.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 09:43 AM
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Doc,
When you do this to your 2-11, are you also bolting the lap belts through the rail? I will be doing the syspack soon to my Elise but want to retain the ability to bolt the lap belts to the floor.

'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docjay View Post
This should be standard upgrade on our cars.
I have put this in 4 cars up to this point and getting ready to do it again.
Just got a 2-eleven and was surprised that the race seat was still bolted to the floor and not through.
Lotus puts a pinch plate for the crotch strap in the 2-eleven as well as the waist harnesses are bolted thru the floor as they should.
I would suggest doing the sector 6 pack as well as using harness eye bolts thru the floor.
I think the advantages of the system 6 pack outweigh any slight disadvantage to bolt strength.
Gotta disagree with you a little bit. Those bolts are absolutely critical to the whole thing working. They hold the seat in place, and the lap belts are attached to the seat, which is holding YOU in place. If those bolts aren't up to snuff and bust its going to be like you had no lap belt at all. All information I could gather indicated the bolts from sector are NOT as strong as the ones from the factory.

Furthermore this system is also dependent on the bolts that hold the slider mechanism together (more points of failure). It really bothered me that sector couldn't give me any further details on the bolts they are supplying. To me, its an indication that they did not pay close attention to the details of what appears to be a good idea overall.

I will say that I really like how the sys.6.pack provides attachment for the 6th point mount. Better than lotus factory IMO. But at the end of the day I think the lap belt mounting points are more important, and I think its safer to mount them the way its done in the 211 rather than with the sys.6.pack.

I agree with you in that I think the overall safest setup would be lap belts mounted like the 211 and 6th point mounted to sys.6.pack WITH upgraded bolts. It was quite easy for me to source maximum strength bolts and use them instead of the ones supplied.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Doc,
When you do this to your 2-11, are you also bolting the lap belts through the rail? I will be doing the syspack soon to my Elise but want to retain the ability to bolt the lap belts to the floor.
You didn't ask me, but there is nothing that I can see that prevents you from having both. Planning to find out for sure near term since the sys.6.pack is an irreversible mod.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 10:02 AM
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Unless there isn't room for backing plates for both the lap belt and the seat. In which case you may have to make a new larger backing plate with holes for both.

The problem with mounting the lap belts to the rear rail as Lotus has done is that for some drivers it creates a poor angle in relation to the seat.

Some would argue that the weight of the seat is negligible, so by mounting the lapbelts to a fixed seat rail + Sys.pack, you are getting the best solution for lap belt mounting. Not saying I agree one way or the other, but this is the argument.

'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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You're on point with all that information. My 2 cents is that for the 'mount to the seat' option to be safe, you need to mount the seat in a fixed fashion rather than a slider.

I'm unaware of any fixed seat mount that allows you to mount the stock belts and the harness lap belts to the same place. If I knew where to get some of those, I'd definitely consider going that route.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 10:52 AM
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Possibly the S111 Downlow rail. Technically it's fixed, but of course it changes the orientation of the driver's body.

'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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In my case I've got Tillett seats so I'm not sure thats an option for me. One would also have to decide whats more important to them - angle of the lap belt, or less points of failure... even if your seat is fixed, there are still more points of failure hooking up to the seat vs the floor.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jds62f View Post
I agree with you in that I think the overall safest setup would be lap belts mounted like the 211 and 6th point mounted to sys.6.pack WITH upgraded bolts. It was quite easy for me to source maximum strength bolts and use them instead of the ones supplied.
jds62f,
I'd like to upgrade my sys.6.pack with 12.9 bolts as well. It's been installed for a while, so I don't have the exact bolt dimensions anymore. Do you happen to have these dimension?
Thanks, Eric
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Perhaps the german market is different, but keep in mind that for your 12.9 bolts to work best you need class 12 nuts to use them with. Here in the US, I could not find class 12 nuts, and all the 12.9 bolts were tall socket head with no coating. I decided against using them because uncoated bolts won't hold up well to the elements and I didn't like the added height of the head.

If I remember right there are three sizes of bolts for the sys.6.pack. I remember being concerned about one particular set... I think it was the ones across the rear, they came maybe one thread out of the top of the nut (it should be 3) so I got a couple different sizes for that one but don't remember what I ultimately used. In my bin I've got all zinc coated M8 bolts, in these lengths (mm): 70, 16, 35, 40.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 06:47 PM
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I recently replaced the hardware in my sys.6.pack due to concerns about the quality of the hardware. I was unable to find any stainless button head screws with a rating better than 18-8 which worried me quite a bit about my safety. Also, no markings on a bolt is never a good sign.

I ordered new hardware from McMaster-Carr to replacement the questionable SS hardware. Here's what I used:

All around:
M8 class 10 nylock nuts
M8 high strength washers (for use with 10.9 class hardware)
The original S111 large washers and spreader plates

Driver's side front:
2x M8 70mm 10.9 hex head cap screws, partially threaded, zinc plated

Driver's side inboard rear:
1x M8 40mm 12.9 socket head cap screw, zinc coated

Driver's side outboard rear:
1x M8 35mm 12.9 socket head cap screw, zinc coated

Passenger's side front:
2x M8 60mm 10.9 hex head cap screws, partially threaded, zinc plated

Passenger's side inboard rear:
1x M8 40mm 12.9 socket head cap screw, zinc coated

Passenger's side outboard rear:
1x M8 35mm 12.9 socket head cap screw, zinc coated

The rear bolts now thread in from the top, making it *much* easier to install the hardware (especially when one corner is being difficult to get in). I was able to replace all of the hardware without an assistant, which was definitely not possible with the original hardware (due to risk of stripping the button head screws and trying to keep the nuts from turning).

The only downside is the underside of the car is slightly less appealing than with the button head screws. However, the hardware is sized correctly so that only minimal threads are exposed beyond the nuts (2-3 threads, the preferred amount) and the hex head bolts in the front look just fine.

The hardware will run about $50 from McMaster due to minimum amounts you have to order. It'll make 5 sets.

I have 3 extra sets of this hardware if anyone wants to buy it instead of having a lot of extras for themselves. $15 shipped per set, send me a PM.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 07:03 PM
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I have three sets of Sys6 backing plates, w/ Aron's hardware would make a complete kit.
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 07:38 PM
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re: Bolt safety

I would read the SCCA regulatins for mounting seats and seat-belts. They are a well-proven source of information.

Last time I checked, mounting seats and belts using OEM mounting points was encouraged.

High grade bolt is not as important, as the quality. SAE 8 or metric 12.9 bolts can be brittle. This means that the UTS is still per spec but the bolt will tend to break on impact i.e. will not elongate and absorb energy as well.
Again, based on mhy memory 1/2" or 12mm molts are encouraged. 8mm or 5/16, although sufficient, especially in higher grades is not to spec.

Anton
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 04:57 AM
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10.9 in the front and 12.9 in the rear are the same grades Lotus uses from the factory, albeit in M8 vs M6 and mounted through the framerail with backing plates instead of shallow, steel threaded inserts. I have to believe that they chose those grades with good reason and have followed suit.

Based on my experience with the kit and the information from the OP, it looks like S111 went with SS button head cap screws based more on aesthetics than quality of the hardware. The hardware they provide is not graded, but is definitely not even equivalent to the grades used by Lotus. I trust that the hardware I have sourced is of good quality and will perform better than either the factory mounting hardware or the stock sys.6.pack, which is what this thread is about.
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 07:44 AM
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From a galvanic reaction point of view, you should never use stainless steel next to aluminum. Stainless steel fasteners have been forbidden for aircraft use about 15-years now. The best fastener next to aluminum is a titanium fastener…Boeing requires to use titanium, aluminum or cadmium plated steel fasteners. Any titanium fastener you need, can be gotten from http://www.ti64.com/category_s/11.htm
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 11:31 AM
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Since aronparsons ran out of fasterners, I will stock some for members too.

I have the exact fasteners that aronparsons uses and also alu and steel backing plates.

Please, don't be cheap with your safety and use high grade materials.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 01:06 AM
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Since aronparsons ran out of fasterners, I will stock some for members too.

I have the exact fasteners that aronparsons uses and also alu and steel backing plates.

Please, don't be cheap with your safety and use high grade materials.
OK I'll take a set of the bolts please.
Send me a PM, then PP and we get them sent please.
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