RPM Rollbar install - Page 7 - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #91 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Bridgeport? I'm jealous. I have a DIY CNC mill and router. I can cut AL, but steel is out of the question.

What year RX-7? I've had a few.

How do you like the seat?

Blue-ish 2006 2.4, Werks stage 1 turbo, Borla cat-back, DDM braces, Spec aluminum flywheel, Spec stage 2 clutch, Werks aluminum radiator, some gauges, RKSport hood, Morimoto FX-Rs, GReddy Profec, Norm's fenders

'07 GXP, Werks Big Wheel K04 and tune, Solo catless downpipe, TCE Wilwood 6 piston front brakes, 4-piston rears , stainless brake lines, slotted/drilled rotors, BC Racing BR coilovers, Performance Autowerks intercooler, DDMWorks CAI, charge pipes and braces, RPM rollbar
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post #92 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 04:07 PM
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post #93 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 06:18 PM
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Rx7 was a 1984 GSL-SE. It was my track car I put together 10 years ago...and a dandy one at that. All I ever did to that thing was replace tires and brake pads. Sold it last year and started this project. NOT A GOOD FISCAL CHOICE as this project is WAY over budget, but I am hopeful it pans out in the long run. This car has had horrible ownership. I am hoping things are sorted before getting on the track as I have been very spoiled with the last car.

Bridgeport was your typical "this is too worn out for precision work and will cost too much to rebuild so lets sell it", but it is just fine for garage work..... we're not building space shuttles here :-)

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post #94 of 110 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gzfqy6 View Post
Rx7 was a 1984 GSL-SE.
Bridgeport was your typical "this is too worn out for precision work and will cost too much to rebuild so lets sell it", but it is just fine for garage work..... we're not building space shuttles here :-)
Nice. The first gens can be really great cars as long as you find one that hasn't been "upgraded." I've seen too many with coffee can-sized exhaust tips and shopping cart spoilers.

I had an '86, two '87s, an '88 Turbo II and, my favorite, a '93 R1. The third gen was a ton of fun.

My CNC mill is pretty small and, like all DIY CNC widgets, a little finicky. But, it works well enough for most things. The router is too big for my shop (1250mm x 1000mm cutting area) but it comes in handy from time to time.

Back on the roll bar:

For anyone that has a bunch of threads sticking out of the bottom of the outside backing plates, I'd recommend either getting shorter bolts or trimming them down a bit. I discovered a few days ago that I can't easily go through one of those tunnel car washes that pulls the car through. It doesn't help that my car is lowered about 1.5".
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Blue-ish 2006 2.4, Werks stage 1 turbo, Borla cat-back, DDM braces, Spec aluminum flywheel, Spec stage 2 clutch, Werks aluminum radiator, some gauges, RKSport hood, Morimoto FX-Rs, GReddy Profec, Norm's fenders

'07 GXP, Werks Big Wheel K04 and tune, Solo catless downpipe, TCE Wilwood 6 piston front brakes, 4-piston rears , stainless brake lines, slotted/drilled rotors, BC Racing BR coilovers, Performance Autowerks intercooler, DDMWorks CAI, charge pipes and braces, RPM rollbar
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post #95 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 08:18 AM
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Bridgeport? I'm jealous. I have a DIY CNC mill and router. I can cut AL, but steel is out of the question.

What year RX-7? I've had a few.

How do you like the seat?


OOPS... sorry raygun. The seat seems ok. The car is far from driving so really no practical observation. It does have a pad kit, but for me the the form is more important than the padding. I mean I haven't had a new car that didn't give me a back ache since my 1980 Triumph . I really wished I could have used the Corbeau A4.... I am a real fan.

.... on another note... What is the deal with the backing plates for these bars being drilled off location? Seems everyone so far has found the same thing. Apparently they have one guy drill the roll bar plate with a drill press then a day later they have someone else drill the backing plate with a hand drill with their eyes closed. I had a couple holes 1/4" off. Seems odd for a reputable source.

haven't had much more time to dink around with the car, but I believe I have the harness bar worked out. I'll try and get it tacked in tonight.
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post #96 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gzfqy6 View Post
What is the deal with the backing plates for these bars being drilled off location? Seems everyone so far has found the same thing. Apparently they have one guy drill the roll bar plate with a drill press then a day later they have someone else drill the backing plate with a hand drill with their eyes closed. I had a couple holes 1/4" off. Seems odd for a reputable source.
I've heard that from a few people. I guess I was just lucky - everything lined right up.

Now, I did notice one thing that might help others. When we attached the transmission tunnel backing plates, I mistakenly drilled all of the holes for both sides (by drilling through the holes in the bar feet) at once. When we tightened down the first side, it pulled the bar down a little more, which caused the freshly-drilled holes on the other side to be off by a small amount. It was easy to fix - I just re-drilled, effectively making the holes a little larger - but the problem could've been avoided by drilling and bolting one side before drilling the other side. I also sprayed some paint around the drilled holes to (hopefully) inhibit rust.

For my plates, I noticed that the hole spacing was not identical between sides, but they did match the bar. (That is, each plate matched a specific side / foot of the bar but were not interchangeable between sides.)

The only manufacturing issue I had was the tab on the driver's side tunnel foot that interfered with the ~1/2" raised section around the e-brake assembly. (I posted a picture of that earlier in the thread.) A cutoff wheel made short work of that.

If you need to make another plate due to holes not lining up, and don't have a welder, the nuts could be attached with epoxy or JB weld or, if you're careful, even hot glue. They're just on there to address the limited space in the tunnel due to the torque arm.

I'd love to see what you do with the harness bar.

Just out of curiosity, how tall are you? I'm 5'9, longer in legs than torso, and I'm having trouble imagining a bar configuration that would allow sufficient seat travel. Of course, if I was really serious, I could have just ditched the big back plastic panel and freed up all kinds of room. If one were creative, that would also let the bar sit another few inches back, nearly flush against the bulkhead. It should be possible to modify the rear panel to allow that, also, but I'm not the greatest at calculating intersections of angled cylinders with curved surfaces, so I just skipped that.

I could've bought a Miata. Everything is cheaper from tires and brakes to roll bars and engine swaps, and everything has been done a thousand times and documented.

Blue-ish 2006 2.4, Werks stage 1 turbo, Borla cat-back, DDM braces, Spec aluminum flywheel, Spec stage 2 clutch, Werks aluminum radiator, some gauges, RKSport hood, Morimoto FX-Rs, GReddy Profec, Norm's fenders

'07 GXP, Werks Big Wheel K04 and tune, Solo catless downpipe, TCE Wilwood 6 piston front brakes, 4-piston rears , stainless brake lines, slotted/drilled rotors, BC Racing BR coilovers, Performance Autowerks intercooler, DDMWorks CAI, charge pipes and braces, RPM rollbar
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post #97 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 09:38 AM
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................. Of course, if I was really serious, I could have just ditched the big back plastic panel and freed up all kinds of room. If one were creative, that would also let the bar sit another few inches back, nearly flush against the bulkhead. It should be possible to modify the rear panel to allow that, also, but I'm not the greatest at calculating intersections of angled cylinders with curved surfaces, so I just skipped that.
Somewhere on this forum is a thread that describes that very thing. The bar is against the bulkhead and the panel is scalloped around all of the tubes. Not attractive to my eye, but effective.
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I could've bought a Miata. Everything is cheaper from tires and brakes to roll bars and engine swaps, and everything has been done a thousand times and documented.
Precisely the reason to not do that.
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post #98 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 08:56 PM
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I'd love to see what you do with the harness bar.
Just out of curiosity, how tall are you? I'm 5'9, longer in legs than torso, and I'm having trouble imagining a bar configuration that would allow sufficient seat travel. Of course, if I was really serious, I could have just ditched the big back plastic panel and freed up all kinds of room. If one were creative, that would also let the bar sit another few inches back, nearly flush against the bulkhead. It should be possible to modify the rear panel to allow that, also, but I'm not the greatest at calculating intersections of angled cylinders with curved surfaces, so I just skipped that.

I could've bought a Miata. Everything is cheaper from tires and brakes to roll bars and engine swaps, and everything has been done a thousand times and documented.
It's all in the seat. I'm 6', 32" inseam. For me the stock seat needs to be all the way against the bulkhead and still isn't all that comfortable. With the seat I am using if all the way back, I would not be able to even touch the pedals. If I had the luxury of my own tube bender to putter with I would have had a good 6-8" from the seat back to the bar without hacking the trim panel. As is I have around 4". It does have to be a removable design as there would be no way to get the roll bar out..... which I guess is not necessary, but desirable for me. I did get it tacked in tonight, but the pic isn't a very good angle.

ahh.... the old Miata reference. Always shared by those of us with good taste........but little common sense
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post #99 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 09:07 PM
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It's all in the seat. I'm 6', 32" inseam. For me the stock seat needs to be all the way against the bulkhead and still isn't all that comfortable. ........
Strange. I am 5'-10" with a 34" inseam and keep the seat about 6" from the bulkhead at the bottom, but against it at the headrest and find it quite comfortable.

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post #100 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 10:20 PM
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I'm 6'-0" 33 inseam, 175#

I have the stock seat, with height adjustment, about 1" from the back of the cockpit. If I have the seat all the way back, the back of the seat squeaks against the back panel. I have plenty of leg room.

As for the quality issues at RPM.

I spent over 12 hours st RPM over the course of two days separated by a month when I was down at Portland letting RPM use my GXP to test fit the Solstice SCCA rollbar. I needed SCCA approval for HPDE and the first RPM rollbar did not have the diagonal bar which SCCA required.

Three years ago Rob the owner and two employees were building and installing rollbars. Rob did not delegate so he was the bottle neck. Many times when Rob answered the phone, the two employees stopped work to wait since Rob had to be involved.

Rob's wife? came in for a few hours and answered the phone, but Rob was in the office with her when she was there. The two guys continued working but kept getting Rob to look at something or make a decision.

During some periods, one of the employees was bending pipes for another bar at the other side of the large shop. About every 20 minutes, the employee working on my bar would ask the pipe bender for a hand and the bender would walk over. He get's back to his bending and because he was distracted, makes mistakes. Rob spots the mistake and all three are engagged in discussion.

I've said it before but Rob is one of these craftsmen types who is great at creating and building things but stink as a manager. They don't make enough money to hire a professional.

When I was there, they had just received an order from Chrysler for 200 Dodge Demon NHRA rollbars to meet the NHRA 10 second rule.
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post #101 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 09:20 PM
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[QUOTE=gzfqy6;2191781]It's all in the seat. I'm 6', 32" inseam. For me the stock seat needs to be all the way against the bulkhead and still isn't all that comfortable. With the seat I am using if all the way back, I would not be able to even touch the pedals. If I had the luxury of my own tube bender to putter with I would have had a good 6-8" from the seat back to the bar without hacking the trim panel. As is I have around 4". It does have to be a removable design as there would be no way to get the roll bar out..... which I guess is not necessary, but desirable for me. I did get it tacked in tonight, but the pic isn't a very good angle.



Well let's see if I can type after that knuckle busting mounting of the tunnel backing plates..... yikes!!!! Now that's something I don't want to do again

I'm afraid I was a bit guilty of some fisherman exaggeration. If bar was all the way to the bulkhead there would be around 5.5" to the seat. As is ...3". In any case there is room for a harness slide bar behind the seat without hitting my head which is all I needed. If for some reason my legs grow and I need to move the seat back I can make another bar giving more clearance (reason for removable bar). So far project is going as planned.

Some observations.... If I knew I was going this route for harness attachment I would have ordered the roll bar bare so I could just powdercoat the whole thing after welding. If I knew the seat did not have to be so low I would have ordered slide adjusters.
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post #102 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 07:38 AM
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[quote=gzfqy6;2192585]
Quote:
Originally Posted by gzfqy6 View Post
It's all in the seat. I'm 6', 32" inseam. For me the stock seat needs to be all the way against the bulkhead and still isn't all that comfortable. ........
You have replaced the seat so it doesn't matter now, but my legs are 2" longer than yours and I keep the stock seat 6" away from the bulkhead at the bottom and touching it at the top. The design of the seat cushion makes it much more comfortable for me to have my knees bent rather more than normal.

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post #103 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Looks great! I'm impressed.

I've been meaning to learn to weld. For the past 20 years.

Blue-ish 2006 2.4, Werks stage 1 turbo, Borla cat-back, DDM braces, Spec aluminum flywheel, Spec stage 2 clutch, Werks aluminum radiator, some gauges, RKSport hood, Morimoto FX-Rs, GReddy Profec, Norm's fenders

'07 GXP, Werks Big Wheel K04 and tune, Solo catless downpipe, TCE Wilwood 6 piston front brakes, 4-piston rears , stainless brake lines, slotted/drilled rotors, BC Racing BR coilovers, Performance Autowerks intercooler, DDMWorks CAI, charge pipes and braces, RPM rollbar
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post #104 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 11:58 AM
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Looks great! I'm impressed.

I've been meaning to learn to weld. For the past 20 years.
my sticking things together should never be misconstrued as welding..... notice no close up pics :-)
Next challenge: how to get that console cover on without it looking like it was done with a hammer & chisel.
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post #105 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 06:33 PM
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update: Console cover.

As most of my work, ok but could be better. In this case if I would have shifted my cut-outs 1/8" toward the front it would look a bit better. I put some windlace on the carpet to try and make it look a little more finished, but in the end it looks just like what it is..... a butchered trim panel to go around a pipe that doesn't belong there. I had to remove parking brake to get cover between pipes then reinstall parking brake before snapping down cover. I hope you guys have better luck.
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