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Discussion Starter #1
I will have to replace the seats in the 360 Challenge shortly. They are carbonfiber and now 5 years old. According to the FIA, they have a useful life of five years before they need replacement. The same apparently applies to fiberglass race seats.

Question is are the seats in the F40 still safe for both normal road driving and on the track?
 

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5 years, wow. That's not much time at all. Coming from the FIA, do you think that five year limit is just if you're pushing the car to the limits and putting a lot of strain on the seats?
 

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I guess it would depend on your driving. How "at risk" are you should the seat suddenly fail? Fiberglass doesn't fatigue like metal so if you can remove the cover to inspect it and it looks fine, it's fine. You could even have a fiberglass shop (Like a boatyard or something) put another layer of mat on it with epoxy resin to strengthen it.

The seats in the Jeep are subjected to way more stress than any road Ferrari and I did have a seat fail on me once. I was climbing a hill that no vehicle was ever meant to climb when all of a sudden the driver's seat reclined. Hmm. The Jeep did not have reclining seats. Not really a big deal at 15 mph, but could have been serious at 150 mph. Had to wedge a 2x4 against the seat back to drive home. The seat was about 20 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess it would depend on your driving. How "at risk" are you should the seat suddenly fail? Fiberglass doesn't fatigue like metal so if you can remove the cover to inspect it and it looks fine, it's fine. You could even have a fiberglass shop (Like a boatyard or something) put another layer of mat on it with epoxy resin to strengthen it.

The seats in the Jeep are subjected to way more stress than any road Ferrari and I did have a seat fail on me once. I was climbing a hill that no vehicle was ever meant to climb when all of a sudden the driver's seat reclined. Hmm. The Jeep did not have reclining seats. Not really a big deal at 15 mph, but could have been serious at 150 mph. Had to wedge a 2x4 against the seat back to drive home. The seat was about 20 years old.
Pete, Thanks for the insight. I have to admit my intial reaction was more along the lines of "another revenue enhancing rule" but it does make sense.

For normal road driving I don't think it is an issue. The amount of stress on the seat is fairly minor. However I will take a close look at it before venturing out on the track again.
 

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Five years sounds very arbitrary to me. What if the car sits in a shop for 2 years and is never driven? How does the seat wear down in that case?
 

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The same holds true for harnesses as the webbing is more prone to breakage with age.

Boxer I would not worry about the seats, you will be fine, I have used the same old FG race bucket for well over 5 years now without a failure or even a flaw. The FIA rules seem to be a bit overzealous at times I have still yet to figure out the reason for changing seats when your harnesses expire nor have i seen any evidence in increased failures based on the age of the seat. Also all US sanctioning bodies do not check the seat expiry so I dont know how heavily it is worried about for track events.
 

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Five years sounds very arbitrary to me. What if the car sits in a shop for 2 years and is never driven? How does the seat wear down in that case?
well, it can happen even if the seat is not used, the same way a helmet also expires after a few years, no matter if you use it or not

polymeric materials are very different then metals

still, I don't think Boxer is in any kind of danger, I agree 100% with what Pete said
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The same holds true for harnesses as the webbing is more prone to breakage with age.

Boxer I would not worry about the seats, you will be fine, I have used the same old FG race bucket for well over 5 years now without a failure or even a flaw. The FIA rules seem to be a bit overzealous at times I have still yet to figure out the reason for changing seats when your harnesses expire nor have i seen any evidence in increased failures based on the age of the seat. Also all US sanctioning bodies do not check the seat expiry so I dont know how heavily it is worried about for track events.
Thanks. I will keep the seats as is in the F40 however I am being required to swap the seats out in the 360 Challenge.
 
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