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Racing Harness / belts

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  • Racing Harness / belts

    My original 4 point Harness just expired and I have a NASA track day at the end of June.

    Caterham US wants an extortionate amount of money for their own 4 point belts - and so I have 3 questions.

    1) Do NASA require that my belts be current?
    2) Are NASA satisfied with 4 point belts or do I need to go 5 Point?
    3) Does anyone have any suggestions of where I can get an APPROVED set of belts at a decent cost?

    I've looked at but I'm a little unsure as to what to go for and what's FIA / NASA approved.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    According to Brad, NASA don't check the belts. But I wouldn't trust that.

    Four points will do fine, although I warmly recommend a 5/six pointer to avoid submarining and more broken bones in a frontal crash.

    There has been an issue with Caterham's lap belts only being 2" wide, since NASA wants 3". My belts just expired as well, and I have a setup in the garage (I forget the brand) with a wider lap belt. Anything should fit since you just bolt them into the frame.

    /Magnus F.


    • #3
      I've never had a problem w/ a NASA scrutineer w/ regard to belts. ISTR that NASA doesn't check them if they can be shown to be 'original equipment'. If they say Caterham on them you're good to go.

      I have been asked to show my arm restraints (although they are not specifically required to the best of my knowledge) when getting on-track. I highly recommend getting some and using them, just in case.

      To the best of my knowledge, NASA do not follow FIA rules as far as race car CC&Rs and for sure don't for HPDE.
      A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


      • #4
        Check the NASA rule book. They don't require a date for HPDE but I believe they do for racing.

        The belts have to be in good condition.

        Arm restraints are required for open cars.

        I got replacement belts from Simpson.

        They build to order, I sent my existing belts for them to check the length. They will send the old back with the new.

        It only took a few days.



        • #5


          I believe it depends on who does the inspection. I have not had any issues with my belts (their FIA cert is still valid and they say "caterham") on them. I have had their dates inspected, and I suspect they would have failed me if they were expired. Other inspectors have not even looked the car over - just asked me if it was in good condition (not very confidence inspiring!).

          FWIW, a few years ago I recall NASA giving seven owners grief, because HPDE is not supposed to have 6pt harnesses. Evidently they don't want boy racers bolting in harnesses and thinking they are invincible. I think this is fine, but their requirement for "stock" belts is a bit different in case of a seven. I mean my car (kit actually) came with these belts - does that mean they are stock? I have 6pt belts in my car and just keep the tails hidden under the seat during inspection.

          FWIW, I've personally not had this issue, but others here might be able to shed more light on this topic.

          Another thing to think about is how the belts are made. My car came with pull down adjusters. This is ok if I'm the only one driving and I have no passengers. However this is rarely the case. I ended up purchasing a pull up adjusting belt from another owner (thanks Rich!). He had bought this for his car, but found that he could not cinch it down tight enough - the stitching was too far from the mounting point. He is a skinny guy - like yourself - so I would look for a set of 3" pull up adjusting belts that can fit a narrow person. This is made even more critical if you have a bag seat or tillets. IIRC, He had his custom made by Luke.

          Finally, if I was going to purchase a new set of belts, i would look for a submarine belt with a moustache clip - so the jewels don't get crushed! ;)

          Let us know what you find!


          PS: what event are you signed up for?
          Tom "ELV15" Jones


          • #6
            All depends on the inspection folks. I never had trouble with my 5-points at NASA events until at Thunderhill the chief scrutineer chewed me up (rightfully) because of the inappropriate submarine mounting angle. After that I changed to 7-points, which so far was accepted by the NASA guys.



            • #7
              Originally posted by BritishChris View Post
              I have 3 questions.

              1) Do NASA require that my belts be current?
              2) Are NASA satisfied with 4 point belts or do I need to go 5 Point?
              3) Does anyone have any suggestions of where I can get an APPROVED set of belts at a decent cost?

              Any help is greatly appreciated.

              I strongly suggest that you look back at this old thread on the subject, and read NASA's current HPDE rules - at least Section 11.4.8. Belt dates don't have to be current for HPDE.

              Larry Marsala is still NASA's Tech Chief. I haven't spoken with him about this subject since 2006, and assume that his views haven't changed. But you could contact him directly to find out.

              Lap belts alone are obviously prohibited. Standard four-point belts are not a good idea, and Larry will probably reject any that come to his attention (see the exception in the old thread). Anything else installed per the car manufacturer's specs is acceptable. Anything not installed per the car manufacturer's specs is supposed to meet NASA's race car tech rules.

              For HPDE this means that Caterham-supplied three-point and six-point belts fixed to the factory mounting points should be automatically acceptable. Anything else in a Caterham could be subject to having to meet the race car rules.


              • #8
                Chris, I just bought a set for each side from Autopower ( here in SD for $350, 5 point or 6 point available. Manufactured to SCCA specs and can be refreshed in two years. While the name carries less prestige than Schroth, Luke, etc.; the price kinda makes up for it.

                My Caterham belts, made by Luke, had a 2005 expiration. The NASA tech guys didn't much like them two years back because the lap portion consists of a 3" wide top sewed to a standard 1 7/8" peice that actually connects to the floor. They wanted 3" all the way, which I now have. If you are contemplating going with Autopower give me a call before you order. Hope that you are enjoying your 7, Brad