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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Drove down to Portland, Oregon last week and got the rollbar installed! This was purchased on the group buy organized by me on the Solstice Forum and lexpioneer on the Kappa Forum. I choose a metallic silver powder coat color that was very close to the silver on the tulip and windshield frame.

It looks really good and other than my right shoulder touching the center bar slightly, no restrictions to my movements. Seats can be adjusted all the way to the back bulkhead and the seat back can touch the tulip panel. Seatbelts work fine with no restrictions. Shifting is not a problem as long as you don't slam into second and fourth gears with your whole arm and shoulder. I usually flick between gears with my hand and lower arm instead of the whole arm. My head does not touch the rollbar at any time, with or without the helmet on. I am 6’ – 1” 180#.

I’ve driven the car nearly 6 hours (3 ½ hours driving back from Portland and 2 ½ hours around town) since the rollbar was installed and I see no problem or hindrances. Visibility out the back window is also not hindered. Did lose the use of the cup holders and the small storage space on the back panel - waterfall. Getting in and out of the car with the top down is easier since the rollbar can be used as a hand hold. There is no problem putting the top up.

Only difference I’ve experienced so far is with the Windrestrictor not working as effectively as it did before the rollbar install. The rollbar sits higher than the top of the plastic restrictor and seems to hinder the airflow. I seem to be getting more buffeting than before. My imagination? Maybe, but it does seem more turbulent. The Windrestrictor does not match the shape of the rollbar so I will make a new wind restrictor/blocker matching the shape of the rollbar and find some way to mount it to the rollbar without drilling holes in it. I’ve seen convertibles with factory rollbars/hoops utilizing a wind blocker so will see how they mount them.

The SCCA diagonal bar, which I had Rob add to our rollbars looks functional and does not intrude into people space. Rob cleverly bent it to go behind one center bar and welded to the other center bar. I sent pictures of the rollbar to a NW Region SCCA Track Night Tech Inspector and he said it looked good to go.

It took Rob and crew 8 hours to install the bar. The hardest part of the install was drilling the holes through the tunnel for the center bars and fastening the backing plates on the bottom of the center braces. The steel was fairly thick on the sides of the tunnel compared to the sheet metal on the floor. They had to drop the muffler to get the tunnel brace out. I have the DDM Backbone which is 1/2 inch thick so unable to slide it out with the exhaust pipe in the way. If your car has the stock tunnel brace, it is thin enough to slide out without dropping the muffler. There is very little space on one side of the tunnel between the tunnel, driveline and torsion bar to get a hand up there to hold the nuts and backing plate while bolting the center brace bracket to the tunnel. They ended up welding nuts to the backing plate to make installation easier. They will modify all the plates before shipment.

They also ended up taking the rollbar out after the initial install because they couldn't assemble the car’s back panel and interior trim after the rollbar was in.

I think that it will take somewhere between 5 to 8 hours to do the install. As long as you install the rollbar after the back panel and trim pieces are slid between the rear bulkhead and rollbar before tightning down the rollbar bolts. I think maybe that the rollbar could be installed without taking all the back panels out. The only reason they took it out was to notch some of the panels and maybe to make room for drilling the floors. The center console cover needs to come out for mounting the center braces and notched for the center bars.

There were several Solstice rollbars ready for shipping and the rest were at the powder coaters and should be shipped to everyone soon. Rob has two employees only and they seem pretty busy. I saw around 20 orders on the scheduling bulletin board.

















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Guys installing these should sell/trade their uncracked, unmolested center armrest to people with cracked ones. That passenger side bar goes right into the crack zone on my armrest.
 

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That's a good looking setup. Do the forward braces meet the 30° rule? It doesn't look like there is enough angle between the outboard uprights and the inner braces.
 

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Hmmm, it looks like it would be impossible to have aftermarket seats with that roll cage. Just my two cents, but regardless there will be trade-offs no matter what is engineered. It looks great for a stock build!
 

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I guess Im in the minority, I dont care for the look of it. If it had`nt come from a reputable shop like RPM I would question its functionality as well. But, for what you paid, only being a 4 point bolt in, it is certainly budget friendly if you need a bar to track your car.
 

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Ah. My fault

Carry on.
 

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Google 'RPM Solstice rollbar' and you'll get the website with pictures. It's on the wish list for our NA.
 

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has anyone come up with a seat (corbeau, sparco, momo, etc) that will fit after this bar is installed? Seems an odd design to be a track approved bar yet doesn't allow room for a track seat.
 

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I know that for NASA mid-atlantic this design was not approved!

I've got Kirkey Road Race seats under my custom roll bar and they fit with tons of clearance.
 

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Just my $0.02:
FIA 8855-2009 approved seats (I strongly suggest anyone avoid the non-certified ebay special back breaker 1000s) are 99% of the time fixed back, one piece seats that are very compact in seat back depth compared to stock seats. Usually the seat cushion is also smaller. This can allow for you to be able to push the seat further back, and sit down lower inside the vehicle. Of course this isn't always the case, wide fitting seats are difficult in narrow cars (especially with roll bars or cages).

The other aspect to keep in mind with these particular rpm bars: there is no harness bar. I spoke with Rob about adding one when we were doing the "group buy" and he said he could fit one up but it would definitely limit the seating position on the stock seats. I'm getting to the point now where I am considering buying one of Phoenix's old shells with cage because trying to hold myself in the car on track with the 3point belt and stock seats is wearing me out.

I know a lot of people put racing seats in with 3 point belts, but if you are driving your car on track I'd really recommend you consider a 5 point+ harness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Hey lexpioneer, any problems getting the rollbar approved by tech at HPDE?
Buying a dedicated race car already built is a really good idea. The cages really stiffen the chassis. If I were to dedicate more time to HPDE, I'd probably purchase a professionally prepared race car. I find that it's less expensive than to build your own.

I only attnd one or two HPDE events per year and the three organizations, including SCCA, that I do attend, have approved the RPM rollbar. I think the rollbar approval is an individual tech inspector call and since I'm located near Portland, the inspectors all are familiar with RPM rollbars.

Wish I could attend more events but I'm on vaction for 8 to 10 weeks during the summer, when most of these events are held.
 

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Hey lexpioneer, any problems getting the rollbar approved by tech at HPDE?
Buying a dedicated race car already built is a really good idea. The cages really stiffen the chassis. If I were to dedicate more time to HPDE, I'd probably purchase a professionally prepared race car. I find that it's less expensive than to build your own.

I only attnd one or two HPDE events per year and the three organizations, including SCCA, that I do attend, have approved the RPM rollbar. I think the rollbar approval is an individual tech inspector call and since I'm located near Portland, the inspectors all are familiar with RPM rollbars.

Wish I could attend more events but I'm on vaction for 8 to 10 weeks during the summer, when most of these events are held.
I think I can answer for lexpioneer since he is my track buddy. We have had quite a few track battles, and his Solstice GXP is capable of nipping at the tail of my 07 Corvette z51 with him at the wheel.

No, he hasn't had any issue with tech inspection, but the event organizers haven't looked all that close either. Having seen it personally, though, I can't imagine that it wouldn't pass with flying colors at most events. Of course, always see what the requirements are before you go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
"I think I can answer for lexpioneer since he is my track buddy. We have had quite a few track battles, and his Solstice GXP is capable of nipping at the tail of my 07 Corvette z51 with him at the wheel."

That's great, glad to hear how the GXP compares to other cars.

I'm at the point where I attend occasional HPDE events as time permits. I don't think I'll be able to drive as well as you guys or most of the other dedicated HPDE attendees. I also am beginning to think that my racing success in the 60's - 70's was more because of my wrenching abilities than driving skill. Or as one ages, we're not as sharp as when we were young........................noooooooo.
 

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Syjos - STIC5 is right, I haven't had any issues with the local HPDE groups. That being said I have not signed up with NASA or SCCA in my region. I think the biggest test in our area would VIR as they have more stringent rules regarding convertibles.

I'm at the point where I attend occasional HPDE events as time permits. I don't think I'll be able to drive as well as you guys or most of the other dedicated HPDE attendees. I also am beginning to think that my racing success in the 60's - 70's was more because of my wrenching abilities than driving skill. Or as one ages, we're not as sharp as when we were young........................noooooooo.
I'm glad you are getting to enjoy your car on track without issues though. I'm sure you are being a little hard on yourself. Honestly setting up the solstice for a track alignment is probably the biggest advantage my car has. Dial in front and rear camber, a little toe, and you'll gain more grip in the corners, more confidence and push the car harder.

STIC5 is over selling my capabilities at the moment, he has been trying to get me to get a trifecta tune so we can have some better battles. Our local track has 3 straightaways where my stock gxp is over 110 mph - and I promise you his c6 vette is going much, much faster on them. He just has too much self-preservation in the corners (for the time being).
 

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Syjos - STIC5 is right, I haven't had any issues with the local HPDE groups. That being said I have not signed up with NASA or SCCA in my region. I think the biggest test in our area would VIR as they have more stringent rules regarding convertibles.



I'm glad you are getting to enjoy your car on track without issues though. I'm sure you are being a little hard on yourself. Honestly setting up the solstice for a track alignment is probably the biggest advantage my car has. Dial in front and rear camber, a little toe, and you'll gain more grip in the corners, more confidence and push the car harder.

STIC5 is over selling my capabilities at the moment, he has been trying to get me to get a trifecta tune so we can have some better battles. Our local track has 3 straightaways where my stock gxp is over 110 mph - and I promise you his c6 vette is going much, much faster on them. He just has too much self-preservation in the corners (for the time being).
NASA Mid-Atlantic is *strict*! SCCA, less so...the SCCA Track Night events will let you run without a rollbar entirely.
 
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