Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

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miro-1980
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Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by miro-1980 » Sun May 26, 2013 8:02 pm

Gents ,

I want to change standard 3 points safety belts to 4 points FIA safety belts.

there is no problem mounting the waist belts but I have encountered a problem with mounting the shoulder straps.

The shoulder straps should have an inclinations of 0 deg to 45 deg. (recommended 10 deg.)
Auto patch  #1459.jpg
Auto patch #1459.jpg (27.76 KiB) Viewed 2060 times
The shoulder straps should be have two mounting points points (one mounting point per strap).

The straps should be parallel to 20 deg angled.
Auto patch  #1459 x.jpg
Auto patch #1459 x.jpg (18.4 KiB) Viewed 2060 times

At the same time the existing mountings for safety belts are limited to the following:
PICT0315-1.jpg
PICT0315-1.jpg (39.67 KiB) Viewed 2059 times
CIMG5662.jpg
CIMG5662.jpg (82.13 KiB) Viewed 2059 times
This mounting point is :

1/ single
2/ located well of seat center line
3/ looks to week

Looks like new mounting points need to be made .

Has any of you encountered and solved this problem ?

Pictures please !

Miro
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Guy Croft
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by Guy Croft » Sun May 26, 2013 8:31 pm

normally ...

the car will have a cage Miro,

the belts would be bolted to a cross-beam (tube..) that runs from one rear upright to the other ..

without a cage it is a bit tricky to get the angle right..

G
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by Urbancamo » Sun May 26, 2013 9:06 pm

I agree with Guy, car wich doesn't have a roll gage, should never be equipped with more than standard 3 point belts. If you happen to roll the car over with 4/6-point belts without the roll gage, your body stays tightly in place while your head and neck are the only flexible parts. You wouldn't belive how soft A/B/C-pilars and the roof are in old cars, they are like plasticine!
There is a certain line between civilian and rally cars and they never should be mixed! It's either one, not both.

I saw one case where blokes roll the car over wich didn't have roll gage and they sat in firm Sparco bucket seats with 6 point belts. There really wasn't any room left after minor roll over to snow bank. Fortunately nothing serious happened. Any more speed and the consequences would have been real ugly.

But if we forgot the roll gage part:

In the old days everybody ran their shoulder belts at 45 degree angle or near that. It's OK, it works fine. With HANS device, you are not allowed to go over 10 degrees and there is a reson for that.

Another possibility is to make your own mounting points. Just use the FIA approved eyebolts and their mounting plates and make some reinforcements where ever you mount them. Common sense and good welds are enough for this job. Anything as strong as OE mounting point is enough.

T
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by Guy Croft » Sun May 26, 2013 10:17 pm

good call Tommi, as ever!

Gracias,

G
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by miro-1980 » Sun May 26, 2013 10:23 pm

Thanks,

The car does have a K-1 ( basic ) rollcage as originally homologated.

It is approved by appendix J as well as appendix K for 2013 for open cars.
my rollbar .jpg
my rollbar .jpg (10.21 KiB) Viewed 2046 times
my cage .jpg
my cage .jpg (85.1 KiB) Viewed 2046 times
The issue come up as the rollcage does not have a vertical cross bar - only a diagonal cross bar.

Due to roof I have ( targa type ) :
Targa 1a  .JPG
Targa 1a .JPG (53.19 KiB) Viewed 2044 times
Targa 2 .JPG
Targa 2 .JPG (72.52 KiB) Viewed 2044 times
Targa 3a .JPG
Targa 3a .JPG (36.59 KiB) Viewed 2044 times

I am using more restrictive regulations as per art 7 of art 252 of appendix J (2013) , treating my car as a "convertible"

"Convertible vehicles must comply in all respects with the specifications applying to open cars.
In addition, cars with a rigid retractable roof must be driven exclusively with the roof closed and locked up."


By the way , the car will be used only in regularity rallies and club rallies, trials, etc.

Please comment !

Miro

PS: I got tired of the lack of any reinforcement (roll bar) and installed the basic rollcage which in fact is a reinforced roll bar. Than it occurred to me that mixing of rollcage with standard seats may create more danger than safety and out in a bucket seats , and finally with the bucket seats it proved that I need at least 4 point safety belts.

So now I have a sports car which will be used for very amateur sports , low speed eevents.

Actually by lowering my position behind the wheel I gained quite a bit of space above my head ( as compared to standard 124 spider seats...) and a lot of my bud holding power which makes driving the car a lot of fun.
Last edited by miro-1980 on Sun May 26, 2013 11:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by Urbancamo » Sun May 26, 2013 10:57 pm

Oh, that really changes the situation. In really old days like in the 1970's there really wasn't any more more than main roll gage like you have!
I never knew that cabinet is so short....you really can't use the rear passengers seat bealt anchor point.

You have two possibilities in my opinion:

1) Weld some tubing to diagonal support where you can lace your seat belts over

2) Weld some supports to rear firewall or somewhere near wich is sturdy enough

I reckon plan 1! Either one you choose some welding is needed.

T
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by miro-1980 » Sun May 26, 2013 11:04 pm

Tom,

See my modified post above.

I think I will sell this roll cage and put in a new in which the main bar ) above and behind the heads of the crew slightly tilted towards the back ( appendix J allows as much as 10 deg back tilt) and with a cross bar just above the rear mounting points level of the rollcage.

This should solve all the problems.

What do you think ?

Miro
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by miro-1980 » Sun May 26, 2013 11:08 pm

Urbancamo wrote:
You have two possibilities in my opinion:

1) Weld some tubing to diagonal support where you can lace your seat belts over

2) Weld some supports to rear firewall or somewhere near wich is sturdy enough

I reckon plan 1! Either one you choose some welding is needed.

T
I looked at the construction of the car. You really do not have access to the back of the rear firewall from the boot.
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by Guy Croft » Sun May 26, 2013 11:25 pm

if it's got a 'hard-top' it's not a convertible...

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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by miro-1980 » Sun May 26, 2013 11:58 pm

OK, so what is it ?

The FIA rules refer to "open car" and "convertible".

A "convertible" is an open car ( a car with no roof) for which the manufacturer provided a possibility to convert it into a car with a roof. The roof may be soft ( folding. or removable ) or hard (folding or separate , which can be attached to the car).

How would you qualify :

1/ Triumph Stig which had two overhead panels removable ( leaving frame of the roof intact ),

2/ Porsche Targa (which had overhead panel removable and the soft rear window version also had the rear window folding / removable leaving a “rollbar” element of the chassis integral roof

3/ Mercedes W 107 ( 280 SL ) which had both and a soft roof ( soft roof was used for summer and hard roof was used for winter). Both were totally detachable.

4/ and finally a 124 Abarth rally which had a light (non-metal roof) bolted to the chassis)

In this sense I reckon my car is a convertible.

Miro ...
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by miro-1980 » Mon May 27, 2013 1:17 am

Re: hard top / convertible

It always fascinated me how we use our automotive vocabulary. Since the British ( at alone the English) lost their exclusive claim to the English language things as to what is correct / right and incorrect /wrong got to be a bit blurred. Let me just mention Australians , Americans and Canadians (not to mention Indians and Africans)

The words are often the same but mean only almost the same.

This is getting into semantics but since this is an international forum I believe this is a called for example how same or similar words may have diverse meaning :

1/ hard top = hard roof ( this is generic, most obvious)

2/ Hardtop (also spelled: “hard-top” or “hard top”) - a car without pillars between front and rear windows

3/ Hard Top Convertible : a car with a top made of a metal material and folds away for storage at the push of a button, (which by the way also does not have pillars between windows, but definitely is not a hardtop in sense above ( #2) .

However, since the barbarians and vandals ( like Poles, Germans and French - just to name a few) forced its own language logic onto English the "hard top" and the "convertible " are no longer mutually exclusive.

Miro

PS: Incidentally, the variety of hard tops, folding roofs and convertibles is so vast that the original sedan/hardtop/convertible no longer can be deemed as offering sufficient variance.

M

PS: Historic example; I was an an ocean liner leaving London for NYC many years back and I remember that the British ashore (apparently as an expression of what they think of the Boston tea Party and the rebels of the New World colonies in general) were showing to the Americans aboard what I would call politely a "reversed V sign". Happy Americans , taking it as an expression of good feelings towards America responded with proper (Churchill style) V sign. Both the British and the Yankees were smiling , though I think the British were also laughing ...

So laughing"as one says "bonnet" (which to me is an old fashioned female hat) is just as natural as someone taking as funny when someone says "hood" ( understanding it to be an old fashioned part of the coat covering the head) to describe exactly the same car part.

Technical language should ( technically speaking) be free of such variance, but as English -now a world wide property - it is not.
Not any more ...

M

Just a final note: in Polish there is no such term as "hardtop" or "convertible" at all.

We traditionally see passenger cars as : 2-door, 3-door, 4-door, 5- door, kombi (both to mean wagon and hatchback ), limuzyna/sedan, coupe, pickup and kabriolet.

Recently we started using such terms as Van, SUB and Crossover.

The concept of "hardtop", as is quite foreign to us. Poland never produced a "hardtop" and only hardtops seen on Polish roads for decades were coupes (2-door hardtops). 4 door hardtops for many years the domain of the American car industry, were very rear here. If someone decided to have an American car he would go for a Corvette or a Mustang and if it was an Impala it was simply described as “an American.) So most here would take a hardtop as variance of coupe without pillars between windows.

Those who do draw a distinction between "sedan" and "hardtop" use the English term "hardtop".

To say "convertible" we use "kabriolet" - a word from French language meaning "open carriage'. In out part of the world due to the climate it is obvious that every cabriolet is a convertible by definition. Even a kid here knows that a cabriolet must have a folding roof to protect the passengers for wind and rain during summer and fall and or a hard roof that can be put on in the fall and winter, due to cold weather.

Since every cabriolet can be converted in to a car with a roof it is a convertible to us by definition. Thus we do not need a term of “convertible”. (For decades the only cars without a roof in Poland were soft top cabriolets. The hard top cabriolets were so rare that coining a new word to describe it was unnecessary. Thus to us cabrio describes both a cabrio with soft roof a well as a cabrio with steel removable roof.

So much for semantics and meanings of words.
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by Rallyroller » Mon May 27, 2013 9:31 pm

Hi All.

The use of a bar on the rear of the roll cage is a great way to mount the rear of the belts. The one problem is if you want to use the space in the back. In my 124 Spider rally car I have the normal cage with a diagonal. As the car is to be used for multi stage events, I will need room for helmets, etc and access to the area, so have used the rear bulk head to mount the belts. FIA spec mounting plates were welded to the boot side of the bulkhead, with 16swg spreader plates. The position will allow Hans device if required. The other issue regarding using cross bar on the roll cage is ability to fit 2 belts. The position of the diagonal can interfere with fitting belts on both seats. It is easier in a saloon ( even a Mini ).

The mounts on the rear bulkhead may not be suitable for a Spider with a soft top that you want to raise and lower. With a hard top its not a problem.

I also agree with the other comments. The thin steel and small areas used by manufacturers to mount standard car belts seem inadequate but are obviously very strong. The FIA mounts are more than capable of providing the required security.
Attachments
seat belt mounts 1.jpg
seat belt mounts 1.jpg (111.92 KiB) Viewed 1959 times
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by Urbancamo » Tue May 28, 2013 10:04 pm

Rallyroller's image pretty much sums up everything I wrote above. One photo explains all. Thanks!

FIA rules are something well worth to obey and they say if you use something else than manufacturer's OE seat belt mounting points, you must reinforce the mounting points with 40 cm², 3 mm steel plate.
Common 3€ FIA approved eyebolt mounting plates are just like this. And everybody uses them with FIA approved eyebolts. Nothing too complicated.

The rules also say all shoulder and weist belt mounting points must withstand the forces of 1470 daN wich is around 1500 kilos.

If you look at the manufacturer's OE mounting points they are usually just 7/16 UNF nut's welded inside the straight 1,5 mm steel plate. Anything beyond this is more than enough.

T
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by miro-1980 » Fri May 31, 2013 2:26 am

Gents

Fully agree , but ....

I am still trying to figure out avoiding welding in a finished car.

How is this for an idea.

What if I make cross bar ended with a welded plug like this
Auto patch  #1466.jpg
Auto patch #1466.jpg (15.98 KiB) Viewed 1909 times
bolted to OEM seat belt mounting.

Would this strong enough ?
cross bar mounting alternative 1 .jpg
cross bar mounting alternative 1 .jpg (19.33 KiB) Viewed 1908 times
Color Legend:

Red = body shell
Green = original seat belt mounting structure
Blue = bolt
Yellow = plug
Grey = bar
Orange - c bar mounting reinforcements


This looks neat but distance between the plug base and bolt hole migh very likely be insuffucient.

Yet another possibility is this:
cross bar mounting alternative 2.jpg
cross bar mounting alternative 2.jpg (19.22 KiB) Viewed 1908 times
The attachment of the car to the OEM seat belt mounts would be by a bolt. The C-bar would be reinforced by welded inserts like those required for eye bolt mounting in the cross bar ?

What do you think ?

This would save me damage from welding on a finished car while also :

1/ be a type of connection approved
2/ be very simple to make

The belts would be mounted by a loop assuring both proper inclination ( ca. 30 degrees) and total symmetry of both shoulder straps, as they would run parallel to the seat and car axis. As I would be using OEM mounting , no additional reinforcements should be needed.

Comments please !!!

Miro

Note : this mounting does not have to meet strict FIA requirements as it will not go through formal FIA scrutineering - it just has to be SAFE : strong enough for my seat belts.


M
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Re: Fiat 124 Spider 4 pts seatbelt mounting

Post by Guy Croft » Fri May 31, 2013 6:43 pm

MM- I just realised (if I am right) you don't have a rollcage in this car?

If you don't - get one.

Then put a cross-bar in and bolt your seats to that.

You will think I am being overly cautious. Ah well.


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