wae
wae Reader
4/7/13 4:57 p.m.

I'm looking at the next improvement to make to my turboed first gen Neon and after a rallycross event this weekend, it was suggested to me that I'm all over the car as I make my way around the course and that moving up from the stock seat and belt might be what I need to shave off some time.

This car is used for rallycross but I do drive it on the street and don't want to install anything that would be inherently dangerous. I'd like to do both seats since I usually have faster times with some talking ballast. My assumption is that I would want a seat that would be compatible with a 5 point harness for competition but that I would just use my regular OEM seatbelt for the street. The interior is completely gutted from the front seats back, so I could mount the harnesses on the framework that used to separate the passenger compartment from the trunk or I could put in a harness bar. Comfort isn't really a primary concern -- I'm more concerned with increasing my control of the car than with how my tuschie feels after an hour. Since I'm posting this here it should be a given that I'm not gonna pay a lot for this muffler - I'd like to be 500-600 all-in and I'm good with waiting to find a good deal on used stuff.

I've seen the Kirkey aluminum seats for around 140-180 each (plus covers) from Jegs and there are a bunch of sketchy-looking ones on eBay. I've heard that a non-reclining seat is dangerous in the event of a roll-over, but I don't know how much of that is hype and fear and how much is actual empirical evidence. I also know that the angle on the harness needs to be something specific to avoid getting a snapped spine, but I don't know what those angles and such are.

Once installed, I want a setup that keeps me from moving around at all on the course but that I can put my regular seatbelt on and drive to work on Monday. Tell me what I need to know, please!

AndreGT6
AndreGT6 Dork
4/7/13 6:06 p.m.

Get the intermediate race seat at a min. Those drag seats and circle track ones are not setup for more "road" course use.

That said you might find it harder to get in and out of the car.

You will also need to back brace the seat.

http://www.124racer.com/setup_kirkey_seat.html

My issue is when I bought my seat I was heavier but I lost to much weight and now I slide around. I will need to put in some padding.

cghstang
cghstang HalfDork
4/7/13 6:55 p.m.

Bi...Wae, try just a harness with your stock seat first. I have a schrothe 4-point in my escort. Adding a harness was the first modification I made to my first rallycross escort (before tires even).

It is 100% better than the stock seat and belt combo and about 25% less good than a fixed back 'racing' seat/ harness combo like in Evan's miata.

The benefit of adding a harness only is that you keep the stock belts for the street and only cinch down in the harness straps for rallycross.

Personally, I generally feel like the biggest risk of rallycross related injury occurs on the roads to and from the site. I'd rather roll at a rallycross in the stock seat with a 4 point harness than get in an accident on the road with the oem belts and a fixed back seat. All this of course assumes no roll bar or cage.

Jerry
Jerry Reader
4/7/13 7:13 p.m.

I went with a Corbeau Forza from Apex Performance after sitting in a friend's at a rallycross & liking it. Affordable and works well, just need to add the correct bracket (they even had one for my 87 MR2). Works well, I used the stock seat belt until I found the harness I wanted later.

Forza seat $239

Spinout007
Spinout007 SuperDork
4/7/13 7:56 p.m.

Have you tried the recline the seat pull the lap belt tight and then lock the shoulder belt with a quick tug and pull the seat back up trick yet? At least until you get the harness sorted. Worked great in a miata with a foamectomied seat.

wae
wae Reader
4/7/13 8:51 p.m.

Unfortunately, the seatbelts in the Neon are apparently unaffected by just yanking and need some sort of downward angle to lock them up. They will lock up on me if I brake hard, however, I cannot give them a good tug and get them to lock. Love that idea, but the fine folks at Chrysler seem to have shot that one in the head...

I do like the Forza seat a lot, but I'm slightly concerned about the possible safety issues around having that on the streets. Like Chris said, I have almost zero worry about doing anything to the car out in the field that would be life-threatening, but there are so many idiots out there on the road (not to mention the idiot who is always working on the car and could forget to torque something down right, like, say, a strut top nut...) and there are other objects out there into which I could collide, I don't want to make the car anymore of a deathtrap than it already is. What's the real scoop on that? Is that a real thing, or are we talking about a hypothetical accident that would be so horrific your chances of survival in a metal box without airbags would be approaching zero anyway?

I do like the idea of starting out with just a harness, though. Since I'm just trying to keep myself from flying about the car, that might get the job done and leave a few bucks in my pocket to try to run down some coilovers. Which one did you put in the Escort? The Rallye Cross or the Rallye 4?

The Kirkey setup you have in your 124 is awesome, but unless I can find some used ones, that's a bit rich for my blood to double-up on those.

Spinout007
Spinout007 SuperDork
4/7/13 8:58 p.m.

CG Lock?

I always wondered a bit about the belt lockup on those cars. I rolled my 98, and only quick thinking/reaction kept me from being ejected and possibly crushed as the belt didn't lock and I was partway out the window when I hooked my knees under the wheel and pulled myself back down into the car halfway through the second out of three rolls. Still walked out of the emergency room a few hours later after a few scans and xrays.

cghstang
cghstang HalfDork
4/8/13 6:08 a.m.

In reply to wae: I have the Rallye 4. Whatever kind you go after; make sure it will work with your seats.

Jerry
Jerry Reader
4/8/13 7:04 a.m.

And if you're willing to forget the OEM belt, I picked up a used 5-point from Colletti that was retired from a race car in great shape for $80 I think with hardware.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce Dork
4/8/13 7:04 a.m.

I have just a lap belt bolted into the car that I autocross and rallycross. I only use it racing and even then I still wear the three point belt over it. For me, about 90% of the benefit of a harness comes from the lap belt. Once it's cinched down tight I no longer move in my seat at all. You can use any old junkyard seatbelt to try it out, so the cost is pretty much free.

wae
wae Reader
4/8/13 7:52 a.m.

Well, I do have the original lap belt from the (removed) back seat of the car, so I could try that for even free-er than hitting the junkyard... And I've considered the cg locks, but I do feel my upper body moving quite a bit (and I bang my helmet on the side of the car a ton). Keeping my hips from moving might help with that, but I think if I'm going to spend the coin, the 4-point with the stock seat just might be the right first step for me. It looks like I could put those in now and use the stock seats (they appear to be compatible, based on the drawings from the Schroth install manuals) and when I move to a better seat later, they'll continue to be compatible.

I love the Rallye 4 and Rallye Cross Schroth setups, so now I just need to find someone unloading a used set for cheap! It looks like there are a handful of used sets that are designed to click in to stock seatbelt buckles in BMWs, so installing BMW rear seat belts into the back of the Neon might be a possibility...

Thanks for the pointers!

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
4/8/13 8:03 a.m.

Google Bimarco on ebay. They are of surprisingly good quality for the price.

oldtin
oldtin UltraDork
4/8/13 8:36 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: Google Bimarco on ebay. They are of surprisingly good quality for the price.

FIA seat under $300 - thanks

ultraclyde
ultraclyde Dork
4/8/13 8:46 a.m.

I run CGLocks with the stock belts in my Mustang. They are a great stop-gap - one of my racing friends rode in the car and described them as a "90% solution for 10% of the price" compared to real racing seats. I had to work on them a little to make them play nice with my belts, and after 5 years of use one has lost the activation handle, but I really have no complaints.

It also makes me feel safer than harnesses since it's a street car with no roll bar/cage and they allow the top part of the belt to function as designed. Only downside is having to explain to my passenger every time someone new gets in.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce Dork
4/8/13 8:51 a.m.

Unless you're really yearning to spend money I'd at least try the lap belt thing for one event. Four point belts are much cooler though.

fidelity101
fidelity101 HalfDork
4/8/13 8:53 a.m.
oldtin wrote:
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: Google Bimarco on ebay. They are of surprisingly good quality for the price.
FIA seat under $300 - thanks

Yeah I went with Corbeau Forza Sports, pretty good. I can tell that they were made for a slightly (5-7") shorter person but they fit nice and snug, very sturdy (compared to the corbeau FX1) and my only concern is the fit and finish...

IE: stitching, not very tight in some areas...

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 SuperDork
4/8/13 11:39 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote: I have just a lap belt bolted into the car that I autocross and rallycross. I only use it racing and even then I still wear the three point belt over it. For me, about 90% of the benefit of a harness comes from the lap belt. Once it's cinched down tight I no longer move in my seat at all. You can use any old junkyard seatbelt to try it out, so the cost is pretty much free.

I know a couple national level drivers that do this.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav HalfDork
4/8/13 11:52 a.m.
wae wrote: (and I bang my helmet on the side of the car a ton).

Sorry, I'll try to keep from spinning out in the future.

fidelity101
fidelity101 HalfDork
4/8/13 11:58 a.m.
eastsidemav wrote:
wae wrote: (and I bang my helmet on the side of the car a ton).
Sorry, I'll try to keep from spinning out in the future.

Wheres the fun in that?

wae
wae Reader
4/8/13 12:10 p.m.
eastsidemav wrote:
wae wrote: (and I bang my helmet on the side of the car a ton).
Sorry, I'll try to keep from spinning out in the future.

Heck no you won't! That was better than any ride at an amusement park. Besides, that was only a one-bang event, if memory serves! Most of the contact between my helmet and the car was actually when I was driving.

wae
wae Reader
4/18/13 11:15 a.m.

Thanks to the help from this thread, I went looking for a set of Schroth Rallye 4 or Rallyecross harness belts -- since I don't have back seats the quick disconnect is basically irrelevant to me, but they seem to be the same price and the Rallye 4 also is a bit more common. There were a few other less expensive options out there, but I like the fact that Schroth seems to have put a lot of engineering into how their belts perform in a crash, and they have a FMVSS number so legally using them on the streets is an option that is available to me should I ever want to.

I was about to drop the $330 or so on a brand new set, but I was able to score a pair of used Rallye 4 harness belts on eBay Motors for $125 after shipping. Now I just have to wait for them to arrive, get them bolted in, and decide what to spend the other $250 on.

wae
wae Reader
4/25/13 9:19 a.m.

When I got home from work on Tuesday, this was waiting for me:

It turns out that when I removed the seat belts from the rear of the car, I managed to make the bolts completely disappear. No idea what the heck I did with them. Just gone. And, oddly, the bolts for the seat belts are all SAE, not metric like the rest of the car. Wtf?

Anyway, after sourcing some new bolts last night after work:

Pretty sweet setup, and fairly simple to install. Cheap, too, compared to the various seats I saw. We'll see how it helps in a couple weeks when the WOR RallyX season kicks off!

Jerry
Jerry Reader
4/25/13 9:52 a.m.

Sweet. See you in about 3 weeks.

iceracer
iceracer UberDork
4/25/13 5:02 p.m.

where do those belts anchor ?

If they are below shoulder level or a little above they can cause more injury than they save.

Do you have a harness bar at the least.

Four points belts are not safe without a cage, it is said.

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