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Roll cage - kick out to the driver side downtube for better head clearance?

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#1
Alberto

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Brandon's comment below reminded me of something that I've been curious about for the past three months....

 

Over the years of racing SM, many drivers have complained about how close their heads are to the down tube of the roll cage.  A few people have sustained brain injuries and concussions from how close that bar is to their heads - myself included.  I'm 3 months into recovery from a concussion I sustained when I hit a tire wall at Laguna at around 3Gs of force.

 

Ages ago, I saw the Supra below at a track.  It was built by Twins Turbo down in Los Angeles.  It has a kick out near the drivers head for more head room.  Wondering if we can do something similar in the Miata.  It would probably require cutting a portion of the hard top but it would be worth it from a driver safety perspective IMO. 

 

Thoughts?

 

I'm 6'3", 225# and fit in Old 48 with this seat but my head wasn't low enough ("in the bars") and I received a head injury in a collision which is why I'm building a new car.

 

 

 

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#2
Steve Scheifler

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Interesting. I long had that issue with the upper door bar to side of helmet and typically leaned against it especially in right turns. But with a shelf-type cage, drop-floor and halo type seat I don’t think it’s an issue.
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#3
Jim Drago

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It really is not needed, if you get the A pillar bar up high into the roof you should never hit it. Also if concerned, add a drop floor and then you definitely wont hit it. 

Must don't tuck the bar up into the hard top as much as they should for fear of having too many bends and non compliant.  We stuff ours way up there for that reason. 

 

I hit my head pretty good on that bar and had a concussion in 2010 or 2011, we  moved it up after that

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#4
Brandon

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I'm glad something good is coming from my brain bash 2018-2019! As a follow-up, another car I had never expected to experience a similar state of red mist aggression (1.6L AER enduro race; slowest class), it was a rain race and sure enough. Around I went and popped the noggin once more. Out of that car I went.

 

Echoing/seconding the support for the floor drop being the easiest method to gain clearance. It's the cheapest, if your cage can support it, but that's still upwards of $1200-1500 here in the NE when compared to building a new car.

 

I'd say the Nissan has a different F/R seating position with respect to the B-pillar when compared to the Miata and its hardtop and you might end up having to cut more out of the top than you'd think to make something like that work. An interesting idea nevertheless.


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#5
Brandon

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BTW, how are you feeling now 3mo on? Better or no lingering issues I hope.


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#6
TommyB

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Brandon,

 

Is a halo seat not an answer to your problem ? I know nothing is absolute but both sides and the back of your head should be protected from directly hitting the cage .

 

Tom B.



#7
Brandon

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Brandon,

 

Is a halo seat not an answer to your problem ? I know nothing is absolute but both sides and the back of your head should be protected from directly hitting the cage .

 

Tom B.

 

My seat was a halo one. The only way my head could not have contacted the bar would be if the halo foam was firm enough to keep it away from the tube.


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#8
Alberto

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BTW, how are you feeling now 3mo on? Better or no lingering issues I hope.

I'll post another thread for that.  Would be interesting to hear other's experiences on recovery.

 

Concussion Thread here: 

https://mazdaracers....brain-injuries/


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#9
Alberto

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Brandon,

 

Is a halo seat not an answer to your problem ? I know nothing is absolute but both sides and the back of your head should be protected from directly hitting the cage .

 

Tom B.

 

Halo is part of an answer. 

 

Some halos are too wide so your head still has enough room to bounce side to side and hit the bar.  That was the case with my old (circa 2010) Sparco something or another.  A friend had a similar issue and was running a RaceTech (same cage as mine) which has a narrower halo but still placed his head too close to the downtube.  He was a taller but skinny guy.  Proximity is not as much of an issue with my current OMP HTER but apparently my head was still close enough to make contact and give me a concussion.  The downtubes all had the correct SFI Longacre padding in all cases above.

 

I'm 5'9" with a short torso for context.

 

Fundamentally, I don't see many halo seats where the halo will 100% prevent your head from making some contact with the padded downtube.  Unless you have cut the tunnel to move the seat inboard and/or lowered the seat to provide additional head room.


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