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Interesting question. Post a picture of the expiration/ validation tag. As you do that , look and determine if it is the old or new  SFI tag? There is a difference. The new SFI Tag does not say expired and is not the manufacturers tag but a reference to the manufactured date.  The tags are purchased from SFI by the Manufacturer and they indicate "Validation "date. There are harnesses out there with both the Manufacturers (old style partial tag) and the new SFI tags, but only one manufacturer that I am aware of still adds a manufacturers tag so that the tech folks don't need to be mathematicians to figure out when they were manufactured, thus when the 4, or in the case of SSCC, 5 year expiration rule applies it is easy to know the Manufactured Date as referenced in the RULE BOOK. The rule in the book does not fully describe the issue. Validation is a new word used by SFI. If you go to their web site and read closely, you will find that it is not the harness that is not valid but that the TAGS are not valid . In My Opinion this has been a fraudulent process by the industry/SFI to require new harnesses be purchased every two years. As far as FIA goes, nothing has changed with their testing procedures so for SFI to keep up ,so to speak, they have been walking back the testing procedure they began using. The big boy in the room is FIA which covers world wide racing events. It has been an interesting investigation.  

     Asa,



I previously forwarded this letter to the three Open Road Event's contact people. SORC does not utilize harness date coding. Joe Henderson, one of the BBORR Tech Inspectors  just recently posted a reminder on BBORR Facebook page  how the Harness date codes are to be applied and is the same as referenced in the following letter. SSCC only partially explained how to clarify the dates in their rule book. They refer to the Manufactured Date but not how to determine when that date is based upon the single tag Validation Date.  One person told me after May event that one of the SSCC Techs disallowed his harness  due to Validation dates on the tags just like yours  with a 2020 Validation date. He went to Vegas and purchased new harnesses.  I have adjusted that letter with newer info.  I hope that I am correct or there are going to be many unhappy folks:

                                                                                                                                                      August 1, 2017

To: SSCC, BORR, SORC, MKM

Subject:  Safety Harness System Belts SFI tag changes

During preparations for an upcoming open road race, several racers noticed differences in the SFI tag for the 5 and 6 point safety harness system belts.  Some tags included a manufacture date only.  Some tags include validation verbiage and a manufacture date.  Still others include only a Validation date.  Since the various open road racing sanctioning bodies utilize the manufacture date as a reference point to provide the useful life cycle for the safety harness systems, further research was required.  After verbal communications with Simpson and Crow the following recommendations are made for your review to determine the safety harness system belts useful life cycle reference date:



  1. Original SFI tag—Manufacture date only


Use the manufacture date.  Example: 2 year would be May 2016; 4 year would be May 2018



2.) Separate SFI tag with validation date** with an attached manufacture date tag (Current Crow)



Use the manufacture date.  Crow attaches the manufacture date tag in order to allow various sanctioning bodies to determine the useful life cycle of the safety harness system belts.  

Example: 2 year would be July 2019; 4 year would be July 2021



3.) Single SFI tag with validation date only** (Current TAG)



Current SFI issued tags for safety harness system belts include only a validation date.  Tags will be issued for only 2 months (June and December) plus a year.  Depending on the date of manufacture, the SFI tag with validation date is attached to safety harness system belts that will be between 2 and 2 ½ years old at the time validation date.  Without knowing the exact manufacture date, recommend that that the sanctioning bodies treat the validation date as 2 years from date of manufacture.  Then set the appropriate useful life cycle from that date.

Example: 2 year would be Dec 2019; 4 year would be Dec 2021 : 5 years Dec. 2022



**Both Simpson and Crow said that the expiration dates (useful life cycle) are set by the various sanctioning bodies.  The SFI tags only indicate that the safety harness system belts were manufactured in accordance with SFI standards.  The validation date indicates that after the safety harness system belts are subjected to severe environmental conditions that the safety harness system belts will still maintain structural integrity to the validation date.

***SFI has since changed their wording to indicate that the TAG's not the Harness's is valid for 2 years.



Lanny Lowman

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ASA, the problem with the new validation dates is 2 fold.  1. People easily interrupt it as an expiration date--It is not.  The various sanctioning bodies determines the expiration dates.  SSCC has been doing that for helmets and harnesses.  For the harnesses the manufacture date was used as a reference point to determine age.  2. When most of the harness manufactures only attach the SFI tag with the validation date, that created a problem.  When was the harness manufactured?    The word selection was interesting and when people buy new harnesses before they need to, it has a monetary benefit to the various vendors.  Lanny and I did a ton of research which included direct discussions with Fred Crow.  With the Crow belts, you get a SFI tag with the validation date and a manufacture date tag.   Bottom line--It is real simple for harnesses with only a SFI validation date tag:  Add 3 years to the validation date for a 5 years expiration date.   Use the validation date alone for the 2 year SS and unlimited classes.

Last edited by Ken Rees

Hi Ken,

Thank you for the note, though it comes late.  We've already spent the money and already installed all brand new harnesses, with new SFI tags valid until June 30, 2023.  I just -today- finished installing them, so no returns now (we ordered them prior to Lanny's last post).  Still, I sincerely appreciate the clarification.

I can confirm these were -just- made, so the tag is two years from manufacturing date in this case. Grand Sport rules show harnesses are okay for five years.... so now I understand correctly SSCC will approve these as good until June 30, 2026.  Well, that's nice.   I think I'll put a note on the tag with a sharpie so I don't have this panic again.  Note to self, buy new harnesses before September event in 2026.

I would hate to fail tech and then have to change harnesses in the parking lot. Pain in the rear, especially if your car is a Pantera.    Now I know better.

And now we have a second set of harnesses we can use if needed with another car.  It's a win-win.

Thank you sir,

Asa Jay

I am waiting for the day when 2 people are in line to get inspected with the same validation date tag, but one also has a manufacture date.  The tech inspector fails one and not the other one with the manufacture date tag.  The inspector I had had at the NORC event this May said that my harness had expired because of the validation date.  I pointed to the manufacture date.  I got a puzzled look.  Then I explained that my harnesses were still good and he agreed.  The other thing you can do that may help is to keep your purchase receipt.  Assuming Crow continues to include the manufacture date tag I will continue to purchase their harnesses.  Additionally, they will reweb and recertify your harnesses at a fraction of the cost of new, if they are Crow harnesses.  They moved to Las Vegas from California a couple of years ago because of the unfriendly business climate in CA.   See you in Ely next month.

Hi guys,

When reading the SSCC rule book it says today’s SFI belts are not valid past the manufacturer’s printed tag expiry date.

That SFI date I believe is now 2 years from the manufacturing date/year.

From the 2021 rule book:



C.

A five or six-point safety harness system that includes three-inch (3”) shoulder and lap belts as a minimum (see “Restraint Systems” section, including note on Harness Bars). All belts must be in “as new” condition, no more than five (5) years old from manufacture date or not aged past the manufacturer’s printed expiration period. Exception would be FIA rated belts which may have 5 year expiration by default.



So, reading again exactly what the SSCC rule book says, SFI belts are only good for 2 years, but FIA rated belts may last 5 years.

This is due to the superior polyester webbing of the FIA belts.

What’s your thoughts on the above?

Thanks

What I  believe is that it is time for the officials at SSCC to stepup and either adjust the wording in the rulebook or simply make a statement that the information that Ken and I have presented  is unacceptable and  let the rule book wording remain as is. The message board is not a  good venue to address Rulebook issues in that there a very few folks viewing it.

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