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Thread: Firewall integrated wth the seat - allowed or not?

  1. #1

    Question Firewall integrated wth the seat - allowed or not?

    I'm Konrad Nakonieczny, form Polish AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków. I'm working in AGH Racing team on cockpit and safety issues, and i found this forum to be very useful, yet we still have many problems that are not addressed here. We could use some help with those issues, and maybe with time I'll get some experience to help others as well
    (I'm new not only to the forum, but also to my team)

    Here's our main problem:
    As for current rules, it does not specify that firewall and seat have to be separate.

    There are some restrictions however, for example regarding the lack of holes for seatbelts etc.
    Can someone please (the best would be for a referee to do this officialy please) confirm that seat and firewall can be integrated into one object in compliance with current rules?
    Some posts on this forum imply that it was allowed several years ago, but was meant to be indirectly forbidden in later seasons.
    (by means of implementing regulations regarding lack of holes and openings, protection of the driver etc)

    So, if we can assure proper protection of the driver and make a seat with firewall without holes for seat belts,
    would it be allowed or not?

    If so, then additional question:
    Can this installation be moved during cockpit opening template insertion test?
    (Seat can be moved or taken out while firewall cannot, but when two merge together which one of these options applies to this?)

    Thanks,
    Konrad
    Last edited by KonradNakonieczny; 12-13-2014 at 11:25 AM. Reason: Added Introduction

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Konrad, it is good manners to introduce yourself and your team when joining this community.

    You will not get a definitive answer to your question on this forum as no one is qualified to answer here.
    Your best course of action is to ask directly to the Rules group at the event you intend to enter.
    It is possible that there may be slightly different interpretations between different events, but generally, if something is approved at one event, that approval will be respected at other events.

    Pat Clarke
    The trick is... There is no trick

  3. #3
    Aww, my bad, I'll correct it to be a proper introducing thread
    Thanks for the guidlines,

    Konrad

  4. #4
    Konrad,

    Our team struggled with this as well. I suggest that you list every rule which applies to the seat or firewall, and start from there. You will notice many requirements that your seat would have to fulfill - some that tech inspectors can see visually, and some otherwise. In the end, you may choose a route based on risk. Is it worth an extra 2-5 lb to ensure that you'll pass tech inspection and keep the driver from hot pipes and fluids? That is up to you..

    But as Pat said, to be 100% sure, you must submit a question to the rules committee at fsaeonline.

    Good luck.

    (edit: freakin typo!)

  5. #5
    I would say that you can integrate the firewall and the seat together, and I don't think there is a rule that disallows it directly. However it maybe hard to do, complying to all the seat, and firewall rules. It it may require the seat/firewall to be made of a few parts, and may come down to what parts you decide to call the "seat" or the "firewall".

    See the video on youtube called: FSG-podcast 2014 - E04 - Percy
    and others. From this I would say if the seat forms part of the firewall, it has to remain for the cockpit template. If the seat is separate from the firewall, it can be removed for the template.
    University of Tasmania (UTAS)

  6. #6
    Konrad,
    The rules do not specifically forbid using the seat as a firewall. However, they are written to make it difficult, on purpose.

    Rule T4.5.3 says "...there can be no holes in a firewall through which sat belts pass." And T5.2.3 which says "Harnesses, belts and straps must not pass through a firewall, i.e. all harness attachment points must be on the driver's side of any firewall".

    The other rule you need to watch if trying to use the seat as a firewall is T4.3.2, which was written in an effort to prevent driver's getting burned or scalded from the engine exhaust or hot coolant, as happened in Australia a few years ago. One of the best ways of cutting down heat transfer is by air gap heat shields. And having a separate firewall and seat with an air gap between the two helps in this regard.

    And Johnny is correct, if you use the seat as firewall, you cannot remove it to meet the Cockpit Opening Template check T4.1!

    Michael Royce.

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