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Old 03-28-2012, 12:49 PM   #1
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Default Expired Harnesses, legal in PDX?

So, apparently the rules regarding harnesses have changed for PDX. No longer are autocross rules (where the belts simply need to be in good condition) applied to PDX. Non-factory belts now must be up-to-date with their certifications. So, my barely used but 5-year old RaceTech belts are no longer PDX legal (even though the 16 year-old 3-point stock belts are a-okay ).

So, my loss is your gain, for any of you that want some fantastic harnesses for autocross. 6-point with cam-lock release, 3" pull-up lap belts, 3" pull-down shoulder belts, 2" crotch straps. Velcro on the belts for sticking them out of the way when getting into the car. Drink/radio tie on the shoulder belt. Driver's side has been used for maybe 30 hours, passenger's side for more like 2 hours. I will likely have the correct mounting hardware for Subaru's (and most other cars AFAIK) as well... depends on what comes with the new belts I buy.

Everything is in crazy good condition... it's a shame I can't just have them inspected and get a new cert sewed on, because they're in excellent condition.

I'll sell them for $100/each. Pictures to come once I take them out of the car.

EDIT: looks like my harnesses are still legal for PDX and CT, so I'm keeping 'em. *phew*
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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Scott, are you reading something in the rules I'm not?

10.8. REQUIRED DRIVER SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Please note that for PDX (Level 1) events, the following guidelines apply for restraint systems. Cars equipped with a roll bar may use stock restraint systems, provided that the roll bar does not interfere with the function of the system in any way, or restraint harness per Section 12 of the TTR. For these cars, there is no age limit on harnesses so long as the harnesses are in visibly and physically good condition (i.e. no fraying, damage, or excessive discoloration). Cars that do not incorporate roll bars or cages may use the stock restraint system in its entirety, or use a restraint system that complies with TTR Section 12.


Don't you have a roll bar in your car?
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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I was just going off the word of tech last weekend. I read the 2011 rules as above, I assumed that the 2012 rules were different because they said the rules were changed. Is the above from the 2012 rules?

As far as my rollbar, the bar in the Miata is not SCCA legal without the top on the car. It's a double roll hoop, so who knows if that counts. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm technically required to remove the rollbar to be legal somehow.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:56 PM   #4
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I took the above from the 2012 rule set on the SCCA website, unless they've changed them in the last Fastrack, I think they're good. You're like me, a non-compliant roll bar, but as long as you keep the top on it, you should be good to go. Once we remove the top, the rules change for us.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:02 AM   #5
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This is one of the reasons why this is my last year as CoT.

So, 12.1 states:
All drivers in PDX (Level 1) events may utilize factory/OEM restraints or a restraint harness meeting the specifications of section 12.1 in
lieu of the factory/OEM restraints

Then, one paragraph somewhere else in the book blows this away.

So, your belts are legal. And they'd be legal in CT.

But you couldn't run them in TT which is really amusing since we have guys in CT running faster lap times than the guys in TT.

Geeze, the $480 belts in my Ford that were used in 2 races are illeagle but I could put them in the Corvette and run them forever.

OK, rant partially off BUT , even if the belts don't have to meet date codes, they still have to be mounted correctly, per the GCR and not to what someone thinks is good enough. I've seen shoulder belts that were looped over the back of the seat and mounted to the floorboard 6 inches behind the drivers seat (in Reno). In a frontal impact, this driver would roll thru the belts until the steering wheel stopped him.
People show up at the track that never looked at the rules on belt mounting, think you could mount the damn things with sheetmetal screws.

AND even if the mounting done to spec, MOST stock seats without pass thru holes are too wide for the shoulderbelts to work correctly. You can slip right thru them on a frontal impact.

Rollbars are even worse, years ago I saw on made out of exhaust tubing.
Rollbars mounted into a fiberglass floorpan should be just fine, right?

And if anything bad happens, it's the guys in tech who will get the blame.

Crap, I should just resign today and cut my liability.







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Old 03-29-2012, 10:15 AM   #6
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Bill, I feel your pain. The rules seem to have very little in terms of cohesive logic behind them.

For example, in the 10.8 section Don quoted, in PDX it's apparently okay to have expired harnesses if you have a rollbar. But if you don't have a rollbar, you have to have non-expired harnesses. Frankly, the rule should be "no harnesses unless you have a rollbar/harnessbar and proper seat, otherwise DOT approved or OEM belts are required".

The rollbar rules for open top cars are also silly. Apparently, you can have any sort of bar on the car if you have a factory hard top over it. But if you don't have a top, you can't autocross with a double hoop bar... you have to have *no* bar instead. Now I get that a "style bar" may in fact be more dangerous than no bar... but a well designed double hoop is going to be much safer than nothing... yet it's not legal.

I guess the saving grace is that this is stated in section 11:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCCA TTR
The Technical Staff of Club Racing shall have the responsibility to ensure specification compliance with SCCA safety standards. To that
end, the Technical Staff of Club Racing may or may not accept alternate construction standards from any source that significantly vary
from SCCA standards of protection.
So theoretically, if tech is okay with a particular bar, they can give it the green light even if it's not built to the letter of the rules. I'd like to think that my Hard Dog "deuce" bar is adequate since it's built just like their SCCA legal "ace" bar, but has two hoops instead of one. But I guess it doesn't really matter since I'm never planning on running w/o the hardtop on the car anyway.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:21 AM   #7
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Yes Bill, there was some discussion at the National Convention about the overlapping of rule verbiage in the Time Trials rule set and how confusing it can be. We aren't the only ones who think that the individual rule sets (Level 1, 2, 3, 4) and the cross referencing can seem to be at odds. Perhaps a seperate rule "book", with no references to the other leverls, would be better for PDX.

Scott, I believe the autocross roll bar rule is class specific: for most classes you can run either with or without a roll bar, and I believe the only guideline is the broomstick rule, which isn't enforced in Reno. Your double hoops will be fine for autocross, unless you run CP or AM or something like that.

Bill, I should bring my video camera to tech and we can make a "what not to do" video out of the most ridiculous cars. And I think you have done, and are doing, a fantastic job dealing with what is obviously a confusing and difficult task. (Bolted to a fiberglass floorpan?! Wow.)

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Old 03-29-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sperry View Post
Bill, I feel your pain. The rules seem to have very little in terms of cohesive logic behind them.

For example, in the 10.8 section Don quoted, in PDX it's apparently okay to have expired harnesses if you have a rollbar. But if you don't have a rollbar, you have to have non-expired harnesses. Frankly, the rule should be "no harnesses unless you have a rollbar/harnessbar and proper seat, otherwise DOT approved or OEM belts are required".

The rollbar rules for open top cars are also silly. Apparently, you can have any sort of bar on the car if you have a factory hard top over it. But if you don't have a top, you can't autocross with a double hoop bar... you have to have *no* bar instead. Now I get that a "style bar" may in fact be more dangerous than no bar... but a well designed double hoop is going to be much safer than nothing... yet it's not legal.

I guess the saving grace is that this is stated in section 11:



So theoretically, if tech is okay with a particular bar, they can give it the green light even if it's not built to the letter of the rules. I'd like to think that my Hard Dog "deuce" bar is adequate since it's built just like their SCCA legal "ace" bar, but has two hoops instead of one. But I guess it doesn't really matter since I'm never planning on running w/o the hardtop on the car anyway.
Yea, 10.8 is written in SCCA Speak either by a lawyer or an idiot.
So, without a rollbar, the harness has to be dated. And you can mount the shoulderbelts where ever you want??? OOPS, there's the 20 degree rule and if you have a harness bar to mount them to, there's no rules on it's construction.

Now the rollbars - the rules are worse than the seat belts.
Technically my Corvette's illegal every time I take it on the track because it's a "Targa Top".
And all the convertables need to show paperwork from the manufacturer in the owners manual or a shop manual that their stock bars are actually rollover protection. Yea, everybody in the tech line has that stuff ready.

And, how does the tech guy know if the aftermarket bar is a style bar or a correct bar or bar that the driver just thinks is correct cause it was made by a "good" company? And if it is a correct bar, is it mounted correctly?
All the aftermarket manufacturers will say their bar's great, like the one on recently the Corvette forum that stated "Meets all specs" except thet thing was just a full hoop with a lateral brace and no, zip, zero, nada fore & aft bracing.

On top of all this being extremely hard to tech, I have other SCCA "Officials" or even other drivers coming up to me pointing out what they don't like about someone else's rollbar.

And, more SCCA speak "Accepting alternate construction standards." buy the Technical Staff of Club Racing ? Who are they? To me that says the guys that look at rule changes and put out FastTrack.


BTW, your car's more aerodynamic with the top on.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillH View Post
Yea, 10.8 is written in SCCA Speak either by a lawyer or an idiot.
So, without a rollbar, the harness has to be dated. And you can mount the shoulderbelts where ever you want??? OOPS, there's the 20 degree rule and if you have a harness bar to mount them to, there's no rules on it's construction.

Now the rollbars - the rules are worse than the seat belts.
Technically my Corvette's illegal every time I take it on the track because it's a "Targa Top".
And all the convertables need to show paperwork from the manufacturer in the owners manual or a shop manual that their stock bars are actually rollover protection. Yea, everybody in the tech line has that stuff ready.

And, how does the tech guy know if the aftermarket bar is a style bar or a correct bar or bar that the driver just thinks is correct cause it was made by a "good" company? And if it is a correct bar, is it mounted correctly?
All the aftermarket manufacturers will say their bar's great, like the one on recently the Corvette forum that stated "Meets all specs" except thet thing was just a full hoop with a lateral brace and no, zip, zero, nada fore & aft bracing.

On top of all this being extremely hard to tech, I have other SCCA "Officials" or even other drivers coming up to me pointing out what they don't like about someone else's rollbar.

And, more SCCA speak "Accepting alternate construction standards." buy the Technical Staff of Club Racing ? Who are they? To me that says the guys that look at rule changes and put out FastTrack.


BTW, your car's more aerodynamic with the top on.
Bill I assumed that "the Technical Staff of Club Racing" was you, the tech inspector. i.e. the inspectors have discretion for allowing/disallowing stuff. My guess is the rule was meant to allow an instructor to deny a car if something's janky about a cage even if it meets the letter of the rules... but it is written to work both ways.

As far as harnesses without a bar... there are those DOT approved 3/4-point harnesses that Schroth makes. They bolt into the stock seatbelt locations and use a stretch gizmo in one of the shoulder belts to make it work like a 3-point harness in a rollover to prevent submarine-ing. I've used them in my WRX before I had a cage, and in my Outback wagon. They're much more comfortable than the stock 3-point... though I'm guessing they're not any safer, if not being a little less safe in a roll-over.

But some of the rules confusion looks like it's due to trying to keep them as legal alternatives to the stock belts. Frankly, they could just fix all that by requiring belts to be either DOT approved w/o a harness bar, or "in good shape" SFI/FIA belts with a harness bar. Frankly, if you've got a cage, you probably shouldn't be using the stock belts anyway.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Bill I assumed that "the Technical Staff of Club Racing" was you, .

Yea, that's what the lawyers would say in the lawsuit.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sperry View Post
But some of the rules confusion looks like it's due to trying to keep them as legal alternatives to the stock belts. Frankly, they could just fix all that by requiring belts to be either DOT approved w/o a harness bar, or "in good shape" SFI/FIA belts with a harness bar. Frankly, if you've got a cage, you probably shouldn't be using the stock belts anyway.

Agreed.
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