Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness use?

Discussion in 'Generation V Discussions / SRT Coupe, GTS, GTC, AC' started by Bruce H., Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    A racing harness on track holds the driver's body in the seat to allow better control of the car, and provides safety in case of impact. But if the roof caves in it can also be disasterous for the driver if his body is held upright underneath it. For this reason 5 and 6 point racing harnesses are recommended only for use with a suitable roll cage that prevents the roof from caving in.

    Can anyone tell me if the Gen 5 roof has built-in roll-over protection? All cars must have a windshield header that meets a certain standard, but that does not necessarily cover the needs of a driver held upright with a harness, I'm hoping that the fact that the seat has provision for harness straps may be an indication of a roof that is also designed for them.

    Anyone with solid information, or a contact who would know? Thank you.

    Bruce
     
  2. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Viper Owner

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    There is no rollover protection equivalent to a roll cage, not even close, but anyone who spends a lot of time at the track (and therefore has seen more than a few 'incidents') knows a 6 pt harness is still better protection than any other harness but of course all racing organizations require an approved roll cage to 'race'. There is no such thing as a race car without a roll cage of some kind. Put a good racing seat in your car along with the 6 pt harness and you will be pretty well protected (but again, not equivalent to a roll cage).
     
  3. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Sound advice for racing, but I'm hoping a roll cage won't be necessary to use with a harness for lapping days. My XKR vert has rear roll hoops that deploy, as does the new C7 vert...hopefully the Viper has something substantial built-in.
     
  4. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Viper Owner

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Those roll 'hoops' are not even close to the equivalent of a roll cage. The Viper Verts have roll hoops, but they are 'minimal' rollover protection and not as good as a roof/coupe. Much better to have a good racing seat to pop in (4 bolts on floor) for your track days. It will also make you faster.
     
  5. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Are you saying that a good race seat will stop the roof from collapsing to the point where using a 6 point harness is okay without a roll cage? If it has a very study roof, that is designed to keep the roof from collapsing in a roll-over, particularly with the use of 6 point harnesses in mind, then that would give some level of confidence that a 6 pt might be a little safer than if the only nod to rollover was the windshield header. I accept that NOTHING is as good as a roll cage, but a full roll cage is not in my plans for this car. It wasn't in the plans for my other track day cars either, and I specifically avoided the use of 6 pt harnesses for that reason. I accepted the risk of not using a roll cage, but would like the benefits of a 6 pt in the Viper if a collapsing roof isn't a huge issue with the Viper coupe.
     
  6. ViperSmith

    ViperSmith Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    VENOM V has some good info on the VOA site about the harness and other neck safety devices.
     
  7. TrackAire

    TrackAire Viper Owner

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Here is my opinion of harnesses. Lets assume that the car is not going to roll over. If you use a harness to hold you firmly in place during a violent crash, you are very much more at risk for serious injury if not using a Hans type device to protect your neck. A good quality harness will not have much give and will keep your body firmly in the seat. Your neck will not be able to handle the force of the wreck without some sort of Hans device. Now add in a roll over situation and a harness has you trapped in the seat in an upright position. If you're roof structure can't support the impact force, then you're head becomes the "roll cage" support system.

    In a Viper coupe, I would feel safest with at minimum a roll bar, harness and Hans type device. Without all three of those systems in place, I feel you'd have the best chances with the stock seat belts and air bags during a severe impact or roll over.

    Although a harness can also be used to hold you in place for faster laps, you really have to weigh the odds of how safe it is in a wreck or roll over without a roll bar and Hans type device. Two of the three last open track events I drove in involved pretty substantial roll overs. Luckily nobody was seriously hurt and the rules the organization had in place for convertibles saved the occupants of that car from injury.

    Cheers,
    George
     
  8. Paul Hawker

    Paul Hawker Viper Owner

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    As a side note, roll cages are usually bad ideas for track cars that are also driven anywhere without a helmet. Those cage bars can bang you on the head pretty good if you are involved in an accident while driving without a helmet.

    Many, with harnesses still keep their stock restraints installed for street driving.
     
  9. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Todd actually has exactly the same concern about the strength of the roof with the 6 point. You have a better chance of survival under a collapsed roof with a 3 point that let's your head and body get out of the way compared to a 6 point that prevents your head and body from moving out of the way. Boxer12's roll cage suggestion is the solution for a race car, but not one that would work for most with a street car that they want to track occasionally. In fact, a roll cage can be dangerous for occupants when not wearing a helmet during street use unless it's very well padded and out of the way.

    Anyone ever see a cut-away picture of the Gen V roof to see what structure is under the CF?

    Edit: Thanks George and Paul, you both addressed my concerns.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  10. purenxs

    purenxs Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Unfortunately, the Corvette verts don't have pop up roll over protection of any sort. I wish they had, as so many less expensive verts do. The Corvette vert does have a very strong A pillar however.
     
  11. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    The C7 verts do, which gives me hope that the Gen V may as well
    .
     
  12. Nine Ball

    Nine Ball Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Here is what the factory rollbar looks like in a Gen 3/4 car. I'd assume the Gen 5 has something similar. You cannot see it, it is buried inside the headliner. The rear hatch actually attaches to it.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the Autoform aftermarket 4-point that I installed, which was required to do 200+ in the standing mile.

    [​IMG]

    The good thing about the Viper is that it is all mostly hidden, once the panels are cut and put back in place.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. purenxs

    purenxs Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    I hope your source isn't Left lane news, cause they're wrong. There is no GM documentation of pop up roll over protection on the C7. I will be glad to be proven wrong.
     
  14. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Tony, that looks very good actually. Thx for posting those. I'm going to ask the plant manager about this today and will post the response when I receive it.

    I read about it on Corvette forums not long ago, but don't recall what the source was. I took note of it though as I had thought that it was not going to be on it or the Viper verts, and thought that was a serious mistake.
     
  15. VENOM V

    VENOM V Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    That's encouraging Tony. If the Gen V has this, I think we have decent roll over protection. Can anyone confirm?

    Update: Thanks Bruce, I see you're looking into confirming this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  16. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    I discussed this with Ralph today, and he confirmed that it does have a built-in roll bar that meets gov't standards for roll over, and that for his mix of a few track days and lots of street use that he does not have any additional structural support. He chooses to use a 6 pt with Hans, and does so with great care for safety, as much as he can, and avoids risk where possible. I think that's about all one can do when assessing risk for a car used for both street and track, and I'll consider additional roll bars offered by the after-market.

    Bruce
     
  17. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Viper Owner

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Consider this logic, if there is sufficient impact to the top of the car to collapse the roof such that the windshield and built in roll bar collapse, then sitting in the seat with a standard 3 point is going to result in you getting thrown so hard into the inside of the roof of the car (head first) that you are going to be seriously injured from that. A good race seat is a very sturdy platform and a 5 or 6 pt harness will keep you safely inside that little 'cocoon' (for lack of a better term-Hans, 6 pt and race seat) of protection. I don't know how tall you are, but I know that my head only protrudes a couple inches over the top of the rear of my seat back, and I would much rather have that backboard in place than not. The stock seats are not nearly as sturdy as a racing seat. Also, many people break arms and hips and other parts from the impact inside the car in a collision. Many collisions are going to be frontal or side impact, which are probably more prevalent than rollovers. The 3 point gives so little protection against anything but a head on, and every track organization that I have belonged to recommends turning off airbags on the track. They are too easy to deploy accidentally (excuse the pun). Just more food for thought. Do what you think is safe.
     
  18. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Okay, that makes more sense now. I didn't realize that the race seat itself is so tall, and that it would actually offer protection from the roof itself. Yes, I can see that I need a race seat! Thanks for clearing that up Boxer:2tu:h
     
  19. VENOM V

    VENOM V Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Great thread.

    I'm more impressed with the Gen V every day, now that I know about the built in roll bar. My Camaro's seen many upgrades head to tail, just to get it's track performance and safety up to par. Coilovers, bushings, sway bars, wing, splitter, seats, harness, cam and long tubes, and now a roll bar. All the Viper needs is a harness and a HANS type device and it's ready for the weekend track warrior. Oh, and the carbon aero kit which Bruce already has!

    I pulled the airbag fuse on my Camaro because they're known to blow the bags prematurely on the track. But I leave my fuse in on the Viper, hoping it's tuned to be robust to tracking. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know.

    The Sabelt seats that come in the Viper give exceptional support for a factory seat, and accepts the six point harness. I don't think I could part with them, as they're also gorgeous and very comfortable, and my Viper sees a lot of street miles as well. I would add an additional 4-point roll bar before giving up my Sabelts.
     
  20. Bruce H.

    Bruce H. Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    I'm glad to know that there is a bar of some sort in there as well, but...

    We should bear in mind that the existence of a factory built-in roll bar that meets gov't standards may not necessarily meet the same roll bar standards that might be used for cars intended for track use, or for safe use with a 6 point style harness and HANS device. Ralph was careful not to imply that, particularly wanted the harness to improve car control, and does avoid risks like tracking in heavy rain, drifting, more dangerous passing, etc. I took that to mean that he recognizes that there could be risks in using the harness and Hans with only the factory roll bar, and that he exercises as much care as he can when using them. I plan to do the same as I'm also most interested in the harness for holding my torso securely in place to aid car control and avoid fatigue. I would also feel safer using it if I was able to add an aftermarket roll bar specifically designed to a high standard for track use with harness.
     
  21. VENOM V

    VENOM V Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    I think I would be cautious about how I answered that question if I were the CEO, so his response is what I would expect. I noticed Randy Pobst used a 6 point harness and HANS when he set the Laguna Seca lap record in the TA, that was a vote of confidence.

    That said, I'm tempted to have Ross of Exoticraft make me a 4 point roll bar, his fit and finish in Vipers is meticulous. That, combined with the factory roll bar, should give excellent protection. In a TA I would have no reservation adding a bright orange 4 point roll bar, as it seems fitting to it's mission. But in my Stryker Red GTS, I really want to keep it 100% stock. I'm undecided for now, and I have to let the bank account recharge after ordering my carbon aero package :headbang:
     
  22. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Viper Owner

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Keep in mind you aren't going to want to drive around town in a 6 pt harness..it's so easy to take in and out WITH the seat. It takes a little experience and protection for the side sills but I can remove my OEM seat and install the racing seat and harness in about ten minutes. I think you'll feel so much safer..everyone who does this never goes back. Just my 2c.
     
  23. Nine Ball

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    I keep a 5-point harness in my '06 coupe, and the factory seat belt. The harness is easily stored behind the seat, when not in use. Just push it back through the shoulder holes and leave everything behind the seat.
     
  24. BlackSnake99

    BlackSnake99 Viper Owner

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness


    This is what I do in my (roll bar equipped) Gen 2. My understanding is that 5 points are illegal on the street, at least in Virginia.
     
  25. VENOM V

    VENOM V Enthusiast

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Ditto. The Gen V has 6-point harness mounting points are independent of the factory seat belts, so you can leave both installed. You can move the 6-point out of the way (under and behind seat) when not using it, and use the factory 3 point on public roads. So there's no reason to swap seats and harnesses when going to the track. Very convenient.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  26. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Viper Owner

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    Re: Does Viper have built-in roll bar/roll over protection suitable for 6 pt harness

    Everyone decides what level of safety is enough for them (and their family)... In order of priority I'd recommend helmet, nomex shoes & gloves, harness, Hans, suit, seat, fire suppression (also protects motor) and quick release steering wheel. I use all of the above as do most frequent track 'competitors.' I respect it as a dangerous sport. My philosophy is to do everything I can to minimize the risks. Better safe than sorry I always say, but everyone to their own.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  27. Skolnick89

    Skolnick89 VCA Member - Northeast

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    Any idea of strength of GTS built in rollover protection?

    Budget issue. Harness and HANs for HPDE. Roll bar not in the spending que .

    Maybe I should change wish list. Make roll bar as priority instead of going to 3:55 rear
     

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