Triumph TR3 drawing

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Triumph TR3 FAQ page

Seems the concept of restraints caught some attention.

Questions arose regarding shoulder belts. I agree that it is not a good idea to compress the spine. The general recommendation that has been published show the belts parallel to the ground to about 4 inches below the shoulder for upright seating position.

The belts that mounted just above the shoulder have been the most comfortable for me. There seem to be a split on how to retain a body in semi reclining position. I've seen examples of at shoulder as well as below the shoulder mountings. Most of the illustrations I've seen still recommend the below the shoulder mounting.

I feel that mounting below the shoulder, in light of how tight the belts should be, really promotes spine compression. If you really tighten up the belts on a below the shoulder installation it is not long before you are hurting from the pressure on your back.

The shoulder belts should do the job of stopping the upper body from moving forward on impact and only assist in keeping your head out of the weeds. This can be accomplished by very tight belts that hold you back to the seat and not mashing your spine into your pelvis. Your body stretches an astonishing amount under the loading of an impact and tight, well installed belts will minimize your travel in the car.

Solid seat mounting is extremely important as well. If the seat back or mounting fails, the best belts in the world will be useless. The paramedic who provides his services primarily to the motor sports arena told us at our recent RMVR Crash & Burn School that shoulder belts that you can slip your fingers between the belt and the chest are too loose. The less you can move in the belts, the better.

Wendy's method of tightening the belts is great. Tighten, exhale and tighten again. The seat design can also have dramatic consequences for the spine. It looks as though the pre load of the spine along with a lack of proper lumbar support can produce spinal fractures. This is worth looking into when buying a seat. Many of the seats out there have very poor lumbar support and lumbar support is every bit as important as lateral support in a racing seat. What can't be overstated is that driver restraint is a system and every part of it must be right or the whole is compromised.

Bill Rosenbach

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