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      11-11-2019, 10:08 AM   #1
$iriu$black
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Driving track on stock MSport seats

Aside from the sport seats beinglimited in terms of bolstering and keeping the driver in place during high speeds, the head rests get in the way when wearing a helmet and a neck restraint system. My question is what do you guys do to rectify this?

1. I was thinking of just removing the headrest, will this decrease overall safety since the system is meant to work w it on. But is it kind of a moot point since a head and neck restraint system is being worn already?

2. If I remember it right, you canít put a race seat on and use stock seatbelts as it is illegal in NASA or any other association for that matter. Correct me if Iím wrong.
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      11-13-2019, 09:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by $iriu$black View Post
Aside from the sport seats beinglimited in terms of bolstering and keeping the driver in place during high speeds, the head rests get in the way when wearing a helmet and a neck restraint system. My question is what do you guys do to rectify this?

1. I was thinking of just removing the headrest, will this decrease overall safety since the system is meant to work w it on. But is it kind of a moot point since a head and neck restraint system is being worn already?

2. If I remember it right, you can’t put a race seat on and use stock seatbelts as it is illegal in NASA or any other association for that matter. Correct me if I’m wrong.
I believe you can turn the headrest around so there's at least a little support if needed. I've done this with other cars in the past but keep forgetting to do this with my 1.
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      01-22-2020, 09:32 AM   #3
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I take the rear seat headrests and put them on my my front seats when at the track. They will go down most of the way and are thinner providing some extra helmet room.
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      01-22-2020, 06:30 PM   #4
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The sport seats (in the M-Sport package, IIRC) are miles better than the base 128i sport seats, so be thankful you have them as standard.

Try doing the seatbelt lock trick (below) and using the rear headrests up front.

For the seatbelt trick, slide your seat all the way back, fasten your seat belt. Give the upper belt a strong yank so that the reel locks the belt, then hold it against the lock while sliding your seat up to your normal driving position. This will hold you back in the seat in corners and really helps with hard braking.
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      01-22-2020, 08:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post
The sport seats (in the M-Sport package, IIRC) are miles better than the base 128i sport seats, so be thankful you have them as standard.

Try doing the seatbelt lock trick (below) and using the rear headrests up front.

For the seatbelt trick, slide your seat all the way back, fasten your seat belt. Give the upper belt a strong yank so that the reel locks the belt, then hold it against the lock while sliding your seat up to your normal driving position. This will hold you back in the seat in corners and really helps with hard braking.
Yeah I know, Iím nitpicking more than anything but as good as the sport seats are for spirited driving, it just canít hold me (Iím a slender 5í8Ē) enough on tight turns or esses. I did try the seat belt trick, maybe Iíll give it another shot.

I seriously contemplate getting buckets for the two front seats only for when doing track days and revert to factory when not. Although w the car being parked most of the year, doing that switch is pointless. But anyway, anyone know if having buckets but using three point belts is allowed for HPDE? Iím riding w NASA mostly but wanted to know if this passes tech.
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      01-23-2020, 08:26 AM   #6
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Have a look at a CG lock if you want to use the 3 point belt.
Not sure if that would pass tech inspection but it worked well keeping me in place on leather seats during track events.
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      01-23-2020, 02:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $iriu$black View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post
The sport seats (in the M-Sport package, IIRC) are miles better than the base 128i sport seats, so be thankful you have them as standard.

Try doing the seatbelt lock trick (below) and using the rear headrests up front.

For the seatbelt trick, slide your seat all the way back, fasten your seat belt. Give the upper belt a strong yank so that the reel locks the belt, then hold it against the lock while sliding your seat up to your normal driving position. This will hold you back in the seat in corners and really helps with hard braking.
Yeah I know, I’m nitpicking more than anything but as good as the sport seats are for spirited driving, it just can’t hold me (I’m a slender 5’8”) enough on tight turns or esses. I did try the seat belt trick, maybe I’ll give it another shot.

I seriously contemplate getting buckets for the two front seats only for when doing track days and revert to factory when not. Although w the car being parked most of the year, doing that switch is pointless. But anyway, anyone know if having buckets but using three point belts is allowed for HPDE? I’m riding w NASA mostly but wanted to know if this passes tech.
I think you're fine with the stock seatbelt, they're usually more concerned about having an improper harness installation than anything. Check your club's regs or ask someone in charge of the club about it, they're always looking to get people on track and give people a fun weekend.
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      01-27-2020, 12:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $iriu$black View Post
Yeah I know, I’m nitpicking more than anything but as good as the sport seats are for spirited driving, it just can’t hold me (I’m a slender 5’8”) enough on tight turns or esses. I did try the seat belt trick, maybe I’ll give it another shot.

I seriously contemplate getting buckets for the two front seats only for when doing track days and revert to factory when not. Although w the car being parked most of the year, doing that switch is pointless. But anyway, anyone know if having buckets but using three point belts is allowed for HPDE? I’m riding w NASA mostly but wanted to know if this passes tech.
once you go to a bucket seat you generally cannot use a 3-point or 4-point harness (scroth quick being an exception). You'll need a proper 5-point harness. A track like NJMP will never let you on. They have state regulations arounf race cars and police will even ticket you in the paddock (not common but they have been known to roll through and write tickets). I had this issue last year. Car was too fast for the stock seats. They were fine when I was first starting out but as I got faster I was being tossed all over the place. Bucket seats keep you in place, weigh less, and they have the added benefit of giving you a more "direct" feeling to the car. I saw my autocross times get way better just by changing seats and installing a harness. I just had that much more control over the car (Or I feel I do anyway). It is a big step though. Instant devaluation of the car especially with the harness install going through the floor pan in multiple places. Back seat is useless now as well. Still plenty comfortable if you don't care about the above. Just a bit harder to get in/out. I kept the stock seatbelt in place for street driving.
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      01-27-2020, 07:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bbnks2 View Post
once you go to a bucket seat you generally cannot use a 3-point or 4-point harness (scroth quick being an exception). You'll need a proper 5-point harness. A track like NJMP will never let you on. They have state regulations arounf race cars and police will even ticket you in the paddock (not common but they have been known to roll through and write tickets). I had this issue last year. Car was too fast for the stock seats. They were fine when I was first starting out but as I got faster I was being tossed all over the place. Bucket seats keep you in place, weigh less, and they have the added benefit of giving you a more "direct" feeling to the car. I saw my autocross times get way better just by changing seats and installing a harness. I just had that much more control over the car (Or I feel I do anyway). It is a big step though. Instant devaluation of the car especially with the harness install going through the floor pan in multiple places. Back seat is useless now as well. Still plenty comfortable if you don't care about the above. Just a bit harder to get in/out. I kept the stock seatbelt in place for street driving.

Iím still not quite at your level of going REALLY fast but do feel that I could do better in the seat department. When you say harness, you meant a harness BAR (cage?) correct? I understand it is a big undertaking. Iím sure there are harnesses(cages) out there that are reversible (screw on to floor pan) if you do decide youíre done w it, although Iím sure thatís very rare or probably discontinued for our cars at this point. Being in HPDE only, what Iím thinking is probably overkill. I MAY try to be at the TT level w NASA but not much beyond that for now. Just want to be able to get more out of the experience thatís all.

I know bionicbelly did NASA TT5 and wanted to hear his thoughts as he also drove a 128.

I was thinking though, if a car came from factory w letís say the BMW perf seats, which are basically Sportsters, if I had those on combined w a three-point, will that still be legal since these seats are offered from the manufacturer?
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      01-27-2020, 07:55 PM   #10
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I haven't had an issue with buckets and 3 points at NJMP or WGI, with PCA. I can't say what LE's take is at Millville, but I haven't had an issue with them during two different traffic stops with two different departments.

NJMP does not permit 4 points, iirc. TNIA does not permit 3 points with aftermarket seats. However, there are even some time trial groups that do not restrict buckets to 5/6 pts.
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      01-28-2020, 07:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $iriu$black View Post
I’m still not quite at your level of going REALLY fast but do feel that I could do better in the seat department. When you say harness, you meant a harness BAR (cage?) correct? I understand it is a big undertaking. I’m sure there are harnesses(cages) out there that are reversible (screw on to floor pan) if you do decide you’re done w it, although I’m sure that’s very rare or probably discontinued for our cars at this point. Being in HPDE only, what I’m thinking is probably overkill. I MAY try to be at the TT level w NASA but not much beyond that for now. Just want to be able to get more out of the experience that’s all.

I know bionicbelly did NASA TT5 and wanted to hear his thoughts as he also drove a 128.

I was thinking though, if a car came from factory w let’s say the BMW perf seats, which are basically Sportsters, if I had those on combined w a three-point, will that still be legal since these seats are offered from the manufacturer?
Yes, the factory BMW perf seats and 3-point belt would be allowed.

I think there are two different discussions here:

1. There are fixed-back bucket seats, which is when you have to move to a 5/6-point harness and rollbar/half cage. This is certainly the safest option but also makes the car more dedicated to the track.

Or

2. You can install an adjustable-back seat, like Recaro Sportster, which can still recline like a factory seat and has the provision at the base where the 3-point lap belt can correctly pass over and hold you in place.
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      01-28-2020, 07:39 AM   #12
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I haven't had an issue with buckets and 3 points at NJMP or WGI, with PCA. I can't say what LE's take is at Millville, but I haven't had an issue with them during two different traffic stops with two different departments.

NJMP does not permit 4 points, iirc. TNIA does not permit 3 points with aftermarket seats. However, there are even some time trial groups that do not restrict buckets to 5/6 pts.
Yes it's very club dependent. Even if the club has a rule against seats and 3-points they may never even say anything to you.

I was at NJMP 2x last summer and the track was doing full vehicle checks. They took brake fluid samples from literally every car too. Several people with some pretty nice cars got sent away. Just speaking from experience. Can't say anyone elses experience will be the same.
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      01-28-2020, 08:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by spidertri View Post
Yes, the factory BMW perf seats and 3-point belt would be allowed.

I think there are two different discussions here:

1. There are fixed-back bucket seats, which is typically when you have to move to a 5/6-point harness and possibly a rollbar/half cage. This is certainly the safest option but also makes the car more dedicated to the track.

Or

2. You can install an adjustable-back seat, like Recaro Sportster, which can still recline like a factory seat and has the provision at the base where the 3-point lap belt can correctly pass over and hold you in place.
I am not going to go google rule books so maybe I am wrong about 3-points, specifically. I just assumed by 3-point he meant facotry lap belt with aftermarket seats. That is prohibited but I guess there are aftermarket 3-point harnesses available that may be allowable by some clubs?

Rules vary from club to club as does how strict they are at enforcing the rules. Some tracks impose strict rules on some clubs more than others. It's something for OP to research.
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      01-28-2020, 08:51 AM   #14
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Yeah, 3-point in my mind means factory seat belt. You're right, it's up to what the club wants to enforce.

I've done track days in my E36 with stock seats/belts, aftermarket adjustable-back seats/factory belts, and fixed back seats with 6-point harness, no one has ever said anything to me, positive or negative, about any of those setups when going through tech. But I also haven't been up to any of the tracks in the NE.
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      01-28-2020, 07:18 PM   #15
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Thanks to all the replies. I did mean the factory seat belt with the 3-point. Sorry for the confusion.

I agree that it is indeed club-specific. I ride w NASA NE mostly but also with PCA North Country and COM here in Mass. Iíll reach out to them and see what they say.

If the BMW performance seats pass, does that equate to Recaro Sportsters passing as well since theyíre basically one and the same? Just because I think thatís the closest to getting better side support but not going to a full fixed back seat.
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      01-30-2020, 09:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $iriu$black View Post
Thanks to all the replies. I did mean the factory seat belt with the 3-point. Sorry for the confusion.

I agree that it is indeed club-specific. I ride w NASA NE mostly but also with PCA North Country and COM here in Mass. Iíll reach out to them and see what they say.

If the BMW performance seats pass, does that equate to Recaro Sportsters passing as well since theyíre basically one and the same? Just because I think thatís the closest to getting better side support but not going to a full fixed back seat.
Again, read relevant rules. But as stated above, typically BMW performance seats are "exempt" because they are a factory seat. Put into the car to be used with the factory airbags and factory 3-point lap belts. You're getting into technical interpretations of rules. Drop a Recaro polester into your car and it's an aftermarket seat. Not a factory option. It would generally NOT be OK to run the factory 3-point harness in that scenario. Official answers will likely always be strict to the rules. Roll up to an event and no one will probably question it... but it would suck to be turned away.
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      02-03-2020, 08:31 AM   #17
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There may be different rules from club to club and track to track but the fact of the matter is very simple: once you touch anything safety related you better go all the way to a system designed to work together.

All this talk of fixed back seats with three points and various combos is making my skin crawl. Once you go to a fixed back seat you NEED to have roll over protection, which means you NEED fixed, six point harnesses, which then means you NEED a HANS. There is no way to mix and match and come up with a solution that's as safe as stock, or fully fixed.

In the event of a wreck you need to either move in a way the way car manufacturers have spent billions perfecting, or make sure all of your parts don't move.

The only exception I, or the club I usually run with, makes is Schroth quick fit harnesses in an otherwise completely stock car.
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      02-03-2020, 06:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by amg6975 View Post
There may be different rules from club to club and track to track but the fact of the matter is very simple: once you touch anything safety related you better go all the way to a system designed to work together.

All this talk of fixed back seats with three points and various combos is making my skin crawl. Once you go to a fixed back seat you NEED to have roll over protection, which means you NEED fixed, six point harnesses, which then means you NEED a HANS. There is no way to mix and match and come up with a solution that's as safe as stock, or fully fixed.

In the event of a wreck you need to either move in a way the way car manufacturers have spent billions perfecting, or make sure all of your parts don't move.

The only exception I, or the club I usually run with, makes is Schroth quick fit harnesses in an otherwise completely stock car.

Thanks for your response. I am particularly interested in the Schroth Quick Fit harness. I have always heard of it but NEVER knew that it could work for an other wise stock car like mine. I think this partly solves my problem. I have emailed NASA NE and still have yet to hear from them.
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      02-03-2020, 07:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $iriu$black View Post
Thanks for your response. I am particularly interested in the Schroth Quick Fit harness. I have always heard of it but NEVER knew that it could work for an other wise stock car like mine. I think this partly solves my problem. I have emailed NASA NE and still have yet to hear from them.
They're a great option for a beginner DE driver or autcrosser. $500 is easier to swallow than $5000 if you're just getting your feet wet.
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      02-03-2020, 08:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $iriu$black View Post
Thanks for your response. I am particularly interested in the Schroth Quick Fit harness. I have always heard of it but NEVER knew that it could work for an other wise stock car like mine. I think this partly solves my problem. I have emailed NASA NE and still have yet to hear from them.
I have the Schroth Quick fit installed with my Non-Sport seats and they were a big help.
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