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Thread: scuderia harness/roll bar question

  1. #1
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    Default scuderia harness/roll bar question

    After many ifs, buts, and false starts I'm finally closing in on a Scuderia.

    I always thought I'd want to have one with the roll bar and race harness for the full fat experience. However this limits your choice. Carl Verdi assures me (and I believe him) that you can retrofit both of these reasonably easily and cheaply - and one advantage of doing so is that you can have both inertia reel seatbelts for normal road use plus the harnesses for track days. Plus I do wonder whether the road legal roll bar has any noticeable effect other than looking good and occasionally getting in the way.

    Any thoughts, gentlemen? The aftermarket option may not be quite as neat but this is a car I would keep for a while. Plus it's for me to drive and have fun with: it's not something I'm preserving for the next owner.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    After many ifs, buts, and false starts I'm finally closing in on a Scuderia.

    I always thought I'd want to have one with the roll bar and race harness for the full fat experience. However this limits your choice. Carl Verdi assures me (and I believe him) that you can retrofit both of these reasonably easily and cheaply - and one advantage of doing so is that you can have both inertia reel seatbelts for normal road use plus the harnesses for track days. Plus I do wonder whether the road legal roll bar has any noticeable effect other than looking good and occasionally getting in the way.

    Any thoughts, gentlemen? The aftermarket option may not be quite as neat but this is a car I would keep for a while. Plus it's for me to drive and have fun with: it's not something I'm preserving for the next owner.
    Rollbar is a pain in the butt actually as it requires welding of mounting plates into the chassis because Ferrari didn't bother to add the plates to cars that didn't come from factory spec'd with the rollbar option. The rollbar costs around 2k from Ferrari, its aluminium (lightweight) and the fitting can be anything from 500 to 1,000. Looking at 3k fitted for the bar.

    Harnesses too can be a pain and many quote 'engine out' jobs to get behind the firewall to retrofit them. Then ofcourse if you look at the interior on the 360/430/CS/Scud the way the harnesses are fitted they use a different part of the interior, its a long rectanguar flat piece (under the rear window) which has harness point plastic holes added. Ofcourse these don't exist on a non harness car either so you'd need to get a matched piece of interior from Ferrari to do it properly. I'm sure that piece alone from Ferrari will be another 1k. The harnesses where about 1k from Ferrari and come supplied with pads.

    Easy way to test my theory is to ring up a main dealer and ask them for a quote to retro fit a rollbar into a scud. I'm guessing if there even willing to do such a job (most will say no on the grounds of saftey...) . Your placing a lot of trust in the guy who does your welding...

    Overall you looking at around 5 grand fitted I'm afraid so no, not cheap if you use Ferrari parts. Ofcourse as with anything if you go aftermarket you can get someone to make you a bar far cheaper and belts don't need to have Ferrari logo on. Usig aftermarket parts I'd say half that figure...

    Not to pee on your enthusiasm but I'd keep looking until you find the RIGHT car if harnesses are on your priority list!

  3. #3
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    Trev, comprehensive and informative as ever: many thanks.

    Don't worry about peeing on enthusiasm, this is why I asked the question!

    How much effect does the roll bar actually have, by the way? I suspect that this is sold and bought mainly for aesthetic reasons, ie the race car look.

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    Doug, like wot Trev says the firewall has different mounting points on factory harness equipped cars so some work involved in changing to factory spec. Someone here has done it and IIRC the cost was around 2k.

    An alternative compromise is to fit a CG Lock for 50 (http://www.cg-lock.co.uk/app/performance/) which locks the belt into place to hold you more securely. I have fitted one as though I spec'd my car with rollbar/harness, it arrived with the normal inertia belts....Perhaps try the CG lock in your present car and you'll get an idea how well they work. If doing more than 4 trackdays/yr, a harness may still be preferable though. Has to be said, the harness's fitted to Ferrari's feel a bit cheapo to me with narrow straps and plasticky connection.

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    Actually I've been using a CG lock for about 8 years on various road cars at track days. Really good for what it is, but I've also done a bit of racing and proper kit is vastly better.

    I know what you mean re the plasticky, fragile-looking stuff on the official Ferrari harnesses. But it must be fairly strong, otherwise they wouldn't use it (I imagine).

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    Quote Originally Posted by afr View Post
    Doug, like wot Trev says the firewall has different mounting points on factory harness equipped cars so some work involved in changing to factory spec. Someone here has done it and IIRC the cost was around 2k.

    An alternative compromise is to fit a CG Lock for 50 (http://www.cg-lock.co.uk/app/performance/) which locks the belt into place to hold you more securely. I have fitted one as though I spec'd my car with rollbar/harness, it arrived with the normal inertia belts....Perhaps try the CG lock in your present car and you'll get an idea how well they work. If doing more than 4 trackdays/yr, a harness may still be preferable though. Has to be said, the harness's fitted to Ferrari's feel a bit cheapo to me with narrow straps and plasticky connection.
    Both the Ferrari carbon seats and harnesses have been adapted to become more road friendly.

    CF Seats.
    The seats are not FIA approved spec, they are road seats made lighter and more stylish, they have proper reclining functions and adjustible position forward and back. They do however suffer very little side to side lateral support compared to a proper carbon shell so you can still move around on a vigorous track day - but the benefit is it makes getting in and out easier and they feel more snug than regular seats (and ofcourse do very well in weight savings).

    Harness Belts
    The belts aren't FIA approved either, they are just road belts with a snap together buckle, this makes it very easy to fit them compared to messing around with multipoint harnesses on the road but again the compromise is your only partially supported in high G-cornering situations out on the track and can slide downwards, they are only 4 point vs 6 point through the bottom of the seat. Again the compromise here is for everyday use. It soon would get tiring fixing up the belts for a short journey.

    Rollbar
    Guess what, the rollbar isn't FIA approved either.... Says a lot for its safey, does look cool mind. Not saying that it wouldn't help but normally you need to use FIA-certified, 40mm-thick steel but this also add's quite a lot of weight too.

    All 360/430 Challenge cars use genuine FIA approved carbon bucket seats and belts, they all also came with a full on rollcage that requires wearing a helmet at all times. Overall the compromises chosen adapt this technology to the road aren't at all bad. Its still easy to climb in/out compared to hardcore bucket racing seats (like the ones fitted to my car) and people can adjust their position for their body shape without requiring a set of spanners for a change of driver.

    Overall for cars destined for 80% road use, 20% track use the decisions made are the perfect 'compromise'. If your going to do more tracking I think Ferrari expect the owner to consider elevating themselves to the 430 Challenge or now the 458 Challenge.

    If its only you driving the car the pure racing seats save even more weight and give much better support but don't expect others to be able to get in and drive (spanner time!), but it does make the car a lot more focused.

  7. #7
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    Default Moton suspension...

    Ofcourse you can easily improve the 360/430/CS & Scud's on track credentials further if your willing to accept a little more compromise (soft/hard mode deletion)

    At the expense of some ride comfort, you ditch the adaptive comfort damping (soft/race) and go to fully adjustible monotube dampers. Serious kit like MOTON, as used by a lot of F430GT racers. I know a few guys who did this to their 360's and Scuds (see pics) but your getting serious now, your dialing the balance towards 50% track, 50% road. Depends on what you want from the car...

    Pics courtesy of 430GT, work done by BBI.
    Attached Images Attached Images       

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    Yep, it's all about what you intend to use it for. When I raced in the Fun Cup last year I lost loads of time fiddling with all the straps and the idea of having to do them all up every time I went anywhere in a road car is distinctly unappealing.

    Similarly the idea of a non-reclining seat in a road car is unattractive. The genuine hard core buckets are uncomfortable unless and until you're actually setting lap times on track.

    The roll bar sounds as useless as I thought it was, but I still think the Scud factory-supplied harness is the way to go. PANIC took me round Brands in his and although he wasn't holding back they held me just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    Yep, it's all about what you intend to use it for. When I raced in the Fun Cup last year I lost loads of time fiddling with all the straps and the idea of having to do them all up every time I went anywhere in a road car is distinctly unappealing.

    Similarly the idea of a non-reclining seat in a road car is unattractive. The genuine hard core buckets are uncomfortable unless and until you're actually setting lap times on track.

    The roll bar sounds as useless as I thought it was, but I still think the Scud factory-supplied harness is the way to go. PANIC took me round Brands in his and although he wasn't holding back they held me just fine.
    Like I said, the decisions they made are a good compromise.

    Ferrari did flirt with the idea of optioning fixed back carbon seats in the Challenge Stradale, I guess to complement their lexan side windows option (again a bit tooo seriously hardcore for most of the audience).

    For the Challenge Stradale they did in fact write about the option of fixed buckets becoming available in the glossy sales brochure that they produced but in the end backed down. Guess the option wasn't all that demanded, look how many people specified lexan side windows! They where originally intending to fix the 360 Challenge seats embroided with 'Challenge Stradale' on the seats in place of '360 Challenge'. They made a few prototypes of these seats but they never got past the marketeers...

    Hell I'm not the person to deny their use, as my girlfriend and I did in fact drive almost 3,000 miles around France, South Spain, Italy and Switzerland in 360 Challenge race seats with racing harnesses ;).

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    This is my torture chamber..


    This picture also shows how I got around fitting harnesses, my harnesses bolt into the same location as on the 360/430 Challenge cars, slightly lower down than where Ferrari mount them (but thats because I've got my seats almost sitting on the floor so the position is correct). I sit very low with the racing seat, far lower than the carbon road seats which I used to run. I also opted for 4 point harnesses to make it easy and quick to fit.
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