I have had many preparations to make on the car to be ready for the upcoming NASA season, none more important than safety gear. I really wanted to go W2W this year, but even with the generosity of a new sponsor www.paradisepower.net
, I was still short on time and money to get a cage in the wagon, and opted to try to kick some butt in the TT program. None of the safety gear needed for racing is required in Time Trials, but I knew that having a race seat and harness would be safer and probably improve my driving skills, just by being firmly planted in the seat.
I scored a slightly used Sparco Pro 2000 on E-bay, and purchased a 6 point 3" FIA approved harness and seat base from www.cp-racing.com
(run by a subie driving rally racer) I wanted to avoid the extra hardware of the slider for the seat (to many things to break), and opted for side mount brackets. The Sparco seat base is intended for the slider but the bolt holes match up for the side mounts. The question was, how will the height, angle and distance be ? I got lucky that the distance to the pedals was perfect for my long legs. The height took a little messing with the hole options on the side brackets. I used the highest setting on the rear and the second hole for the front. My ass was still a touch low, so I used a stiff piece of 1" foam under the seat pad to get it just right. I also got the side lumbar pads, as I will drive thousands of miles to the tracks we're running this year, and have to be comfortable on the highway.
The next dilemma was, where to mount the harness(s). I installed a harness bar so the shoulder straps were easy, but the lap belts took a little doing. The seat base has a tab to put an eye-bolt through on the tunnel side, but the angle was wrong. I put an eye bolt through the tunnel side seat base hole (into the floor ), which also holds the support for the harness bar. It isn't ideal to have those all fastened at the same point, but it sure is sturdy. The factory belt mount at the base of the B pillar was the obvious point on that side. All I had to do was peel back the carpet to get the old bolt out, cut a hole in the rug, and thread in an eye-bolt. The substraps are fastened to the bolts that join the side brackets to the base for now. I'll have to drill holes through the floor board to get the ideal angle for those.
Everything was pretty straightforward, I disconnected the battery when I pulled the stock seat, to disarm the airbags. I will leave them that way for racing, and will either use a resistor to get rid of the airbag light, or just put a small sticker over it. I have done a bit of canyon carving since I got it all installed, and am very happy with my seating position, and love the improved control. I definitely get more feedback from the car now that I'm planted well, I can't wait to get to the track. Here are a few photos
Here are the mounting points. I couldn't get a good shot of the eye-bolt on the B-pillar
The extra strap on the harness bar (on the left) is the factory shoulder belt I haven't decided what to do with that. I will get it all out and paint and pad the bar, when I get the chance.