The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,938 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
(I know harnesses have already been discussed in another thread, but I really didn't get all the info I needed from reading it)

OK, so here's the deal. At some point, I will want to track the Elise, and I'd like to stick with my BMW club, because I think the instructors are great. But my club also has the following safety requirement:

"Convertibles and T-top cars must have 5-point belts and arm restraints, and an approved roll bar installed - factory "rollover protection" for a soft top is not sufficient for the school."

So:

1) What are my aftermarket roll bar options for the US Elise? URLs please.
2) Am I correct in assuming that there is no way to keep the stock seats, and still have 5-point belts? I mean, new seats will be necessary to install a 5-point harness system, no?

Bottomline: what's the most sensible way to meet my club's requirement?

Forgive my ignorance. I have only tracked my closed coupe with three-point belts. :)
 

·
insert clever title here
Joined
·
7,702 Posts
Well, technically, the Elise is neither a "t-top" car or a convertible. ;-)

I don't understand why factory rollover protection wouldn't be acceptable in the case of the Elise. Having a continuous section of steel (ie, the roof) does almost nothing to add to the structure of the roof in a rollover. Besides, they specifically mention 'soft tops'.

It should be possible to install five point belts with the stock seats, though it'd mean cutting a slot in the seat for the fifth belt to pass through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Porsche Owners Club requires that soft top cars meet the same requirements unless a hard top is fitted to the car. I wonder if BMW Club has the same exception....

if thats the case, the factory hardtop would suffice.

Jose Soriano
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,634 Posts
"if thats the case, the factory hardtop would suffice."

While this may be true, it seems silly because the factory hardtop is not a structural element of the car, it's simply a rigid panel of fibreglass over the passenger compartment. Doesn't make the roll hoop or the windshield frame (A-pillars) any stronger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
its incredibly silly, but thats POC's rules not mine. I was thinking about running my Miata at a POC event when I found out about that rule. I decided against it because I don't have a roll bar on my Miata. Actually, I'd rather NOT have a fiberglass hard top on my Miata when I race it.... The idea of fiberglass shards flying around my head while inverted doesn't sound good to me.... But to each his own.

Jose Soriano
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Five Point Harness

In my limited experience if a five point harness is authorized a six point is, too, is much easier to mount and doesn't require cutting a hole in the seat.

John Lefcourte, '00 Miata with Sport Package, Koni adjustables, rollbar and six point harness. '90 Caterham Super Seven with FIA rollbar and six point harness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,315 Posts
POC rules are not the same as PCA rules though. The PCA events I attend allow a Boxster anyway with no additional rollbar and no hardtop. The fabric top must be up. You need to check the requirements at any event you attend.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
659 Posts
The roll bar in an Elise is not "Factory Roll Over Protection" like BMW's or Porsches'. It is an FIA approved roll bar. (I do not recall if the FIA approval is limited to the factory bar with the optional brace or not, I'd have to look it up.)

Have you asked your club if they will allow a 4 point roll bar?

Have you asked them if they will accept a FIA approved roll bar?

I suggest you exhaust those options before you tear up the car installing something else. In the years I have owned these cars, and seen more than a few at the track, I have only seen home grown stuff, the factory bar, the factory bar with the brace, and full motorsport cages that require a lot of modification to the car (I don't think that cage fits the Fed Elise as the motorsport car is very different.

On the seat issue, you do not have to replace the seats to install a 5 point harness, you have to install the roll bar brace and the belts. The top belts go over the top of the seats. If you want a better solution, you can buy 3rd party seats or Lotus's "Sport Seats" (I have those) that have holes for the top belts to go through.

Roy

ps. If your club is being a pain, you could look into the Lotus made cage for the race version of the Elise II. It is not a full cage, it looks simular to the factory brace setup but is a bit taller for some race series required helmet clearance. I do not think you can put a top on the car with that cage installed. I have a pic of it but am going out of town, I'll post it next week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
687 Posts
Tpup said:
ps. If your club is being a pain, you could look into the Lotus made cage for the race version of the Elise II. It is not a full cage, it looks simular to the factory brace setup but is a bit taller for some race series required helmet clearance. I do not think you can put a top on the car with that cage installed. I have a pic of it but am going out of town, I'll post it next week.
Are you referring to this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
At least your chapter of the BMWCCA allows soft top cars with approved roll bars. The Atlanta chapter will not allow any convertables, T-tops, or removable top cars of any kind under any circumstances. A stupid rule as a properly equipped open top car is safer than most hard tops! I guess owners of Z3s and Z4s should get a discount on membership to the CCA. Fortunately both the PCA and Panoz will allow properly equipped soft tops to do track days at Road Atlanta.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top