So today we go through the motions of putting an Autopower roll bar, Crow race harness and OMP seat into your favorite Starion. But why?
>Stiffens the chassis, ties into floor and rear shock towers
>Can easily be welded in or bolted in
>Meets/exceeds requirements for most solo race regs
>Allows use of race harness
>Actually allows all interior to be kept installed, with some wrangling
>Keeps the roof from caving in
This bar is a fully welded race bar with bolt on legs. The harness bar and diagonal bar are welded into the hoop. (There are other versions without the cross bar, or with removable bars.) There is about six inches of overlap on the legs, 1.750 x .120 DOM steel tubing is used. Steel backing plates and high grade hardware is included. Autopower also has weld-in kits are available to add the front tubes and make a welded six point cage with door bars, required for tandem drift.
It comes sprayed black, I decided to paint mine before putting it in.
At this point, the neighbors are looking at me a little funny...
So first things first , take out the seats, front and rear, and rear seat trim, to make it easier to work in the small space. Remove the rear seatbelts parts and the front lap belt parts. No turning back, you will have to use harness belts for lap belts even if you keep the stock passenger shoulder belt, there won't be room to mount the retractor assemblies. Possibly 1986 year lap belts can be used. Pull the carpet back.
The rollbar can be finessed into the car fully assembled.
Wiggle the bar around until you get it lined up with the front legs on the floor a couple of inches in front of the chassis cross bracing, and the rear legs resting on the strut towers. Scrape off any sound material from the surface. Give it one last look and check all clearances. Mark the locations with a marker and grab the drill. If you want to weld the bar in, you can do that now after you grind the mating surfaces down to metal and be done with it.
Now the fun part. Drill a hole using each plate as a guide, and put one bolt through and loosely bolt up the backing plate on the other side. The mount plates may not lay perfectly flat, don't worry. Use a longer bolt to pull it together if needed, the body will conform to the heavy plates sandwiching it. Go around until you get all the bolts in loosely.
When you get all the bolts tight, double up the nuts and hit it with an under coating spray.
Tighten down the rear leg bolts. Now step back, admire your handiwork and grab a beer. That's it for the rollbar...
Now I'm going to mock up my seat bracket bolt holes. Obviously this part of the process is going to vary depending on what seat you are using, how it will mount up, etc.
Here are the official racing type super special seat belt eyelet bolts that bolt through the floor with a large washer on the other side. Most rules say you should have the lap belt on about a 45 degree angle as it goes through the seat. Just ahead of the rollbar was the spot for me, I bolted the other eyelet across on the tranny side.
All mocked up, note the lap belt eyelets. Ripping the sound material off the carpet where you cut it will make it look neater afterwards. I also sprayed the bolts on the underside of the car with undercoating.
Finally got the old seat in there. It's seen a lot... The harness neatly and easily wraps around the bar and straight through the seat on a horizontal angle. The lap belts are right where they should be. I'll get around to putting that submarine belt some other time... maybe!
The SFI tag is supposed to show on the outer harness lap belt.
Hopefully you checked and made sure the door would close, in this case it does, barely!
I put the side trim pieces back in the car and will probably put the back seats back in just for looks. I will also put in a harness for the passenger, trying to decide on a cheap adjustble seat to use with the factory rails. The factory sholder belts and retractor in the center console will be removed, as well as the door-frame mounted tabs and all the other parts.
All buttoned up. Installing the passenger seat is up to you, but you must use the correct harness install due to the missing factory lap belt retractor, or an 86 year setup.
Now this cage isn't weightless, it's over 70 lbs easy. That said, removing all the factory seatbelt parts adds up to a pretty hefty weight, over 20 lbs easily. Switching out the seat saved a bunch of weight, race seats are light and I didn't use a slider. Swapping out the passenger seat for a race seat may make up for the weight offset. The rear seat parts are light except for the seatbacks, that's up to you.
When strapped into that harness you just aren't going anywhere, you can just focus on driving and not on holding yourself in the seat by bracing against the wheel or ebrake handle. If you have the non-Recaro couch seats, you know. The stiffness of the car improved instantly, the car feels like a tank. Being over 6', it's also nice to sit in a correct driving position with clearance for a helmet and room for your legs to be able to heel/toe, etc. Shorter guys, you take this for granted!
In this car I have some suspension upgrades, D2 coilovers and MK1 sway bars/poly bushings as well as some strut bars front and back. The car is very stiff, when you break rear traction and begin to slide it's a no-drama situation. Most car kids will look at you with jealous envy!
*60950 is the part # for this exact bar, there are street and bolt together versions also.
*Just an FYI you can use the 86 seatbelt setup to run standard belts on the street....-Sotty Dont
Autopower Roll Bars
Summit Racing Universal Seat brackets (similar to what I made here)
Edited by Fuze, 04 December 2015 - 02:37 PM.