WARNING: This page is still a work in progress!
I am not responsible for any problems you experience as a result of trying to do anything described here. The hack documented here worked fine for me but may not work for you far any number of reasons.
Since my 911 is primarily a track car and I'm starting to pick up some good speed on the track I figured it's certainly time to get a rollbar, just in case. I researched a variety of rollbars available for my car. I decided I wanted to stick with bolt in so I can take it out at some point if I wanted to sell the car. Most bolt-in bars require holes to be made to the floorboards. Not only does this require putting even more holes in my car but it's not the strongest way of supporting a rollbar. The DAS (Dougherty SportSystem) Model RB1 Rollbar is a bolt-in that uses existing strong mounting points. It can also be removed without any sign of it ever being there. It's a very strong and well made rollbar that weighs in at a whopping 45lbs!!! So much for saving weight elsewhere!
Before you start you're going to need a couple items:
- A Rollbar from Dougherty Auto Sports
- 13mm Socket
- Seat removal tools (depends on year)
If you have Recaro SRD seats you'll need a lot more tools than that plus quite a bit of patience and perseverance.
If you're interested, my Brey-Krause harness bar is now for sale.
A friend came over to help me install the rollbar that I had painted a couple days prior. I got both of the seats out to make the process as easy as possible. The rollbar went in like a charm. It required very little pulling and tugging to get the holes to line up. We were both quite proud of ourselves for installing it in less than an hour.
But then we tried to put the seats back in only to find that the front attachment point of the DAS rollbar interferes with the seat back latching mechanism of the Recaro SRD seats I had recently put in!!!! We tried to install the seats as far forward as possible and we did get the seats installed but I can't get the seat far enough back to be comfortable!! I'm 6'0" tall and my legs already feel kind of cramped!!! Take a look at the pictures below and let me know if you have any ideas on how to make this work or if I did something wrong! Please let me know if you need explanations of the pictures or if you would like another view that's not represented below. All the close-up pictures are of the driver's seat. The same problem exists with the passenger seat which is also a Recaro SRD.
However, when I went back the next day to do the modifications on the passenger seat I discovered a slightly better way of doing it. Instead of grinding down part of the rollbar's front foot lip, I found that if I carefully adjusted the number of washers between the seat and the sliders, as well as between the sliders and the original seat rails, I could align it just right. I found that I could make the sliders slide just under the rollbar's lip and still have the rest of the seat raised enough so that the latching mechanism only minimally interferes with the lip. The seat needs to be moved back with the seat back folded forward. Once the seat is almost all the way back, the seat back is then folded back and the latch will just latch and just barely touch the rollbar lip. You have to lean the seat forward because otherwise the latching mechanism will still catch on those bolts sticking out of the lip. This way you can have the latch catch just behind the bolts and just above the lip. So far it seems to be the best way of doing it as it doesn't require any grinding!
&Thanks to all who responded. I called Colin at Dougherty and he offered a few suggestions as well. He did also offer to trade the rollbar he sent for a different one. Unfortunately the other one requires drilling and welding and will be essentially permanent. I kept looking for other solutions.
The first thing people suggested was to put a couple washers other other spacer at the back of the seat. I did it by inserting three washers between the seat slider and the original rails. This raised the back of the seat by about 1/4" and allowed just enough clearance for the latch to no longer interfere with the rollbar. Unfortunately this didn't give me a whole lot more legroom as the Recaro sliders now hit the rollbar foot when I slide the seat back.
The second thing I did was to take the seat out to see if I can mount the sliders differently. I found a way where I could use a different rear whole and then I drilled two new front holes for mounting the sliders to the bottom of the seat. This gave me about another 1.25" of rear travel before the sliders still hit the rollbar foot.
Then finally I realized that the slider was only just barely hitting the rollbar foot. I first made sure the bolt was tightened all the way to make sure the foot was as close to the side as possible. I then got out my drill and grinding stones and started to grind away about 1mm of the foot on the inboard side. This didn't seem to be structural in any way. I ground only as far as the additional piece of steel that was bolted on underneath. This seemed to give me at least another inch of rear seat travel. I decided it's not worth grinding further as other parts of the seat would then still end up interfering with parts of the rollbar.
All in all I think I ended up with about three additional inches of seat travel towards the rear. I took the car out for a spin and found the position to be about where I had it before.
All the well dressed rollbars this season are wearing camera mounts and fire extinguishers. But seriously, I do like to take in car video of myself to see what I need to work on for the next session, and a fire extinguisher (Halon preferably) is always a good idea especially on a track car. Fire extinguishers available here. It came with a holder that was easy to attach to the rollbar with stainless steel hose clamps. The camera mount is an IO Port and I don't remember where I bought it.
|Click on thumbnail to view full-size image|
The camera mount seems to work best on the diagonal bar..
The fire extinguisher mounts lower on the same bar for easy access.
Therest of these are other pictures of the install. They may be helpful to determine if we install it wrong or something.
Please send any comments, suggestions, corrections, etc. to me at http://www.gagme.com/greg.
Help support this site and all these technical articles!