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 Seat Belt Longevity 
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:44 am
Posts: 24
Location: Morgantown West Virginia
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Noticing the date on my belts this winter, (due replacement next year) I realize that they are as safe as they were when new. The thought of tossing 500 bucks in the trash is slightly irritating to me. Especially when in my career field of aviation, belts are largely replaced on condition not age. Obviously if the belts are compromised, they need replaced.

While chatting with a friend who vintage races in New Zealand, he smuggly mentioned that they can go another 5 years past the TBO date.

I'm just wondering why we have to trash serviceable belts?

Leo

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Leo Basile


Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:14 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:42 am
Posts: 253
Location: Mebane, NC
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How would one know a belt has reached its no-longer-safe-to-use date other than by a (very conservative) manufacturer's recommended date? I've read that the (very conservative) date assumes a worst-case scenario. UV radiation for example will degrade the belts. Thus the (very conservative) dates might assume we leave our cars out in the sun all year long.

There are some belt makers that will replace the webbing and re-use the hardware. Presumably the hardware can easily be visually inspected for re-use.

I'd like to know if anyone who has been in a big shunt was glad to know their belts were not 'old but look OK'?

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Eric Russell
Mebane, NC

1961 MGA, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider,
1991 Honda ST1100, 1999 Ford F250, 2006 Toyota Solara


Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:06 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:32 pm
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The G-Force FIA belts are $180 (these are 5 point). The 6 point model is $5 more. Not sure what car you need them for?

https://www.saferacer.com/products/g-force-pro-series-fia-5pt-camlock-harness?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&gclid=CP7HnsfEn9ICFcVXDQodvyYHhA&variant=25897132675

Racequip.com also has them for about $200.

Still not exactly free and I understand the issue: I just threw out 2 perfectly good looking race tires because even though they looked good, they were old. I hated to do it.

Over the course of 5 years the $180 figure for belts is $36 per year so not horrible from that viewpoint.

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Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:51 pm
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Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:14 pm
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In response to an email. the president/CEO of Racequip called me.
Among other things he told me that the expiration dates were established back when seat belts were made of cotton.
This was necessary due to the degradation that occurred when the cotton belts were exposed to the sun over time.
However, the new synthetic fiber belts have no such problem, and are safe much longer.
How much longer he could not say. No one seems to be interested in long term seat belt testing.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:49 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:49 pm
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A couple of days ago I bought a set of G-Force 6 Pt cam p/d ind harness from OGRacing for $155. They are exactly the same as my set that expired in 2016. I didn't shop around because OGRacing is a sponsor of our local SCCA.

Some organizations are more lenient. For example, I think that VDCA only looks at the condition of the belts. They only need to be replaced if they are frayed, etc. As a consequence, I didn't replace them for the Wild Hare Run but will swap them out for the Jefferson.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:31 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:44 am
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Location: Morgantown West Virginia
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Arguably, the time the belts are exposed to UV are minimal, and knowing the history of the belts, I am very willing to take the "risk" of say adding another 5 years to my SERVICEABLE belts.

With the super conservative angle, shouldn't the belts be made from Nomex rather than nylon? How come the mfg dates on the tires are not tracked? (just venting)

It seems a bit silly that some common sense guided by a bit of science cant come together.

Lastly, we in the vintage race community are as safe as practical, not safe as possible.


Leo

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Leo Basile


Sun May 07, 2017 8:54 am
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Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 18
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Just get them recertified for $50. If there is an issue, they will tell you and they will not re-certify them. I just did it with my Schroth belts. There are companies that "re-web" the belts.

A friend of ours who runs IMSA told us that with the cockpit temperatures well over 100°, sun constantly beating down on the cars, braking and cornering G's all force the stitching to stretch.

When it comes to your safety, it's worth it to spend the $50 or $100 to get this done.

Or just spend $150-$200 on a new set.

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Chris Zappa


Sat May 13, 2017 8:37 am
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Chris:

I meant to talk to you about this at the J500 but got busy with other stuff. Can you tell us how you went about re-certifying your Schroth harness? Was this FIA re-cert? Did you go through HMS Motorsport?

Mack

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Mack


Mon May 29, 2017 7:09 am
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Mack,
It was a bad weekend for me!
I went through HMS, indirectly actually, whom I'm sure you know is Schroth's US importer. We met a gentleman at PRI this year from Schroth and gave me his contact regarding Re-webbing/Re-cert's.
Being that they're FIA belts, which are typically good for 5-years, the re-web/cert are only good for 2-years.
His card is in my business card binder in my office. I'm in Chicago on business this week and will return Friday evening. I'll look his name/number up and post it or email you directly if you like.
Chris

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Chris Zappa


Tue May 30, 2017 10:09 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:44 am
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Location: Morgantown West Virginia
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I understand that there is going to be wear on the webbing, but these belts are much much more protected than aircraft belts for example.

I certainly don't mind spending money for safety sake, but I do mind spending money for no good reason. As I have said before, I still plan on going home at the end of the day.

I too would like the info on re-webbing.

Cheers,

Leo

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Leo Basile


Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:51 am
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