Sympathetic track mods.... bucket seats, harness, roll hoop

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Sympathetic track mods.... bucket seats, harness, roll hoop

Postby gchristofi » Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:14 pm

As the turbo is soon to be back on the road (after some RATS love), thoughts turn to how to start a "sympathetic" transformation to a trackday car. I want to be able to return the car to stock in future if necessary and any $erious upgrade like turbo/injectors/mapping, or coilover kit will need to wait their turn for budget recovery well into next year.

In addition to new cooling system (pipes, rad, pump) the car will be coming back with standard brakes with the addition of 300+C racing fluid, braided fexi hoses and EBC bluestuff pads at the front. Have had remarkable results with just pad and fluid upgrades previously so fingers crossed this braking system should cope with the standard 27 year old turbo's power for now.

Also sticking with the 3 piece Fagix 15" wheels that are fitted for now. May treat the car to some Toyo R1R tyres if it proves track worthy. One has a serious air leak mind you, so needs some remedial work of some sort.

If I can get one successful track outing from the car, will likely be looking in the near future to fit a race bucket seat and harness. I do need something on the "generous" size to be able to fit in properly. I really struggled with the Sparco sprint V installed in my last car on which the "butt width" measurement was a measly 34 cm wide. Any one got any advice on this? If you've fitted bucket seats, did you need a subframe, or was there even headroom for one if you're 6 foot and wearing a helmet?

One option I'm considering is the Corbeau Club sport. It is a fairly recent seat to market, although it's not FIA approved, it is a composite seat built using Corbeau's proven technology and also comes in a handy XL size on which the " butt width" measurement is a more comfy sounding 38 cm. At £170 for a single or £300 for a pair, it looks somewhat of a bargain, especially as it comes with steel side mounts and double locking runners included! (although again, not sure there will be headroom for runners?)

http://www.sportseats4u.co.uk/corbeau-c ... _4509.html

As for racing harnesses, what have you guys done to your cars? I think without a cage / harness bar the options are probably a little limited i.e. 3 point using existing seat belt mounts? What about retaining the use of the back seats, is this even possible with a fixed bucket seat...... perhaps if it can slide far enough forward?
Finally, thinking ahead to a roll hoop, and looking for something that might fit the car, be removable and not break the bank, I came across this outfit.... Any of you guys with experience of such a product or opinions as to its effectiveness in case of finding oneself the wrong way up?

http://www.westysrollcages.co.uk/apps/webstore/
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Re: Sympathetic track mods.... bucket seats, harness, roll h

Postby Miles » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:33 am

I would speak to Lee at RATS regarding cage,as he fitted one to Jill.
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Re: Sympathetic track mods.... bucket seats, harness, roll h

Postby si21 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:35 am

Hi I have an OMP clubman bucket seat fitted to my Atmo I retained the runners but linked them with some steel bars front and rear which are drilled to suit the bottom mounted bosses on this particular seat. This allows for adjustment fore and aft. I also packed the front of the seat up with spacers to tilt the seat backwards to give a little more headroom..I am 5ft 10 and my head is very close to the roof with my lid on. Side mounted in a fixed position would be better for your height as it will set the bottom of the set closer to the chassis floor. This will mean no adjustability but the rear seat can't be used in either case; well at least not my any adult! I fitted eye bolts in the chassis where the seatbelt bolts to the will and the other into the seatbelt mounted on the seat itself. The rears have metal loops through the rear bulkhead with the seat folded down and I use a 4 point harness which clips in and out of the eyelets - e.g. its removable.

Cages - a full cage is not really what your after which is what Clee has fitted to his car thats being prepared to circuit race, they are expensive and need to comply with MSA\FIA regulations it maybe wise to speak to someone who knows what they are doing/talking about in this regard as you could spend money on a cage which is useless for competition so you may as well spend money on a cage which complies tubing and construction wise and that can be extend/added to in order to convert to a full cage if required; then at least the half clubman's cage will actually be a known quantity; and will stand up in the event of an accident!! That said anything cagewise will be better than nothing but the triangulating bar will again restrict any passenger use of the rear seats.
Hope this helps a little


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Re: Sympathetic track mods.... bucket seats, harness, roll h

Postby gchristofi » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:41 am

Thank you Si21' that is very useful information. I will look up the dimensions of your Omp clubman and compare it to the Corbeau. Did you use the car's original runners in your install? Was there any width left to play with?

I like the idea of removable 4 point harness too.

I will probably run without a cage to begin with but add one if the car runs well. Don't foresee the car ever needing FIA compliance but if the clubman cage can conform, then it makes sense. My last car had a full FIA cage, but I always felt it was a head injury risk when driving on the road without a helmet. Think I,d be happy enough with a triangulated roll hoop.

If u have any pictures of your seat and harness installed, would love to see them.

Thanks again. Greg.
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Re: Sympathetic track mods.... bucket seats, harness, roll h

Postby si21 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:32 pm

Hi Greg
Yes there is a little space to the drivers side;however its very tight to the centre spine of the chassis (centre console) which runs through the centre of the car. It is mounted on standard runners; you may choose to mount the seat slightly more to the right/sill as I have to fix the lap belt console side prior to fitting as room is very tight; a slight oversight but to be honest I use the 4 point harness on the road so not a problem to me.

I don't run with a cage and I sprint and hill climb the car; however, thats not to say a clubman's hoop wouldn't be a good precaution. On the up side running without is less weight in road going class so best to keep her right way up ;-)

I hear what you say regarding head injury with the roll bar with road use, my only point would be that the bucket seat is quite upright and I am 5' 10" tall and roof space is tight with a helmet on.

Not sure I have any pics of harnesses fitted I'll see what I can find.

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Re: Sympathetic track mods.... bucket seats, harness, roll h

Postby gchristofi » Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:31 pm

I wonder if removing the trim from the central tunnel buys a little more room. I'll have a look when the car is back with me but not sure I want to do too much trim removal at this stage, I never seem to get it back quite the same as it looked before!

I don't mind a 4 point for occasional road use, often just leave it a little looser than on track and can even use just 3 belts. Can be a pain if you need to lean forward at blind junctions. Never had Mot issues either but not sure on the exact regulations.

Seen a few cars on their lids at track days......, not my style usually but always surprised how quickly a gentle spin goes bad on curbs or soft grass. Having said that, pretty sure all the wrong way ups I've seen have been conventional hatches like Clios or Focuses. Surely these low and wide GTAs have a low centre of gravity and much harder to roll? (He says hopefully!) :-)
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