I have always wanted proper racing harnesses. In the few instances that I’ve taken my GT-R out on track one of the things that I was always concerned about, obvious safety aside, was sliding all over the seat through corners and under hard braking. And this isn’t even only on track; ever since fitting Bridgestone RE55S semi-slick tires, taking the car on spirited mountain drives has increased this effect tenfold; the last thing you want to do when pulling over 1G in corners is having to brace yourself with your knees against the center console and the door! So I was very happy when Takata Racing became our very first official partners this year. I guess this is a perk of the job but I didn’t quite realize how damn happy I would be…
…when these two boxes were dropped off in the mail. Like a little kid at Christmas I looked and admired the package for about…uhm…0.5 sec…
…before lifting up the cover and taking a peek inside. Now I know that true authentic Takada belts are supposed to be green, but since they have recently released an all new black line up, well I thought why the hell not. Aside from the fact that they are still as recognizable as the “original” colored items, they help give a breath of fresh air to the cabin – and if you recall…
…modernizing the GT-R with subtle alterations and additions is my long term goal – so I knew these would do the job very well indeed.
I couldn’t resist taking them out of their boxes and arranging them on the floor to see what they would look like when fitted. These particular belts are called “Race 4 Snap” and are part of the “Race Series” line up. The “Snap” part of the name refers…
…to the way in which they are latched down onto the chassis. Since my GT-R is and will remain a street car, going for “bolt-down” type belts that can’t be taken out quickly is not exactly what I wanted. So at each of the four latching points, as you can see above, there are quick release end fittings.
Like any safety restraint used in motorsport the belts have a “use by date,” this particular set guaranteed until 2018, something that is specified on this label on one of the lap belts. That gives me a good 5-years of use…not bad at all.
And with the ton of fake & copied tuning and racing products that continue to hit the market, make sure you always check serial numbers and official warranties of everything you buy. Takata places this serial number tag on the other lap belt, so if you are in the market for one of these harnesses, this is the first thing you should look at before buying.
This is probably my favorite detail of these new black belts, the green little tab that you pull up when undoing the two shoulder straps.
So after getting weird looks from the wife, probably puzzled at why a grown man would play with his latest gadgets on the floor like a child…I decided to pack them back in their boxes and get ready to fit them the following day.
Each belt comes with a little bag containing eyelet bolts, washers and safety pins that help hold the snap-on latches shut when the end fitting are snapped in place.
Seeing I would have to use a few of the stock belt mounting points, Takata also sent me a few of these Bendable Snap On Kits, ingenious little brackets that would prove invaluable.
So this morning I got busy. After a night of rainfall I had to first dry the car cover my GT-R spends most of its time under…
…before I proceeded to remove it. I never ever cover the car unless its completely clean and dust-free and to avoid the inner side of the cover to scratch the paint finish while it flaps around in the wind I always lay a few old sheets for extra protection. Seems to have worked for close to a decade now.
With the crazy work schedule I’ve had since the beginning of the year, the GT-R has been sitting unused, and just as I assumed the battery was a little on the flat side. Thankfully however…
…my trusty car charger is never far away so I quickly plugged it in to allow it to bring voltage back to normal level and recondition the Optima battery that I fitted years ago (one of the best upgrades I’ve ever done BTW, GT-R owners out there will know what I’m talking about as the battery Nissan fitted would probably be too small for a Eunos Roadster – actually I’m pretty sure it’s the same sized item!)
Anyway, with the charger plugged in and doing its thing, I moved into the interior where, to get going, I needed to first remove the rear bench seat.
This is a very straight forward exercise as it’s only held in place by two Torx bolts. With these removed…
…you simply pull up and slide it away…
…revealing the exposed floor of the chassis.
Thankfully Nissan, next to each central rear-belt mounting point, already added an additional threaded anchor point.
To expose it you just remove the plastic cap…
…and screw one of the Takata eyelets firmly down. That’s one latch point taken care of.
For the second one I had to use the bolt-point where the retractable rear seat belts are mounted.
This is where those bendable brackets came in handy, easily bent upward to the most appropriate angle with a pair of pliers, a towel to avoid scratching them and of course a little force.
And voilà the shoulder straps snapped into place…
…on the passenger side too. Now before anyone comments on these latch points, yes I am well aware they are not the best way to mount harnesses. Unfortunately my car isn’t a race car nor does it have a roll cage or harness bar. This is what almost everyone in Japan does with harnesses and while it’s not optimal, it’s borderline passable. I will be looking into a harness bar in the future so any advice on what is out there would be much appreciated.
On to the lap belts. Since there are no other pre-drilled and threaded points I can use I had to pop off the plastic cover to the retractable driver side belt…
…and use that as the right mount.
On the left side the sturdy seat rail mount came in handy, again to gain access to it I had to remove the plastic clip-on cover that usually hides the exposed metal.
With all four points of the belts clipped in I then secured them with these pins that are included in each harness package.
I actually ran out of bendable brackets so only completed the installation for the driver side; above are the plastic covers that needed to be removed to gain access to the bolts. These no longer fit as the bendable brackets are in the way. However with a bit of patience and a little plastic saw I bet I can make them fit again!
So this is what the belts look like when fitted. I have to say they really do look much better than sitting on the floor and sort of make the tacky seat fabric Nissan chose in the late nineties for the R34′s upholstery, seem rather dated.
It’s all in the details!
I am very glad I ended up going with the black ones as they really do look very modern and give that fresh feel to the cabin that I was looking for.
What would look even better is a set of matching black shoulder pads.
Now all I need to do next is find some time to take the car down to Hakone and give these belts a proper test!
Takata is an official supplier to Speedhunters
-Dino Dalle Carbonare
If you don't want to fly around in the car on corners, the answer is EASY and SAFE:
CG Lock + Aftermarket seat upgrade.
So this is a pic of the calsonic bnr32...doing the same thing as dino drifted by a pro race team?
ChristianHopland word yo, i took my protractor to that image and I concur it's the same exact angle and same exact mounting point. Good find.
Just to clear something up.....
SCHROTH approved special seats:
Seats approved by SCHROTH for shoulder belt installation more than 20° but maximum 45° down.FIA homologated Seats:
Keiper Recaro:070.80.xxx Profischale, 070.81.xxx Profischale070.90.032 Profischale SP-A, 070.91.032 Profischale SP-GPole Position
König:RS 1000 , RS 2000, RSL 1000, RSL 2000
Protech Seating Limited (Corbeau):PRO-RACE PR-1 SEAT, PRO-RACE PR-3 SEAT, PRO-RACE PR-4 SEAT, PRO-SPORT PS-1 SEAT, PRO-SPORT PS-3 SEAT, PRO-SPORT PS-4 SEAT
Wiechers:300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 307, 403/413, 404/414
Holy shit this is crazy, there's a select few that know what they're talking about, and put it in a very nice manner, being constructive and trying to give advice that will potentially prevent serious injury, so their tone is "chilled out" and they're not being "haters" (jesus chirst I fucking hate that word!) yet Dino you choose to ignore pretty much each and every one of them and only reply to ones who say "ignore the haters man! They're just driving riced out civics" when in reality it's the poorer people that drive riced out cars or just form over function cars that are going to buy fake takatas after reading this (cos that's all they can afford) and then install it following your steps here, so they can be mad jdm tyte cos that's how they do it in Japan, they probably can't even read so won't look at the text or any of the comments to realise they've installed it incorrectly. And jesus bhume before you get in on this and say "I'm bashing him" let me say this; his car and his pictures are awesome, however when you post something like this on such a prolific site showing how to install something in such a dangerous manner, that's just messed up! I went through this dilemma, I wanted to install my takata into my s13 and use the rear seatbelt mounting points, however after reading a lot online I decided to wait until I have a harness bar or cage and stick with the stock belt in the meantime, because so many people on here don't know what the fuck they're talking about I'll put it in caps THE FACTORY SEAT BELT IS SAFER THAN A HARNESS INSTALLED LIKE THIS!!! But now to sort of do a full turn and back Dino up a bit, I know for a fact the installation manual says that this is an acceptable way to install the harness HOWEVER it then goes on to show acceptable angles for the shoulder straps and the lap belts which will NEVER be met using the stock mounting points! (The lap belts need to connect to points further back). Please people do some research! Don't just blindly follow and trust what you read on the internet get info from as many different sources as possible and people that have actually had experience with this kind of thing, and BHUME people are using what may seem like a "harsh" tone because this is serious shit! I don't know about you but I don't think you or anyone else reading this wants their spine compressed
Nikhil_P word up yo, spinal compression ain't real yo. Those wack takata engineers don't know the product they designed. He even called a shop that would of done it the same way, that's like talking to a takata engineer and getting his blessing. What's a seatbelt anyways dawg, it's just some cloth. My illest tshirt has cloth. My grandpa rode around with just a lap belt back in the day. Bump this progress mess we talking about. Dino said he only riding with the belts that way for a little bit. Everyone knows that accidents only happen when you do stuff for a long while. not a little bit so it's all safe. Plus it's a GT-R so that automatically gives you haters from day one. Plus japanese people go light on the safety stuff man. Speedhunters keeps saying it, if the japanese can go light on it, then it's all good brother. We are wise men because we know the truth and those haters don't know. Dino you got this, hit that hakone extra hard for me and Nikhil man.
koko san sirnicolai Who needs living rooms these days. Put a garage door in your living room wall and good is. :)
I am quite sure that most of the hate-comments come from the same person with different accounts. He drives a riced honda civic with no windscreen wipers.
Dino i love your car. Keep us updated.
I will be doing an updated post on this install with input from Takata themselves. I've already made a change, I crossed the belts at the back, so left shoulder strap goes to right latch and the right to the left latch. Anyway stay tuned for more on this. While I appreciate the feedback, both positive and negative, it's the tone I'd wish people would chill out on :(
Wow between this and the Kanjo post Speedhunters are getting alot of hate today - if you don't like it, go elsewhere. I can guarantee you won't find anywhere else as good for as little money (i.e FREE). As for me, i'll be checking it out as much as usual, which is multiple times a day.
And bashing him for saying the culture is different in Japan is just narrow-minded, what it means is that in Japan, not everyone who has a fast street car with harnesses in them have roll-cages. This is partly because the Japanese have found ways other than roll cages to reinforce their cars' chassis. So chill the hell out and stop attacking the guy for building his car in the way that he wants. You build your car for YOU, not for other people.
@bhume FWIW a rollcage isn't there to stiffen the chassis, it's to protect the soft squishy driver in the event of a crash. The stiffer chassis is a nice side effect. THAT'S why culture isn't an excuse. Also, while Takata do provide the materials (including the I will admit FIA approved brackets), their own instructions say not to mount the harnesses at such a harsh angle. Waiting for "its only temporary" or "its HIS street car"....
Hotcakes bhume ok, and if he dies, that's none of your concern. attacking someone for their choices is whole lot different from simply telling them that they're putting themselves in danger....
bhume Hotcakes I'm not attacking him. Others may have, but at the end of the day they're still just trying to get across the point a harness install like this isn't safe. I don't think that's a bad thing. No, it's not our car or concern, but it still wouldn't be nice to see (God forbid) someone get hurt because of improperly installed harnesses/rollcages etc.
bhume " This is partly because the Japanese have found ways other than roll cages to reinforce their cars' chassis." c'mon man, you really have no REAL clue what you're talking about, this all just speculation and guessing, I admire your defense of Dino but just please give up with nonsense.
You guys need to learn how to chill out.
1. It's not your car.
2. You most likely will never ride in this car.
3. It's not your car.
4. I highly doubt this is unsafe if TAKATA provided the necessary tools to mount the harness in this manner.
5. It's not your car.
6. If you "know" that this is the "wrong" way to do it, then do it your own way.
7. It's not your car.
8. This cannot be anymore unsafe than using a normal seatbelt.
9. It's not your car.
10. IT"S A STREET CAR NOT A RACE CAR. Ya'know what that means? It means it doesn't have to live up to RACE standards.
11. It's not your car.
bhume For the sake of education, I'll lay it out. This is more unsafe than the standard seatbelt.
In an accident, because the belts have been mounted on the floor, when they tighten up as you move forward because you've hit something, they will pull *down* on your shoulders. This compresses your spine, and can cause serious injury in surprisingly mild crashes, even crashes that occur on the street. If the belts are mounted with the shoulder harness going straight back, they just hold you in, instead of tightening up and pushing you down into the seat. It's unsafe.
You're right, it's his car. Do it his way. The problem is he's trying to convince others that this is safe on a popular automotive blog. That's the issue.
bhume It will only compress his spine assuming his shoulders are higher than the belt openings in the seat.
Hanma ok, well you guys need to learn how to just simply inform someone that what they're doing is dangerous rather than attack them with harsh comments. you may not mean it in a harsh way, but your tones make you all come off as "haters."
bhume Takata provides universal threaded eyelets. These can be mounted anywhere. These aren't race standards, either. It's passenger car safety standards as well.
I'm not only targeting SH here, as a lot of other automotive journalists/publications do the same, but "the culture is different in Japan" isn't really an excuse. Safety is safety. Quite frankly it's appalling that even some of the top end time attack cars in Japan have shitty bolt-in or non-existent roll cages and poorly installed harnesses (among other things). I also believe there's a difference between constructive criticism and "haters" a lot of people seem to forget about. Instantly dismissing someone as a "hater" simply because they dare say anything negative is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. Just my 2 cents.
So are you gonna hit up Hakone with Thomas and I once it gets warmer? Would be pretty awesome to have my bayside 32 followed by his purple 33 and you behind him blasting up the toyo turnpike
Who cares what "other" shops say?! If it is deemed unsafe by Takata's own instruction manual you shouldn't install them like that! What is the dillema here? You installed them wrong and put it up on a high traffic, influential, trendy website which some may use as a baseline for their own ill-guided installs. Sure, you can tell yourself you're doing it right and that you can't be held responsible for what happens to others, but you're not doing it right. This is a legitimate safety concern and should not be copied. A harnesses' job is to save your life. As a biproduct it holds you in place while cornering, accelerating, and braking. You have installed it in such a way that it will actually hurt you in an accident.
Safety is the NUMBER ONE PRIORITY in racing and this article is simply spitting on that fact because it looks cool and they're a SH sponsor. Shame on SpeedHunters. Safety should NEVER come second to anything, let alone looks.
I use to come to SH multiple times a day and read every article. Now I find myself "drifting" away because of things like this, logging on less than three times a week. Form over function and brand plugging is taking over here too.
Is it all ok then if you use the std seat belt with the harness at the same time ? Must be twice as safe right?
The belts and brackets are fine as they have been approved by governing bodies and authorities, the rear install location is the issue as pointed out by a handful of on the ball people. How other people can call these guys haters is beyond belief as they are knowledgable and are caring for the safety of the user.
Irrepsective of being a 'street car' if an incident happens, whether on the street or the track there is no second guessing how fast or in what direction the impact will come, so to have belts fitted incorrectly is potentially more dangerous thank safe.
SH, do your homework guys, you are good at taking pics but when demonstrating the fitment of safety equipment (or any other equipment for that matter) you could find yourself in a tricky position should someone follow your lead and have injury caused through it, or simply add a disclaimer or better still err on the side of caution and dont do it! I appreciate Takata are a site sponsor and you are trying to do the right thing by them but dont compromise yourself.
Black or Green, Green or Black that is the question :-)
Well that turned into a sh*t storm before I even got the chance to be a part of it haha. Don't really understand the hate on this one though, mounting belts like that is really common practice and fairly safe for a street car. I would be tempted to drill my own holes and use the eyelets exclusively, but those bendable brackets still look fine for an application like this and should be at least as strong as the stock belt setup. Maybe stronger actually since the force of an impact would be spread around 4 points rather than 2. And on a street car like this, I could see the appeal to a removable/temporary setup over an intrusive harness bar.
Anyways, nice write up as usual and thanks for sharing your car with us. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.
BTW those bendable brackets are FIA approved:
Right, so that's one aspect we can stop lecturing on. Yes? ;)
What i find funny is that the majority of cars seen with harnesses DO NOT have harness bars and i don't see people on car websites talking about that. All they ever speak about is how nice the car looks or how nice the engine set up is. These are American car websites that I'm speaking of by the way. Also it may not be an optimal setup as compared to a full on harness bar and harness fitting but regular seat belts aren't optimal as compared to a proper racing harness setup either. Also to note, regular seat belts cut across and bruise the chest very easily when the circumstances are right. Therefore regular seat belts have that added disadvantage. Dino also stated the type of harness they were so given that and the fact that it is a street car whereby the back seat would be going in and out of the car, he basically chose the application he wanted. I agree with Tom below but with a much more civil comment. Everyone has their opinions but take the opinions to the other million car blogs and sites you guys frequent too because i have NEVER seen anyone say anything before on the topic within the comments section on these other sites. So spread the gospel lol
Well, after letting all the comments accumulate I can only say thanks for all your input. It's quite sad that a lot of you don't seem to read the actual text, as you will notice that I did mentioned I will be going for a harness bar to get the rear straps fitted properly. I even asked for suggestions on which one to go for:
"I will be looking into a harness bar in the future so any advice on what is out there would be much appreciated."
...but not one of you had any constructive comments to add on this specific point. As many of you know, upgrades to project cars happen in steps, so I consider the first step of the "harness mounting." So, again, while I do appreciate all your concerns, can we move a long and have a decent discussion on the point at hand? I have yet to see anyone suggesting a good harness bar...
Let's stay civil here, we are all in it for the fun, negativity brings us absolutely nowhere.
PS Just for fun, do a search on Minkara for "Takata" or "MPH-341" and have a look at how 99% of people in Japan mount harnesses ;) Call it a cultural thing but much like roll cages, the Japanese have other ways of doing things...
PPS For those that have suggested I get the belts mounted professionally I have contacted two shops. After looking at my post they have confirmed they would have mounted them in exactly the same way :)
speedhunters_dino Although I don't know of any quality R34 GT-R harness bar options (Surely there are better suggestions on Minkara than on Speedhunters where a majority of folks are in a market with no access to the R34), I think most people are trying to say that while upgrades happen in steps, they should be in sensible steps.
Everyone has a safety engineer degree obviously, but while Takata and the Japanese tuner industry call this first step of yours safe, the solution seems to fly in the face of all other standards of road safety in other countries/companies. If you had planned to go with a harness bar solution from the beginning, why not hold off on any sort of harness upgrade until you can do it properly?
I don't think people are trying to be haters as much as they are trying to point out the risk you're taking by adhering to this setup. I think it is indeed a cultural thing. Maybe the Japanese aftermarket has a lesser standard of safety than is established in other regions/companies (this is NOT saying Japanese don't care about safety, very different statement).
In any case, people seem to feel that to justify this setup as just a first step that's temporary until you determine which harness bar to get is like saying running without the stock seatbelts is a temporary step until you put in the replacement harnesses...yeah it's a step in the process but it's not a sensible step in which to pause at and drive on the road or track...
Good luck with completing your harness solution. I hope you find a good quality harness bar soon that fits your budget.
speedhunters_dino I beg you differ! I said, and read it again, look into Sparco. They make steel bars that bolt on to the OE pick up point of the stock seat belts.