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Discussion Starter #41
OMFG :wallbang:, I never imagined how much work it would be to retrofit the factory harness bar. The Sector 111 bar took all of 20 minutes when I was helping a friend. I don't mind a hard day's work, but this is phenomenally tedious. First, the car has some thick sound insulation back there, and you've got to cut away enough of it to make room for the relocated speakers, and enough room to wrench back behind the harness bar through one of the speaker holes. The insulation foam is crumbly, messy, and leaves residue everywhere. So, once you've done this, you have to thread the harness bar through the back panel, and try to align everything by touch through the speaker holes with no room to use both hands. Drop a washer or a screw, everything comes apart again. If there was no foam, there's maybe 1" of room behind the harness bar for your wrench, now imagine it with foam. I had to cut down a 13mm socket to the minimum height possible. My car came with some fancy speakers which are pretty deep, so in a couple of places, I had to cut the foam completely away, hope the car doesn't get too loud on account of this.

Don't get me started on riveting the net to the back panel....recessed rivets in narrow holes are an evil brought upon the world by the devil.

In any case, I'm starting to understand what motivates serial killers. After a couple days of this tedium, where every inch of my arms is cut up by plastic edges, I was ready to kill people passing by in front of my place, and I even felt the Hannibal Lecter urge to eat their livers with a some fava beans and a nice chianti.

In any case, success!
 

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I appreciate where you are. Looks like you have done a fine job. I doubt you curse as much as I do during these exercises in human persistence.
Tomorrow you will awake a better man for this experience. Your bond to your machine will be immeasurably improved. As awkward and trying as your experience has been, you did it. Perhaps the strongest suite of these cars is that normal mortal men can do modifications such as these. I'm sure some of the best part of my adventure with the Elise has been laying on cardboard on cold cement with a flashlight in my mouth feeling around for that tool that was there a minute ago......

Working on an Europa is a whole order of magnitude more difficult. Much more cramped, less access, old and brittle. If you break something it "was" unique and special and perhaps rare or irreplaceable. When one thing is fixed whatever was next to it fails. Yet we persist, gains are made. The very essence of the car/human experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Yay, it's all finally done. Can't wait to try the harnesses on the track next week, but after driving around wearing them for 15 minutes just to see if everything's ok, I now feel naked with just the seat belt.
 

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Hey Guys, been wandering around this area of the forum for a bit trying to understand the nuances of harnesses for a lightly tracked car.

My exige has the seat cutouts for the shoulder straps and the factory harness bar. If properly installed and set up will the 4pt Scroth ASM system be more safe than the factory 3 point system?

I only do a few trackdays here and there and am always on street tires. However, my legs and hips hurt at the end of the day from bracing my self in the car.

I simply want to slide around a bit less, but I will not compromise on safety.

Thanks,
Aaron
 

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Discussion Starter #46
That's the route I went. The ASM harness is about as safe as a seat belt from what I've read, since in a collision, one of the shoulder straps gets longer so your body folds over like it would with a seat belt, preventing you from submarining. It does make an enormous difference in terms of feeling the car and bracing yourself on the track.

If you decide to get 5-pt harness, make sure to get HANS. Seatbelts and the 4pt ASM work w/o hans because your torso isn't held rock solid in a collision, but a "real" harness will hold your body so tight, all the motion of your head is soaked up by your neck, which is really dangerous.
 

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^^^Good advice.

Also, on the street, stock three-point belts are the choice. You need to be able to actively look around, so you want some upper body mobility.
 

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^^^ That's the route I took.
4pt ASM for autocross and light DE duty and regular 3pt for driving around town.
When you're strapped in, you can barely control the AC or radio, and can't look over the shoulder for lane change.
It really keeps you from being thrown around, though. It's awesome.
 

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Guess I should have looked around a bit. I didn't think it was possible to get that bar in there with the stock rear panel. I have been waiting since July for the OE rear panel that works with the harness bar and it was ridiculously expensive. I would almost think I should cancel the order but I'm not sure I want to go through that massive headache!! I'll continue to wait, not wanting to turn into a serial killer ;)
 

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My exige has the seat cutouts for the shoulder straps and the factory harness bar. If properly installed and set up will the 4pt Scroth ASM system be more safe than the factory 3 point system?
I don't think so. I'd rather have the stock harness and a SeatSnug.

I'd go straight from there to a 5- or 6-point comp harness, and not stop off in any 4-points.

The lap belt is the key to everything, and keeping a very tight lap belt in its proper place is the key to the lap belt.
 

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SSC harness bar

Guess I should have looked around a bit. I didn't think it was possible to get that bar in there with the stock rear panel. I have been waiting since July for the OE rear panel that works with the harness bar and it was ridiculously expensive. I would almost think I should cancel the order but I'm not sure I want to go through that massive headache!! I'll continue to wait, not wanting to turn into a serial killer ;)
Have a look at this one. Seems to work well for me.
Simply Sports Cars -SSC Harness Bar- Lotus
 

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The OEM harness bar + replacement rear panel is a great fit but a pain to install (so I hear, I took one look at it and farmed it out, valuing my sanity). Mine took about 2 months to come in this summer, but it was worth it. An added benefit was that the extra rigidity of the bar, which bolts to the outermost piece of the frame in the rear bulkhead, is it stopped the squeaking noise of the roll bar cover.

As for me, I listened to advice from racing people and went 6 point. I used the Schroth 4-point ASM belts for much of last year, but the lap buckle always rode up. I don't see how a 4-point, even the Schroth, is any better, and some say it may be worse, than a 3-point. Plus at least one club i rode with last year absolutely bans 4-points.
 

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Belts

Andy,

Remember -- HANS or similar device with 6-point belts for track usage. OEM 3-point belts + airbags for street usage.
 

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Formulabob-

Yup, agree.
 

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I have already started to pull the oem 3 points out, since I am going to run the Schroth 6 pts. Apparently I shouldn't?? Is this just so my head will be allowed to hit the airbag in an accident versus being stopped short due to the upper shoulder belts?
I do plan on sharing the car between the track and the street about 50-50.
So I guess what I am really asking is, am I risking more neck injury by not using the oem 3 pt on the street?
 

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Aside from the sheer inconvenience of putting on a 6 point harness to take a drive, the 3-point is a very effective system to protect you. Using a 6-point, you literally can't reach the offside door, or do much of anything you are used to doing in the car aside from driving. Unless you have a HANS device your neck will get a much larger energy shock in a front crash using a 6-point. What I'm suggesting is it would be a very dumb idea to have a street car with just a 6-point harness.
 

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Andy,

Remember -- HANS or similar device with 6-point belts for track usage. OEM 3-point belts + airbags for street usage.
This sounds reasonable but I must ask why lotus chose to put a harness bar and seats with cutouts in a stock exige? To the uninitiated this seams like it is easy to add a harness and hit the track.

I guess this is just a marketing thing? Anyways I am a bit disapointed to hear it is not that simple. I'll stick with the 3 pt for now I guess. Thant makes my harness bar just extra weight!
 

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There are plenty of people who do a few track days with the 3-point. It's just a matter of how far you want to go with a harness, which you need a mounting point for. There are people who will use a 4-point, which Schroth at least says is compatible with a HANS. There are people who use a 6-point, for which you need to install more mounting points anyways. The harness not only is used as a safety device, it is a driving aid. The difference between holding yourself in a seat over 15 laps and having a tight harness help support you, and keep your butt in full contact with teh seat, is night and day.

But the further you get away from using the airbag+3-point safety system, the more you introduce other potential problems, namely what to do with your head safety. THere are many different views on all this, but the one that persuades me is that if you use a full 6-point, that will keep your body in check in a frontal impact situation, then a HANS is a very useful device to have. It will keep your head from snapping forward as your body is fully restrained versus the intended function of the airbag+3-point which is designed to allow your body and head to go forward and then be cushioned by the airbag. Two different systems with different ways of protecting you.

BTW, Lotus has made seats in the S260 with HANS cutouts, I believe. A HANS fits just fine using an unmodified Exige seat as well.
 
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