Harness options for a lightly tracked car - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Harness options for a lightly tracked car

Hi Guys,

I've been reading old threads trying to figure out what sort of harness to get for my car, and the following seem pretty clear:
1) Don't cut holes in the stock Elise seats for safety reasons
2) 4-pt harnesses can result in submarining, maybe with exception of Scroth ASM (Is this a safe harness?)

My car isn't a dedicated track car, it's a street car that I take to HPDE's maybe once per month during nice weather, but now that I've gotten faster and approached 10/10, I want to be safer, but I don't really want to put in some upgrades that will make street driving uncomfortable or difficult.

So, I've got some questions that maybe some of the wise folks here will know how to answer.

- Are there any harnesses and harness bars that are safe to use with the stock Elise seats - meaning they'll prevent the shoulder straps from separating without seat holes?

- Will the Exige-style seats work with a Sector 111 harness bar, or do I need to install the factory bar? Are there any known crashes of cars with S111 sector bars so we know how it performs? Since the back of Exige-style seats are wider, how badly do they block rear visibility in an Elise?

I'd love to keep some form of stock seat in the car and hook up a harness in addition to the seat belt, it seems lots of people are doing this with the Scroth 4-pt ASM harness, but I've come across various discussions regarding their safety. Is there a final word on this?
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcinr View Post
- Are there any harnesses and harness bars that are safe to use with the stock Elise seats - meaning they'll prevent the shoulder straps from separating without seat holes?
This is from Schroth's installation guide:

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(In the current edition of the guide, this info is on a different page).
The image clearly indicates the Elise seat should not be used with shoulder harnesses.

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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 03:44 PM
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With the stock Elise seats, your best options are to keep using the three point belts or switch seats for an Exige or aftermarket seat that has the built-in holes in the seat back. The Schroth ASM, Exige style seat and S111 harness bar is a nice combo.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 05:14 PM
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Personally I would go with the OEM harness bar (and I did). There are less potential safety issues with that bar than with the aftermarket bars, IMO, because of how it is attached to the car, not going to rotate, etc.

For me it was worth the extra $ and time as I value my face/body and life more than the savings.

But only you can make the decision of what is right for you.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Personally I would go with the OEM harness bar (and I did). There are less potential safety issues with that bar than with the aftermarket bars, IMO, because of how it is attached to the car, not going to rotate, etc.

For me it was worth the extra $ and time as I value my face/body and life more than the savings.

But only you can make the decision of what is right for you.
Are these available as a kit anywhere, or do I just have to figure out the parts that are different between factory cars with and without those and buy those? I think I'd prefer something engineered by Lotus.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 05:46 PM
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I've got you covered : https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f157...fitting-65662/

In post 3 of that thread there are 2 trim panels listed (if you want to buy a pre-cut panel instead of removing or cutting yours) - one is RHD and one is LHD. You only need the one that is applicable to your car (LHD I'm guessing ).
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 05:59 PM
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The factory bar is excellent. But is you want to keep your car fairly stock, our Vforce has been an excellent solution.

The only way to safely use your stock seats is to cut grommets for the shoulder belts. This can be done safely but does take some skill to execute - you will want to locate them in the same area as the Exige slots and not in the central spine of the seat. See pic below. These grommets were recommended to us by Schroth's US distributor HMS. Though the grommets stiffen this area, it is moot as the strength of the seat comes from the spine. The factory Exige seats are a great solution.

The Profi II Schroth with ASM is the safest 4pt solution. You can tuck them away when you are done. Don't forget to pick up the S111 hardware pack as it makes the install easier. We also have a video that you can watch showing the full install.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 06:06 PM
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Not the "cut the stock seat back for grommets" safety debate again .

Fishguy will be here shortly to give you the other side of that story.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks RoadDad, those part numbers are super useful. It looks like the OEM harness bar actually pulls against the roll bar in a collision, which seems like a very strong link.

I helped a friend install the S111 harness bar in his car as well, and it also seems like a very good part. The OEM harness bar won't rotate because of the way it's attached, and the Sector111 harness bar won't rotate because of the V brace that rests against the firewall. However, I don't like that V since it intrudes a little bit into a tiny, precious stowage area. Hmm, OEM for big $$ or S111 for a lot less, decisions decisions
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 06:15 PM
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Not the "cut the stock seat back for grommets" safety debate again .

Fishguy will be here shortly to give you the other side of that story.
just ask the vendor if he uses them on the track with his body; he doesnt.
enough said.
oh wait; not to mention that any club worth a darn would not allow you out on the track with those grommets.
now, enough said
oh wait, this product is junk.
now enough said

this is the summarized version.

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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by marcinr
Hmm, OEM for big $$ or S111 for a lot less, decisions decisions
Check your insurance deductible and see if it is greater or less than the difference between the two bars... If you don't have insurance, I can get a figure for the average facial trauma repair that I billed over the past few years . Just saying....
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice guys. I think I'll be going with the OEM harness bar, some used Exige seats, and I'll pick up the rest of my track goodies from Shinoo, since I like his shop. The only thing that worries me is losing the tiny bit of visibility out the back due to the wider headrests, but meh, I'll deal, you Exige guys manage to drive blind somehow.
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 06:20 PM
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just ask the vendor if he uses them on the track with his body; he doesnt.
enough said.
oh wait; not to mention that any club worth a darn would not allow you out on the track with those grommets.
now, enough said
oh wait, this product is junk.
now enough said

this is the summarized version.
Do you have a google alert set for your name, seat grommets or both?
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcinr View Post
Thanks for all the advice guys. I think I'll be going with the OEM harness bar, some used Exige seats, and I'll pick up the rest of my track goodies from Shinoo, since I like his shop. The only thing that worries me is losing the tiny bit of visibility out the back due to the wider headrests, but meh, I'll deal, you Exige guys manage to drive blind somehow.
Unless you're racing where there are specific rules, and even in racing - you as a driver need to feel comfortable with your setup regardless of the minimum requirements. It's your life, spend as much as you think is reasonable and how much your life is worth. No amount of safety equipment can prevent every accident from resulting in injury. All you can do is come up with a reasonable level of protection, not drive like an idiot, hope for a bit of luck and a lot of fun.

As you get more involved and spend more time on track two things will likely happen:

1) You'll realize all the bad things that can happen to you and decide your current level of protection is not sufficient.

2) Driving fast on the road fast will scare the crap out of you since you don't have your harnesses, helmet, HNR, nomex gloves, fire supression, fully caged car, etc. with you.

Have fun, stay safe. I think that's a fairly good setup to start out with, but please, don't drive near 10/10s unless you're in a race car and in a race.

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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Check your insurance deductible and see if it is greater or less than the difference between the two bars... If you don't have insurance, I can get a figure for the average facial trauma repair that I billed over the past few years . Just saying....
Heh, I'm not trying to save a buck here, I want a safe car. Is there some problem with the S111 bar that I should be aware of?
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post #16 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by marcinr View Post
Thanks for all the advice guys. I think I'll be going with the OEM harness bar, some used Exige seats, and I'll pick up the rest of my track goodies from Shinoo, since I like his shop. The only thing that worries me is losing the tiny bit of visibility out the back due to the wider headrests, but meh, I'll deal, you Exige guys manage to drive blind somehow.
Very sensible.

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post #17 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 06:00 AM
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My Elise has both the Vforce bar in it and grommets. I have run it at Laguna Seca & Spring Mtn. I have complete confidence in this set up. We've had professionals (HMS) work with us to develop these solutions.

Is the OE bar a better solution from a safety perspective - yes. But you correctly stated it is more expensive and intrusive.

Please understand that track driving with a street focused car is a compromise. A caged car, race seats, fire suppression system, etc...is the safest bet. But that won't be street legal.

Pick your poison, driving on track is a dangerous activity.

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post #18 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 07:00 AM
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My Elise has both the Vforce bar in it and grommets. I have run it at Laguna Seca & Spring Mtn. I have complete confidence in this set up. We've had professionals (HMS) work with us to develop these solutions.

Is the OE bar a better solution from a safety perspective - yes. But you correctly stated it is more expensive and intrusive.

Please understand that track driving with a street focused car is a compromise. A caged car, race seats, fire suppression system, etc...is the safest bet. But that won't be street legal.

Pick your poison, driving on track is a dangerous activity.
Shinoo,
I would bet $ that those track groups you ran that car with did not do any pre track tech on the car, and if they did, they missed the grommets in their inspection.

There was a time when i had complete confidence in you and sector 111, you were very nice to deal with when i spoke with you on the phone once.
that said, this item which sells for $25 has distorted that view of you and your company for me. it makes me feel that you are more interested in the bottom line of your business than your customers safety.
that was reinforced when it was found out that one of your harness bars that you made/sold was determined to be unsafe by your team of experts that you refer us too. you soolution was to simply put the item on clearance, and not inform the customers that this bar had issues with its postion, and was only acceptable to be used by people who were around 6' 2".
Knowing this, has crushed your credibilty with me as far as someone who markets "safe" products and ideas. lets not forget that tow hook that damaged someones car when it was actually used for its intended purposes.

hopefully this post will be allowed to remain, and not be deleted by the mods on the forum. what i am posting here is my opinion, just as what you post is your opinion. You do sell some very nice items, but the grommet solution is not one of them.
i have no bad feeling towards you or sector 111, no agenda, other than that people know what they are purchasing when it comes to safety items, and that they do a bit of research before buying and using stuff like this.

just because something is made/sold, doesnt mean that it has been tested or will actually work.
usually in life, you get what you pay for; IMO, in the case of the seat grommets, you dont even get that at a cost of $25.

no hard feelings, but i know that you as a business can never admit that you are possibly wrong on this grommet product, as it would (potentially)cause all of those people who have cut their seats up for this product to demand new seats from you, on your dime, and that would hurt your bottom line as a business.

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post #19 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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I've finally gotten off my lazy butt and ordered all the bits for my harnesses, I just want to double and triple check to see if I'm not making some crucial mistake since my life depends on this.

1) I'm installing the Lotus harness bar, thanks RoadDad for putting together the comprehensive list of parts. In a collision, the Lotus harness bar will be pulled into the roll bar via force of collision with the bolts preventing it from sliding off, while the aftermarket option which attaches to the seat belt posts will experience a force pulling against the threads, which scares me, especially given the direction of flex in the collision.

2) I'm not cutting holes in my seats, so I have a pair of exige-style seats arriving soon. Had to order these brand new, since used Exige seats are damn near impossible to find and the postings here and on ebay last like 5 minutes.

3) For harnesses, I'm going with Schroth 4-pt ASM harnesses for now, after reading up on them they seem safe enough, but I may modify the driver's seat for an anti-sub belt. HANS is much more critical with the 5-pt non-ASM harness, since your torso is fixed in place in a collision, which is disastrous on the neck, so I'll leave the passenger as 4-pt ASM in case they don't have a hans (not that I have passengers often). In any case, I plan on using hans with the 4-pt ASM, as it's been tested by Schroth.

4) For mounting the lap belts, I plan on ordering the Sector111 hardware kit. Is this considered a safe mounting option, or should I be considering something else? The forces involved in a collision are astounding, so I just want to be sure.

Thanks, all.
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post #20 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
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2) I'm not cutting holes in my seats, so I have a pair of exige-style seats arriving soon. Had to order these brand new, since used Exige seats are damn near impossible to find and the postings here and on ebay last like 5 minutes.
Are they the actual Exige seats from Lotus or "Exige-like" seats? I am looking at getting either the actual Exige seats or the Tilletts.

+1 on the used Exige seats lasting all but a few minutes before they are sold!

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