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Author Topic: Group Buy Rollbar Install  (Read 582 times)

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Offline Syjos

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Group Buy Rollbar Install
« on: June 03, 2017, 03:41:07 PM »
Drove down to Portland, Oregon last week and got the rollbar installed!  This was purchased on the group buy organized by me on the Solstice Forum and lexpioneer on the Kappa Forum.  I choose a metallic silver powder coat color that was very close to the silver on the tulip and windshield frame.

It looks really good and other than my right shoulder touching the center bar slightly, no restrictions to my movements.  Seats can be adjusted all the way to the back bulkhead and the seat back can touch the tulip panel.  Seatbelts work fine with no restrictions.  Shifting is not a problem as long as you don't slam into second and fourth gears with your whole arm and shoulder.  I usually flick between gears with my hand and lower arm instead of the whole arm.  My head does not touch the rollbar at any time, with or without the helmet on.  I am 6í Ė 1Ē 180#.

Iíve driven the car nearly 6 hours (3 Ĺ hours driving back from Portland and 2 Ĺ hours around town) since the rollbar was installed and I see no problem or hindrances.  Visibility out the back window is also not hindered.  Did lose the use of the cup holders and the small storage space on the back panel - waterfall.  Getting in and out of the car with the top down is easier since the rollbar can be used as a hand hold.  There is no problem putting the top up.

Only difference Iíve experienced so far is with the Windrestrictor not working as effectively as it did before the rollbar install.  The rollbar sits higher than the top of the plastic restrictor and seems to hinder the airflow.  I seem to be getting more buffeting than before.  My imagination?  Maybe, but it does seem more turbulent.  The Windrestrictor does not match the shape of the rollbar so I will make a new wind restrictor/blocker matching the shape of the rollbar and find some way to mount it to the rollbar without drilling holes in it.  Iíve seen convertibles with factory rollbars/hoops utilizing a wind blocker so will see how they mount them.

The SCCA diagonal bar, which I had Rob add to our rollbars looks functional and does not intrude into people space.  Rob cleverly bent it to go behind one center bar and welded to the other center bar.  I sent pictures of the rollbar to a NW Region SCCA Track Night Tech Inspector and he said it looked good to go.

It took Rob and crew 8 hours to install the bar.  The hardest part of the install was drilling the holes through the tunnel for the center bars and fastening the backing plates on the bottom of the center braces.  The steel was fairly thick on the sides of the tunnel compared to the sheet metal on the floor.  They had to drop the muffler to get the tunnel brace out.  I have the DDM Backbone which is 1/2 inch thick so unable to slide it out with the exhaust pipe in the way.  If your car has the stock tunnel brace, it is thin enough to slide out without dropping the muffler.  There is very little space on one side of the tunnel between the tunnel, driveline and torsion bar to get a hand up there to hold the nuts and backing plate while bolting the center brace bracket to the tunnel.   They ended up welding nuts to the backing plate to make installation easier.  They will modify all the plates before shipment.  They also ended up taking the rollbar out after the initial install because they couldn't assemble the carís back panel and interior trim after the rollbar was in.

I think that it will take somewhere between 5 to 8 hours to do the install.  As long as you install the rollbar after the back panel and trim pieces are slid between the rear bulkhead and rollbar before tightning down the rollbar bolts.  I think maybe that the rollbar could be installed without taking all the back panels out.  The only reason they took it out was to notch some of the panels and maybe to make room for drilling the floors.  The center console cover needs to come out for mounting the center braces and notched for the center bars.

There were several Solstice rollbars ready for shipping and the rest were at the powder coaters and should be shipped to everyone soon.  Rob has two employees only and they seem pretty busy.  I saw around 20 orders on the scheduling bulletin board.

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Offline elff

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Re: Group Buy Rollbar Install
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2017, 11:21:01 PM »
With how tall you are, is that higher than the top of your helmet?

Any thoughts on adding removable diagonal bars that go to the floor by your feet?

I am just not confident that the little offset in the middle would be enough to keep it from falling forward in a roll.

Offline Syjos

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Re: Group Buy Rollbar Install
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2017, 02:38:45 PM »
The rollbar is slightly higher than my helmet.
The rollbar manufacturer has optional removable hinged forward bars that are parallel to the doors and go to the foot well.  It is required for NHRA racing but not required by SCCA for track days.  I elected not to have those.
The offset in the center bars are at the required 30 degrees and have as much spread and support as the rearward supports seen on other cars rollbars.
I feel confident that the rollbar would survive a roll.  I am more concerned about the windshield folding back on to me.
My rollbar was installed to participate in track days.  Some of the track day events allow convertibles without rollbars ..... if it does not have a v8 or a turbo.  Since I have a GXP the rollbar was necessary. 
I'm not saying that the rollbar is 100% safe.  Only way to insure 100% is with a full rollcage. 
I also don't plan on going crazy on the track.  There are still guard rails and walls to hit so I will be driving fast but not "pedal to the metal"
Track days are for driving faster than on the street.  If I want to drive all out, I would get a dedicated race car.
And track days are a lot safer than driving fast on the street.

Offline 2kwk4u

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Re: Group Buy Rollbar Install
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2017, 05:15:43 AM »
That's gotta be the best-looking solution I've seen to date for our cars.  Kudos to you and lexpioneer for putting this together!

Offline Sly Bob

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Re: Group Buy Rollbar Install
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 08:17:14 AM »
A full roll cage is certainly the safest way to go but this looks like a great solution and as 2kwk4u said, thanks for putting this together.
Looks great!
Just trying to do my part...

Mods: Lose the chicklets, VentureShield, Dual horns, AfterShock spoiler, Weathershield cover, Lil Chromies, Red calipers with black Solstice stickers, Opel GT antenna and Solo GXP-RCD exhaust with a Solo hi-flow cat!

Offline Rockchops

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Re: Group Buy Rollbar Install
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2017, 10:42:20 AM »
Looks great! Probably the least intrusive execution I've seen on our cars. I'm assuming you can't close the convertible top with it in, but looks like it might be close?

Offline Syjos

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Re: Group Buy Rollbar Install
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2017, 11:03:19 AM »
The convertible top is fully functional.
The rollbar just touches the bottom of the headliner. 
The only loss due to the rollbar is the center cup holder and storage box on the waterfall is no longer accessible.


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