According to the authorities at SFI, (http://www.sfifoundation.com/seatbelt.html) seat belts should be maintained, inspected, and replaced or re-webbed every 2 years. The 2 year life is crucial as the belts degrade as they are subjected to the elements over time. To put this into perspective, the folowing is a percentage of strength maintained by Nylon 6.6 webbing at specific time intervals over a 24 month exposure to the outdoors:
–6 Months exposure 70% strength
–12 Months exposure 50% strength
–18 Months exposure 22% strength
–24 Months exposure 18% strength
The most important part of the 16.1 specification is that the webbing used in the restraints must not exceed 2 years and they must be replaced at or before that time. With only a 2 year life on racing restrains, it’s great to know that companies like Simpson, Impact and Crow are doing their best to help mitigate the cost of replacing restraints every 2 years. No matter what belts you are using, if they are past their two year mark, all three companies offer a trade in policy on used belts in exchange for a discount on new belts. Some offer a service to re-web and re-certify your existing belts. Today, we’ll take a look at how you can utilize the specific offers by these three companies.
Simpson Racing Restraints
Simpson doesn’t publish a re-certification or exchange program online. But after talking with Simpson customer sales support, Simpson offers a exchange policy on both Simpson branded belts as well as competitor belts. Simpson does not offer a re-certification of your old belts. In order to receive a 20% discount on a new set of belts, Simpson requires that you send 1 of the 3 SFI labels from your expired belts to Simpson HQ. To trade in competitors belts, they require that all 3 SFI tags are sent to Simpson HQ along with the competitor belt logo. This can be done in one of two ways:
1) You can send your order request to Simpson HQ (by snail mail) along with the required SFI tags from your old belts to Customer Sales. Include your name, address, phone number, and the restraint system you would like to purchase. Customer Sales will contact you for your Credit Card number over the phone and apply the 20% discount.
2) If you’ve already placed and received a new order, send a copy of your packaging list including the new belt system, (received with your order) along with the required SFI tags to Customer Sales and they will credit your payment method with the 20% savings.
The address to send the above to is:
328 FM 306
New Braunfels, TX 78130
SIMPSON FACTORY STORE, NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS
Crow Safety Gear
If you’re one of the many racers using Crow Safety Gear, Crow offers a re-certification of your old belts. Although only offered on Crow branded belts, you can get your SFI 6.1 belts re-webbed for only $50, for a Latch & Link or Kam Lock system. Just fill out their downloadable pdf form at http://www.crowenterprizes.com/Pages/Recert.html and mail it, along with your belts, to the address found on the download page.
Impact Racing Restraints
Impact Racing offers to re-web your Impact branded belts, and also offers a trade in policy for competitor belts. Although Impact doesn’t publish their discounts, Impact does mention that anchor hardware is sold separately for competitor trade ins. More information can be found at http://www.impactraceproducts.com/Articles.asp?ID=238.
Seat belts are the first protection for a race driver in an accident. It’s defiantly surprising how quickly the nylon 6-6 webbing degrades when exposed to the elements. This is even more important for those who store their cars outdoors or in direct sunlight. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your belts are OK just because they haven’t been used much or they have been stored indoors. These offers are available to help all of us stay safe behind the wheel of our race cars. I’m sure other racing restraint companies offer the same services. If they don’t list them on their website, be sure to call and ask for more details.