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#874 - 12/16/01 07:49 PM 5 point harness bars and belts  
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This year for ORRing there has been a rash of changes that mainly affected Corvettes.

As you may recall I met with Rodger Ward back around 1995 and we spend the time going through the design of the Corvette related to safety.

I submitted to Rodger the Federal testing of the C4 as mandated for a new car to be sold.

In part it showed the C - pillar is part of the frame and thus a valid rollbar.

I also had installed a AS&M 5 point harness bar and the safety belts in my C4 so that Rodger could examine the design.

Rodger went through my C4 and in the end found the C pillar and AS&M harness bar design to be up to par to allow a Corvette coupe to be in any target class/division except S.S and unlimited.

Since 1995, there has never been a failure of a 5 point harness system and in fact one case when Bob Potter had crashed and the C5 was totaled out, the AS&M bar prevented him and the jerk navigator from getting killed.

For the last couple of years in ORRing there seems to be some motive that Corvettes are being forced into different changes related to these bars/belts and their mounting.

I raise this now so that this can be discussed before MKM ORR host sets their 2002 rules into stone.

Whats your input on this ?

These bars are used in all types of racing and never have any problem, there is no data at all to show that the way the bars or their mounting method have failed or caused injury.

To me that says the designs are correct and should not be forced to different standards, since there is nothing to show the vendors design is not valid.

I rather a ORR host stay out of the legal issues if they choose to force who's product to use or set a rule that forces us to modifiy the federal mandated rules that OEM belts not be modified and then someone either gets hurt and sue the host or the feds going after a ORR host as responsible for mandating stock seat belt mounting be touched by the car owner.

Considering we not only wear the 5 point harness belts, plus the OEM belts, the stress on the belts themselves is reduced across each belt, thus how they are mounted also have a reduced load and the rumor that if the lap and croucg belt are using the same method of how the seat frames are mounted would fail on impact where again there is zero data ever showing a seat breaking out of its mounting in a crash.

Its been proven the harness bar makes the C-pillar even stronger, thus the design AS&M has I fell meets the safety issues and it seems someone wants to force users to use only vendor they are biased to rather then show test results that a AS&M system would fail.

Thus forcing Corvette owners from having to rip their seats out and double up on the stock lap bolts is not a safe or legal path.

I think if they want extra safety is to rule stock belts must be used along with the 5 point system and [b]recommend[b] but not mandate which vendor or change the makers design of mounting belts or harness bar.

Your input is important, so add you viewpoint to this important subject so that this can be settled before '02 rules are wtitten and in late spring people have to start over and rip out what they already have installed.

If you don't give your viewpoint then of course some guy who heads up tech for a ORR host will dictate what his views are on all of us.


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#875 - 12/17/01 05:14 AM Re: 5 point harness bars and belts  

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JR, I agree with your post. I have my new 2002 ZO6 and have held off on buying and installing a new harness bar because of all of this talk about what will be allowed and what will not be allowed. I the the ASM bar is perfectly acceptable, I have this bar in my 95 LT1 and ran the 2000 Silver State and passed tech inspection. I mounted the lap belts to the seat chasis like you recommened and passed tech just fine. I did not mount the lap belts to the factory lap belt mounting points, it was just to much of a hassle and the lap belt mounts would not have worked anyway with the existing hardware. If you are wearing you factory belt and the 5-point harness you are pretty well protected in any case. We need a decision as to what will be allowed so people can get their new harness bars and belts and not have to worry about changing them because somone doesn't like them.

Lonnie

#876 - 12/17/01 08:05 AM Re: 5 point harness bars and belts  

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I agree, it's not like I have $450 lying around to waste on a "non" legal bar either.

George

#877 - 12/17/01 01:50 PM Re: 5 point harness bars and belts  

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To All: Check my response on this subject on the main message board. (Sorry, I went there first!) I will answer any further inquiries about this subject on this board in the future.

Regards, Mike Borders
General Manager, MKM Racing

#878 - 12/17/01 05:26 PM Re: 5 point harness bars and belts  
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It does not seem like Mike is making a big change othe then it sounds like arm restraints. I have ran my set up for 4 SSCC races now without a question. Now with that said my harness bar and belts are for sale. I have bought a rollbar to be installed soon. The harness bar was made by a guy named Terry Farbur use to be on this team site as exracer. The belts are made by Auto-pro red in color, a set for both driver and passenger. If interested in pics email me at Jeffyvette@aol.com


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#879 - 01/09/02 04:26 PM Re: 5 point harness bars and belts  

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To All Team Members:

MKM Racing is adding a requirement to the proper harness mounting procedures, based on the analysis of Dale Earnhart's accident as well as a later incident with the belts on Jeremy Mayfield's car. This is to address what the article identifies as "dumping," caused by the labels on the belt being under the adjustor when tightened. The requirement will be to ensure that there are no labels under your adjustors when you are belted in the car with the harness fully tightened.

Please check your harnesses carefully for this condition, and if necessary, relocate or remove the labels carefully, so as not to damage the webbing of the belts. We will be checking all cars for this condition at Tech, so be prepared to buckle in.

While you're at it, make sure you (or your navigator/co-driver) can reach your fire extinguisher or fire system activator while you are fully strapped in, too!

Mike B


NASCAR Changes Seat Belt Rules Again
By JENNA FRYER
AP Sports Writer


Reacting to the discovery of a partially torn seat belt in Jeremy Mayfield's car, NASCAR on Thursday announced new rules regarding the placement of belts and manufacturer labels that the sanctioning body hopes will prevent a recurrence.

The changes were recommended by Dr. James Raddin and Dr. John Melvin, two experts NASCAR commissioned to investigate the death of Dale Earnhardt and conduct an additional study on occupant-restraint systems.

NASCAR sent them Mayfield's belt to examine after it was found to be partially torn following an accident in Dover, Del., on Sunday.

Effective immediately, manufacturer labels cannot be located under the adjusting mechanism when the driver is buckled in the seat and has tightened the seat belts and shoulder harness.

If the label is under the adjusting mechanism, the label must be removed or relocated ``in a manner that does not affect the integrity of the belt material.'' The date of manufacture must still remain visible on the belts at all times.

Earnhardt was killed in an accident on the final lap of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. An inspection of his car found a broken lap belt and investigators later attributed the break to the phenomenon known as ``dumping.''

Dumping occurs when the webbing is pulled or moved to one side of the adjustment device through which the belt webbing travels. When a dumped belt is under stress, it can separate and tear across the entire webbing.

Although Mayfield's partial tear is still under investigation, NASCAR believes the belt broke because of dumping.

By moving the manufacturer label out from under the adjuster, there is less material that could be affected or dumped.

``In talking with our people it became a common denominator that we wanted to address,'' said Winston Cup series director Gary Nelson. ``We decided to take that out of the equation--that there is no label that is being asked to be 'loaded' by the adjuster.''

Nelson said teams can remove the manufacture labels if they find them located in the adjuster areas, but need permission from a NASCAR official before removing a date off the manufacture label if it is also in an adjuster.

NASCAR requires the manufacture dates to be visible on belts at all time to assure the belts are not too old to be used.

The modifications, distributed to all teams as a technical bulletin before the Thursday test sessions at the new Kansas Speedway, are not seen as an answer to why the belts are tearing but as a preventive measure to hopefully stop it from happening again.

Mayfield's torn belt differed slightly from Earnhardt's, which was completely separated. Both belts were made by Simpson Performance Products.

#880 - 01/09/02 04:44 PM Re: 5 point harness bars and belts  
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Mike,
what are the methods ?
Are they just removing the labels or must move them ?

If just removing them what about the date code that was on the label ?

If re-installing them, what method to assure how they attach them does not degrade the belts ?

John


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#881 - 01/09/02 09:11 PM Re: 5 point harness bars and belts  

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The only labels I care about are the date labels. All others can be simply removed if they are in the way. If, and only if necessary, the labels can be removed carefully by cutting the stitching with an exacto knife. Just stay on the label side, and don't nick the belt. If the date label nust be moved, it can be reattached elsewhere. (Yes, I know, someone might run expired belts with new labels, but I can't regulate stupidity!)

In all probability, the labels won't interfere at all, depending on your size. On my belts, they don't come near the adjustors. Mike puke

Sorry--I always wanted to try that gremlin!!

#882 - 01/10/02 03:36 PM Re: 5 point harness bars and belts  
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What will be in question is if people rip off those labels to do a couple ORRs a year, but other race groups like SCCA, NASA or NHRA doe not want the belts modified in any way ?


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#883 - 01/10/02 03:49 PM Re: 5 point harness bars and belts  

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John, I'll ask Ryan, my Race Director, who is very plugged in to NASA and SCCA about this, but my guess is that the only labels they will care about are the date labels.

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