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Old 07-25-2008, 10:07 PM   #1
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harness bar without rollbar/cage?

hi peoples..

ive been taking my rx8 to the track. 4 times out, still a beginner, just getting going. ive recently decided to make it safer. picked out a sparco seat (pro 2000), schroth 6 point harnesses.. but how can i mount them? its a daily driver and i hesitate to do something semi-permanent like a roll bar, even if its bolt in... id rather do a harness bar since its easier to go back to stock when im not racing.

ive done so much searching, and have come up with nothing.. is it true no harness bar exists for the 8 without a roll bar or roll cage???

i dont think it would be wise to mount them to the back seats or something like that..

i do hope someone has an answer for me :-)
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:15 PM   #2
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How confident are you in the strength of the roof structure on a RX8? Particularly with the proximity of the '8s roof to most of our heads...

If you're serious about tracking the car, and want to run a six point (or five point) belt system, you might want to investigate a real roll bar/cage, also. I know lots of guys run harness bars and fixed belts, but I've seen a couple of ugly incidents where cars went on their roofs and the drivers would have been much better off if they had been able to roll out of the way of the collapsing roof section...
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:28 PM   #3
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yeah i get your point. and maybe that is what i should do.

i have a couple days at buttonwillow coming up, and 2 days with laguna seca.

ive done 1 now at the big track at willow springs, and 1 month before a guy died rolling his mini without a roll bar and only 4pt harnesses. this is part of what got me thinking about such things. and really.. im holding back because i feel all too aware of the dangers. but..

can i put a roll bar in that i can remove when im not tracking the car? i want to be able to use those back seats!!! i want my girlfriend to be able to recline her seat LOL

this is the conflict im dealing with. a harness bar is so much more easily removed, and im not quite ready to commit the car on that level.. i dont know how much racing is in my future.. yet..
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:44 AM   #4
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The problem with our car is this: harness bars typically mount at the top seatbelt points for the front belts. Except with our car, that point is attached to the two rear doors, making it impossible for a typical harness bar. The closest thing would be Autopower's roll bar with removable harness bar (2nd down: http://www.autopowerindustries.com/rollbars.asp), but then I don't know how functional it leaves your back seats or how much actual roll protection it's going to provide.

Or you could look at having a race shop (there are plenty in so-cal) custom fabricate a removable harness bar that you can install for track and take out after so you still have rear-door functionality.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:02 PM   #5
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There are a couple of long threads on here about this..IMO a harness without a roll bar is asking for trouble.....If you are going to go with a harness and seats...you need the rollover protection....
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:39 PM   #6
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atom, lets say you get a harness bar & 5 pt harness. What will happen in a roll over. The roof collapses. You are being held upright in your racing seat and belts. Your helmeted head & neck now becomes the last thing that is trying to hold up the roof of the car. These two are quite fragile and wouldn't last long.
A bolt-in roll bar has 4 mounting points and each mounting point is secured by 4 bolts. I haven't tried to put one in the 8 yet, so I can't answer the question on if you can easily remove one between races. I would think, at the most, you may have to remove the front seats to install/remove a roll bar.
One more point. A racing harness may not be legal to use on the street. It may make you more secure and safe, but it isn't DOT approved. And it may invalidate a medical insurance claim if you get into an accident.
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:39 PM   #7
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thanks for the replies guys,
but im quite aware of the issues. in the end, the chances of a rollover are very slim at this point for the way ill be driving. its an internal conflict i need to decide on how to spend my money and provide additional safety.
and still, i am leaning towards harness bars only for the reasons i have.

so the question in this thread is.. are there no harness bars available? yes, i have a shop that can fabricate one, but before i do that i would like to confirm that NO, there are none available.

KAtC10 seems to support this idea, and explained why. so.. yeah, ok, i understand why not. but is this the consensus? there is NO HARNESS BAR solution for the rx8 unless i have it custom made?

i may end up doing the roll bar solution if there isnt one, and its even on the table that i just quit this insanity and addiction while i still can... and cancel these track events i have planned
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:46 PM   #8
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If you need seats to hold your *** in the seat you are driving more than fast enough for a rollover type accident.

For common interest....A bolt in roll bar is not easily added and removed for track days...if you are going that route you might as well kiss your back seat goodbye.

If I was to do it again I would probably just weld it in and get it over with
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannobre View Post
If you need seats to hold your *** in the seat you are driving more than fast enough for a rollover type accident.

For common interest....A bolt in roll bar is not easily added and removed for track days...if you are going that route you might as well kiss your back seat goodbye.

If I was to do it again I would probably just weld it in and get it over with
That's not necessarily true. I have a seat & harness I swap in for track days. Not because I'm driving so fast that I can't stay in the stock seats, but because in the stock seats you tend to spend so much energy bracing yourself in the seat with your left foot against the dead pedal (even when just starting out and driving at slow speeds), having a harness to strap your *** in place lets you concentrate on driving, not bracing yourself. Honestly the only reason I even need the seat is for the 5th point on the harness, otherwise it tends to ride up. The harness itself does all the work I need to hold me in place, not the seat. I've also seen people use those child safety locks on the OEM seatbelt, which is a decent temporary fix for $15.
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:33 PM   #10
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You're kinda like a dog with a bone

I agree on the racing seat/harness being much more comfortable to drive...but you kinda missed the point I was trying to make...if you're sliding sideways that much you are pushing hard enough to end up on the roof.

I had an upside down in a car that had no roll bar...and the roof was 6" shorter after we lifted it up.....I don't have near that in my RX-8 with a helmet on...

You figure out what would have been trying to hold up the roof if you were in a harness....

That's it for me...good luck which ever way you decide to go...
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannobre View Post
You're kinda like a dog with a bone

I agree on the racing seat/harness being much more comfortable to drive...but you kinda missed the point I was trying to make...if you're sliding sideways that much you are pushing hard enough to end up on the roof.

I had an upside down in a car that had no roll bar...and the roof was 6" shorter after we lifted it up.....I don't have near that in my RX-8 with a helmet on...

You figure out what would have been trying to hold up the roof if you were in a harness....

That's it for me...good luck which ever way you decide to go...
OK, not trying to argue with you here, but I see this argument a lot, and I'm just interested in your point of view. In your opinion, how it would be any different if you flipped with a harness as opposed to with the stock seats/belts? It would really be just as dangerous either way without a roll bar, wouldn't it?

I had a friend flip an FD on track with stock seats/belts and yes, his head held up the car until paramedics arrived. He also flipped because he was driving like an idiot and also didn't understand proper car control.

In my opinion, you just have to be a safe driver and know how to drive to keep yourself out of such an incident, because there's always chance of a rollover if you're not careful, but you take the point out of HPDEs when you start requiring roll protection in every car, you know?

I understand your point of view, you just have to look at it as a risk you have to understand when you make the choice to partake in such events, and hopefully you're a smart enough to keep it within your limits.

To each his own.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:28 AM   #12
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Another option for those looking for more lateral support without adding just a harness bar (not a good idea imho for the reasons already stated) or a 4-point rollbar would be to add just a 3" lap belt.

This is what I use in my car, in conjunction with the stock seatbelt. You would be surprised at how much additional body support a lap belt adds. While it is not as good as a dedicated track seat, rollbar, and 5/6-point harness, it is much, much better than just the stock seat and 3-point belt. a lap belt securely locates your lower body in the seat, which means no more using the dead pedal and your knees to keep from sliding around in the seat.

Best of all, it is inexpensive to try and requires no permanent modifications to the car.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:54 PM   #13
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Here's the difference between stock seat belt and a harness....you head and upper body moves with the stock seat belt....this gives an escape from the squashed spine in a rollover scenario

You don't need rollover protection for HPDE's....you need rollover protection for the HARNESS.....
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:29 PM   #14
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Don't Buy Auto-Power Roll Bars

I was hoping to be able to add to this thread first experience installing the Auto Power RX-8 roll bar but my attempts to get what I ordered has proven futile.
I ordered it through IO racing which really is not to blame. I told them many times my RX-8 has a sunroof and the bar needs to be a little shorter than for a non sun roof car. Auto-Power sends out a bar for a non Sunroof RX-8.
IO Racing gets them to send out another bar without me having to send back the first one. That arrived today missing a rear post and damaged a little. Now I did have a local welder shorten the legs of the first bar but I was told not to use it Auto Power will send out a 'right' one. I am thinking I will just use the first one I had altered.
I PM an other member that got a bar from Auto-Power and he to had fitment issues but was able to also alter his to fit. The point of this rant is on something like a roll bar and something that cost $150 to ship buying one via the web is a big mistake. I should have just taken my 8 to a local shop and had the bar custom made based off the Auto-power design. Auto-power just doesn't seem to be able to get things right.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:44 AM   #15
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One of the guys with JRX Rotary (he has a red turbo RX-8) had the same problem, he has a sunroof and they sent the wrong one. He ended up just taking out his dome light to make it fit. I don't know why they offer a "sunroof" model when they never send it to anyone... Good luck with fitting it in.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:08 AM   #16
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OK, not trying to argue with you here, but I see this argument a lot, and I'm just interested in your point of view. In your opinion, how it would be any different if you flipped with a harness as opposed to with the stock seats/belts? It would really be just as dangerous either way without a roll bar, wouldn't it?
I had a friend flip an FD on track with stock seats/belts and yes, his head held up the car until paramedics arrived. He also flipped because he was driving like an idiot and also didn't understand proper car control.

In my opinion, you just have to be a safe driver and know how to drive to keep yourself out of such an incident, because there's always chance of a rollover if you're not careful, but you take the point out of HPDEs when you start requiring roll protection in every car, you know?

I understand your point of view, you just have to look at it as a risk you have to understand when you make the choice to partake in such events, and hopefully you're a smart enough to keep it within your limits.

To each his own.
OEM 3 point + no roll over protection: one can submarine or move to avoid one's skull and neck from being crushed or sheared.

4 or 5 point + no roll over protection: no wiggle room.


One's own attempts at being a safe driver are only part of the equation. There's risk beyond one's own control. Driving at an HPDE without roll over protection, or with a harness bar only compounds the risk one assumes to injury in an incident.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:08 AM   #17
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update

so... after all this consideration, i decided on an autopower rollbar with removable harness ("sport" option). i figured, screw it, ill just go with it. racing has been fun enough that i may as well have my fun, but be safe, and fit in my freakin car while doing it - soo wish i ordered one without a sunroof... oh well.

so i placed an order with www.good-win-racing.com. the owner, brian goodwin is awesome. hes been racing miatas and rx7/8s for many years, has a good rep among my veteran racer friends, and has been very helpful with my purchases so far. i told him about the sunroof, hes ordered many of these without any particular problems.. just has to make sure that a sunroof option is specified.

but autopwer is lagging, they are backed up over 4 weeks.
and..
once checking on installers, he got an option from a guy that does mazda's work - their pace cars, etc..
http://www.racecages.com/Products/En...azda_RX-8.html

seems to be a higher quality option overall, as well as one in which you dont lose use of your back seat. and i should be able to get a removeable harness bar option on it as well. woot!

i dont know the price yet. i may get some savings overall if i give him all my stuff to install, etc.. and let him have my car for a bit to finish his "jig", so he can start cranking these things out as a better alternative to autopower.

more later :-)

and seriously guys, thanks for all the input, thought and opinions.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:42 AM   #18
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i just anchor my harnesses to the seatbelt points underneath the rear passenger seat?

still need a racing seat though...

mmmmm Bride Cuga


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Old 08-05-2008, 07:15 AM   #19
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atom, there are a couple of thing that make me question racecages roll bar. The mounting point on the rear. How rigid is that point on the package tray? That is just sheet metal that will bend/brake and won't keep the main roll hoop in it's vertical position. The second is the main roll hoop doesn't contain a diagonal bar to keep the hoop from deforming. I would still go with the Autopower. Kirk makes roll bars for the RX7. They don't list the RX8 on their web site. It may be worth a call.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:26 AM   #20
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My guess is better seats alone will make for a better experience (minus the airbag light that will constantly be on). Or stock seats and this...

http://www.gforce.com/products/netsanres/4290.php
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:34 AM   #21
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atom, there are a couple of thing that make me question racecages roll bar. The mounting point on the rear. How rigid is that point on the package tray? That is just sheet metal that will bend/brake and won't keep the main roll hoop in it's vertical position. The second is the main roll hoop doesn't contain a diagonal bar to keep the hoop from deforming. I would still go with the Autopower. Kirk makes roll bars for the RX7. They don't list the RX8 on their web site. It may be worth a call.

That looks like the same bar marketed here:

New Performance Parts!!!

Wonder if anybody has one installed?

I'd say the back tray is just as rigid as the wheel well metal which is where the autopower mounts. Actually this is what kind of bothers me about the Autopower bar as well. How strong is it really going to be in a rollover? I've seen a picture somewhere of a Mustang that rolled with one of those bars and the posts just went through the bottom of the car despite the backing plates.


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Old 08-05-2008, 06:24 PM   #22
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atom, there are a couple of thing that make me question racecages roll bar. The mounting point on the rear. How rigid is that point on the package tray? That is just sheet metal that will bend/brake and won't keep the main roll hoop in it's vertical position. The second is the main roll hoop doesn't contain a diagonal bar to keep the hoop from deforming. I would still go with the Autopower. Kirk makes roll bars for the RX7. They don't list the RX8 on their web site. It may be worth a call.
ok i sent an email to kirk.

however, i am not going with the full race version of autopower. remember, im still only a beginner, i wont be doing anything but timed laps without full passing. i want to allow my stock seats to recline, which the diagonal bar prevents. i think the roll bar is more than enough for now. if this really turns out to be the addiction it could become, then i will probably sell the 8, buy an electric commuter, and a car thats already set up - full welded cage, etc.. a porsche perhaps, or something within some spec. a porsche not because its better than an 8, but because i really like POC and i have friends in there already taking me under their wing.

as far as a sheet metal mount point, ill have to ask. goodwin thinks the racecage is a higher quality solution than autopower, but ill still look into it.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:59 PM   #23
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You might check into it but some orgs require that if you have a rollbar then it has to have the diagonal cross-brace. The autopower one is removable though I think.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:15 PM   #24
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Check: http://cms.scca.com/documents/Club%20Rules/GCR2008.pdf
Appendix G is about roll bars / cages
Specifically figure 16 which shows how a cage is to be constructed. All this would all so apply to a roll bar.
Many other organizations use the SCCA rules for their events.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:57 AM   #25
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hi peoples..

ive been taking my rx8 to the track. 4 times out, still a beginner, just getting going. ive recently decided to make it safer. picked out a sparco seat (pro 2000), schroth 6 point harnesses.. but how can i mount them? its a daily driver and i hesitate to do something semi-permanent like a roll bar, even if its bolt in... id rather do a harness bar since its easier to go back to stock when im not racing.

ive done so much searching, and have come up with nothing.. is it true no harness bar exists for the 8 without a roll bar or roll cage???

i dont think it would be wise to mount them to the back seats or something like that..

i do hope someone has an answer for me :-)

For the 99% of the time you're driving the car (daily driving), with a roll bar installed, are you going to wear a helmet? Even if it's not a full roll cage, your melon head bounces around incredibly during an impact, likely to strike the roll bar. Rethink the whole scenario. It's either a track prepared car with rollover protection, or it's a street car using OEM safety (3 point belts and airbags). There's no "safe" in-between setup.

On another note, let us know what Kirk Racing responds with. I'm interested in having them weld in a full cage when I decide to track prep the 8.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:57 AM
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