Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Offroad VW based vehicles have problems/insights all their own. Not to mention the knowledge gained in VW durability.

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CentralWAbaja
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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by CentralWAbaja » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:29 pm

After months of reading, phone calls, and sitting in probably close to 50 different seats. I have settled in on these.

https://www.prpseats.com/product/alpha- ... xtra-wide/


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I will say this. There is a lot of data out there on people breaking their backs in suspension seats. I am more convinced that I broke my back being complacent and not fitting my belts properly especially my shoulder belts. However, I also feel that my seats let me move in my belts way more then I wanted. Some say the belts loosen from this movement. I have hit my helmet on my roof a few times in the last year playing. Understand that sitting in my seats with my helmet on i can make a fist vertically atop my helmet without touching my roof. So to hit my head means I am moving or not being held down as I should be. A couple weeks ago at Rage at the River race I attended a class-1 car had a low speed maybe 40-50 mph I would guess lawn dart incident in the infield. The car nosed in and then went endo and landed nose in again. Both driver and codog broke their backs. I have watched the in car probably 20 times and while everybody wants to blame the suspension seats I blame the fact that both guys were to tall in the seats as their shoulders were at least 3-4 inches above the seat slots thus letting them move forward and compress. SAME AS I DID! Now I will add in another story here. My friends that bought Desert Guys car had a wreck 3 weeks ago. Doing about 80 they had a slower car cut across in front of them clipping their right rear. The car went end over end. Driver hit his head on the roof so hard that it crushed his helmet and fractured his c-1 vertebra in his neck. Passenger was ejected out the windshield into the middle of the track fracturing his pelvis in several spots. Near as they can figure his hand may have clipped the lap belt releasing the latch. I went to visit them both while I was in AZ. When I asked if they felt like they were always loosening up in the belts they said yes they are always tightening themselves back up. I don't know just more food for thought. BTW i talked with them today and they were trying to get cleared to travel home to WA. Neither will be requiring any surgeries but will be looking at long rehab. They will fix the car and figure out when to race again. They had to cut the driver out of the car so there will be some surgery requierd to fix the old DG 2.0 car.

One of the best post I have seen on this topic was on Instagram by Adam Johnson from Michigan. Look at this photo of a hard landing (not a frontal impact). Look at his head and shoulders due to his belt placement being to low.
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Guys this is all just my opinion and is only worth what you have paid for it but this seems to be there thread to toss this info into.
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Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:53 pm

Good post CWB, as I said a long time ago it has become a normal thing to do was to have the bottom side of the top of the cage bars being 4" above the top of the helmet. Two reasons for this:

1) The cage digging into the soft media.

2) The back, hips and neck joints stretching on hard (or even soft) large landing or rolling over then hitting the roll bars.

The down angle of the mouting of the upper harness straps often being mounted incorrectly is another problem allowing movement.

There was also a conversation on the seats being loose to the body allowing the passenger to move around and add to that the seats are often mounted properly. Take Marc's statement about VW talked about the stock seat mounts needed to have additional work done to them such as "U-bolts" needing to be added.

I am also sure that I/we are not covering everything.

Lee

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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by dustymojave » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:02 pm

Nylon seat belts can stretch up to 1/3 of their working length (not overall length). Belts not installed and/or not adjusted correctly can allow movement that exaggerates body movement.

A good friend of mine used to race sprint cars. He's a skinny guy. Not heavy. Obsessive about his belts being tight. In the late 1970s he got crashed hard during a race and was flipped several times. In about 1990 he was building a hot rod for a guy who was the track photographer when he was racing. That guy had some old pics of my friend racing Sprint cars, including one of that flip. It shows the car right side up with the tires a good 20' in the air. My friend's helmet, that in sitting still was 3" below the cage top, was out through the roof of the cage so that his chin was about even with the top of the cage. He wound up with a seriously rung bell and in the hospital for about a week. His shoulder belts were anchored to a cross bar about even with the bottom of the seat back and passed over a bar a little below his shoulders. The lap belt was anchored to the bottom rail of the frame. That length of belts allowed enough stretch to let his head out the top of the cage. Short belts are important for safety. Proper anchor points and belt routing are both important. A seat which helps control body movement helps too. Passing the shoulder belts through the seat can lead to incorrect angles and zig-zags in the belt.
Richard
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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:41 pm

:D :wink:

Very good information Dusty, thanks again.

Other than the cage digging into the soft sand that is kind of what happened to the guy I was talking about who got paralyzed then, after many years of being a quadriplegic, he finally passed away because of the damage that had been done. A very sorry happening to a nice guy.

Lee

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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by bikesndbugs » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:42 pm

to add to this i was in buggy this weekend with a "y" style harness through the hole in the seats. the hole sat at about the bottom on my shoulderblade.
with the shoulder belts all the way loose and tightening the laps first i couldn't sit straight i was forced to arch my back. IM 6ft and my girlfriend 5'5" had the same problem.

MY belts go over the top of the seat. this causes them to try to fall off the shoulder. mine do have a buckle that should be about nipple height that stops that. but because my harness bar is so far away from the seats those buckels sit too high so if i were to crash it would possibly go into my neck.
this is why i want to make harness hoops.

my friend had low back seats with the same style belt as me but without the clips so we ended up ziptying them together behind the seat to keep them on the shoulders. (probably not the best but it worked)
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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by bikesndbugs » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:42 pm

to add to this i was in buggy this weekend with a "y" style harness through the hole in the seats. the hole sat at about the bottom on my shoulderblade.
with the shoulder belts all the way loose and tightening the laps first i couldn't sit straight i was forced to arch my back. IM 6ft and my girlfriend 5'5" had the same problem.

MY belts go over the top of the seat. this causes them to try to fall off the shoulder. mine do have a buckle that should be about nipple height that stops that. but because my harness bar is so far away from the seats those buckels sit too high so if i were to crash it would possibly go into my neck.
this is why i want to make harness hoops.

my friend had low back seats with the same style belt as me but without the clips so we ended up ziptying them together behind the seat to keep them on the shoulders. (probably not the best but it worked)
Travis
I spend way to much time on this site

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dustymojave
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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by dustymojave » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:59 am

For racing offroad, 'Y' or 'V' harnesses are not allowed for a few reasons, one being that the anchor to the car is at a single point rather than at 2 points. Those shoulder belts in that buggy being low like that could break someone's back in a crash or even in a hard G-out. Ziptying the belts together may help hold them in place for a while, but in a crash the zip ty would break and let the belts slip off the shoulders. Crossing the belts behind the seat back would be better.
Richard
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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by mkparker » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:00 pm

I race a friends Class 10 car and we made the switch from suspension to the style very similar PRP Alpha posted above. It was odd at first and felt like a park bench compared to the suspension seats, but we wouldn't use anything else now. We do have very nice suspension compared to typical Bajas and play cars.
Something I've seen recently in TTs, and Richard can probably add to this, are ratchet tightening on lapbelts.
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dustymojave
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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by dustymojave » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:37 pm

I've said it before, hard shell seats like Sparco seats are like using a fiberglass seat back in the 1970s before suspension seats were invented. You need a couple of feet of travel before they are safe. I used Fiberglass in the day. I finished races with a bruised tailbone. A hard hit in the wrong direction would have broken my back then.

Ratchet tightening seat belts can be a good thing. Space availability is an issue, VW Bugs don't have 7' wide cabs. Nor do most play buggies. Cost is another issue for some (although to me better safety is more important than more horsepower).
Richard
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Speed Kills!, but then...So does OLD AGE!!
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CentralWAbaja
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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by CentralWAbaja » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:20 am

dustymojave wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:37 pm
I've said it before, hard shell seats like Sparco seats are like using a fiberglass seat back in the 1970s before suspension seats were invented. You need a couple of feet of travel before they are safe........
I only have 15" and 18" so I guess I am doomed to break my back again :roll:
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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:24 pm

Not if you control your driving (Bwahahaha! :lol: :oops: )

There is a way to put foam backing in the seats, under the cover, it just takes patience to do sp. That is what I am going to have to do sometime in the near future... hopefully. If you do it right, and not try to use one piece of foam you can get something that may not be as good as suspension seats but close enough assuming you aren't doing the 500' drop jumps anymore :roll: . I tried to find a video on it but no luck.

I have seen it done on some auto "how to" shows: basically the back foam is one separate piece of foam glued to the back of the seat. You are supposed to be able to cut and trim it to shape using one of the electric kitchen knives (http://bestreviews.com/best-electric-knives). The side bolsters are a different piece of foam and the density and thickness could be thicker but that depends on a lot of things such as you caboose dimensions. The same for the seat bottom and sides; different pieces so you don't ending up pulling a one piece installation away from the seat. They are also glued (spray glue) to the seat then shaped.

To put the cover on you have a fight on your hands and the amount of a fight depends on the thickness, density, your patience and strength. You have to press the foam flat as you carefully inch the cover down being careful not to damage the foam and its connection to the seat. Do the passenger seat first so you learn before you go to the most used seat (unless your wife is watching that is).

Lee

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Re: Lets talk about off-road seats; an open conversation.

Post by bikesndbugs » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:42 pm

Thanks for that crossing the belts tip dusty

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