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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys and gals!

I just installed 5 point harnesses on the drivers side of my car. Everything is ok with the top bar... On the left side, I shaved the spacer down so I could fit the original seat belt and new race strap retainers in, side by side. On the right side, I removed the spacer entirely, since there is a spring to provide pressure against the OEM and new fittings. I drilled a centered hole through the bar connecting the two sides of the seat, and cut away a hex hole in the composite seat, so that I could slide a shaved down bolt behind the bar mount. I threw a washer and nut over the anti-submarine strap fitting, so it's secure.

I'm assuming the existing OEM seat anchor points are sturdy enough.

As of now, the anti-submarine is horribly unsafe (I know, :no:). I was reluctant to cut a slot through my leather seats. Will I need to get new seats? Is there a way to cut and sew my way out of this mess? Does anyone know what places could do this work for me? I really want to get this done, because with the sub belt over the seat, it pulls the lap belt further away from me, if anything.

Also, I shorted the female seat belt connection wires, but my light is still on... :huh:
 

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do this correctly, or just go back to the stock set-up and use a CG-lock for your 3 point belts.
if you have the forethought to install a 5 point harness, do yourself, and those who care about you a favor, and come up with the extra money to buy a proper seat. its not that much $ when you think about it in terms of what you are getting.


if you need to pay an experienced shop to do this so that it will be safe, then by all means do so. Take it to a shop who will refuse to cut your seat, then you know they are going to be safety conscious with YOUR LIFE.

this modification is worth doing correctly, or not doing at all.


and here we go again..................................
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Err, that was kind of scathing, Fishguy. I clearly want to know HOW to install the anti-submarine correctly. I'm using the OEM belts in the mean time.

Nate: Thanks for the link, it looks like I did everything correctly aside from the anti-sub belt. It looks like I need some type or flange to go around the hole I'll have to dremmel. I can probably contact cement the leather to the lip of the flange on the top side. Does anyone know where to find that piece of hardware? If not, I may be able to fabricate it.

Edit: Found a place that can check the setup and do the anti-sub. Going now
 

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Err, that was kind of scathing, Fishguy.
sorry, I was only trying to help.
the atmosphere here about this stuff is usually to do what is easy and most want to go with some stuff that is being sold that just "makes it fit".

not done correctly.
my feeling is that if someone is going to make the effort to improve thier safety situation, they should go about it in a way that will actually work, not go buy some untested stuff and hope for the best.

i appologize if i came off harsh on you, it was more directed at the following posts to come from "the fan club".

just do your research, and know that it will work, before you are out of control and are going to be testing it with your body.
 

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Hi guys and gals!

I just installed 5 point harnesses on the drivers side of my car. Everything is ok with the top bar... On the left side, I shaved the spacer down so I could fit the original seat belt and new race strap retainers in, side by side. On the right side, I removed the spacer entirely, since there is a spring to provide pressure against the OEM and new fittings. I drilled a centered hole through the bar connecting the two sides of the seat, and cut away a hex hole in the composite seat, so that I could slide a shaved down bolt behind the bar mount. I threw a washer and nut over the anti-submarine strap fitting, so it's secure.

I'm assuming the existing OEM seat anchor points are sturdy enough.

As of now, the anti-submarine is horribly unsafe (I know, :no:). I was reluctant to cut a slot through my leather seats. Will I need to get new seats? Is there a way to cut and sew my way out of this mess? Does anyone know what places could do this work for me? I really want to get this done, because with the sub belt over the seat, it pulls the lap belt further away from me, if anything.

Also, I shorted the female seat belt connection wires, but my light is still on... :huh:

This is easily one of the most discussed and debated topics on this forum. It took me a year to dig through the options and get something in place. There are so many minor variations, and so many problems and contradictions. Not long ago 4 point was considered an improvement on stock 3 point. Then the necessity of a sub strap was accepted. HANs came along, and shoulder straps have to be in a specific orientation. Seat cutting for strap placement is argued more heatedly than circumcision.
A full race seat is really appealing, but many are too narrow for a waist greater than 32". And do you want that for a car that's used on street? Next add in the head and neck protection options and roll cage concerns and well, it gets pretty frustrating.
I did not really understand the hardware you are using to secure the lapbelts, but the kit Sector sells works fine to keep stock belts and add lap belts.
For what it's worth, I ended up with Exige seats in an Elise, slots cut for sub belts, Titanium Dave sub belt bar, Schroth six point, lap belts bolted to stock attachment points on seats, pull up lap belts, rotary cam release, Tallrails seat rails from Sector.
Have just added Hypersport cage with improved harness bar geometry over Sector 4Tress, redrilled Tallrails to position further backwards, Defnder head and neck protector.
I guarantee that there are members here who can fully explain why every single one of these decisions was wrong. I will stand by my decision for silver belts though.

Takeoffw.jpg
 

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I guarantee that there are members here who can fully explain why every single one of these decisions was wrong. I will stand by my decision for silver belts though.
Oh, no. Silver belts were definitely the wrong choice for someone in NC. Due to the angle of the sun's rays in late May through early October the reflective property of the silver dye does not allow for enough UVB absorption. This allows the sweat on your shoulders and waist/torso to moisten the straps far too much. This will allow the shoulder and lap belts to stretch in an impact too far and the only strap that will then be holding you in is the sub-strap. This will create a permanent falsetto, if you survive the crash. For an unknown reason the sub-strap is unaffected by the lack of UVB absorption or the sweaty crotch.

-poke-
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This place called AutoMat checked over the setup and doing the upholstery work for $300 a seat. I've never heard of them, but my uncle was telling me they're one of the best places in the country, and have been featured on a bunch of car shows. :shrug:

They confirmed my setup was correct, and said it would only take about 3 hours to cut and mount the anti-sub belt correctly. They also said for $100 they can add a vinyl insert to my seat (that looks exactly like the seat) to add a little padding to the lumbar region, since the Exige has no pump like the Elise. :D
 

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I just installed 5 point harnesses on the drivers side of my car. Everything is ok with the top bar... I was reluctant to cut a slot through my leather seats...

Will I need to get new seats?
I am unsure if you have an Exige with the shoulder harness retaining guides already in place from the factory (good) or an Elise without the shoulder harness retaining guides already in place (bad if using a harness) or an Elise with the seat back cut out for the S111 grommets or similar (potentially worse :shrug:). None of them are ideal for 5-6 point harness use. A proper race seat (best) can be but as pointed out above may not be practical for street use. (I didn't see a picture attached and couldn't find which car/seats you have listed anywhere). You can have the stock Exige seats cut for a sub-strap. This is done by the Lotus Trim Shop for European cars. They will not do it due to legal issues (IIRC) for seats bound for the US. You will have to decide if cutting your seat is safe for you.

I agree with Fishguy on this. Do it right or don't do it at all. The cost of a proper set up will be much less than the cost of permanent disability or death.

Over the past few years I have come to the conclusion that many Elise/Exige owners really believe that they own a proper "race car" and not a "road going sports car" that owners may wish to use "occasionally on closed circuit tracks to experience the car's full range of dynamic capabilities." It is not a "race car" (but is excellent on track). But because of this you will have to compromise somewhere and again, JMHO, that shouldn't be with safety. Like adding a roll cage to a street car isn't safe, cutting up or fudging street seats for a harness may not be safe. So, in the end, you have to chose where you compromise, safety, comfort, etc. and live or die by that decision.

I'm assuming the existing OEM seat anchor points are sturdy enough
Look at the seat attachment of the Cup car and see if you feel the street version is "sturdy enough" for you.

EDIT: I see now that you have an Exige ;). Posted as I s-l-o-w-l-y type ha ha.
 

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I'm assuming the existing OEM seat anchor points are sturdy enough.
That's an assumption I've decided I don't want to make. Yes, the seat mounts passed crash testing, but that testing was done at less than highway speeds, not to mention track speeds. And the tests don't evaluate rollover stresses. I'm most concerned that over time, continued safety assumes that the integrity of those tapped aluminum threads is not compromised, that they are never cross-threaded, and the bolts don't lose the proper torque. All those who have checked that torque recently, raise your hands. Not many, I'd guess.

That's why I'll be using this:
sys.6.pack - Seat Security and 6 Point Harness Attachment for your Lotus Elise and Exige - Sector111

...to through-bolt the seat rails to the cross members. This solution includes sub-strap mounts which were developed with the input of Schroth.

Another concern I have is attaching the lap belts to the seat. There is a thread on the forum that has the Lotus Cup Car hardpoints and installation instructions; they use eyebolts through the rear crossmember into nutplates. This is consistent with Schroth guidelines.

Be safe.
 

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and the bolts don't lose the proper torque. All those who have checked that torque recently, raise your hands. Not many, I'd guess.
If you know the proper torque for those bolts, please share it, as the rest of us, AFAIK, have been unable to locate a torque value other than "locktite."
 

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Good point; I can't find it either. Makes me even more leery.

(I guess you'd use a 'standard' torque chart. I don't think I have one for tapped aluminum.)
 

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Oh, no. Silver belts were definitely the wrong choice for someone in NC. Due to the angle of the sun's rays in late May through early October the reflective property of the silver dye does not allow for enough UVB absorption. This allows the sweat on your shoulders and waist/torso to moisten the straps far too much. This will allow the shoulder and lap belts to stretch in an impact too far and the only strap that will then be holding you in is the sub-strap. This will create a permanent falsetto, if you survive the crash. For an unknown reason the sub-strap is unaffected by the lack of UVB absorption or the sweaty crotch.

-poke-
I stand corrected, again. What I meant to say was Cogito ergo sum, I think therefor I am. This is all I can be certain of, as the mere asking must imply I exist. Unless of course my existance is some illusion, a notion I am not prepared to contend with on this rainy Saturday afternoon.
Need to nap before what promises to be perhaps thew most interesting F1 race in a long, long time.
 

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Good point; I can't find it either. Makes me even more leery.

(I guess you'd use a 'standard' torque chart. I don't think I have one for tapped aluminum.)
what i use for tapped aluminum is a 3/8 drive ratchet held in the palm of my hand, not on the end of the ratchet so there is not any leverage.
I go just snug, then no more than 1/4 turn.
one thing i do whit things that dont have much torque applied to them is put a band of nail polish accross the bolt head, and the mating surface , so its easy to see if it has moved/turned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I'm not tracking my car any time soon, it's a daily driver. I may go to a local track at some point during the summer, but for now, I just want my harnesses to be safer than an OEM seat belt and to look nice. Again: this setup is NOT intended for racing, and I will not be exceeding 70 or 80 mph during highway driving.

If I find myself tracking the car very often, which is very unlikely, I doubt I will even consider anchoring lap belts to the chassis. This has not been recommended to me by any of the race equipment stores or tracks that I have consulted on Long Island. In fact, one place specifically told me that I should NOT mount the waist belts to the chassis. They told me that instead, I would want to upgrade my seats themselves. The new seats would already come with a 6-point harness installed to crash tested anchor points.

As of now, I'm using upgraded hardware connected to the left and right OEM Exige seat mounts, two shoulder straps that are corrected properly to the Lotus installed bar behind the existing seat cutouts, and am having an anti-sub belt hole cut through my seat and properly mounted. After Automat finishes mounting my anti-sub belt under the seat (re-enforcing the metals if necessary), I'm having them evaluate the safety of my setup. I'm also having the equipment supplier that ordered my RCi cam-lock harnesses evaluate my car to see if it is track ready.

I'm getting the impression that a lot of people get flamed in regards to safety equipment, but I really don't think I'm being ignorant when it comes to the issue... :(

Oh, and all my mounting bolts have been coated in lock-tite and torqued to 40 ft lbs. I used a sharpie to mark the bolt position (thanks for the tip Fishguy, I noticed that lotus did that on the OEM mount already). The sub-strap mounting is going to be entirely redone at a shop with different hardware and with a rail re-enforcement. BTW, Fishguy, it would have been a lot more helpful to me if you had told me what to do (ie: what to re-enforce, etc...), rather than telling me to "do it right or not at all". I have clearly already done part of it, now I'm going to make it as safe as possible before I ever use it on a track.
 

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I'm getting the impression that a lot of people get flamed in regards to safety equipment, but I really don't think I'm being ignorant when it comes to the issue...
No, in fact I commend your diligence in doing what sounds like some pretty thorough homework...

Another resource I'd recommend is the Schroth installation guide, which you can download from their site (pdf). The Sabelt guide is also informative, but can't be downloaded; you have to use their funky little viewer, which is a pain.

One interesting thing Sabelt addresses is the possibility of mounting the inboard lap belt to the seat, and the outboard one to the chassis. They do recommend using existing hardpoints when possible. Schroth allows for creating new anchor points for eyebolts by drilling the chassis, and gives some do/don't guidance. I'm not bringing this up to suggest that your shop is doing anything wrong; on the contrary, it points out that there are various valid techniques that can get the job done right. There are no absolutes as long as good judgement and diligent research are used. Your guys are doing what they know has worked for them.

After your evaluation is complete, please post the results of your new configuration. I'd be very interested hear about it. Pictures, too, if you can.

Best regards.
 
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