JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
12/4/18 12:57 p.m.
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One of our primary missions for our C5 Corvette Z06 will be the SCCA’s new Time Trials program, which allows unrestricted runs on some of America’s greatest racetracks while the clocks are running. With 405hp on tap (and more likely coming in the future) that means we’d like to add a bit of protection in the form of additional safety gear.

We’ve already discussed our Kirkey Model 47 aluminum seat, which is bolted to an AMT Motorsports Ultralow mount which attaches directly to the floor. The combination of the seat and the mont provide a low, stable platform from which to work that is far more solid and supportive than the stock arrangement. Holding us into this seat is a set of GForce 2” quick release harnesses, which are sized appropriately for use with popular head and neck safety devices. The harnesses attach to the AMT seat mount via integrated eye bolts, and wrap around our Autopower roll bar.

Installing a roll bar in a C5 can be a bit more complicated than is a standard unibody vehicle. Because the Corvette is a fiberglass body dropped over a steel and aluminum backbone chassis, there’s no real structural floor to attach rollover protection to like in a unibody car.

Instead, the main hoop of the roll bar is attached to plates which are welded to the top of the bulkhead separating the passenger area from the cargo area. More plates are welded to the frame back in the cargo area, which requires the removal of some fiberglass to access the steel frame below.

Welding the plates to the frame in the rear is a piece of cake—it’s thick metal being welded to think metal. Welding to the bulkhead is a bit trickier as you’re welding thick plates to a relatively thin piece of formed steel. Complicating matters is the fact that the fuel tanks sit inches below the to of that bulkhead you're now welding on. Our advice: Lower the fuel tanks as much as possible, or remove them altogether before welding commences. It’s a choice between how much you trust your welding skill vs how easily you think you can survive an explosion.

The final piece of our safety equation was a 10lb mechanical fire system from SPA Technique. Included with their SPAfs SFI10 kit is a bottle, mounts, a release cable and enough tubing, nozzles and connectors for three discharge points in the car. With a set of tubing cutters and a simple bender, you can install the kit in under an hour, and remove or replace it once installed in 15-20 minutes. It’s a perfect solution for someone who may want to track a car that gets used on the street, and needs to be able to install and uninstall the system for track days.

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Brian_13
Brian_13 New Reader
12/4/18 7:17 p.m.

Welding the plates to the frame in the rear is a piece of cake—it’s thick metal being welded to thin metal. Welding to the bulkhead is a bit trickier, since it requires fusing thick plates to a relatively thin piece of formed steel. 

Presumably this is just a typo: it should be "thick metal being welded to thick metal" of the frame, in contrast to welding to the thin bulkhead. It looks like someone already tried to fix this, as the word in error displays as "thin" in the online magazine article, and "think" in the forum version of the same article.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
12/4/18 10:06 p.m.
Brian_13 said:

Welding the plates to the frame in the rear is a piece of cake—it’s thick metal being welded to thin metal. Welding to the bulkhead is a bit trickier, since it requires fusing thick plates to a relatively thin piece of formed steel. 

Presumably this is just a typo: it should be "thick metal being welded to thick metal" of the frame, in contrast to welding to the thin bulkhead. It looks like someone already tried to fix this, as the word in error displays as "thin" in the online magazine article, and "think" in the forum version of the same article.

Wow we double-hosed that one, didn't we? Thanks for the catch. We'll get it fixed (for real this time).

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