Seat Safety

All things specracer!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:30 pm
Tray made a very good point about force and speed. We all need to be more concerned about the force of impact now that we are going faster with higher cornering G's with the new Hoosiers. I think everybody should be conscientious of driver safety and Driver etiquette considering the increase speeds decrease the time we have to react to anything that happens in front of us. This is racing and it is always been dangerous but we can minimize risk to body and equipment by being smart and courteous. Most of us drive hard and to win but this is club racing and should be fun at days end. Most of us have jobs to return to and mouths to feed. Let's keep it in perspective!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:26 pm
I don't understand some of the rules process here, but after working to get my seat more comfortable in the shop this week, I would much, much rather remove the seats entirely and pour a large bead seat in the pan.

As a tall person, this could actually allow me to have some padding under my butt, give me good support from shoulder to thighs, keep me lower in the car, and be far more comfortable while being cheaper.

Seems silly not to allow it. It great in my FE that way.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:30 am
One problem with a formula-style bead seat is there really isn't a "pan" as such to hold in the foam. You'd have to build something to cover the shift linkage on the right.
Another problem would be the possibility of altering the balance of the car, which goes against the "spec" premise - there is a driver on the west coast who has mounted the front of his Butler way forward, claiming it is a safety thing because it lowers his head. Except he isn't very tall and has already been caught skirting the rules in a couple other areas.
One thing I do like about the seat in the earlier pictures is that the top continues above the frame rail and the seat belt slots are at an appropriate height. The original seat belt mounts are way too low for anyone over 5' tall. As are the slots in the original seat. Some people use the original mount points and pull the belts through the top of the seat, which in a crash is going to cause the to rotate forward and try to push the front down through the little frame rail and the floor - which someone might have mentioned earlier and I saw happen in a crash when I first started racing. definitely something that would cause compressed vertebrae.
Seems I heard somewhere that the only person really seriously hurt in a crash (ie spinal cord injury) had moved his seat and not his headrest forward. I saw a crash where the driver was knocked out and had several inches of padding behind his back (which also should have made him fail the broomstick test).
Another area that could use attention is the standardizing the mount points for the crotch belts 6 point harnesses with Butler seats. I have seen several different arrangements, a couple of which seem a little sketchy.
And Bruce, with all due respect, I highly doubt that the "problem drivers" are going to change the way they drive no matter how fast the cars go or G's they pull. :(
Dave Harriman
"It looks crazy, I understand. But, we only live once and I am going to give it a good try." - Alex Zanardi

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:30 am
LarryWinkelman wrote:They are, and Mike Davies sent me these pics of the first sample about a week ago. More info to follow soon, I hope.
The black BSCI foam seems to be the current state of the art, and I've seen a few seats poured into the standard fiberglass seat, and at least one where the seat was "modified" to the point of being almost nonexistent and the cavity filled like a formula car tub. I have had one seat builder tell me that you want to have at least an inch of clearance between you and the shell (sides), for good flow when pouring the seat.

Larry, Glad you "liked" my seat, or at least noticed it.

I believe I am the reason the GCR was changed from allowing the addition of padding to "gain clearance" (?) to now allowing the "cutting, reshaping and enhance the comfort and safety of the driver." I got targeted by a zealous safety steward (don't ask) several years back for "high helmet" and had to go to the comp board to get the rule changed. FYI, I ain't small. 6'3" and 320#. I am not a front runner, with that weight handicap being one of the reasons, but I still want to race! After that RFA, and a nasty frontal hit that broke my seat (see earlier comments above on rerouting shoulder harnesses) I decided I'd rather be heavy & alive than light & dead. I removed all of the original fiberglass from the seat except the outer sides and filled the resulting cavity with a custom bead seat, after having the shifter linkage covered with a fabricated metal tunnel. Yup, my mods make the car heavier, especially since I didn't want to sit on the riveted aluminum floor, so I added a steel floor plate there, a rearward extension of the footwell pan. Now I have a bit of compressible bead seat under my butt, supported by a steel pan, and a perfectly formed seat with back and side support, and no voids in the small of the back. Anyone who wants to see more details is free to see the car at MO this summer or ask me for pix.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:30 pm
Sorry I am late to this thread.

Thanks for posting the photos of the new fiberglass seat.

I recently worked a deal with ButlerBuilt for the Head Support System if you are interested in getting one email me:

I personally like it and run it with a ButlerBuilt seat. But you do have to put you HANS on before you sit back. It also makes accessing the master shut off slightly harder when belted in (it was already difficult with belts).

If you want to see more details I have an installation article, photos and video up on my site: ... em-install
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SRF #77 - Chassis #501

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:04 am
Is there any more info on the new seat?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:42 am
Padding.jpg (48.45 KiB) Viewed 2828 times

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:38 am
"Our in-house engineering team can provide custom design consultation services and develop product specs and quotes based upon your requirements and data.

We can also tailor our foam products to varying densities and temperature sensitivities in order to meet the diverse application requirements of a wide range of industries, including motorsports, military, automotive, aerospace and marine."

The above was copy and pasted here from BSCI's website. Possibly getting these folks involved with redesigning the seat/cockpit environment in our cars would be a viable path to coming up with a modern solution.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:24 pm
The guys at Bald Spot were VERY receptive to stuff like this in the past to much smaller numbers than what could be produced for SRF.
Joe Cooley
Circuit Motorsports

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:14 pm
DavidNJ wrote:

David - thanks for link to BCSI - great resource!

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