Safety in Racing !!

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Safety in Racing !!

Post  dwc43 on Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:34 am

Safety in Racing !!
In the following thread you will find posts on safety information collected from friends,racers,manufactures, and just plain common sense. If you use any of this information be forewarned you do so at your own risk. Racing is a dangerous sport and can take any ones life or severly injure them for life. All racers race at there own risk, and build there cars at there own risk and use information at here own risk. No one that post on this thread can or will be held liable for any injury or death that may occur from you using these suggestions.This information is givin in hopes of enlightening builders and drivers to do the best that they can to protect themselves and others from the dangers involved in the sport of racing.


In light of the death of a circle track racer at one of my local tracks a topic on safety was brought up. This thread is for the purpose of promoting safety for racers and for showing beginners the do's and don'ts that may just save your life or the life of another.


First off I want to start the topic off with personal safety devices. IF you can't afford top notch safety equipment then you can't aford to race,period. Go watch in the stands and live to see your next birthday. Sounds harsh, but it's just the facts.

Helmets can be bought from the $100 to $700 price range. Buy the best you can afford and do not use DOT motorcycle helmets to race with. They cannot protect you if you contact a roll bar with your head. Don't believe me, contact a helmet manufacture and they will tell you the same thing. There not designed for racing. Always use a closed face helmet cause you never know what can make it through the window, window net, or front windshield. It will also protect you from fire as well. The better helmets have nomex fire resistant linnings for better protection from fires. See my first statement if you think $100 to $700 is too much for a helmet.

Fire suits. Again, buy the best you can afford. triple layer cotton suits with sprayed on flame retardent are the best. They range $200 to $500 and worth every penny. In a fire, the best suit you can get will give you about 45 seconds to get out of the car with only minor injuries. Use the nomex underwear as well. You have to use the best. Think, what will happen if it catches on fire and your out cold and trapped inside. How long will it take inexperienced track officials to get you out. Lets face it, many small local tracks DO NOT have a lot of equipment or trained personnel to handle a major accident. Case in point is the Death and Highland Rim post I made. They car was upside down with a trapped driver for 40 mins with safety officials getting burned by battery acid while tending to the driver.
Gloves, race shoes are also a must for your protection against fire. Buy the best.

Seats. Only high quality aluminum seats will do. NO FIBERGLASS SEATS !! They will fail during a wreck. To mount the seat run two bars the same size as your door bars across the floor. These bars must be welded to the lowest door bar that is above the frame or rocker panel. I build all my cars the same a Nextel cup car is built. The reason for this set up allows the seat to move away from the door as the door bars are bent in a wreck. This keeps the driver and seat away from the car coming in your door. Weld tabs to the tow bars across the floor to mount your seat to. Use only grade 8 bolts with rounded carriage bolt heads facing the drivers body. Vertical tabs can be welded to the floor bars and bolts can go through the side of the seat into the tabs if space under the seat is limited. 2"x2" inch tubing can be welded to the floor bars to support the back rest of the seat. A flexible mount must be made from the head rest to the shoulder hieght cross bar on the main hoop. If the car is backed hard into a wall this mount can flex absorbing some of the force to further protect the driver and will also allow the seat to move sideways if the door bars bend in a side impact.

Seat belts. Again, buy the best. The webbing must be replaced every two years or anytime you have a wreck. UV rays and time degrades the belts and reduces there strength and therefore they need replacing every two years. The belts are designed to stretch. In a wreck they can stretch as far as 9 inches depending on speed, and forces involved during the wreck. This allows the body to move forward slowly absorbing the impact. If the body was held tight in place, the bodies organs would take all the force of impact against the rib cage and you would die from internal injuries. After a wreck, these stretched belts are useless. If you put the used belts from your wrecked car and put them in a new car and wreck it, the belts can rip and fail. Proper mounting is also a must. That reason alone (along with the fact he would not wear a closed face helmet) is the reason Earnhardt did not survive his crash at Daytona. ( I was there at the time, unfortunately.) Seat belts need to be mounts in a double clevis mount. This would require two tabs welded to the seat mounts. They should have just enough room to slide the seat belt tabs inside. Use grade 8 bolts with flat washers on both sides and lock washer and lock nuts. Once tightened, the seat belt tabs should be able to rotate inside the two tabs of the double clevis mount. This is the only way to mount the seat belts properly. The mount for the lap belts must be slightly behind the drivers hips allowing the belt to run at a 45* angle. This helps pull the hips into the seat during crash. The shoulder harness mount should be about 6" below the top of the shoulder allowing this belt to be at a 45* angle as well. It helps keep the shoulders in place and holds the driver down keeping his head away from the halo bar. The anti submarine strap is a must and it has to be used. It's not designed to keep you from sliding under your belts as most people think. It holds the lap belt in place so it wont slide up the body allowing you to go up into the roof of the car. 2 belts in this area are beter than one. It actually need to be mounted under the seat and run up through the seat opening for it to work properly.

Window nets need to be ribbon type not string type. IT will keep more debris out of the car. Also make sure to use a seat belt type latch at the top and a spring loaded latch at the bottom. If one is jambed the other should work fine.

Fire exstinguishers. Again, buy the best. It must have metal top and a gauge on it. The best type to use is the ones with the remote cactivator cable and multiple nozzles like we use. They run around $350 to $650 range, but again, it can save your life. My life is worth more the $650 to me, how much is your life worth ??

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Re: Safety in Racing !!

Post  dwc43 on Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:37 am

JC

Well I would like to add to this post. I just have not had time. I went over a guys roof two wks ago bent spind and a frames and tore the body off, so I've been knee deep in it. One things is about car constrution. I look at race cars at the tracks I have raced at and the frist thing I look at is how its built bar angles (tap on the tubing how thick) All these thing play a roll in how safe a car is. Most that I seen you could'nt hold a gun on me to drive. They are not safe and should not be raced. Heres some thing I have to have. 1 plated left door bars top to frame. ( what if a bumper come though the door cant happen right) 2 Foot bar ( cant race with broke feet or walk been there hit the wall LF tire comes though the fire wall) 3 Main roll bar left to right behind the seat down bar from drives side top to lower side right and two straight bars one at the top of the door and right above the drive shaft.( If it get on the roof I want it to hold up over my head and if I get hit in the LF door I dont want the cage to crush in) 4 Put and X in the bottom of the frame ( Hit the wall left or right it will keep the frame from bending back into the fire wall and breaking feet and legs) 5 My seat some not agree I have my seat os it can move and bend with the car if the cage ever comes in this could be wrong but thats me. Bar going out side of the main roll cage should not be so stiff they can not bend this is where they need to bend. So it want break our necks. Cause somethings gota give and clip are easy to put back on. If you break a car you can fix it. If you break your self you mit can be fixed or you mite be unfixable. All I'm saying is take a good look at what you race. JC 42

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Re: Safety in Racing !!

Post  dwc43 on Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:39 am

I'd like to add a couple things that adds to JC's post. #1 Can add left side weight in a good place for handling and protection. # 2 This bar is the Mark Martin bar that protects the foot well area. #3 This is the Petty bar that prevents the main hoop from bending during a roll over on the drivers side. A horizontal bar should run left to right at the top door bar height and the Petty bar goes on each side of this bar. #4 NASCAR rules allow this X bar on a unibody chassis along with a bar from the center of the X to the rocker panel for more protection from a side impact.

Roll cages should be built with triangles. Rectangles bend and so will a square shape. Every bar should be straight and as short as possible and braced as a triangle. Cockpit cage should be at least 1 3/4 tubing .095 thick as a minimum and after the firewall it can be 1 1/2 with .065 thick for maximum stiffness and some bend ability for a crash.

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Re: Safety in Racing !!

Post  dwc43 on Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:43 am

RapidRob

can I redrill white spoke rims for 5/8" studs

I got the 75 duster home & it has 5/8" studs on all 4. Can I redrill my rims? to what dia? & do I need to countersink it afterwords? If so at what angle? thank you for your time.


dwc43

No, you can't. You need to buy racing wheels to fit your car. For two reasons. Stock lug nuts and wheels have a bevel on the nut and a crown on the wheel that match. It's what keeps the lugs tight. Racing wheels and racing lug nuts have a totally different bevel and crown than a street car. And if you get to drilling on steel wheels you can create stress risers that you cannot see or get out of the lug hole. It's just not safe. Besides, racing wheels will be lighter, therefore reducing your unsprung weight and increasing your handling ability.

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Re: Safety in Racing !!

Post  boatracer on Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:14 pm

Safty is the 1st thing I look at in my sport too. I always use top dollar equipment an never short cutt anything in fabricating a new hull or roll cage.

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Re: Safety in Racing !!

Post  dwc43 on Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:12 pm

Battery Mounting.

In a circle track car the battery length should run north to south or front to rear if you prefer to call it that way. Reason being that the plates wont flex and touch or short out to each other during cornering G's. They should run east to west or left to right in a drag car.

Most batteries are mounted some distance behind the drivers seat. This is for left side weight distribution. The problem comes up in a crash or roll over. The battery needs to be sealed inside of a metal container. It can have a removable top lid or a removable panel from the left rear wheel well area. If it's a top mounted lid, it must be sealed when shut. This is to prevent acid burns to the driver or track personnel that might be helping the driver from the car. The battery acid will eat through clothing rather quickly and it will leave chemical burns to the effected areas of the skin. It's not something to play around with, so get that battery in a sealed container.

The battery should be strapped down as well. Bouncing around can short out the battery plates or the terminals may contact something metal as well and short it out. Make sure to use grommets around all holes that wires must pass through. It not only keeps the insulation on the wires from chaffing and shorting to ground, but it also helps to seal the box to prevent acid spills in an accident.

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Re: Safety in Racing !!

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