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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2003, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Something to be aware of -

I just heard about an aquaintenance of mine - he's in the hospital. He rolled his Wrangler - in a fairly easy gentle roll.
He flopped around inside, ended up with his stock seat belt and shoulder strap stretched around him.
He'll live, but may not be able use his legs anymore.

As you know, the stock belts with retractors only tighten during an impact - this roll wasn't a hard crash, just a roll down a slope. The retractor let the belt slack, he banged his head on the roof and bar. Then, the belt got around his neck and nearly choked him. When they pulled him out the belts were fully extended! He'd possibly been better off without it!

The only belt that would provide that kind of protection is NOT the kind with the retractors. The retractors are intended to lock up in a quick jerking motion, a roll does not always do that - at least at first.

Try it - lean forward - it doesn't hold you - trust it?

Think about it!

And - caution - a single lap belt causes what they call "jacknife injuries, where the body gets bent too far and the head impacts things.

Racing type 4 point double shoulder harnesses are dangerous too - you tend to slide under them just a little, the shoulder harness pulls the lap belt up above your hips into the soft area - where internal injuries get you.
Only the 5 point type - with the submarine belt between the legs is the safest. The sub belt keeps the lap belt down where it's around your hips - the strongest part of your body. (No, it doesn't hit you there.)

But the Feds won't approve the 5 point belts because most folks won't bother with the submarine belt - just too much trouble.
The next safest belt is the cross shoulder belt -- but without automatic adjusters or retracters that can let it unroll gently. The belt must be tight, slack's a killer too. Manual adjustment only!

Just thought I'd pass this on - I'm revising all my belts ASAP!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2003, 07:53 AM
 
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Re: Something to be aware of -

you cant beat the 5 point setups, yes you have to use the crotch belt too. I have had them save me a few times back when I was off road racing. If you want to be safe, invest is a set of RCI or others, their only about 60$ a set, pretty inexpensive I think for safety. Sorry hear about your friend, hope he rehabs ok

Mark
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2003, 12:46 PM
 
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Re: Something to be aware of -

No doubt you are right about this. Keep in mind the standard, retractable belts are designed for general driving, city and highway where an accident would normally be a "run into" something or someone else. For those types of accidents the standard belts do work and do save lives.

Its different wheeling as you pointed out.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2003, 04:40 PM
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Re: Something to be aware of -

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
The only belt that would provide that kind of protection is NOT the kind with the retractors.

[/ QUOTE ]

On newer belts(forget exactly what year it started), when you pul the belt ALL the way out, then let it go back in, you hear a ratcheting sound. That sound is the belt locking it self so it wont move back out, and the only time it will move back out is after it is fully retraced. Those are the safer kind to have/use if all you want is a single shoulder style
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2003, 05:26 PM
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Re: Something to be aware of -

My belts lock when I go over a certain angle, thought all modern cars did that.
post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2003, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Something to be aware of -

Ever look inside one? The reel is mounted on a flat piece in a groove. When the reel moves - pulls out too fast or even shakes into another position, it slides in the groove too close, letting a star type wheel catch on an edge. A light spring keeps it in the free position.

Dirt, fuzz, mud, sticks, rust and whatever get in there, keeping it from moving freely.
After taking one apart today I KNOW I DON'T TRUST THEM ANYMORE.

I don't like trusting to sheer chance.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-13-2003, 09:20 PM
 
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Re: Something to be aware of -

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
when you pul the belt ALL the way out, then let it go back in, you hear a ratcheting sound. That sound is the belt locking it self so it wont move back out, and the only time it will move back out is after it is fully retraced

[/ QUOTE ]

True, made for child seats so they stay in the same position. Some manufacturers made the driver's belt the same way, but some did not and while it will work in the passenger seats, it may not work in the driver's seat. (I don't know the year they started either...)

Has anyone ever seen a 2" 5 point harness? (I've seen 2" 4 point.) I ask because a friend recommended such for four-wheeling/daily use (not for racing) but I've never seen one.

Hope the guy heals. You never know when it's going to happen, probably could have been any of us...

WB
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 01:06 AM
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Re: Something to be aware of -

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
My belts lock when I go over a certain angle, thought all modern cars did that.

[/ QUOTE ]

Come to think about it mine do that too. All the time in-fact.
Can get quite annoying if you park on the slightest side-slope and get out, then when you get back in you have to fight with the damn thing or drive to a flat spot to get it back out!

Thankfully I havent had a chance to try mine out upside down tho...

Ben
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 02:40 AM
 
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Re: Something to be aware of -

rrich, i really appreciate you stating the obvious. if you think about it you are exactly right on how the seatbelts work. i will be purchasing some 5 point harnesses on ebay now for sure. my best friend had an accident about a week ago when rolling his car. he will never walk again. i will have a pair of 5 point harnesses before the next time i go wheelin. you can count on that. you don't really realize how important saftey is until someone close to you really gets hurt. i hope your buddy is dealing with his injury well and recovers quickly. thanks again!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 05:23 AM
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Re: Something to be aware of -

make sure you have a GOOD roll cage. I rolled my sami hard and the cage collasped to about shoulder level, if my passenger or I have been wearing a harness we could have been killed. Being able to tuck with the stock belt probally saved us. I like the safty of a harness, but wouldnt being strapped in like that be uncomfortable? I am always looking and moving around. I hate it when my seat belt locks up, this would be worse
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