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Seat Bolts

Regarding the article on fitting new seats to old cars I found it to be very good about how to go about checking for correct position etc. But I did think that your recommendation to fit high tensile fasteners to restrain the seats may be not the whole story.

When building my Cobra kit car we had to do quite a bit of work in regards to making sure the seats and seatbelt mounting points were compliant with ADR's of the time. From memory, the engineer that I used (BC Tonkin) said to me specifically that bolts for attaching restraining systems are not supposed to be high tensile to allow for deformation during a crash. If the fasteners used were high tensile, which although they are a higher 'strength' fastener, during failure they tend to fail catastrophically - as in, shear off completely. Whereas 'normal' mud metal bolts tend to yield and with some residual capacity to hold the seat/seatbelt in place.

Musing to myself after reading your article and looking at the requirement as a failure mode analysis, it also could be related to what the bolts were attached to. Is the attaching structure overly strong, meaning deformation loads are carried by the fastener, or is the structure deformable with the bolts transferring load to the structure with no deformation themselves.

I suspect that as my Cobra kit car had a very strong chassis with no deformable structure in the attaching areas for the seats and seatbelt mounting points, the bolts needed to be able to yield without failure. A more modern vehicle may use high tension fasteners with a deformable structure to get around the same requirement.

I think that for the story it may be better to recommend the existing fasteners be re-used as long as they are in a suitable condition. But then I suppose you get into arguments about how well engineered are the seats, mass of the new/old seats etc. Which is starting to bring back memories about arguments/ discussions I had with the engineer about what I thought were insignificant details but if I didn't comply he wouldn't sign off on the vehicle.

Darren Roles

We’ve seen plenty of hardware store bolts so weak that just torquing them up normally resulted in failure...

Programmable Ignition

Here's a link for Julian (electric recumbent bike with suspension thesis) Keep up the great and original articles. Will you be doing an article on the new Silicon Chip programmable ignition? I plan to use it in conjunction with the DFA I already have fitted to my car.

Julian Kenny

We haven’t yet decided whether or not to cover the Silicon Chip programmable ignition – as it works only on cars with single coil ignitions, we’re doubtful. (And that link is to a very interesting machine!)

Missed It

The Chrysler Turbine Car article was good fun, it would have been better if you mentioned that Rover had a road-going (prototype) Turbine Car 13 years before, and they even took a couple to Le Mans in the late '50's with BRM. I seem to remember that one even finished in the top 10, but I could be mistaken on that.

Blair Coull

Old Car Crashworthiness

One issue that may not have been covered yet is modifying vehicles (most likely older vehicles) for increased crash safety.  I thought of the idea during compliancing for a 15 y.o grey import, in which additional side intrusion bars were retro-fitted to a coupe.  Many of the chassis modifications are focussed on improving torsional rigidity, so as to assist cornering etc, however it may be interesting to explore ways that impact resistance could be increased.  For example, I am currently restoring a 1976 260z 2-seater, and although the car is structurally in as good condition as when built, I suspect it would get shredded like a tin can in an altercation with some of the SUV's that people are getting around in nowadays.


We don’t believe that such improvements are easily made without making major changes like fitting a roll cage.

CB through Stereo

I read this article and loved it - In Car Electronics Tech Tips. I had one question for anybody knowledgeable.  I am on the pursuit of buying a CB system to put in my car.  My car is a new one that has an extra Auxiliary In to use with MP3 players, CD players, etc. Can I use the external speaker connection on the CB to directly connect it to my stereo system via the Auxiliary In to use the car speakers as an external speaker for the CB?

United States

That could be done with a speaker to line level converter but you’d then have to have the sound system permanently set to the aux input to hear the CB.

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