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Old 02-16-2009, 05:10 PM   #1
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street legal vs track car..how far can you go?

Here's a question for the track folks. How far can you go setting your car up for the track and still remain street legal? I do know that every state differs on specifics, but how close can you get?
After welding in a cage, can you lose the door airbags, side windows, and other door weight?
If you install dedicated 5 point or 6 point harnesses can you lose the seat belts?
Any way to lose the front airbags?
How about drilling out the aluminum bumpers beneath the bumper covers?
Are there any restrictions on using fiberglass body panels or doors?
Any other weight loss possibilities? I'm more interested in ideas about this than those for adding HP.

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:29 AM   #2
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Not very far in Calif. 3pt belt is required but you can have a harness as long as it is not used on the street. They get real sticky about roll cage padding in the passenger area. It must pass a certification. Windows are ok for sure. I have been upside down hanging from the straps before so I would keep the stock doors and bumpers for safety reasons. Look at some of the Boxster spec builds to see what they are doing.

You are right that shedding weight is the fast track to performance.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:37 AM   #3
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I guess it depends a lot on the state. What Topless brings up regarding California is new news to me. I've got a gutted track car with full roll cage, six point harness, etc. that I've used as my DD for three years in Cali, but I've got Ohio plates on it. I know in Ohio and Indiana this car was registered with no issues. I seriously doubt, based on what Topless said, I could get it registered in California.

I'd check your state laws, most are available on the Net in pdf format. Download it and have fun reading!

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Old 02-18-2009, 07:04 PM   #4
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All of our race cars are registered in CA. Neither have headlights, wipers, etc. All they care about is smog. My dad rolls in with a 944 spec with bald race tires, gutted, caged, lowered, no windows, etc. But it has the stock motor and once a cat is bolted in, passed smog beautifully.

I registered my 944 race car here in WA. They didn't even look at the car.

Rules vary by state, but other than vinyl on the rear hatch, my 944 has been a race car for a while and no officer has said anything about harnesses and cage and race seats and so on. It depends on how much of a risk taker you are, most places your more likely to catch ya for speeding than mods.

Mind you my 944 had stripes and numbers and so forth.

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Old 02-19-2009, 04:08 AM   #5
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WoW! They would laugh and send you on your way with that 944 in NJ.
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:57 AM   #6
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My guess would be you could do all you mentioned except for ditching the standard three point belt. Multi-point racing harness are technically not legal to run on the street in most states (because most fire rescue are not trained how to release them). I would also guess street legal would include still having all lights, signal indicators and reflectors. It's your insurance company that will gladly charge you more for not having any of the airbags in place.

If you want to DD a gutted, caged car more power to ya! LOL!

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Old 02-19-2009, 04:38 PM   #7
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I actually had to get the car inspected this month, so I asked the fella who did the inspection about a few things. He said he would pass it with the belts removed, but 5 point harnesses installed. His reasoning was that they were actually safer then the belts. As for pulling the airbags, even with a cage, he wasn't so keen. He said not too long ago, another inspector in VA was sued for wrongful death/something-or-other for someone being killed in an accident in a car that had been passed with the airbag light lit.
This car is no daily driver. My real hope is to build it so that I can drive it to the track/AX events (and maybe a few PCA events...and a blast on the back roads now and then) and forgo trailering it everywhere.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:16 PM   #8
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I have a 6-pt cage, but I kept all the airbags in my car. I figure since I drive it on the street, mainly back and forth from the track, it's added precaution when I don't have my harnesses on and it's only 15-20 lbs or so vs potentially preventing serious injury. I also use the 3 pt belts, although technically you shouldn't use 3 pt belts with track seats. I also pulled the rear bumper, but kept the front. I'm thinking about putting the rear bumper back on. If I were trailering the car, the airbags and both bumpers would go, along with the heater and a/c.

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Last edited by heyjae; 02-22-2009 at 08:19 PM.
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