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Watson Roll Bar Question

380
449
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
SoCal
I'm thinking of finally adding a roll bar to my car for added safety. I really like the Watson bolt-in 4 pt. Is their 6 pt worth while for road course driving or is it intended for drag racing?

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62
52
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Boone NC
I put their four point bar in my car this winter. It was a royal pain but I got it done. Really good quality construction and looks great and seems like it would work although I hope I never know for sure.

I think the four point is meant more for dual use cars. It's supposed to be easy to bolt in and out but I'm going to leave mine in. In my mind if you're going to go through the trouble of having a six point cage with a door bar you might as well just go all the way and put a full cage in. I think that door bar would be hard to live with (and maybe even dangerous) in day to day use. It seems like it would be too close to your legs.

I think Watson has a different bar altogether for drag racing but I could be wrong...
 
Door bars like that are for drag racing. If you want real road course protection you need much more substantial ones and it needs to tie into a-pillar bars. Door bars are also a pain in the ass to get in and out of for street use, so if you're going to deal with that hassle might as well make sure they offer substantial protection.

I'm adding a roll bar now as well, think I'm going to go with the one from Competition Motorsports. Check it out, I prefer the design to the WR one.
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,857
4,116
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
I have installed two Watson bars, one in my Boss and one in my 350. Second was much easier because of a better design and experience on my part. If you install your bar, be careful of the brake lines in the rear. The holes are very near the lines. Move or shield before drilling if possible.
 
380
449
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
SoCal
Door bars like that are for drag racing. If you want real road course protection you need much more substantial ones and it needs to tie into a-pillar bars. Door bars are also a pain in the ass to get in and out of for street use, so if you're going to deal with that hassle might as well make sure they offer substantial protection.

I'm adding a roll bar now as well, think I'm going to go with the one from Competition Motorsports. Check it out, I prefer the design to the WR one.
I'm looking at the CM one now...does it not go into the trunk like the Watson one does? That could be nice for added trunk room.
 
380
449
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
SoCal
That's my biggest concern with adding a roll bar as I don't have a truck and trailer and currently bring track wheels/tires with me. I might end up getting one of those tire trailers and installing a hitch on my car.
 
I can't imagine carrying a set of wheels given the gear, food, tools and spares I carry. Most all the guys I track with drive to and from the track on their 100-200TW tires without issue and don't report accelerated wear compared to just driving them on track. This is for tracks up to 3hrs away for most of them. I'll be doing the same whenever my wheels and NT01's show up.
 
814
1,253
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
SoCal
That's my biggest concern with adding a roll bar as I don't have a truck and trailer and currently bring track wheels/tires with me. I might end up getting one of those tire trailers and installing a hitch on my car.
Let’s talk if you decide to go the trailer route - I have some options that could make the step much easier.
 
380
449
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
SoCal
Let’s talk if you decide to go the trailer route - I have some options that could make the step much easier.
I am seriously thinking of going the leroy trailer route. Might be able to make the truck/trailer path work too though. If you have any insight, please let me know 🙏
 
Also remember that trailering is a blessing and a curse. It’s great for all the reasons you imagine, but loading and unloading depending on your trailer and car setup can get old real quick. Becomes a production.
 
380
449
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
SoCal
I can't imagine carrying a set of wheels given the gear, food, tools and spares I carry. Most all the guys I track with drive to and from the track on their 100-200TW tires without issue and don't report accelerated wear compared to just driving them on track. This is for tracks up to 3hrs away for most of them. I'll be doing the same whenever my wheels and NT01's show up.
I enjoy the piece of mind that if I pop a tire or bend a wheel, I can swap them out and still drive home. It's more work but I don't mind it. Plus, once I start using slicks, driving to the track on those is a no-go.
 
108
134
MD
Installed my 4pt watson bar in the driveway over a weekend but I cheated by welding the down bars. Two people would make things significantly easier if drilling and bolting the down bars. The front and rear seats will take up some storage space once out.

Seats, mounts, brackets, sliders, belts, and hardware will add to the bar budget. Seats and belts are significantly more affordable in Europe. I ordered my stuff pre-covid and am on the east coast so shipping was quick and affordable. Not sure what shipping to CA would be. Check demon-tweeks (UK) and murray motorsports (IRL). I ordered from murray motorsports and was very satisfied with the process; again, pre-covid.
 
119
79
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Atlanta, GA
I am also considering the Watson 4 pt roll bar. I’m currently using a Scroth Quick Fit Pro, Hans, and factory seats. My next investment in the car will be for safety. I don’t want to take away from the street ability (not a DD but I enjoy street driving occasionally). Therefore, I’m thinking the Watson bar, 6pt harness, and Ford Performance seats. Any benefits aside from the obvious (roll over protection, harness mounting) with the roll bar? Thanks in advance.
Cheers
 
533
361
sfo
Yes. A 4pt rearcage adds harness bar for better shoulder belt angles and shorter belt paths Increase safety And improved Hans function. Also adds capability of seat back bracing. Stiffer fixed seats with increase containment increase safety. Better seat retention allows you to feel car better with light hands on wheel reduce lap times.
 
62
52
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Boone NC
The safer you are the faster you’ll be because you aren’t preoccupied as much with crashing.

One difference for me though- as long as I have airbags I’m keeping the OEM three point belts. There’s a good Ross Bentley podcast from awhile back where he interviews the engineer that designed the Simpson Hybrid S. (Which I have.) He said that the belts are specifically designed to work together with the airbag and the rest of the car. There is the potential for one to be too tightly restrained with a full harness thus making the airbag ineffectual or even dangerous because it explodes too fast. An interesting topic- I am no engineer but he convinced me!
Good luck with your cage install.
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,510
1,532
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
halfway between Mosport and Shannonville
Buy good racing seats. Not sure what Ford is selling but you really need a good racing seat. If they're just the Recaros similar to what comes on production cars forget it. They were the only option (beside PP1) on my car and it was a waste of money. Once you get up into the 1.5 g range you're going to need good racing seats.
 
434
378
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
I went with the Maximum Motorsports 4 pt bar with welded in harness bar and diagonal. The rear bars mount to the wheel wells, not through the trunk. You can retain the rear seats if you want. I would not sit anyone back there, but the seats maintain more stock look and absorb a lot of road noise. Seats are Cobra Motorsports Imola GT with Schroth Flexi 6 point harnesses. It has been the best money spent of the car for track use. Prior to the seats/harnesses I was coming home from the track with bruised knees from trying to hold myself in place. Now the seats/harnesses hold me in place and I can focus more on driving.
 
119
79
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Atlanta, GA
The safer you are the faster you’ll be because you aren’t preoccupied as much with crashing.

One difference for me though- as long as I have airbags I’m keeping the OEM three point belts. There’s a good Ross Bentley podcast from awhile back where he interviews the engineer that designed the Simpson Hybrid S. (Which I have.) He said that the belts are specifically designed to work together with the airbag and the rest of the car. There is the potential for one to be too tightly restrained with a full harness thus making the airbag ineffectual or even dangerous because it explodes too fast. An interesting topic- I am no engineer but he convinced me!
Good luck with your cage install.
Thank you, I’ll look up that podcast. I listen to Speed Secrets a lot.
 

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