Archive for ‘ September, 2012 ’

Recaro Pole Position Seats with Sabelt Harnesses

With the front factory Recaro seats being removed as they are not ideal for track day use, I chose Recaro Pole Position seats as a fitting replacement. They are finished in Nardo/Artista Black fabric, and are, in my opinion, one of the best seats on the market. Very comfortable, very supportive on road and track and they look fantastic from every angle. They also offer a huge weight saving, with the factory seats weighing in at nearly 25kgs each, these Recaro Pole Position seats weigh in at around 7kgs. When fitted the Recaro Pole Position seats also sit much lower making for a better driving position.

I have had them supplied with the vehicle specific Recaro subframes (which have also on occasion been fitted os Original Equipment (OE) into certain factory Opel/Vauxhall vehicles), which mount directly into the vehicle’s original floor fixings so they really are a truly OE fit with no cutting, welding or creating your own floor mounts saving¬†time, hassle and making for very simple straightforward fitment. The Recaro subframes also retain the sliding mechanism making access into the car and the seating position easier to set and I have also specified the aluminium side plates for mounting the seats to the subframes. There was a steel side mount option but this is heavier, albeit slightly cheaper option.

To compliment the Recaro seats, I have chosen Red Sabelt 4 Point track day pull down harnesses. They feature a push button buckle, similar to a road seat belt buckle, making them acceptable for road use and an MOT pass and are secured into the car via 4 snap-hook fixings; 1 at each side and 2 onto the harness bar of the roll cage for the shoulder straps.

Here is one of the Recaro Pole Position Seats:

Recaro Pole Position Seat

Recaro Pole Position Seat

This is one of the supplied subframe kits ready to be built up:

Recaro Seat Subframe

Recaro Seat Subframe

And these are the alloy side mounts:

Recaro Alloy Side Mounts

Recaro Alloy Side Mounts

Seat Built Up onto Subframe with Side Mounts:

Seat Built Up onto Subframe with Side Mounts

Seat Built Up onto Subframe with Side Mounts

Recaro Floor Mounts fitted into the car:

Recaro Floor Mounts Fitted

Recaro Floor Mounts Fitted

Recaro Pole Position Seats fitted with Sabelt Harnesses:

Fitted with Sabelt Harnesses

Fitted with Sabelt Harnesses

Fitted with Sabelt Harnesses

Fitted with Sabelt Harnesses

Suspension Upgrade – Dampers and Springs

After the car’s first outing on track, at the end of July, on its original suspension which comprised DAP Road Springs and factory VXR dampers, I decided it was time for an upgrade to something more track biased. The original suspension is very capable for fast road use, but I wanted something more track orientated. So DAP Race Spec springs and Bilstein B8 dampers are being fitted. A massive thank you to Bilstein UK for the supply of the fantastic B8 dampers.

The DAP Race Spec springs are further uprated and slightly lower than their road spec siblings and work exceptionally well on the uprated Bilstein B8 dampers. Due to the removal of the rear seats, reducing the weight of the rear of the car, a slightly lower spec rear spring was chosen to reduce the rear ride height slightly.

Original Front DAP Road Springs and VXR Factory Dampers:

Original Front Springs and Dampers

Original Front Springs and Dampers

Original Rear DAP Road Springs and VXR Factory Dampers:

Original Rear Springs and Dampers

Original Rear Springs and Dampers

DAP Race Spec Front Springs:

DAP Race Spec Front Springs

DAP Race Spec Front Springs

DAP Race Spec Rear Springs:

DAP Race Spec Rear Springs

DAP Race Spec Rear Springs

Bilstein B8 Front Dampers, which have much thicker struts compared to the factory dampers:

Bilstein B8 Front Dampers

Bilstein B8 Front Dampers

Bilstein B8 Rear Dampers:

Bilstein B8 Rear Dampers

Bilstein B8 Rear Dampers

New Top Mount (Upper Spring Support), Bearing and Rubber Gaitor for the front assembly:

Top Mount, Bearing and Gaiter

Top Mount, Bearing and Gaiter

Front Spring and Damper assembly built up ready to go onto the car, making fitting a simple straight swap:

Front Damper Built Up

Front Damper Built Up

Rear Springs and Dampers fitted:

Rears Fitted

Rears Fitted

Rears Fitted

Rears Fitted

Rears Fitted

Rears Fitted

Front Struts fitted:

Front Strut Fitted

Front Strut Fitted

Front Strut Fitted

Front Strut Fitted

Front Strut Fitted

Front Strut Fitted

Front Eibach Camber Bolts (top), adding some additional negative camber for improved turn in for track use:

Camber Bolt

Camber Bolt

Damper Retaining Clips and new rubber cover:

Strut Top Clips and Cover

Strut Top Clips and Cover

Original plastic covers (top) and new replacement rubber covers (bottom) which seal better:

Damper Covers

Damper Covers

Retaining clips fitted, securing the damper into the suspension turret (covers to be fitted):

Strut Retaining Clips Fitted

Strut Retaining Clips Fitted

Airbag Deletion

With the factory seats removed (they are being replaced with Recaro Pole Position Seats) the side airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners have also been removed (they are part of seat assembly),and so have the curtain airbags. This puts the airbag light on indicating a fault. This requires suitable resistors to be fitted to turn off the airbag warning light on the instrument panel, which would otherwise be an MOT fail.

To turn off the airbag light the circuits in the seat looms need to be bridged. This can either be done by cutting the relevant wires in the looms behind the seat multi plugs and soldering in resistors, or bridge the relevant terminals in the multi plugs. I decided that in case the car is ever returned to standard with the original seats it would be easier to bridge the terminals in the seat multi plugs as they can then simply be removed and the multi plugs reconnected if needed.

Both front seat multi plugs have had the circuits bridged with resistors (the legs have been shaped to push into the terminals securely) and they are sealed in place with a little RTV (which is easily removable should the need arise):

Front Seat Airbag Delete Resistors

Front Seat Airbag Delete Resistors

And then the multi plug is sealed and secured out of the way under the seats:

Seat Multiplug Sealed

Seat Multiplug Sealed

The same has to be done with the curtain airbag plugs. The airbag plug for the curtain airbags is usually located above the B pillar and quite inaccessible, so to make access easier should there be a problem, the loom with the plug has been brought down to the C pillar at the rear and cable tied securely which makes access easier if required:

Curtain Airbag Delete

Curtain Airbag Delete

And heat shrunk neatly, then hidden out of the way behind the C pillar trim:

Curtain Airbag Plug Sealed

Curtain Airbag Plug Sealed

And when checked on Tech2 (Vauxhall Diagnostic Equipment) the airbag circuit shows no faults (0 DTCs). Job done and an MOT Pass:

No Trouble Codes

No Trouble Codes

Interior Strip Out and Preparation.

In preparation for the roll cage fitting, the interior was stripped out to allow removal of the curtain airbags, and for the Recaro Pole Position Front Seats to be fitted.

So to get started the rear side boot trim panels, and quarter panels have been removed. Upon removal a huge amount of Dynamat sound deadening material was found. Adding extra unnecessary weight it all had to go:

Interior Preparation

Interior Preparation

Several hours with a heat gun and scraper (and some sore fingers and blisters) later:

Interior Preparation

Interior Preparation

It started to get cleared out:

Interior Preparation

Interior Preparation

Interior Preparation

Interior Preparation

Looking much better (and lighter!) now:

Interior Preparation

Interior Preparation

The head lining had to be dropped down to remove the curtain airbags and guess what? More Dynamat was revealed. So once the curtain airbags had been unplugged and removed it was onto the dynamat:

Dynamat Removal

Dynamat Removal

Removed after several hours of hard work:

Dynamat Removed from Roof

Dynamat Removed from Roof

And then the headlining could go back in:

Headlining Refitted

Headlining Refitted

Interior trim going back in (to prevent the car from looking ‘half finished’):

Interior going back in

Interior going back in

And this is what came out from behind all the rear panels, under the headlining and the spare wheel well:

Dynamat Removed

Dynamat Removed

Dynamat Removed

Dynamat Removed

Dynamat Removed

Dynamat Removed

Nearly 7.5kgs of Dynamat in total!!

Astra VXR Sprint.....

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