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Why you should replace your harnesses every two years.

How old are your harnesses?

  • Less than 1 year

    Votes: 9 29.0%
  • 1 year+

    Votes: 5 16.1%
  • 2 years+

    Votes: 6 19.4%
  • 3 years+

    Votes: 10 32.3%
  • I have no idea

    Votes: 1 3.2%

  • Total voters
    31

prpseats

Member
Hello, everyone. We get a lot of questions about our harnesses and SFI certification saying you need to replace your belts every two years. There's a good reason why and we try to lay it all out in this blog post. Hope it clears some things up. We're here if you have any additional questions.

Why You Should Replace Your Harnesses Every Two Years | PRP Seats
 

retroblazer

Well-Known Member
There are good points made but the case is overstated. The testing appears to simulate the lowest common denominator in racing. Somebody running a muddy stock car, in Florida, a couple of times a week, then leaving their car in the front yard to bake in the sun.
The vast majority of desert racers cars see daylight on a limited basis, and in low humidity conditions, then are stored inside. Personally, 3 years is a more reasonable standard given the real exposure to UV and environmental conditions.

Let's not forget that the SFI is not a true independent third party. They are funded exclusively by the manufacturers of safety gear. Every SFI tag costs money.



I
 
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prpseats

Member
True. 3 years is probably a more reasonable standard for those who are just out having fun. But I relate it to the tires on a car. They have a 30,000-mile warranty/lifespan but most of us run them until they're pretty beat. 90% of the time nothing happens but you're risking an incident by running them so long. Cars have a lot of additional safety features to protect you if something does happen. Off-road vehicles don't. It's your cage and your belts mainly. A couple hundred bucks every two years is not much when you consider what might happen if they fail.
 

dan200

#BSF200
True. 3 years is probably a more reasonable standard for those who are just out having fun. But I relate it to the tires on a car. They have a 30,000-mile warranty/lifespan but most of us run them until they're pretty beat. 90% of the time nothing happens but you're risking an incident by running them so long. Cars have a lot of additional safety features to protect you if something does happen. Off-road vehicles don't. It's your cage and your belts mainly. A couple hundred bucks every two years is not much when you consider what might happen if they fail.
What do you charge to re-certify belts?
 

prpseats

Member
What do you charge to re-certify belts?
We don't re-certify belts. Re-certifying means replacing all of the webbing. You're basically re-manufacturing the whole belt. It's not really cost effective when new belts run $100-$140. Most companies that do re-webbing have belts that cost $300 and up. Makes more sense there.
 

retroblazer

Well-Known Member
True. 3 years is probably a more reasonable standard for those who are just out having fun. But I relate it to the tires on a car. They have a 30,000-mile warranty/lifespan but most of us run them until they're pretty beat. 90% of the time nothing happens but you're risking an incident by running them so long. Cars have a lot of additional safety features to protect you if something does happen. Off-road vehicles don't. It's your cage and your belts mainly. A couple hundred bucks every two years is not much when you consider what might happen if they fail.
It's not, and if you look at my response to the survey, my belts were redone this season. As I have stated before on other safety equipment matters, I have a lot of respect for those brave soles that risk their personal capital to supply the racing market. God love you. On the other hand, it's fair discussion about the balance to fulfill the profit motive of the manufacturer versus the cost and safety benefit to the racer.

If I were racing a World of Outlaws sprint dirt car, four or five days a week, for a full season, I'd replace my belts every year, but the vast majority of participants are hobby racers that maybe race 5-10 times a year.
 
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prpseats

Member
It's not, and if you look at my response to the survey, my belts were redone this season. I as I have stated before on other safety equipment matters, I have a lot of respect for those brave soles that risk their personal capital to supply the racing market. God love you. On the other hand, it's fair discussion about the balance to fulfill the profit motive of the manufacturer versus the cost and safety benefit to the racer.

If I were racing a World of Outlaws sprint dirt car, four or five days a week, for a full season, I'd replace my belts every year, but the vast majority of participants are hobby racers that maybe race 5-10 times a year.
You're right. It is a fair discussion. As with any rule or guideline, there is definitely specifics to be taken into consideration. It's better to know the facts and make the best decision for yourself. Hopefully, this information helps people do that.
 

vegasloki

Well-Known Member
Crow and others recertify their respective entry level 16.1 belts. IIRC it's about $50. I've never raced with a sanction that hasn't enforced belt dates on SFI or FIA belts. FIA belts have a five year span from the year of manufacture (if your purchase timing isn't right that's a max four years). In sports cars most of the other guys in the class ran OMP or Schroth FIA belts.
 

ciscokid8

Well-Known Member
Interesting points... Maybe a dumb question but what about passenger car seat belts? Exposures to elements are constant and usage is way more. What differs them from racing belts?
 

Robin Hood

Well-Known Member
I have heard of vendors being allowed to date the belts at the time of sale. Why is this practice allowed?

My belts/car is stored indoors, in Southern AZ, used once a year or once every two years. I don't really see this as an issue?

This is good info and very valid for the teams that race full time. If it was me I would probably replace them every year it we ran a full race schedule.
 
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Zambo

Well-Known Member
I replace my belts every time I take the truck out to the desert. Because you just can't be too safe. Yes I'm kidding. What a ripoff.
 

Fourstroker

Well-Known Member
Crow and others recertify their respective entry level 16.1 belts. IIRC it's about $50. I've never raced with a sanction that hasn't enforced belt dates on SFI or FIA belts. FIA belts have a five year span from the year of manufacture (if your purchase timing isn't right that's a max four years). In sports cars most of the other guys in the class ran OMP or Schroth FIA belts.
For the record CROW does not recertify the belts. They take your old belts, give you new ones for a really great price and re-use the hardware from your old belts.
 

prpseats

Member
Interesting points... Maybe a dumb question but what about passenger car seat belts? Exposures to elements are constant and usage is way more. What differs them from racing belts?
I'm not sure on the specs but I would imagine the car webbing does break down just the same. I don't know why there's no laws or rules pertaining to that.
 

prpseats

Member
I have heard of vendors being allowed to date the belts at the time of sale. Why is this practice allowed?

My belts/car is stored indoors, in Southern AZ, used once a year or once every two years. I don't really see this as an issue?

This is good info and very valid for the teams that race full time. If it was me I would probably replace them every year it we ran a full race schedule.
Since UV is what breaks them down, as long as the belts are in a box and not exposed, they shouldn't be deteriorating. Once you take them out and start using them though, it starts the process. You can see the testing numbers in the article. Even with the extreme tests, the 3" belts are still just strong enough to pass, you just never really know how much exposure your belts have had. So the 2-3 year mark is a good rule of thumb for those who are just recreational drivers. We just wanted to provide this information so people can make educated decisions.
 

vegasloki

Well-Known Member
For the record CROW does not recertify the belts. They take your old belts, give you new ones for a really great price and re-use the hardware from your old belts.
That's what recertification is. As prp says they have to replace the webbing to re tag them. That's why prp doesn't do it, it's not worth it for them. The last time I had it done it was around $50. It looks like it's gone up a bit to $55.

Even Crow calls it recertification. Crow Belt Recertification
 

Zambo

Well-Known Member
How many instances of belt failure do we know of? I'm not talking about the buckle coming undone, but the actual webbing breaking.
 

J Burleson

Well-Known Member
What does prp recommend for cleaning? I see a lot of belts that are stiff cause they seem packed with dirt and sand. I always wash them really well with the garden hose or press washer and then blow them out with compressed air. I would think that since most of these cars are stored inside but see all types of dirt that abrasion would be a bigger concern than uv?
 

prpseats

Member
What does prp recommend for cleaning? I see a lot of belts that are stiff cause they seem packed with dirt and sand. I always wash them really well with the garden hose or press washer and then blow them out with compressed air. I would think that since most of these cars are stored inside but see all types of dirt that abrasion would be a bigger concern than uv?
You've basically got it right. You can hose them down. Just make sure they dry out. Abrasion from sand and wind? It's off-road so there's no way to really get around that. And that's a big reason they metal parts on ours are powder coated steel or anodized aluminum. Gives it that extra layer of protection as well as looks.
 

dan200

#BSF200
I have heard of vendors being allowed to date the belts at the time of sale. Why is this practice allowed?

My belts/car is stored indoors, in Southern AZ, used once a year or once every two years. I don't really see this as an issue?

This is good info and very valid for the teams that race full time. If it was me I would probably replace them every year it we ran a full race schedule.
I am a vendor and have never heard of being able to date belts at the time of sale. maybe a MFG like PRP can but for sure I can't. At best, I might get maybe a couple of months added to the date on them by the manufacturer for shelf life before they sell. Stuff that sits too long to be sell-able gets shipped back to the manufacturer and swapped out for stuff that is sell-able.

Since I sell stuff trackside and at tech inspection I try and keep only stuff with the "freshest" date on it on the trailer. Peddling half expired belts to guy who just flunked tech because his tags are expired even though his belts are fine would be lame. We run the SDHQ vendor program to EARN customers, not screw/gouge them.

I do encourage people to consider having theirs re-webbed if they are budged minded and not in a rush. Its cheaper than replacing them even in the lower price ranged stuff BUT after ya pay for the shipping you haven't really save all that much. In the end, replacing them gets you new (fresh) stuff and then (provided they are not crappy and weathered AND STILL SAFE) you can recoup some money selling your expired ones to some garage builder who wants them for his mud truck or play car where certification is not an issue. Being expired certainly doesn't make them worthless.

PRP, thanks for coming on here and discussing this stuff. I wish more manufacturers did that. And for sponsoring my friends the Isenhouers.
 
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