Harnesses and "expiration date" - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
6i9
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Harnesses and "expiration date"

I just bought a set of Willans harnesses from a fellow board member. The expire date is after 2011.

My initial belief was that this only matters for racing organizations like SCCA or such. If I only plan to do informal track days/open tests, I don't really need to be bothered by this correct?

My other question is, does the expiration date actually have some bearing on the age of the material over time, and that there is an actual safety concern attached to the label?

I can't imagine that the harness will start disintegrating after 2011, unless its been in a huge accident before (?)

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:29 PM
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No they won't start disintegrating. However as they are designed for racing there are two aspects to consider.
1) the goal posts change - like crash helmets, new harnesses have to meet new higher standards so to ensure that the harnesses are all good enough they have a set lifespan

2) even without a big accident a lot of race use will wear and stretch the material a fraction. It's impossible to say how much wear a harness has been through as different uses exact different stresses. Eg, road use in an elise will do nothing (most people don't have them done up tight enough anyway) where as the same harnesses in a single seater racing every weekend will eventually have some give.

Seat belts and harnesses should be replaced in any accident even relatively minor ones. If theres enough damage that the car doesn't drive then you can assume that the belts have absorbed some impact so should be renewed.

For the road and occasional track use, don't worry - they will be fine
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6i9 View Post
My other question is, does the expiration date actually have some bearing on the age of the material over time, and that there is an actual safety concern attached to the label?

I can't imagine that the harness will start disintegrating after 2011, unless its been in a huge accident before (?)
Depends on exposure to the elements especially sunlight. Check out the graph on this page that shows how the strength of harnesses degrades over time: Main

http://www.rahulnair.net/blog
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 12:05 PM
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I believe NASA racing is strict on the dates as well. Their TT program is quite relax. The rest of the usual lapping events ie SV, SpeedTrial, Redline, OTR even BMW CCA are ok.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnr View Post
Depends on exposure to the elements especially sunlight. Check out the graph on this page that shows how the strength of harnesses degrades over time: Main
That graph is for Nylon, the Polyester belts he has do not degrade like that.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apex_in_sno View Post
That graph is for Nylon, the Polyester belts he has do not degrade like that.
They may not degrade as dramatically but they definitely do degrade which is why they have a 5 year limit.

Graph from Schroth:

http://www.rahulnair.net/blog
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 02:22 PM
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buying used belts is a bit foolish IMO.

you have no idea what the history and usage was prior to your owning them. the small amount that you save is not worth it.

FYI, belts can get rewebbed from crow motorsports for ~$100, and they will come with a new tag as well.
the above belts for $100, plus another $100 to reweb them comes out to mabe a savings of $100 over a new set, that could have been exactly what you wanted for the particular application.
used belts are "fools gold"

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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If rewebbing brings them as you say, back to new standard, then that $100 seems well-saved.

I don't see the foolishness.

2005 Magnetic Blue Lotus Exige
Drivetrain: Honda K20A Type R | Innovative Kit | Arqray Ti | SCM Intake/Header | Hondata | proRAD | Setrab | KTuned | V2 Fuel Tank | BOE Swirl
Aero: Exige Clams | Reverie | TWRD GT | Craftsquare | IMRP | BSK | Voltex
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 07:35 AM
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Used belts are a risk. Please also look at the brand and where the belts are produced. Material specifications can vary and where the belts come from can also reduce your risk.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 08:40 AM
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I'll also add that it is not just the organization that may have an issue with the belt dates. PDA/NASA-NE will allow you to run expired belts in HPDE. However, New Jersey Motorsports Park has New Jersey State Police on site. They have more than once come through our tech inspection to check on belt dates for HPDE events and would not allow expired belts to be used.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the input everyone. I will likely get them rewebbed towards the end of 2011, and run them as they are until then.

2005 Magnetic Blue Lotus Exige
Drivetrain: Honda K20A Type R | Innovative Kit | Arqray Ti | SCM Intake/Header | Hondata | proRAD | Setrab | KTuned | V2 Fuel Tank | BOE Swirl
Aero: Exige Clams | Reverie | TWRD GT | Craftsquare | IMRP | BSK | Voltex
Suspension: Penske SA | V2arms | RTDbrace | CE28N | R888 | BOE Floating | Pagid RS14
Interior: Recaro SPG | Willans | WorksBell | Sparco
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