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So I'm deciding to track Prep my wife's car; I know nothing about track parts except for looks.

She will be doing a lot of track events with her group starting this year and going forward and I want to prep her for the track....

First off, I already got her helmet.

She already has TRD Sportivo Suspension set, but does anyone suggest coilovers instead?
How about bucket/racing seats, should they be a specific kind? or replicas will do? reclining or no recline?
Five-point harness? Any suggestions? Brand and where to buy it? Also how to install?

Roll-Cage? The tracks that her group is going to doesn't require a roll cage.....but still up in the air just for safety reasons.

I'm pretty sure some of these she doesn't need but what are your suggestions?

Thanks for the input.
 

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Where and with what organization?

Almost all tracks in the US will require some type of rollbar for convertibles because of insurance liability.

I would recommend to NEVER track a spyder without at least a proper rollbar. It' doesn't matter if you have a hard top. The rollbar should be the first mod for any track car. Not a full roll cage but at least a properly mounted 4-point rollbar.

You need a proper rollbar with harness bar and race seats to mount a race harness. If it's a HPDE organization then you can use a the stock seat and seat belts.

After that the only mods I would recommend is an oil cooler and good brake fluid, pads and tires.
 

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Get a Hard-Dog roll bar, http://twosrus.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23_49&products_id=603

You could also find all the other items you need from the same site. Support MR2 vendors, and Dave is a really nice guy. If you're lucky he'll send you stuff for free from time to time :lol:. If you tease him just a little he will usually discount parts for you also.

Start small but you need the roll bar. If the bug really bites you guys the next step would to get a proper seat/harness/helmet/hans setup. Don't worry about power adders, keep things simple. Focus on safety, cooling, and reliability.
 

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Get a Hard-Dog roll bar, http://twosrus.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23_49&products_id=603

You could also find all the other items you need from the same site. Support MR2 vendors, and Dave is a really nice guy. If you're lucky he'll send you stuff for free from time to time :lol:. If you tease him just a little he will usually discount parts for you also.

Start small but you need the roll bar. If the bug really bites you guys the next step would to get a proper seat/harness/helmet/hans setup. Don't worry about power adders, keep things simple. Focus on safety, cooling, and reliability.
He is absolutely right!

Here is how I would start:
1- Hardog roll bar
2- Carbotec brake pads (XP8 front and back)
3- Stainless Steel brake lines
4- RBF 600 brake fluid (or something similar)
5- Mobil1 engine oil

If the bug really bites (and it will):
1- Racing bucket seats (FIA approved)
2- 6 point harness
3- Hans

Over time, upgrade the car starting with the suspension/wheel and tires. The Spyder can go really fast on the track with stock power but it requires skills to keep that momentum going. You can only get skills by spending time practicing.

Always invest more in yourself then the car. It will make you faster for ever.
 

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As stated previously, you want a roll bar. A harddog is the only roll bar on the market that is believed to be functional.

Many organizations require convertibles to have 5 point harnesses installed as a minimum. Whether they do or not, it would be a good idea for you to install a seat that is compatible with a 5 point harness (holes at the back of the seat, at the bottom in front of your crotch, and at the sides of your lap). I recommend getting a seat that is SFI certified. A crash will twist and bend every seat. A cheap seat might fail under these conditions.

The buy a harness. The shoulder belts should be 3" whether you are wearing a HANS or not. The lap belts and sub belts should be 2". Again, I'd go with a belt that's certified.

Since your wife is now wearing a harness, she needs neck protection. Most people purchase a HANS device. There are some alternatives made by Simpson Racing.

Get an oil cooler to preserve your motor, search Spyderchat.

Make sure all of your fluid levels are good: oil, transmission, coolant.

Brakes, tires, suspension: only upgrade as needed unless you have money to spend.
 

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Since your wife is now wearing a harness, she needs neck protection.
Can you (or someone else) explain why harnesses are worse for your neck than a standard belt in a crash? I would think that a normal locking seat belt would actually be worse by letting you lean a little forward then locking tight.
 

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As a sort of voice of dissent, not everyone gets addicted to track days. It'd be a damned shame to spend a ton of money on performance parts only to find she doesn't really enjoy it enough to do it regularly.

At stock power levels, I found high temp brake fluid and EBC Greenstuffs and stock everything-else was fine for brakes. EBC greenstuffs are optimized for cold bite, and not intended for track use. From that I would say stock brakes in good condition and fresh, brand new brake fluid are the only mandatory brake requirements. Edit: to be clear, while you might be able to put it round the track faster, you couldn't push it any harder than I did. For example, 8 mpg was my average for the last track day; I normally get about 32-38 on the highway.

Safety stuff to your comfort zone. Note that there are reports now saying you shouldn't upgrade your belts without a hans device.

Quality motor oil filled to exactly the full line. Beyond typical performance street tires, with a good enough driver, you may need oil control measures to prevent oil starving the pickup. I think this is a real issue on race tires, and can happen on streets, but a lot of these reports are from people unwilling to acknowledge that they didn't check their oil level frequently enough.

I think you can get away with 15-50 synthetic and letting it come completely up to temp before pushing it for an event or two instead of an oil cooler, until you both decide if you are serious enough to warrant an oil cooler and/or bigger aluminum sump.
 

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Can you (or someone else) explain why harnesses are worse for your neck than a standard belt in a crash? I would think that a normal locking seat belt would actually be worse by letting you lean a little forward then locking tight.
When the forces of the weight of your head pull on your neck aligned with the spine somewhat (because you fold around a 3 point harness, and your torso is aimed forward in a frontal impact, or generally aimed in the direction the impact comes from), your spine can take much more force than if your torso is locked vertical or slightly reclined. With the harness, your head will rotate forward and put moment and tension into your spine. Combining the two dramatically increases the likelihood of serious injury. Basically look at a hans device as sort of like a headrest for the other directions, except the bones at the base of your skull are even less resistant to resisting pitching forward without intrusion into your spinal column.
 

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As someone also looking to start trackdays in their Spyder, the bottleneck is the requirement for a quality rollbar (Hard Dog or equivalent). These are not simple bolt-on installs and require a considerable investment to purchase/install, merely to give trackdays a go without knowing if you will enjoy it and continue. I guess you can rationalize it as being a safety device when on the street too, but it would be great if you could sign a waiver and try out a trackday without a rollbar before committing. In the UK, for example, rollbars are not a trackday requirement for the Spyder.
 

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As someone also looking to start trackdays in their Spyder, the bottleneck is the requirement for a quality rollbar (Hard Dog or equivalent). These are not simple bolt-on installs and require a considerable investment to purchase/install, merely to give trackdays a go without knowing if you will enjoy it and continue. I guess you can rationalize it as being a safety device when on the street too, but it would be great if you could sign a waiver and try out a trackday without a rollbar before committing. In the UK, for example, rollbars are not a trackday requirement for the Spyder.
In actual practice, roll bars tend to be a safety liability on the street, unless the only drivers will be super short. Edit: because of a lack of helmet to protect you from the roll bar, and the amazing amount the human body moves around in a crash, even securely belted in.
 

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When the forces of the weight of your head pull on your neck aligned with the spine somewhat (because you fold around a 3 point harness, and your torso is aimed forward in a frontal impact, or generally aimed in the direction the impact comes from), your spine can take much more force than if your torso is locked vertical or slightly reclined. With the harness, your head will rotate forward and put moment and tension into your spine. Combining the two dramatically increases the likelihood of serious injury. Basically look at a hans device as sort of like a headrest for the other directions, except the bones at the base of your skull are even less resistant to resisting pitching forward without intrusion into your spinal column.
This is good. To add to it: basular skull fracture is what happens when your body stays relatively still and your head moves forward. When someone is tied up to a noose the rope will be tied with a hangman's knot. This knot's primary characteristic is its large bulk. The knot is designed to push the head forward as it slides around the neck and tightens at the apex of descent. The head is jolted forward with enough force to break the neck and kill the wearer of the knot. This is a basular skull fracture. They are the same thing. ^_^
 

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Also with a to 3-point belt in place you have an airbag that should work.

When my wife took the car to a track day/school. It was basically stock. The only upgrade was a roll bar, harness, and race seat, which I bolted in from my other spyder. The car had fresh stock fluid and carbotech panther plus street pads. She didn't push the car hard enough to fade the brakes or overheat the oil.

With stock 2003 suspension and 205/225 street tires she didn't have any complaints about handling. The car was neutral and easy for her to learn with. She had a great time.
 

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In actual practice, roll bars tend to be a safety liability on the street, unless the only drivers will be super short. Edit: because of a lack of helmet to protect you from the roll bar, and the amazing amount the human body moves around in a crash, even securely belted in.
When you say "in actual practice", do you mean based on anecdotal evidence or a more rigorous survey of accidents involving drivers with rollbars?
 

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In actual practice, roll bars tend to be a safety liability on the street, unless the only drivers will be super short. Edit: because of a lack of helmet to protect you from the roll bar, and the amazing amount the human body moves around in a crash, even securely belted in.
When you say "in actual practice", do you mean based on anecdotal evidence or a more rigorous survey of accidents involving drivers with rollbars?
I wondered about that. It's as if people roll their convertibles, get minor concussions, and exclaim "If I didn't have that roll bar, I wouldn't have gotten hurt" when in reality, they wouldn't have a head at all without it. <_<
 

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When you say "in actual practice", do you mean based on anecdotal evidence or a more rigorous survey of accidents involving drivers with rollbars?

I don't know what the short answer to that is. You can find examples to support conclusions like "seatbelts are dangerous and you shouldn't wear them." I can't cite a scholarly study proving my assertion.

The fact is, hitting your unhelmeted head on a roll bar can kill you. SC members have died that way. Making sure it is as high and far back as possible to the main hoop helps, roll bar padding made for unhelmeted head strikes helps, and being short helps. None of these except maybe being really short, or having a roll bar tall enough so the convertible top doesn't work anymore will completely eliminate the problem. There are not a lot of spyders crashing on the street where serious injury would have been prevented by a rollbar (the few rolled spyders we have seen pictures of seem to be well supported by the windshield header), and the possibility of being injured severely by the roll bar in a minor crash without a helmet is real. The shorter you are, the better off you are, but it happens.
 

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I wondered about that. It's as if people roll their convertibles, get minor concussions, and exclaim "If I didn't have that roll bar, I wouldn't have gotten hurt" when in reality, they wouldn't have a head at all without it. <_<
Personally, I'm unaware of any spyder rollovers where the car involved had a roll bar. A spyder owner who used to be active here died in a minor accident when his head hit the roll bar. I think it was a low speed t-bone at a stop sign. A former member of a local autocross club spent a few weeks in the hospital recovering from a head injury sustained in a major accident on a highway on-ramp. The car did not flip or roll, and at least in his case, the rollbar was reportedly pretty well padded.

I'm not the expert on this, just putting it out there for people to make their own judgement.
 

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Thanks for your input. It seems to me that the ideal solution would be a custom rollbar that can be bolted on for track use and removed for street use.

I don't know what the short answer to that is. You can find examples to support conclusions like "seatbelts are dangerous and you shouldn't wear them." I can't cite a scholarly study proving my assertion.

The fact is, hitting your unhelmeted head on a roll bar can kill you. SC members have died that way. Making sure it is as high and far back as possible to the main hoop helps, roll bar padding made for unhelmeted head strikes helps, and being short helps. None of these except maybe being really short, or having a roll bar tall enough so the convertible top doesn't work anymore will completely eliminate the problem. There are not a lot of spyders crashing on the street where serious injury would have been prevented by a rollbar (the few rolled spyders we have seen pictures of seem to be well supported by the windshield header), and the possibility of being injured severely by the roll bar in a minor crash without a helmet is real. The shorter you are, the better off you are, but it happens.
 

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Personally, I'm unaware of any spyder rollovers where the car involved had a roll bar. A spyder owner who used to be active here died in a minor accident when his head hit the roll bar. I think it was a low speed t-bone at a stop sign. A former member of a local autocross club spent a few weeks in the hospital recovering from a head injury sustained in a major accident on a highway on-ramp. The car did not flip or roll, and at least in his case, the rollbar was reportedly pretty well padded.

I'm not the expert on this, just putting it out there for people to make their own judgement.
Interesting. I'm short so I guess I had more doubts as to the plausibility of serious head trauma as a result of a crash, even if you don't roll. Here's how I see it (now): In a normal crash, the roll bar potentially does more damage than provides protection. In a roll, it might save your life, or get you killed in a different way, depending on countless variables. Thank you for mature, informative discussion, even though I strayed towards the other end...sorry bout that.
 

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I have seen 3 spyders squashed in rollovers. Two were at salvaged auctions so I am unaware how they rolled. The other car slid into curb in the rain. The windshield frame does give some support but not enough.

The member that cracked his head used a Cusco cage and not a behind the seats rollbar. The cusco cage is a terrible design. It's dangerous specially with stock belts. The cusco has bars that come past the side of the drivers head to in front of the dash. Way too close to the side of the drivers head. No way should anyone use this cage on the street.

Regardless of if roll bars are safe on the street or not, practically no one lets convertible cars on the race track without them. NASA, SCCA, POC, PCA, etc will not let convertibles on track without a rollbar, many also will use the "broomstick" test to clear drivers with rollbars. BMWCCA here won't let convertibles on the track period, even with a bar.

The best rollbar is one install far enough to not be too close to the drivers head and padded.

Many convertibles, s2000, miata, boxster, etc, have factory installed rollbars so I wonder if there is any serious hazard with a properly installed behind the seats bar.

Here is a corner that rolls cars at a track here. A autopower bolt in 4-point rollbar was in this car. No way is he walking away from this without a rollbar and harness.



You can also see how the hardtop didn't really do anything.
 
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