IMPORTANT DISCUSSION - 5/6 Point Harnesses - Focus Fanatics
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:33 PM   #1
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IMPORTANT DISCUSSION - 5/6 Point Harnesses

There is a lot of debate about the benefit and trade of off harnesses and the type.

There is some movement to have sanctioning bodies (SCCA, NASA) move from a 5 point to a 6 point style harness.

The only experience that I have with harnesses is when they were "professionally" installed as part of a roll cage and seat fitment.

I had always thought a 5 point harness was more than adequate until an incident this weekend at Summit Point where the use of and PROPER installation of the harness came into play.

A Formula Ford Driver (name withheld) suffered a high impact incident and was CASTRATED in the process. The belts cut through the soft tissue and severed his testicles and scrotum inside the suit.

There is some debate as to the cause of such a horrific injury, but most are inclined to believe that the harness was improperly installed with the submarine belt being too far forward.

The only "guidance" that I could find was that the submarine belt should be "perpendicular to the chest line" for optimum fit.

To me, it would seem that this position changes for each driver. Height and weight being factors as well as seating position.

I am looking to install a lot of safety gear in my car (cage, seats, belts, etc.) over the next few months and would really like to keep my yam bag intact.

Does anyone know of a proper methodology or questions to ask relative to the fiment of harnesses?

Just when you think you know...


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Old 04-20-2009, 11:50 PM   #2
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I would guess the lap belts weren't tight enough. There should be NO submarining if the lap belts are placed correctly and tight enough. when i wear mine, i make sure that they are tight enough that i cannot slide forward in any way. he may have also not had the seat adjusted properly. as for me, (I have 6 pts though) I run w/ the shoulder belts and lab belts as tight and as far down as possible. the other two are just the anti submarining protection. just out of curiousity, what is considered "high speed"???
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:43 AM   #3
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I should have been more clear.

The MOUNTING POINT for the submarine belt was too far forward.

This is what is confusing to me. Why would it matter where the mounting point is located if, as you said, the belt was tight?

High speed was well over 100MPH and a roll. (TRACK SPEED PEOPLE)
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:26 AM   #4
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That’s a terrible accident; Hal was there that day and said someone was airlifted out.

As for my belts I have the six point belts, the sub belt is mounted though the floor board a few inches forward of the lap belt mounting points, but behind wear it comes though the seat. Looking at the g-force instructions ( http://www.gforce.com/pdf/Harness_Install_Info.pdf ) I don’t see any specification on wear the sub belt should be mounted, however I did read ( just as you did ) another manufacture instructional specify the sub belt needs to be just behind the chest line. I use the factor mounting point for my outside lap belt, my inside belt is mounted though the floor boats with a backer plate and in the same location as the outside belt. The one thing I do know that could better on my set up is the shoulder belts are a bit lower then I would like. I can take some photos of mine or if you want I’ll be at summit point with trackdaze on May 16th and 17th.
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:12 AM   #5
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From a track instructor buddy on another forum:

Quote:
The 6 point was developed for formula cars and other reclined driving position vehicles because of this. On a sedan, I don't see how this could be an issue.
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:56 PM   #6
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I really feel sorry for this dudette now!!!
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:52 PM   #7
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I have used both 5 and 6 point in my rally car. Now for clarification purposes, the six point was the type where the crotch straps mounted to the lap belt mount locations and you sat on the two harnesses which then came up and more or less wrapped your legs, then mounted/latched in the traditional location. I did not like this because I questioned how well it would hold you in your seat if you went upside down (hold that waist belt down/snug as being on your roof happens a little more in rally than most other forms or racing), so I ended up with a traditional five point harness. As for the accident mentioned, one must remember that five point harnesses have been used for a long long time. This is the first incident of this type of injury I have heard about. That said, it would seem something like a knee jerk reaction to change rules to address "one incident", unless there are more statistics about similar accidents we have not heard about. I have to agree that the mounting location is critical and should be subject to further review if it is not specific enough.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:02 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

I am not sold on either a 5 or 6 point. I've used 5 point harnesses for a long time.

The debate seems to center around the mounting location for the submarine belt.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:02 PM   #9
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I have the ford racing sparco 6 point but it seems to act like a 5 point to me, where both belts come up the sub hole and right into the cam lock.

Capaldi racing installed my driver belt and the sub bolts are actually behind the lap belt bolts. Don't know why and I can't find instructions but it does seem to be correct from what you are saying.



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Old 04-29-2009, 08:40 PM   #10
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Nice work on the cage and safety gear! That is very well put together.

Appreciate all the insight. I still need to do more research. I will be having Mitch Piper (Manassas, VA) do the cage work - he does most of the SCCA cars in this area and I will ping him on his thoughts.

I'll pass them along first chance I get.
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