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roll bars and tech inspection

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by modelacitizen, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. modelacitizen
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 877

    modelacitizen
    Member

    I really want to put a roll bar in my model A coupe. The car currently runs high 12's and it will never see 11.5's which is when (I believe) a roll bar becomes mandatory. My question is- If I build a roll bar for the car myself, does it still have to meet the NHRA requirements for an 11.5 roll bar? They want you to attach the seat to the roll bar and they require a door bar as well. I'd rather not get in to that. Can I just put a mild steel 4 point bar in it and pass tech?
     
  2. You don't need a rollbar till you run 10.99 or faster. But if it's in the car the tech will want it built properly. The seat does not need to be attached to the bar on anything running slower than 9.99.
     
  3. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 759

    Kentuckian
    Member

    At NHRA tracks, a rollbar is mandatory at 11.49 and aftermarket seats must be attached to the rollbar. That's the way cars are done when I'm teching at NHRA dragstrips including the Hot Rod Reunion.

    If you are going to install a rollbar, you may as well make it correct. The sidebar can be of the swingout type which can be removed when not racing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,315

    squirrel
    Member

    I think the question was, if he installs a rollbar but is not required to have it, does the rollbar still need to meet NHRA specs? My guess is "yes"
     

  5. I agree with squirrel
     
  6. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,691

    Boones
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kent, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    in a similar question. can someone put in a 2 pt bar in a car that bolts to the floor and is only for looks and be allowed to run. (car's running slower than 11.50's) when it is intended for only looks. Thought about running a chrome loop with a tonneau cover on my Modified and was leaning that way on my last 29 sedan
     
  7. Bubber
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 3

    Bubber
    Member
    from NC

    What is the low down on "helmt bars" for an 80' rear engine dragster?
    Size pipe, other material, mild or what?
     
  8. subdajj
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 174

    subdajj
    Member

  9. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I think it is like anything else, if you get an understanding tech guy and he buys that you really don't need one and yours is just cosmetic, it might pass. But I think most techs would view it as "If it is there it has to be to spec."

    Just like some cops might buy the story that you like open headers because they save lives, but every so often you get that one cop........:eek::(

    Don
     
  10. 150 Wagon
    Joined: Nov 26, 2011
    Posts: 44

    150 Wagon
    Member

    When I worked Tech at New England Dragway I treated cosmetic roll bars as non-roll bars....meaning that if the car was 11.50 or slower I treated it as if the roll bar was not even there. That being said everything else had to be in-place for the ET the car was being tech'ed for.
     
  11. modelacitizen
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 877

    modelacitizen
    Member

    This actually explains my question very well. Even though I want mine to be functional I just don't want to get in to fastening the seat to the bar and dealing with the door bar. I'm also gonna have a heck of a time getting the rear bars down in to the trunk area at the correct angle/height.
     
  12. modelacitizen
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 877

    modelacitizen
    Member

    Yes that is what I'm looking for. But I have a feeling it varies from inspector to inspector.
     
  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,606

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

     
  14. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Not even a guess, they will.
     
  15. modelacitizen
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 877

    modelacitizen
    Member

    It seems every person I talk to has a different answer. There is certainly nothing in the rule book that says - 'if you have a roll bar for your slow car, it has to look like this...' It seems that it's up to the tech inspector. I'm sure everyone telling me to just do it according the rules regardless is right though.
     
  16. jangleguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2004
    Posts: 2,668

    jangleguy
    Member

    Gotta agree with Kentuckian. When I was tech inspector at the local track, it had to be right if it was in there. Frankly, "cosmetic" safety features like this are red "poser" flags and won't get you onto the track, but will probably get you ridiculed by the very people you could be learning from.

    Also, I've learned to never say 'never': I've done a couple different cars that I said would 'never' hit ETs requiring equipment I didn't want to bother with and sure enough, I ended installing that same equipment down the road, when the car got faster. It's just human nature. Bottom line: It's a LOT easier to install that stuff earlier in the project, otherwise you get to build a ship in a bottle, just like I did. Twice! Learn from my mistakes.
     
  17. modelacitizen
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 877

    modelacitizen
    Member

    agreed. thanks for the input.
     
  18. PiaRowley
    Joined: Dec 25, 2011
    Posts: 5

    PiaRowley
    Member
    from new york

    I think the question was
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  19. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,989

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    I wanted to put a legal roll bar in my truck (glass cab) primarily for safety reasons and "looks" second, but we ran out of time / space / pre-planning brain power to do it properly. I sill regret not doing it it, as you never know when some idiot is going to run into you. And while safety was my primary reason, if I ever wanted to take it to the strip everything would already be there. Make it as legal as you can, even to the next fastest class. Gary
     
  20. Bad Banana
    Joined: Jun 20, 2008
    Posts: 833

    Bad Banana
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You are getting varying answers because there are many opinions by tech inspectors/tracks on this. If you only run the car maybe once or twice a year, are just out having a little fun with your car and are not a threat to run faster than what you are legal for, they will probably be OK with it. Many tracks know pissing off customer by nit-picking their car for no good reason isn't in their best interest. Word gets around and after a while their revenue is impacted because guys won't bother to come there for fear they won't be allowed to run. Obviously, this varys from track to track and owner/tech inspector. What one guy deems legal, another one won't. Has been that way since drag strips began.

    However, if you are a "regular" customer and obviously have been seriously bitten by the drag race bug, they will lean on you to bring your car up to standard. The more laps you make down the track, the more chances that something can go wrong and they need to cover their ass (as well as yours).

    Best advice is ask the track tech man you will be dealing with and make your decision. If you travel to many tracks to race, you might as well make it legal because you will probably get stopped at some point and you will not be happy.
     
  21. modelacitizen
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 877

    modelacitizen
    Member

    Banana- thanks you described my situation perfectly. I make it to the track about 7-8 times a year. And I don't get around too much. I've been to three different tracks. And I did get stopped by one of them where the other two guys let me go. I think you are correct in saying I need to speak to the local tech inspector about it. But in the end, of course the safe bet is to do it right the first time. Thanks again
     
  22. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Really, the answer to your problem is pretty straightforward. If I'm getting this right, you want a "period" looking single loop in the car right? Just make it a bolt-in deal, and take it out before you head for the track.
     
  23. From NHRA;

    ROLL BAR
    Roll bar mandatory in all cars running 11.00 (7.00*) to 11.49 (7.35*), in convertibles
    running 11.00 (7.00*) to 13.49 (8.25*). Permitted in all cars. See General Regulations
    4:10, 10:6.
    ROLL CAGE
    Roll cage mandatory in cars running 10.99 (6.99*) or quicker or any car exceeding 135
    mph. In full-bodied cars with unaltered firewall, floor, and body (from firewall rearward,
    wheel tubs permitted), running between 10.00 (6.40*) and 10.99 (6.99*), roll bar
    permitted in place of roll cage. In convertibles running 10.99 (6.99*) or quicker or
    exceeding 135 mph, roll cage mandatory. Cars running between 7.50 (4.50*) and 9.99
    (6.39*) must have chassis inspected every three years by NHRA and have a serialized
    sticker affixed to cage before participation. Plating of chassis prohibited for all cars
    manufactured after Jan. 1, 2003. Vehicles running 8.49 to 7.50 (5.40 to 4.50*) and/or
    exceeding 180 mph must meet appropriate SFI Spec for body used. All others must
    conform to specs for body style used, as listed in General Regulations 4:11, 10:6

    If you notice it says "Permitted In All Cars" which means you can run a roll bar in a slower car but it still must meet the specs. The reason for this is simple, if it is not made to spec and there is a problem, say you roll your slow car, and the roll bar fails and you get hurt, they can be liable. A poorly done roll bar that fails can cause more head trauma than not having one.
     
  24. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,176

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    If your chassie requires "Helmet Bars" then they are to be made out of 1" x .058 C/M tubing minimum. The tubing replaces what were run before as helmet straps that would keep the helmet inside the roll cage, but what occured was that after a crash years ago (with straps) the second roll bar hoop (6-point cage)took a hit and ripped out of the chassie. Adding a 1" tube connecting all the cage uprights gave more stucture and support to the cage.
     
  25. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,715

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    That is of course true...

    A friend of mine once knocked himself out on the cage of his Street/Track car on his way back from work.
    While he was unconcious, the car went on to hit a couple of trees untill it totalled itself against a big one.


    But when is a rollbar a rollbar?
    Could you get by in a roadster by putting a couple of lights on it, and calling it a light bar?
    Like the truck supplliers did after being sued?
    ( Of course, that would be a little more difficult in a coupe...;) )
     
  26. modelacitizen
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 877

    modelacitizen
    Member

    No I actually wanted it to be functional... I just didn't want to have to do EVERYTHING they want. My basic idea was to make a four point bar with a harness bar welded in. I thought it would be fine just welding it all down to some 1/8" plates in the floor. I didn't want to get in to the door bar, remounting a new seat and welding it all to the frame. Basically I just wanted a little added protection without having to tear the whole car apart. Honestly I think it's silly that I could pass tech without one at all. But if I did it the way I'm thinking, it would fail tech.... if I weld the roll bar to the frame, how the heck do you get the body off? LOL
     
  27. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Ok, sorry, I mis-understood what you were after. I can tell you from experience, climbing over a door bar in a regularly driven street car gets old after a while, but if you are going to put a roll-bar in a car that you plan to race even occasionally at an NHRA sanctioned track, in my experience you will have to build it by the rules. Maybe you can reach an understanding with the head tech guy at your local track if you approach him BEFOREHAND with what you are planning to do, but I wouldn't count on it. If you show up with the bar in there, and plan on making your case when they say no, I can tell for sure that wont fly. And you never know how long he will be there anyway.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  28. modelacitizen
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 877

    modelacitizen
    Member

    Yeah I can see that I should just do this right the first time. I'm assuming that the OEM frame rules in the book apply to me. That means I've gotta weld all five points to the frame correct? So that means the body can't be removed from the frame unless I cut the rollbar??? That's what I didn't want to get in to. Can I legally bolt the bar to the frame? ... I just read an article about this subject. The guy basically concludes by saying- you either have a race car or a street car- make a decision. I think the path of my car is slowly being decided.
     
  29. finishline
    Joined: Nov 24, 2011
    Posts: 19

    finishline
    Member

    i say just bolt a plate on top of your floor with a plate under your floor with four 3/8 bolts. weld the bar to the top plate and your ok. if you go faster then 11.50 then there will be a problem. modelacitizen if you ride down to south jersey to race just ask for bill.
     
  30. Kenneth S
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,527

    Kenneth S
    Member

    modelacitizen, the oem frame rule does apply to you. I wouldn't hack your car to put "a bolt to the floor board roll bar". I went through the same delima you are looking at now. I chose to sell my street car as a roller, and get me an altered then put my engine, and trans in it. The altered is so much easier to work on, and alot safer. Food for thought.
     

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