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I have an 08 GT and was thinking about installing some aftermarket seats and 5 point belts. What has anyone in here installed? Any experiences would be appreciated! Has anyone installed lap belts? Is it possible to mount the factory belts and a set of 5 points on the same bolts in the floor? How about seats? They range from $300 to $3000, what should I look at? What should I avoid? I was also thinking of an Autopower rollbar, any other brands I should look at? Thanks!
 

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It's all going to depend on what you want to do with the car. Street and autox, street and open track, track only, etc. A trick lightweight non-adjustable seat is great for racing but is a real PITA to get in and out of 10 times a day. As is a 6 point harness.

Most guys who run on track and street pick a nice adjustable seat with harness pass-throughs and good bolstering. It's not optimum for the track but it is a decent compromise. I currently have a set of Cobra Sidewinders in my car, they work ok. As do the Corbeau's and several other brands of crossover seats.

There are several guys out on the track that do mount the harness lapbelt at the same points/time as the stock belts, then run a harness bar for the shoulder harnesses. The 5th and 6th (if a 6 point harness) are really not usable though unless the seat has a pass through in it for those points (the 5th and 6th points are supposed to come up right in front of your crotch, the instructions on every one I have seen say not to run them all the way to the front of the seat). I'm not sure what the manufacturers recommend concerning putting both lap belts on the same bolt, you may want to contact one and find out, just because others do it doesn't make it right.

You can also get one of those CG locks (I think that's the name) that locks your stock belt in when you go out on track, I've read some people are happy with those.
 

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...The 5th and 6th (if a 6 point harness) are really not usable though unless the seat has a pass through in it for those points (the 5th and 6th points are supposed to come up right in front of your crotch, the instructions on every one I have seen say not to run them all the way to the front of the seat)...
Just to clarify, 5 point crotch belt needs to come up through the bottom of the seat. With six point belts the 5th and 6th points mount at the same location as the lap belts. They then lay across the seat. This will create a loop which each leg goes through when you are buckled in. The 6 point belts are also much easier on "the goods" because one belt loops on each side.

Here's a couple pictures:






--Vince
 

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I'd also like to recommend getting the widest straps available/possible. I've been using some that were either 2 or probably 2 1/2" wide. After a day of tracking and even some very aggressive autocrosses, the thinner shoulder staps make my chest/shoulders a lil' sore.

This can be band-aid'ed with some Pep Boy's ricer seat belt pads, but if I had gotten the more professional brand (3")in the first place I wouldn't be in this position.
 

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Let's make sure the point is made: No, you may NOT bolt the lap belts and shoulder belts to the same points on the floor, and furthermore you should never have the shoulder belts mounted to any point that creates more than a 45 degree angle from the top of your shoulders to the mount. In other words, bolting them down right behind the seat like countless ignorami do is a no-no, because it's worthless in a crash.
 

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The belts you buy should come with some sort of instructions. I recently mounted a 6 point in my 00 mustang and did not use any of the factory mounting locations.
 

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I run Recaro SRDs in my '93 and am very happy with them. Getting in and out isnt an issue (as it would have been if i had bought the Pole Positions i really wanted) and they hold me in pretty darn good.
 

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Just to clarify, 5 point crotch belt needs to come up through the bottom of the seat. With six point belts the 5th and 6th points mount at the same location as the lap belts. They then lay across the seat. This will create a loop which each leg goes through when you are buckled in. The 6 point belts are also much easier on "the goods" because one belt loops on each side.

Here's a couple pictures:






--Vince
Actually it works both ways, depending on the design of your anti-sub straps, shown here on pages 16 and 17: http://www.schrothracing.com/sdocs/2009_Competition_Instructions.pdf . This company doesn't recommend using those types with any seat that redirects the harness from it's mounting point to it's final position (i.e., OE style seat). If the anti-sub straps are being redirected due to going over the seat edges, it's not recommended for use with that type of seat. I can't really tell from your pictures if this is happening or not. I also don't know if your brand of harness had different instructions.
 

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Let's make sure the point is made: No, you may NOT bolt the lap belts and shoulder belts to the same points on the floor, and furthermore you should never have the shoulder belts mounted to any point that creates more than a 45 degree angle from the top of your shoulders to the mount. In other words, bolting them down right behind the seat like countless ignorami do is a no-no, because it's worthless in a crash.
I believe both of us were talking about mounting both the factory lap belt and the lap belt of the harness to the same bolts at the same time so that he has the option to use factory belts or harnesses depending on where he is, not bolting the shoulder harnesses to the lap belt points. Still don't know whether or not it's a good idea, but like I said, that's why I recommended contacting a harness manufacturer.

Perfectly agree with what you did say regarding the shoulder harness mounting.
 

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A couple of observations:
  1. Follow MTNMAN's illustrated installation instructions, unless you have manufacturer-specific instructions. DO NOT DEVIATE.
  2. Keep the shoulder strap attachment points as close to the shoulders as possible. This is why cages have harness bars (well, one of the reasons.) The longer the straps are, the more they will stretch in a collision. Stretching is BAD.
  3. NEVER use a Y-type shoulder harness, they stretch FAR more than a traditional H-type harness. (Y-harnesses have been outlawed in NASA and my be illegal in the SCCA too.)
  4. Use as wide a belt as possible UNLESS you are using a HANS device (and you should be.) HANS devices work better with a narrower 2" belt running over the shoulders. Many manufacturers now make HANS-specific shoulder belts because of this.
  5. Wear your belts TIGHT. A loose, comfortable belt doesn't restrain the body nearly as well. Remember what I said about belt stretch? This makes it worse.
  6. Belts age-out. Pay attention to this and replace your belts when they get too old (here's a tip -- always buy FIA-certified belts, They age out much more slowly compared to SFI-certified belts.)
  7. NEVER USE GRADE-8 HARDWARE TO ATTACH HARNESSES. Grade 8 is relatively brittle. If you can't use the OEM bolts, use mil-spec (AN, NAS, etc...) fasteners from a trusted source.
  8. NEVER BOLT THROUGH THE FLOORPAN OR OTHER SHEETMETAL WITHOUT A STEEL BACKING PLATE. Your OEM anchoring points are OK, but if you use another location, make sure the mount is more than tough enough. In a collision, several TONS of force will try to pull the bolt out of its mount. OEMS design for this, so should you. A 2"x2"x0.125" steel plate should work well. Use a hardened washer and a quality fastener and nut (see my above item about grade-8 hardware.) Most belt manufacturers will have the proper hardware available as well.
  9. NEVER USE A 4-POINT SETUP! (I don't care what Schroth says.) The purpose of the crotch-strap (the 5th or 5th and 6th points of a 5 or 6-point harness,) is to keep the belts around your hips DOWN on your hips as your body surges forward. Without it the belt will ride up as the shoulder harnesses pull it up and the waist belts end up around your belly, which can cause internal injuries. You want your liver or speen crushed? Kind of hard to live whith out one, you know... Use those crotch straps!!! (BTW -- this applies to baby seats now, too. You cant buy one without a 5 or 6-point setup.)
  10. USE YOUR HARNESS -- always. I never hit the track without being fully belted in -- even for parade laps. The exception to this is if you have a street/track car. Most harnesses are NOT DOT-certified, so they're not legal for use on public roads. (Scroth has DOT-legal harnesses, but as I said before, they're 4-point, which should not be used on the track.) Use your factory belts instead. It might be handy to use click-in instead of bolt-in harnesses because of this. Just pull them when you're not on the track. (Harnesses in a street car gives the police entirely the wrong impression.)
 

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How about seat brands and types. Any brand that I should stay away from? The car is not a daily driver.
I don't like reclinable seats when used with a harness and roll bar. Fixed-back seats only for me.

Most of the big-name seat manufacturers make good seats (OMP, Sparco, Corbeau, Cobra, Racetech, and Recaro come to mind.)

Butler-Built seats are probably the best out there from a driver protection standpoint, but they're BIG and expensive -- and look nothing like what folks would consider a car seat. Definitely not for the street!

More economical race-only seats are made by Kirkey and Ultrashield. I have an Ultrashield road racing seat in my AI car. I like it a lot and it's cheap. I wouldn't get one for the street, though.

One BIG advantage the Butler-Built, Kirkey, and Ultrashield seats have -- easily replaceable covers. To recover your Recaro, you're going to have to take it to an upholsterer. To recover your Ultrashield, you buy another $90 cover and snap it into place. Takes maybe 3 minutes.
 
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