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mmastro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Arm restraints: how do they work?

I'm puzzled.....
How are arm restraints hooked up? How are they supposed to work? Are they to be used in conjunction with or separately from a window net?
Cheers,
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Last edited by mmastro; 06-23-2007 at 03:56 PM..
Old 06-23-2007, 03:51 PM
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mandated for cabs. a strap w/a "D" ring attaches to your crotch strap. both arm pieces have velcro straps for wimpy arm sizes up to "HE-MAN" arm sizes. adjust velcro so they are snug. after a few laps your biceps will "pump up" from sheer TERROR and you will figure out if they were put on too tight!

i like to position them just above my elbow. too tight not good.

too loose=not good, as they will migrate down your arm.

once you get hang of it you wont even notice them.
Old 06-23-2007, 05:41 PM
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They work by keeping your arms from flailing out the windows in the event of a crash...
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:27 PM
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Porsche Crest

The purpose of these is to keep your hands from being flung above the roll cage in an open car, there to be crushed when the roll cage is called upon to do its proper duty.

The window net will keep your hands from sneaking outside that opening, but it does a lot more - it restricts your head from moving too far to that side. It is not so much to keep your head from being mangled as from being damaged due to hyperextension of the neck. Which is why arm restraints are really not a substitute for a window net in that direction.

I hook mine up with the O rings around the tang on the shoulder strap attachment just before I put it into the central locking device of the belt system. With the latch lock system it doesn't matter much what order you put them on.

I've not thought to try hooking both onto the one crotch strap tang. Seems that might get things too close to the latch/release mechanism. I've caught a glove in the release of one of the belt latch types I used, which led me to saw off part of the unlatch bit to avoid than in future. And to favor a twist-lock system over any kind of lever.

Mine have snap hooks connecting the strap to the arm piece, where a D ring resides for this purpose. So I can 1) put on the whole assembly and hook everything up at once - belts and restraints, or 2) hook up the strap only when hooking up the belts, and then later snap the strap to the arm band, or 3) hook up the straps while attached to the arm band, but not on my arms yet, then later slide the arm bands on over my hands and up my arms.

Mine do not use velcro. I'm a bit leery of velcro for a stressed application, though I have no data (and it worked on my windsurfing harness). They are adjusted with double rings like a helmet strap. But once set they seem to stay put.

With the advent of the HANS into my track life, I have taken to using method 3, because I can't look at anything any more. So it is lap belts, HANS, helmet, shoulder straps with arm restraints, tighten for first time, then arm restraints, and finally gloves. (sun glasses and balaclava are in the mix as well). With method 2 I sometimes forgot the snap strap to band part of the procedure. Method 1 is too restrictive for my taste.

Note that some racers (world of outlaws types, maybe?) run with the straps on their wrists. And those guys really know about the effects of centrifugal forces. But I use the above the elbow location.

Adjust length so you can shift into 5th (or whatever is farthest right and forward this side of the pond) without constraint.

And I agree - you'll soon forget you have them on. At least if you attached the right side strap to the right side shoulder insertion tang, and left to left. And you get so used to them you may not notice you forgot to hook them up.

Walt Fricke
Old 06-23-2007, 10:30 PM
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POC requires one (left arm). I use one from Crow Enterprizes, and put the sub strap through the loop. The arm portion tightens by a D loop. Like Charles I run it just above the elbow, with enough slack so I can steer, but not enough to get my whole hand outside the window. Once I go to a full cage I'll likely switch to window nets, but you do get used to them. Just part of the ritual getting ready.
Old 06-23-2007, 11:03 PM
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they are not something you adjust once and then forget. each time you use them you must adjust them. you cant take them on and off your suit is what im saying. bend your arm, wrap above elbow snuggly and then flex arm out.

cannot move below elbow, no matter what. i think MS is the mfg. of these. my round sparco release system is a rotate syle to release, not a button. "D" ring attaches to sub-belt and off you go .

but my first time out with them they slipped down below elbow and made for some anxious moments/awkward steering wheel inputs. until i had adjustment correct.
Old 06-24-2007, 04:19 AM
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I have worn them for about 7 years now. They are meant to go on your forearms. That way you get the full effect. I wear them under my elbows. There is no way I can extend my arm out the windows, and I can reach everything I need to in the car. I forget they are there while I am racing.

http://www.safequipracingproducts.com/arm_restraints.htm

www.racerwholesale.com/forms/armrestraintinstructions.pdf

I know Crow says to wear above the elbow.... but they cant explain where they found that info, or if they tested it. Everyone else says on the forearm..... That makes the most sense.
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Last edited by Plavan; 06-24-2007 at 07:36 AM..
Old 06-24-2007, 07:11 AM
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Thank you all for the great responses. !

The reason I asked was because when I take the next step and enter the Time Trials w/ the POC, they require window nets OR arm restraints in the V class of cars. That's where my confusion started. I had the idea that they did separate jobs for the safety of the driver, and it seems, by most of your responses, that is indeed the case.
Thanks!
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:17 AM
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Arm restraints are not expensive, and don't restrain you from doing anything you should be doing whilst on track.

They do add some time and complication to the ritual on the grid, but so do window nets, balaclavas, cool suits, the HANS, and various other things. Even seat belts - you just got it all hooked up, and notice your helmet is still on a hook over out of reach. One more thing to get used to.

The pros often have the arm cuff part sewn into their driver's suit. That would cut down on the fuss some, and I can't quite explain why I have never gotten around to doing that (other than not being a pro), as I have been using arm restraints ever since I got my open car in 1994.

If the POC only requires one for the left arm, why not just wear both?

Walt
Old 06-25-2007, 08:53 AM
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I was at a race recently where one car rode up over another on the left side from behind, the right front wheel was pushing against the driver's window net during this slow motion crash. My car is a DE car and I just got arm restraints due to open window rules but that got me thinking about a window net in addition as a protection against objects intruding into the cockpit.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:51 PM
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