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  1. #1
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Rollbar Debate: BBFW NB SD, ZerekFab SD, Hard Dog M2...

    Back when I put a roll bar in my 1991 BRG, Blackbird Fabworx pricing was different. Combine that with the fact that the plastic rear window was in great shape and I could use a NA type bar without the big full-width harness bar, and it was a logical choice for me.

    DSCN2222.jpg

    I'm now back in the market for a bar for my 1991 B package car, and having a more difficult time. See, my new car is going to have a glass window top, and there are two things about BBFW's NB bars that bother me... 1.) Price: almost $1400 delivered. 2.) The full-wrap harness bar that goes behind the seats.

    What I'm looking for:
    • Hardtop & glass window compatible.
    • Stock HT latch compatible.
    • Corner-to-corner single diagonal for weight, aesthetic, and visibility.
    • 1.75" tubing (Mainly for aesthetic, partly for safety).
    • Smooth, safe, seat belt retractors (if possible).


    I've reached out to Tom at Bethania Garage (Hard Dog Fabrication) and he has explained why their diagonals are at the angles they are... for safety. He also stated that a bar without diagonals would be an option for increased visibility... which is kind of conflicting. Trouble is, I really LIKE the single diagonal when it goes from corner to corner, like I had previously. But the M2HCHT is kind of the standard bar, and pricing is reasonable.

    NB2_3.jpg

    Zerek Fabrication offers a single diagonal in 1.75" tubing, and claims the lightest bar on the market (not sure that's a good thing) with no mention of wall-thickness. Their seat belt mechanisms make me squeamish (aluminum with a slot, seems not-so-safe in more than one way). But the design of the bar appeals to me, and they also offer a really neat clear-coated raw option. Picture this minus the second diagonal and gussets.

    ZerekFab XTreme.jpg

    Anyone running a Zerek bar? I haven't reached out about shipping cost yet, but coming from CA, I assume it would split the difference in total cost between the HD M2 and the BBFW SD.

    I might also call Tom at Bethania back and ask that they go ahead and do a single diagonal, pointing to the fact that both of his competitors offer that design... he did say "they would work with me".

    Thoughts? Feedback on any of the designs mentioned above?

    Thanks,

    -Matt

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    Greasemonkey2000 (11-29-2018)

  3. #2
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    https://revlimiter.net/blog/2015/01/...llbar-install/

    ...then I re-read this, and think of all the other things I'm spending money on for this car.

    *sigh*

    -Matt

  4. #3
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! bogaut's Avatar
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    the welds on the bbfw are not very pretty if thats something that you want to consider

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    MLambert19 (11-29-2018)

  6. #4
    Admin / Pit Boss / Miataholic Phatmiata's Avatar
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    Sorry who the heck is Zerek, never heard of them? Is this the same company that took everyones money for a CF hardtop and then never delivered?

    my .02 cents ....

    Support the well known companies that support the community where it is on the local level, the national level and or the forums: Mnet CR and us here at MazdaRoadster

    I would say HardDog, and BlackBird


    I have the Hardog Rollbar in mine. This is my 3rd rollbar from them, always happy with their rollbars


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    HarryB (11-30-2018),MLambert19 (11-29-2018)

  8. #5
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Anyone using a Blackbird NB bar utilize the rear boot cover? I'm wondering if the snaps are accessible with the harness bar there...

    So many considerations...

    -Matt

  9. #6
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch SigmaX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLambert19 View Post
    Anyone using a Blackbird NB bar utilize the rear boot cover? I'm wondering if the snaps are accessible with the harness bar there...

    So many considerations...

    -Matt
    The harness bar is bolt-in. Why are you looking for a harness bar, anyways? Unless you're replacing the stock seats with an actual racing seat, harnesses are less safe.

    My vote is the Hard Dog. If you're looking for proven safety, go Bethania Garage.

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    HarryB (11-30-2018),MLambert19 (11-29-2018)

  11. #7
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SigmaX View Post
    The harness bar is bolt-in. Why are you looking for a harness bar, anyways? Unless you're replacing the stock seats with an actual racing seat, harnesses are less safe.

    My vote is the Hard Dog. If you're looking for proven safety, go Bethania Garage.
    I don't plan on a harness, but I want to cover my bases for if I ever do get involved in anything that would require a race seat and harness setup.

    For now, the car will have stock seats.

    -Matt

  12. #8
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Roadster7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SigmaX View Post
    The harness bar is bolt-in. Why are you looking for a harness bar, anyways?
    Wrong. He's taking about the BBFW NB roll bar, which has an integrated harness bar.

    FWIW this gets my vote, and not only because I have one.

  13. #9
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadster7 View Post
    Wrong. He's talking about the BBFW NB roll bar, which has an integrated harness bar.

    FWIW this gets my vote, and not only because I have one.
    "This" being the BBFW NB SD?

    Pros: Aesthetic, rear visibility, weight, elegant seat belt solution.
    Cons: Price. Fugly welds. Slightly obtrusive/permanent harness bar. Price & shipping. Did I mention price?

    -Matt

  14. #10
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Roadster7's Avatar
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    Yeah, NB SD.

    Who other than Bo says the welds are ugly? They look perfectly normal to me. I have really never heard of this arguments against their bars before -is this a common complaint?

    It's a huge price difference though, considering you're paying double just for aesthetics. I'm not gonna get into the "it's a safer bar" argument - any bar that is on NASA's approved list is safe enough. Moti knows what the hell he's doing though, and I don't doubt that his bars are a notch above the others available on the market.

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  16. #11
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Hindsight is 20:20, as always. Had I purchased the NB SD to begin with (also back when they didn't cost a gazillion dollars), I could have pulled it from my BRG for future cars with glass windows...

    That said, the welds on my NA SD weren't pretty. Just look at pictures of various bars. Look at the ZerekFab bar above and compare.

    Now, I know there's likely an argument about weld penetration and ensuring everything is securely welded together rather than just tacked up... but I'm not a welder, so I can't argue that one either way.

    -Matt

  17. #12
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Roadster7's Avatar
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    Yeah I don't know the first thing about welding either.

    All of these are going to be great choices. Zerek is priced a little better than BBFW, but I've heard mixed reviews. Not about the quality of the product, but about the business as a whole. I don't want to take a side in this argument, because I don't care enough to, but you might want to - if you care about originality.

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    oldgrayleather (11-30-2018)

  19. #13
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Roadster7: How tall are you? I just reviewed your build thread, some concerns about stock seat and BBFW NB bar confirmed.

    Also, you haven't installed a soft top since the bar, have you? If so, do you use a boot cover?

    Thanks, -Matt

  20. #14
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! bogaut's Avatar
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    ive heard a lot of people mention the ugly welds, for sure the ugliest welds of any of the bars. again, probably not a big deal, but if splitting hairs, maybe a deal breaker to someone

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  22. #15
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Roadster7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLambert19 View Post
    Roadster7: How tall are you? I just reviewed your build thread, some concerns about stock seat and BBFW NB bar confirmed.

    Also, you haven't installed a soft top since the bar, have you? If so, do you use a boot cover?

    Thanks, -Matt
    Average af 5'10"

    I haven't had a soft top on this car in years, I don't use the boot cover.

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    oldgrayleather (11-30-2018)

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