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Seat & Harness Safety

Remember the UK TV advert where the rear seat passenger morphs into a baby elephant during a car crash?

YES! imagine you decellerating by 20 G... your mass will multiply 20 fold so...

If you weigh 15 stones like me (yah right Fatbloke!):

15 stones = 15* 14 lbs = 210lbs = 95 kilos at 20 G decelleration = 1900 kgs = 2 tonnes approx (2.1 short imperial tons)

SO Mr racing elephant....

NEVER assume any seat mountings, seat brackets or seatbelt or harness mountings YOU fabricate or drill are going to be man enough for your take on "Baby Elephant Shunt"

Likewise ENSURE any retrofit seats are suitable for fitment in a Mini (see below)

Talk to a professional:

1) BEFORE fitting any non standard Mini Seats in a Mini

2) BEFORE fitting a rally style harness to your car TO ENSURE your installation is in agreement with that of the harness manufacturer, if the angles are wrong your spline spleen or kidneys will be an integral part of the 20 G process

TELL YOUR INSURERS YOU ARE CHANGING THE SEATS: any car that looks more stealable will have higher premiums, if a stolen damaged car is not as described they might not pay out, likewise I do not know he implications for personal injury sustqained if the seats invovled are not "as standard"

Fabricating seat mounts

Before making your own seat mounts look at how meaty the ones the seat manufacturers produce are!!!

Is the mounting scheme YOU propose that of the new seat manufacturers for the same car... if THEY WON'T suggest one as safe... DON'T MAKE YOUR OWN

6mm aluminium is nice and light looks bling BUT IS NOT SUITABLE.... take a look at FIA regulations for the sort of mountings used in motorsport AND/OT take a look at a competion Mini to see how the REAL (not BOY) Racers do it......

WE ARE TALKING STRESS BEARING HERE! Welding your own puts YOUR life in YOUR hands... got a 2 tonne test rig?

Retrofitting seats from other applications (ie cars) in a Mini

1) DO not fit seats with integral seatbelt mounts in a mini assuming the integral seatbelt mounting ON THE SEAT will operate with your 2 tonnes going through the seatmounts and NOT just rip you out of the floor complete with your seat

2) Do not fit any seat that requires or appears to require extra support to function correctly by virtual of drilled plates or brackets forming an integral part of the seat that will be hanging in space when you fit them in your Mini

CASE IN POINT: I bought a Corbeau Seat which had beautiful TVR logos on it and a flat metal plate with a 8mmhole in it projecting out of the back of the seat 2/3rds of the way up.....

Corbeau put me completely in the picture:

Dear Sir,

We are not in a position to advise whether this seat is suitable for a mini as these were produced in excess of 10 years ago and designed solely for the TVR Tuscan challenge.

You are indeed correct that the tab on the rear of the seat was attached directly to the bodyshell and indeed an essential part for strength and safety.

The most important thing to consider here is the history of the seat and whether or not it has been involved in any accidents. If you cannot account for this then the seat should not be used in any way other than in a display car.

Thankyou for your enquiry.

Mr J Rosewell
Corbeau Seats Ltd

SO #1 check it is suitable for a Mini #2 Check it has not been damaged in a past accident....


ANY SEAT DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR A GIVEN VEHICLE IS LIKELY TO NEED TO BE FITTED TO THAT VEHICLE TO PERFORM ADEQUATELY IN A CRASH: SEATS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR TWIN SEATERS OR WESTFIELDS/LOTUS SEVENS AND THE LIKE (with bulkheads and harness or seatbelt mountings directly behind the seat) make compressive strength less of an issue: install one of these with the standard 20 degrees max harness mounting angle fastened to a harness eye 4ft behind the seat and the seat may not survive the compression (and maybe your spine won't either).......


Added by FB 05 November 2005




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