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Old 10-21-2011, 02:34 AM
Dave... Dave... is offline
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Post NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

I tried searching and I couldn't find any answers so hopefully I'm not reposting these questions.

I'm picking up a 1990 Miata Soft Top for lapping and eventually OTA participation. Now I don't care about where I'm classed, yet... But I do care about whether or not I am allowed on the track.

The car I am buying comes with a Hard Dog Hard Core M2 Roll Bar with 2 Diagonals which is advertised as being SCCS Solo I compliant:
http://www.bethania-garage.com/m2_hardcore.htm

I will also be getting the Hard Dog Bolt-In Harness Bar:
http://www.bethania-garage.com/harness_bar.htm

Since the car doesn't have seats in it at the moment (and since I have one that's looking for a home), I'll be putting two Sparco Sprint 5's in as well.

Since the rules also state that I need a harness (and I might as well protect my instructor's life as well), I will be installing two harnesses. I currently have a Sparco 4 point (PN: 04604BMNR, stamped 18 Mar 2009) That is, according to the booklet that came with it, ECE homologated (Circled E12).
http://www.sparcousa.com/pharness_tuning.asp?id=371

The two questions I have are as follows:

1) Will the roll bar/harness bar combination pass CASC scrutineering? I think it should, I've read the rules, but I figure I might as well ask and be sure before money changes hands.

2a) Is a 4 point harness allowed in a 1990 Miata equipped with the parts I have described? My review of the rules suggests it might be, but my friend says it isn't. (He says minimum 5 point.)
2b) More to the point, will this harness, complete with it's seat belt buckle goodness actually protect me in the event of a roll over / collision (remember 1990 = no airbags)?

The jump in price to a Willans or a Sparco harness is quite hefty (more than the cost of the seats!), but I don't want to mess around with my (or anyone else's) life. What's the consensus from those with experience?

Also worth mentioning, this is a dual purpose street/track car, although it will not be daily driven.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:06 AM
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Alloy GT Alloy GT is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

i am glad you have asked this question! I believe the rules have been recently re-written (?) and imo leave a lot of grey areas unanswered and therefore can easily lead to confusion. And nobody should be confused when it comes to safety rules! 4 point harness is one of them! it is totally unclear under what scenario such a harness can be used, if at all. Personally, i was under an impression, that if a car had any roll over protection, 5 or greater point harness was mandatory...but i stand to be corrected. i would actually request, that persons responsible for the safety rules kindly review this section of the rules and make them more clear. Perhaps following a logic such as this: "these are the circumstances where one can use 4 point harness: blah blah. ditto 5/6 point: blah blah.
These are minimum harness requirements for a roll bar: blah, for a roll cage: blah... Include seat requirements for each harness type as well, such as reclining vs fixed, etc! Many thanks in advance! Bill
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:04 AM
bsclywilly bsclywilly is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alloy GT View Post
i am glad you have asked this question! I believe the rules have been recently re-written (?) and imo leave a lot of grey areas unanswered and therefore can easily lead to confusion. And nobody should be confused when it comes to safety rules! 4 point harness is one of them! it is totally unclear under what scenario such a harness can be used, if at all. Personally, i was under an impression, that if a car had any roll over protection, 5 or greater point harness was mandatory...but i stand to be corrected. i would actually request, that persons responsible for the safety rules kindly review this section of the rules and make them more clear. Perhaps following a logic such as this: "these are the circumstances where one can use 4 point harness: blah blah. ditto 5/6 point: blah blah.
These are minimum harness requirements for a roll bar: blah, for a roll cage: blah... Include seat requirements for each harness type as well, such as reclining vs fixed, etc! Many thanks in advance! Bill
Bill, I hope you bothered to read the section about safety harnesses first.

They have not been re-written in a very long time and lists the requirements in which OEM, 3pt/4pt, and 5pt+ harnesses may be used - Section 1.1. If you want to know how roll bars and roll cages play in to the harness selection read the first line of 1.1.2, 1.1.3. There is no requirement written about seat type because they are not limited by roll bar/cage or harness selection.

OP, Your rollbar/harness bar are approved for use, as long as it clears your helmet by 2 inches minimum (rule 1.3.4).

The only thing that I see is unclear in the harness section is where it describes roll cages. A rollbar is not a roll cage.

The 4pt harness is allowed if it meets the conditions of rule 1.1.3 ("Applicable to vehicles with three-point and four-point aftermarket harnesses"). To summarize, you have a roll bar, not a roll cage, so you can use a 4pt harness as long as it is DOT-approved or compliant with FIA 8854/98.

Also, because you have a rollbar and not a roll cage, you can still use your OEM belt (rule 1.1.2).

And just to point out again, there is no rule governing the type of seat you use with either roll bar, cage, or harness.

Let me know if anything else needs more clarification.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:42 AM
nissannx nissannx is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

Another point to consider is the age of the belt. You indicate it's dated 2009. Is it FIA or SFI rated? SFI is good for two years. FIA for five.

There are some very good FIA rated harnesses that are reasonably priced. I have G-Force and I'm quite pleased with them. Check that out carefully and be sure what rating yours have.

No ambiguity to this ruleset.

If it's street driven, you will need your OEM 3 point harness. That's outside of our ruleset.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:31 AM
1morelap 1morelap is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

and if you don't meet the 2inch rule, get a hardtop, right?

Quote:
1.3.4.
The top of the roll bar shall be a minimum of two inches above the top of the
driver's helmet when the driver is sitting in a normal driving position, or shall
be located as near the roof as possible in closed cars or in vehicles with a
factory specified hard top or convertible top, provided the vehicleʼs top is
installed and up when driving in competition. The top of the roll bar shall not
be more than ten inches behind the back of the driver's helmet when the
driver is sitting in a normal driving position.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:33 AM
bsclywilly bsclywilly is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1morelap View Post
and if you don't meet the 2inch rule, get a hardtop, right?
Nah, just sit lower!
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:38 AM
1morelap 1morelap is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

so confused.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:14 AM
Dave... Dave... is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsclywilly View Post
The 4pt harness is allowed if it meets the conditions of rule 1.1.3 ("Applicable to vehicles with three-point and four-point aftermarket harnesses"). To summarize, you have a roll bar, not a roll cage, so you can use a 4pt harness as long as it is DOT-approved or compliant with FIA 8854/98.
This is what I thought.

Quote:
Personally, i was under an impression, that if a car had any roll over protection, 5 or greater point harness was mandatory.
This is what I've been hearing, lol. Thanks for clarifying!

Now regarding rule 1.3.4:
Quote:
The top of the roll bar shall be a minimum of two inches above the top of the driver's helmet when the driver is sitting in a normal driving position, or shall be located as near the roof as possible in closed cars or in vehicles with a factory specified hard top or convertible top, provided the vehicleʼs top is installed and up when driving in competition. The top of the roll bar shall not be more than ten inches behind the back of the driver's helmet when the driver is sitting in a normal driving position
I am pretty sure this is a mute point for me as my bar will meet the first condition, but in general does this mean that the top of the roll bar can be less than two inches above the top of the driver's helmet if it is as near the roof as possible?

Regarding the belts, the one I have is ECE-R16.04 compliant I believe (hence DOT approved and, if the Circled E12 on the belt is any indication, good until December 31st 2012). Since it is DOT-Approved I'm relieved that I don't NEED to buy a better harness. Also, given that it's DOT-approved, doesn't that mean that it is legal for use on the streets? The handbook says Sparco makes two types of belts, one for race use (FIA) and one for road use (DOT/ECE) with mine being the latter.

Back to one of the original questions: Regardless of what the rules say, what have people's experiences been with 4 point point harnesses? Would you trust them?

Finally, the guy who is installing the seats said he can modify the stock seat rails to fit the new seats. Now I plan on asking exactly what this entails since I've seen some "interestingly" modified (see: death trap) seat rails in the past, but I want to confirm that this is not in-and-of-itself against the rules. (Aka. a scrutineer won't tell me "modified seat rails = auto fail inspection.") I searched the rules but did not find anything specific so I suspect I'll be ok in theory.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:28 PM
68vette 68vette is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave... View Post
This is what I thought.



This is what I've been hearing, lol. Thanks for clarifying!

Now regarding rule 1.3.4:


I am pretty sure this is a mute point for me as my bar will meet the first condition, but in general does this mean that the top of the roll bar can be less than two inches above the top of the driver's helmet if it is as near the roof as possible?



Back to one of the original questions: Regardless of what the rules say, what have people's experiences been with 4 point point harnesses? Would you trust them?

Finally, the guy who is installing the seats said he can modify the stock seat rails to fit the new seats. Now I plan on asking exactly what this entails since I've seen some "interestingly" modified (see: death trap) seat rails in the past, but I want to confirm that this is not in-and-of-itself against the rules. (Aka. a scrutineer won't tell me "modified seat rails = auto fail inspection.") I searched the rules but did not find anything specific so I suspect I'll be ok in theory.
1.3.4: > in closed cars or in vehicles with a
factory specified hard top or convertible top, provided the vehicleʼs top is
installed and up when driving in competition. <

A srutineer cannot tell if you "modified seat rails" will be safe on the track or street. Manufacturers do sell seat rails for their seats. I would suggest you use those.

Good possibility that "interestingly" modified (see: death trap) seat rails will net you an auto fail.
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Last edited by 68vette; 10-21-2011 at 01:46 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:48 PM
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Alloy GT Alloy GT is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsclywilly View Post
Bill, I hope you bothered to read the section about safety harnesses first.

They have not been re-written in a very long time and lists the requirements in which OEM, 3pt/4pt, and 5pt+ harnesses may be used - Section 1.1. If you want to know how roll bars and roll cages play in to the harness selection read the first line of 1.1.2, 1.1.3. There is no requirement written about seat type because they are not limited by roll bar/cage or harness selection.

OP, Your rollbar/harness bar are approved for use, as long as it clears your helmet by 2 inches minimum (rule 1.3.4).

The only thing that I see is unclear in the harness section is where it describes roll cages. A rollbar is not a roll cage.

The 4pt harness is allowed if it meets the conditions of rule 1.1.3 ("Applicable to vehicles with three-point and four-point aftermarket harnesses"). To summarize, you have a roll bar, not a roll cage, so you can use a 4pt harness as long as it is DOT-approved or compliant with FIA 8854/98.

Also, because you have a rollbar and not a roll cage, you can still use your OEM belt (rule 1.1.2).

And just to point out again, there is no rule governing the type of seat you use with either roll bar, cage, or harness.

Let me know if anything else needs more clarification.
No need to doubt me reading the rules Will I have read and re-read them, but i am still confused. And you are right, i might have somehow confused ours with another set of rules. Regardless, please excuse my obvious difficulties wrt understanding the rule book. I would very much appreciate if an official scrutineer kindly confirmed the following relationships (and then perhaps inserted them into the rule book somehow for ease of reference between restraint systems and roll over protection):

1) 3 point belts - can they indeed be used with a roll bar?
2) 4 point harness - can they be used without any roll over protection? i dont seem to be able to find any reference to roll over protection vs these type of harnesses (other than they must not be used with a roll cage). Any clarification would be much appreciated. Mybe i need new glasses....LOL!!!
3) do all MODIFIED class cars automatically require at least a roll bar AND 5 or more point harness? Can a MOD car compete without a roll bar and if so under what circumstances?

many thanks indeed! Bill
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Last edited by Alloy GT; 10-21-2011 at 04:26 PM. Reason: added text to 2) in brackets
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:42 PM
68vette 68vette is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

1) 3 point belts - can they indeed be used with a roll bar?
2) 4 point harness - can they be used without any roll over protection? i dont seem to be able to find any reference to roll over protection vs these type of harnesses (other than they must not be used with a roll cage). Any clarification would be much appreciated. Mybe i need new glasses....LOL!!!
3) do all MODIFIED class cars automatically require at least a roll bar AND 5 or more point harness? Can a MOD car compete without a roll bar and if so under what circumstances?

many thanks indeed! Bill[/QUOTE]


Bill

1) Section 1.1.3 i) Three-point and four-point harnesses shall not be used in a vehicle with a roll cage. So yes to Roll bar no to Roll cage.

2) If you mean can you use a 4 point and the car is not a convertible and not on slicks and does not have a roll cage and is not specially constructed and meets rules 1.1.3 i)-)v. According to the rule book yes.

3) {All classes are held to these rules.}

1.3 ROLL OVER PROTECTION ROLL BARS AND CAGES
.1 A roll bar is required for:
i) vehicles with fold down or completely removable tops (e.g., convertibles)
ii) vehicles that have accumulated 25 PIPs or more from their starting PI,
excluding aero and tire PIPs.
iii) vehicles using non-DOT approved racing slicks (see 4.8.2.4)
iv) vehicles with a Performance Index (PI) of 105% or greater
v) 'Unlimited' class vehicles
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:04 PM
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Alloy GT Alloy GT is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68vette View Post
1) 3 point belts - can they indeed be used with a roll bar?
2) 4 point harness - can they be used without any roll over protection? i dont seem to be able to find any reference to roll over protection vs these type of harnesses (other than they must not be used with a roll cage). Any clarification would be much appreciated. Mybe i need new glasses....LOL!!!
3) do all MODIFIED class cars automatically require at least a roll bar AND 5 or more point harness? Can a MOD car compete without a roll bar and if so under what circumstances?

many thanks indeed! Bill

Bill

1) Section 1.1.3 i) Three-point and four-point harnesses shall not be used in a vehicle with a roll cage. So yes to Roll bar no to Roll cage.

2) If you mean can you use a 4 point and the car is not a convertible and not on slicks and does not have a roll cage and is not specially constructed and meets rules 1.1.3 i)-)v. According to the rule book yes.

3) {All classes are held to these rules.}

1.3 ROLL OVER PROTECTION ROLL BARS AND CAGES
.1 A roll bar is required for:
i) vehicles with fold down or completely removable tops (e.g., convertibles)
ii) vehicles that have accumulated 25 PIPs or more from their starting PI,
excluding aero and tire PIPs.
iii) vehicles using non-DOT approved racing slicks (see 4.8.2.4)
iv) vehicles with a Performance Index (PI) of 105% or greater
v) 'Unlimited' class vehicles[/QUOTE]

many thanks Derrick!

Please confirm i can run a 4 point harness with a harness bar (NOT a roll bar) in my stock c5z).

Lastly, what is the purpose of a following special mention relative to Modified class vehicles:

quote:
iii) A five-point or greater harness restraint system shall be required for all
'Modified' class vehicles
which require roll over protection under section 1.3.1.
end quote

Does it mean that all Mod class vehicles require roll over protections? Or does it mean that only MOD class over 105 PI and/or non DOT slicks?

Thanks again! Bill
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:57 PM
68vette 68vette is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

Does it mean that all Mod class vehicles require roll over protections? Or does it mean that only MOD class over 105 PI and/or non DOT slicks?

Thanks again! Bill[/QUOTE]




a) If you mean roll bar, no.

b) Any vehicles using non-DOT approved racing slicks require a roll bar.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:12 PM
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Alloy GT Alloy GT is offline
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68vette View Post
Does it mean that all Mod class vehicles require roll over protections? Or does it mean that only MOD class over 105 PI and/or non DOT slicks?

Thanks again! Bill



a) If you mean roll bar, no.

b) Any vehicles using non-DOT approved racing slicks require a roll bar.[/QUOTE]

1) Let me be more specific. If I ran in MOD, do I automatically need a roll bar and a min 5 point harness, or ONLY if I ran non DOT and/or scored over 105 PI?
2) And can I run a 4 point harness without any roll over protection in my c5z?
This question is NOT related to the one above.
Thanks! Bill
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:25 PM
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Re: NA Miata: Roll Bar and Harness Questions

Bill, if you put on "full slicks" these are not the uber ie r-6 tires you need a cage.

if you pip your car to over 105 you need a cage.

you can not run 4 or 5 pt belts in any car which does not have roll over protection
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