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Old 02-04-2016, 10:00 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by deezums View Post
Got me curious, look how much stock miata seats deflect @ 35mph

(video)

Besides, if you are strapped in proper how much can the seatback really move? Isn't it more or less pinched between you and the harness bar?
Consider a crash in which the impact force is driving you towards the rear of the vehicle. Maybe you've spun and are hitting the wall ***-first. Maybe you're stopped just over the crest, and another vehicle hits you from behind at full-tilt-boogie. Maybe you've taken flight.

Regardless, your body is now pressing against the back of the seat with a force of several G. Call it a thousand pounds. The seatback folds, and your spine is now going to attempt to coil itself around the bar supporting the now-useless seatback.

That's a bad thing. At best, your spine merely snaps in half and you aren't impaled through the heart by the supporting mechanism, so at least you get to drive (on the street) with hand controls. But not in a Miata, because even the most compact folding wheelchair won't fit.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:02 PM   #222
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You don't know that. I wouldn't be comfortable in a seat I didn't trust on a racetrack, but I've been doing this long enough to see the fatalities and serious injuries that result when you don't take safety seriously.

Let me repeat that for emphasis: People die because they don't take safety seriously.

In California, we have a saying: You have to make several mistakes all at once in order to kill yourself in a race car. Dropping a wheel or failing to correct a spin is usually the last mistake you make. The first mistake is an eBay seat, or shitty seat mounts, or not wearing a HNRS, or wearing 4-points, or using a 3-point belt with a racing seat, or any number of other safety faux-pas. If you manage to not make any single mistake in the entire chain, you survive the accident. Why would you not give yourself the best possible chance of surviving the worst case scenario?

Do some of you not have loved ones you would leave behind? Do you not value your life at some dollar amount higher than the $137.50 you spent on your non-certified, unknown-origin, unknown-construction eBay seat that might hold up perfectly, or might snap like a twig if asked to actually do its job?

The entire point of this thread is to demonstrate what's acceptable and what's not acceptable when it comes to safety gear. In my educated, experienced opinion, $140 racing seats are not "fine" or "OK". I'm all for the cheap, DIY solutions that this forum fawns over, but safety gear is not the time or place, because unlike pretty much every other system on the car, you don't get a second chance to get your safety gear right. You need it to work, correctly, the very first time you're forced to use it.
The fact that I'll hop on a bike and ride the same track with nothing but leather might have something to do with it. I've seen guys ride in the wagon with all the proper gear. It sucks, but it is part of it no matter how much safety gear you run.

And yeah, I'm young with no dependents yet, at least that I'm aware of. That has a lot to do with the compromises I make in everything about my car, same with other people.

There's a solidly good chance that $140 racing seat is fine for me and other people no matter your mad experience, and I know plenty agree with me. I understand that you can spend money wildly for no reason, often with little to no benefit, because marketing needs to be paid somehow. So, like everything else I do I conduct my own research and make compromises as I see fit, maximizing what I get for my money in the process.

This thread was about safety compromises and what's alright when used together. Sorry this bothers you so much.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:12 PM   #223
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I understand that you can spend money wildly for no reason, often with little to no benefit, because marketing needs to be paid somehow.
What, exactly, do you mean by this?
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:25 PM   #224
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There's little difference between a $1200 leather tracksuit from cycle gear compared to the $400 off-brand one. They both do the same thing. They're both made in vietnam, tiwan, whatever. Probably in the same factory with the same leather.

Pretty much what I mean.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:32 PM   #225
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My Cobra seat was laid up in the UK.

I'm not saying you need to spend a bunch of money, but you need to buy SFI or FIA certified gear. G-Force makes FIA belts for way under $200 now. The Google machine will turn up FIA seats for under $400 and containment seats for under $550. I'm sure all of that stuff is perfectly safe on track.

I think you're being naive if you think that a $140 seat with no certifications is just as safe as a $500 FIA seat. I think you're being stupid if you trust your life to a $140 seat. If that offends you, so be it.

Last edited by Savington; 02-04-2016 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:57 PM   #226
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My Fox Creek leathers were made in Virginia, and my Bell helmet was made in Illinois.

I got to see what was just under the surface of the (first) helmet when I high-sided at about 55 mph. It took the gelcoat off, but the material underneath held up admirably, as did the foam inner. Fortunately, I never got to see the inside of the second helmet. The leathers were abraded, but the stitching and zippers all held together and the leather only perforated in one spot, where my wallet was pressing against it. I still have that wallet, and it still has the scuff mark.

I've seen MC helmets that were nothing but a plastic shell (no composite reinforcement) with a hard-foam insert that looked like the stuff that DVD players come packed in. The trauma surgeon made a specific point of complimenting my gear. They wheel you in with your helmet sitting on your chest as you're strapped to the board, so the trauma chief can see exactly what he/she is dealing with.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:04 PM   #227
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There's little difference between a $1200 leather tracksuit from cycle gear compared to the $400 off-brand one. They both do the same thing. They're both made in vietnam, tiwan, whatever. Probably in the same factory with the same leather.

Pretty much what I mean.
Have you had the items in the same room at the same time?
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:15 PM   #228
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The $1200 to $400, yeah. One has leather in your crotch, the other doesn't. You'd have to grind a wall to need leathers up that far. I tried both, didn't think it worth it for the price difference. Bought more tires instead.

Alpinestars to bilt, at least the ones I was comparing. The $400 one was highly recommended by a national guardsman and his son, I know the latter used the same suit, at least more than once.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:21 PM   #229
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Dibs on your cat deezums.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:27 PM   #230
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The $1200 to $400, yeah. One has leather in your crotch, the other doesn't. You'd have to grind a wall to need leathers up that far. I tried both, didn't think it worth it for the price difference. Bought more tires instead.
Zippers and stitching. I can't stress that enough.

Cheap zippers and cheap stitching fail. It doesn't matter how durable the leather is if it's not being held together.

If you're wearing Joe Rocket, you might as well be wearing denim.

To say nothing of comfort...
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:21 AM   #231
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This is more or less the conversation that I was interested in. My price point was actually the low cost Sparco Sprint FIA seat, or comparable, for around 400 and actually went up to 600 for the Marrad, but only if they were made in CT, where they use to be made before manufactoring went overseas. Even then, I saw an autox vid where you could see the seat move back and forth an inch or two with the transitions.
Which didn't seem right.

I haven't had a chance to sit in the steel frame Sprint but am not excited by what I've read about their comfort compared to FRP. I'm currently considering the Sparco EVO II and need to research to make sure it fits and what it takes to get it properly mounted, but that's a topic for a different thread.

I'm off to watch that 15 minute safety vid. Great thread. Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:54 AM   #232
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After seeing the low speed miata crash and the ensuing damage (please let me know if this should start a new thread as its a question about street safety not track), Is there a recommended set of upgrades to make the STREET miata safer. I drive a 1990, the tech isn't exactly new. I have a roll bar with padding and run stock seat/belt on the street. Does everyone on here run that as basics, or do people add door bars etc for street safety? I would guess a lot have track/street cars that are up to fully caged, but how do you keep a miata livable while still being as safe as possible if you get hit at 35-50? Or is the only upgrade to buy newer?

Edit: As I said earlier in the thread, when on the track I currently have a race seat, 6pt, roll bar and padding, and plan to get neck restraint before the next event, but curious about street use now.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:16 AM   #233
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The OEM system is proven (at street speeds, that is). The video looks pretty good, you can see the front crumple zones absorbing energy, airbag deployment and the designed-in extension of the torso belt as the stitching breaks away. The seatback looks like it's just along for the ride in the frontal collision test.

I'd be curious to see a rear impact though. I wonder if the OEM seatback gives way by design and comes to rest on the bulkhead behind the seats, absorbing energy along the way.

You and I have both modified our daily drivers with a padded roll bar for track use. I suspect that as a result:

1. Frontal impact OEM safety is unchanged;
2. Side impact OEM safety is enhanced;
3. Rear impact OEM safety may be compromised if our head strikes the roll bar; and
4. Rollover safety is greatly enhanced.

But, it's never been tested in a controlled way, has it?
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:28 AM   #234
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Hornetball, the crash testing looked good from 1990, but with 26 years of improvements in vehicles I am starting to get curious what things we can to do improve upon the 1990 safety, without going full cage. A bit of backstory to the question, my son was just born, so now the miata is being seen through new glasses. I love my car, have had it for years, I'm just looking to see what I can do to ensure as much safety on and off the track as possible.

I suppose the answer to my question is buy a newer car, or fully cage the beast.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:13 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by ridewhencan View Post
This is more or less the conversation that I was interested in. My price point was actually the low cost Sparco Sprint FIA seat, or comparable, for around 400 and actually went up to 600 for the Marrad, but only if they were made in CT, where they use to be made before manufactoring went overseas. Even then, I saw an autox vid where you could see the seat move back and forth an inch or two with the transitions. Lime Rock - Nutmeg Miata Club - MSM - BEGI - YouTube Which didn't seem right.

I haven't had a chance to sit in the steel frame Sprint but am not excited by what I've read about their comfort compared to FRP. I'm currently considering the Sparco EVO II and need to research to make sure it fits and what it takes to get it properly mounted, but that's a topic for a different thread.

I'm off to watch that 15 minute safety vid. Great thread. Thanks.
If you see an authentic fia Sparco seat moving around its from improper mounting, or its mounted on top of some very cheap sliders. the steel frame seats have a webbing that supports your body mass, it's nice for long drives. the sparco/omp/racetech fiberglass seats are even better. anyone that has ridden in the corbau fiberglass seats will tell you about how unconformable they are. i know i played the cheap seat game. i bought 5 corbau seats until i finally bought the sparco pro ADV. it's miles upon miles better.


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Originally Posted by Swanpuppy View Post
Hornetball, the crash testing looked good from 1990, but with 26 years of improvements in vehicles I am starting to get curious what things we can to do improve upon the 1990 safety, without going full cage. A bit of backstory to the question, my son was just born, so now the miata is being seen through new glasses. I love my car, have had it for years, I'm just looking to see what I can do to ensure as much safety on and off the track as possible.

I suppose the answer to my question is buy a newer car, or fully cage the beast.
if your looking to have a track toy, Nothing wrong with buying an already built race car. Thunder roadsters can be had for under $8k. Legends and bandelaros are even cheaper. they are tube frame so the cage comes standard, and they are easy so sell compared to trying to sell a track day miata.

Last edited by OGRacing; 02-05-2016 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:28 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Savington View Post
You don't know that. I wouldn't be comfortable in a seat I didn't trust on a racetrack, but I've been doing this long enough to see the fatalities and serious injuries that result when you don't take safety seriously.

Let me repeat that for emphasis: People die because they don't take safety seriously.

In California, we have a saying: You have to make several mistakes all at once in order to kill yourself in a race car. Dropping a wheel or failing to correct a spin is usually the last mistake you make. The first mistake is an eBay seat, or shitty seat mounts, or not wearing a HNRS, or wearing 4-points, or using a 3-point belt with a racing seat, or any number of other safety faux-pas. If you manage to not make any single mistake in the entire chain, you survive the accident. Why would you not give yourself the best possible chance of surviving the worst case scenario?

Do some of you not have loved ones you would leave behind? Do you not value your life at some dollar amount higher than the $137.50 you spent on your non-certified, unknown-origin, unknown-construction eBay seat that might hold up perfectly, or might snap like a twig if asked to actually do its job?

The entire point of this thread is to demonstrate what's acceptable and what's not acceptable when it comes to safety gear. In my educated, experienced opinion, $140 racing seats are not "fine" or "OK". I'm all for the cheap, DIY solutions that this forum fawns over, but safety gear is not the time or place, because unlike pretty much every other system on the car, you don't get a second chance to get your safety gear right. You need it to work, correctly, the very first time you're forced to use it.

most people Don't even know they are making the mistakes. If anyone shares the set up i will not flame. My job at OG racing is to make sure all my racers come back into the pits.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:30 AM   #237
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OG: A fully prepped track day car is out of the budget. I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too at this point. I don't have the room or funds for a stripped track car, plus a street driver on the side. I'm sure my car with what it has, plus proper neck restraint is a good platform for a few track days a year, just toying with looking for better seats, door bars and the like to increase safety that little bit further.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:52 AM   #238
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OG: A fully prepped track day car is out of the budget. I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too at this point. I don't have the room or funds for a stripped track car, plus a street driver on the side. I'm sure my car with what it has, plus proper neck restraint is a good platform for a few track days a year, just toying with looking for better seats, door bars and the like to increase safety that little bit further.
it's very hard to get door bars for protection without the cage. they have a tendency to mouse trap if they are not well supported at one side.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:54 AM   #239
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Ahhh, well there goes that idea. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:56 AM   #240
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Ahhh, well there goes that idea. Thanks for the tip.
i've seen the stock doors take a mega hit and be ok. just don't remove the stock crash structure. heck i was in the car once that did that.... come to think of it i crash a lot. :(
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