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Making Kameari seats "safe"

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So I got this knock-off of a reproduction Kameari seat. The stock seat belts feel totally inadequate as they hang across the bolsters of the seat, inches in front of my waist.

 

I'm aware that the only DOT approved solution is the stock seat with the stock belt. I wanted something that works for autocross so I'm not driving from the passenger side every time I turn left. I rarely drive on the street (mainly just to car meets). Being a California car very few more modern seats fit without modifying the cat hump.

 

So, what are my options here? It looks like I'm going to need a 4/5 point with a harness bar (and headrest) behind me, and to slot the bottom/sides of the seat?

IMG_20200709_154617420.jpg

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If you slot the sides of the seat, just pass the factory belt through those new holes. A 4/5 point isn't really suitable for street use, they are designed as part of a system to hold you in a fixed position, and not rattle around the inside of a roll cage. If the car rolls and doesn't have a roll cage, you're held firmly in the seat while the roof comes in on you. 

 

Plenty of people run 4-5 points on the street, but if you have the option to not do that, stick with what you have!

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2 hours ago, Ben280 said:

If you slot the sides of the seat, just pass the factory belt through those new holes. A 4/5 point isn't really suitable for street use, they are designed as part of a system to hold you in a fixed position, and not rattle around the inside of a roll cage. If the car rolls and doesn't have a roll cage, you're held firmly in the seat while the roof comes in on you. 

 

Plenty of people run 4-5 points on the street, but if you have the option to not do that, stick with what you have!

 

I had a Torino II in this car previously, but it was a tad too large width wise and was destroying my door panel. It also was ugly. With that seat I ran a 4 point, with the shoulder straps going to the stock shoulder strap location. I'll have to see if I can disassemble the belt to pass the shoulder strap through the left-hand part of the seat, so that it's not reduced to a lap-belt.

 

I'm no automotive engineer but thought the whole point of all seat belts, 1-5 point, are to hold you in a fixed position (with some allowable stretch of the fabric). Manufacturers just compromised safety for convenience by staying at the 3 point. If we're counting on a 3-point belt to help save me when the car rolls over I think there are other issues that need addressing rather than the belt. In any case I'd rather not have to deal with a non-OE belt system.

 

I also don't want is a roll cage, because that basically guarantees a severe head injury unless I have a 4/5 point harness on, tight, with a helmet on.

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A 3 point belt is designed to allow you to move forward and then "catches" you. This same motion in a 4-6pt harness can result in a basal skull fracture, which is why race car drivers use a head and neck restraint device. 3 point belts also don't keep you in a fully upright position in a roll over, they'll let you slouch or submarine a little bit as the car deforms. A 5-6pt will hold you bolt upright, and then you'll be a couple inches shorter if the roof caves in. You are right tho, if you're rolling the car and hoping the seatbelt is gonna save you, bigger problems! I always thought it was a good "visual" of the restricted motion that comes with a racing harness compared to factory 3 points!

 

Seatbelts in general are designed as part of a system, and a 3 point is designed with the safety system of the stock car in mind. 4 points in my opinion are worthless, and 5-6 points need to be used in conjunction with a helmet, head and neck restraint and roll cage, otherwise they will do more harm than good.

 

I'd see if you can extend the latch so it sits inside the seat, then you'll just need to detach the low mount on the drivers side and pass that through the seat! Should be all set at that point.

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Posted (edited)

My understanding, which has been reinforced through conversations with an engineer who works on automotive safety systems, is that a 3 point is designed to let your torso rotate which is what prevents you from submarining and sliding out under the lap belt. A 4 point doesn't let your torso rotate, which is why you need a 5 or 6 point to keep you from sliding out under the belts in an extreme accident. 4 point is actually less safe in a front end collision than 3 point.

FWIW, having rolled a car (went over many times, BTW) while wearing a 3 point, my experience was that the shoulder belt fell off of my shoulder and I ping ponged my head on the roof and door frame as the car went over. It was not fun, but my passenger and I managed to walk away with VERY minor injuries. Cheated death for sure. The pass side of the car took all the hits and my friend realized the roof was getting closer to his head, so he put his hand on the roof and leaned the seat back mid roll! So if you're the 1 in a billion person with that kind of presence of mind, 3 point might be safer in a rollover with no cage. If you're just going to scream on the way down like I did, scream something to the deity of your preference and hope that works is my advice... ;) 

Regardless of the aesthetics, that seat design sucks. Get something non-sucky. There are lots of seats with a channel in the bottom corner so that a standard lap belt will not be held away from your pelvis.

Edited by JMortensen

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Ben nailed it. Route the stock belt through the pass-through and find a way to make the buckle work (extension or donor buckle with same style receptacle will do). This is exactly how I run my S2000, using a 2g Eclipse rear seat belt buckle which matches the S2000's latch but is mounted via a cloth belt instead of rigid bracket.

Not my photo:

 

img_20170619_193612_8d8b8f08c70eaaecc84e969838e2980bdaaa4c1a.jpg

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Great info guys thanks. I'm getting in contact with a upholstery shop that might be able to add some holes, as well as put on some real leather while they are at it.

 

Also I am looking to get the Kameari headrest as well, and a shoulder strap holder.

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