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Thread: Shoulder Harness choice

  1. #1

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    Shoulder Harness choice

    Well it looks like i have made a deal on a nice J3C-65. Many thanks to the advice I received on my first post about flying in the back seat vs front seat.

    The plane has no shoulder harnesses, so i want to add these right away. It seems there are a few choices from Spruce, Wag Aero, and Knots 2 U. i’m leaning toward the Y harness type from Wag Aero for both front and back. Looking for others experience in installing and living with shoulder harnesses in cubs. The kits seem to contain all the needed attach hardware to add the shoulder harness (as well as the STC) Is this adequate or should i be thinking about additional structure mods?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Speedo's Avatar
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    Can you post a picture of the harness you’re considering? Or a link to the Wag Aero page?
    Speedo

  3. #3

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    Hooker is my choice. Every strap I've put into my planes has been made by Hooker. Very fast to get and very reasonably priced. Stoddards in Anchorage keeps Hooker standard Cub seat belts and harnesses in stock.

  4. #4

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    these are the ones from wag aero

    the hooker website is not the greatest. i haven’t found a J3 kit there yet. just parts.

  5. #5
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    I dunno about anyone else, but for me inertia reel m(vs fixed) harnesses are a must.
    FWIW Cub Crafters sells inertia reel shoulder harness / lap belt kits for $449 a seat.
    Two different length belts available:
    27" Shoulder Harness, Inertia Reel w/lap belt for PA-18 (cubcrafters.com)
    38" Shoulder Harness Inertia Reel and Lap Belt for PA-18 (cubcrafters.com)

    Read this FAA policy statement if you have approval concerns:
    Issuance of Policy Statement, Methods of Approval of Retrofit Shoulder Harness (faa.gov)
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  6. #6
    Richgj3's Avatar
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    If you fly a J3 from the back seat which IMHO you should, then you will come to hate shoulder harnesses that are fixed. Inertial reel is the only way to go.

    Rich.
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  7. #7

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    Put shoulder harnesses in my J3 in 1976, illegally. Since then they have become legal.

    I use Air Force style 3" lap straps with web loops on the shoulder parts. The shoulder harnesses bolt to 4130 clamps with AN-3 screws. Wag uses AN-6.

    I loved inertials in the jets, but absolutely hate them in light tail draggers. Just a personal preference. The rear harness is attached in the middle of a diagonal, which will yield in a crash without bringing a lot of structure forward. I steer clear of the middle of that crosstube between the rear spar attach points, because that one will collapse toward your head. Straps are anchored as close to the left rear spar attach point as possible on the diagonal. We don't notice the angle, and in the rear seat they are out of our vision focus. A perfect setup. Don't use the "Y" setup; ours are more of a shallow "V."

  8. #8
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richgj3 View Post
    If you fly a J3 from the back seat which IMHO you should, then you will come to hate shoulder harnesses that are fixed. Inertial reel is the only way to go.

    Rich.
    Good to know as I'm planning on putting a harness in the rear of my cub this spring. I can see how you would need an inertia harness to be able to reach forward for the trim, fuel shutoff, mixture, and carb heat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Put shoulder harnesses in my J3 in 1976, illegally. Since then they have become legal.

    I use Air Force style 3" lap straps with web loops on the shoulder parts. The shoulder harnesses bolt to 4130 clamps with AN-3 screws. Wag uses AN-6.

    I loved inertials in the jets, but absolutely hate them in light tail draggers. Just a personal preference. The rear harness is attached in the middle of a diagonal, which will yield in a crash without bringing a lot of structure forward. I steer clear of the middle of that crosstube between the rear spar attach points, because that one will collapse toward your head. Straps are anchored as close to the left rear spar attach point as possible on the diagonal. We don't notice the angle, and in the rear seat they are out of our vision focus. A perfect setup. Don't use the "Y" setup; ours are more of a shallow "V."
    Bob
    Could you post a pic of the attach points?

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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  10. #10
    Richgj3's Avatar
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    I shouldn’t have used the word “hate”. Dislike might have been better. I flew a J3 from Alabama to NY years ago for the new owner. It had fixed shoulder harnesses and a string tied to the carb heat to pull it on and a stick to push it off.

    Before that I put fixed harnesses in a 172 Taildragger I had. It had manual flaps. To grab the first notch I had to release the harness then tighten it again.

    I recently got a 170B which will get inertial reel harnesses from BAS.

    Rich

  11. #11

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    Speaking of dislike, I VERY much dislike the standard Wag Aero seatbelt buckle configuration. The flat tang has a deep groove on both outer edges. The standard metal shoulder harness tangs tend to get snagged on the groove about 2 times out of 5. If I ever needed to get out in a hurry, it would be one of those 2 times; I'm surprised that they still sell these. I much prefer the style used by both Hooker and by B.A.S. with the latching slot in the middle of the tang: Have never had a problem with those. I'm also good with the standard military style, or any of the rotary latch systems, especially with a crotch strap. I regularly fly aircraft with all these systems with no problems.

    Thanks. cubscout

  12. #12

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    I think this link will get you to page 5, where there are pictures of my belt arrangements. A lot of the pads were done by Alan Silver, who retired last year. He was the only guy I know of who would hammer and stitch the loops, Air Force style.

    https://www.j3-cub.com/threads/addin...-5#post-333026

  13. #13
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Here is what I did on Dan's J3. Works great, I have 300+ hours in the back seat

    https://www.j3-cub.com/threads/insta...17/post-274858

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  14. #14

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    Shroth belts are really good one. Have the center quick release for all straps.
    john
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  15. #15
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    We have carefully reviewed a few Cub accidents and where the human impact results.. we have had inertial reels ourselves and while they are very comfortable a firm attachment seems to be what keeps folks out of the dash! We have only used the Shroth in helicopters but agree its simple and supports well. In accidents where the aircraft forward rolls on the ground the inertial system many times doesn't get enough indication to restrain until the pilot has met the dash or windshield. While we are on the subject, been planning to get head buckets, it's probably time!

  16. #16
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Cub View Post
    We have carefully reviewed a few Cub accidents and where the human impact results.. we have had inertial reels ourselves and while they are very comfortable a firm attachment seems to be what keeps folks out of the dash! We have only used the Shroth in helicopters but agree its simple and supports well. In accidents where the aircraft forward rolls on the ground the inertial system many times doesn't get enough indication to restrain until the pilot has met the dash or windshield. While we are on the subject, been planning to get head buckets, it's probably time!
    Yup, but if they are not tight all the time what's the difference?

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  17. #17
    Little_Cub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    but if they are not tight all the time what's the difference?
    Glenn
    I think your right Glenn..
    the difference is, you know how tight the belt is and exactly where they restrain, without a reel world test.

    Everyone has their preferences but please beware of the (possible) consequences.. when placing dents in dash boards it's easier to use a hammer.
    Likes Gordon Misch liked this post

  18. #18
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Cub View Post
    I think your right Glenn..
    the difference is, you know how tight the belt is and exactly where they restrain, without a reel world test.

    Everyone has their preferences but please beware of the (possible) consequences.. when placing dents in dash boards it's easier to use a hammer.
    My 11 cartwheeled 3 times after a tangled my right wing in a tree, Inertia reel 4 point, walked away un scathed except for the cut on my right hand from punching out the plexiglass to get out. My point is, if it's not comfortable it won't be worn correctly

    Glenn

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  19. #19
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    I understand the argument about comfort vs being “worn right”, but I’m not sure folks aren’t just assuming it would be uncomfortable.

    I find a fixed harness very comfortable.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

  20. #20
    Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richgj3 View Post
    If you fly a J3 from the back seat which IMHO you should, then you will come to hate shoulder harnesses that are fixed. Inertial reel is the only way to go.

    Rich.
    Agreed - I had the wag-aero in a cub that I rebuilt. I flew it for about 15 hours and came to hate them. The problem is you need to lean forward too much in a J3, you dont realize it until you prevent yourself from doing so.

  21. #21

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    I installed the wag aero harness everyone hates. The install is a little challenging on the rear but easy enough on the front. If the tube is collapsing enough to send the mount into my head I will be dead before it hits my head. In order to grab the carb heat I simply swim out of the right shoulder strap, turn it on, then swim my arm back into the harness. I have a video that shows the process actually and it’s pretty quick. You can grab the carb heat off on the ground with your right toe. If someone is in the front seat using the harness, it will be in your face if mounted per the instructions. But i can’t say I notice it enough to be bothered by it.

  22. #22

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    Following up from initial post, i did install the Wag Aero harness in the back. i have the front one on the shelf, but i didn’t like how it attaches directly overhead the rear set occupant. I’ll think about an alternate mount off to one side as has been proposed on other forums. for now, it’s all solo work anyway, so no big deal.

    Pirep on rear seat harness: it’s not the best harness i’ve ever used, but it’s a lot safer than no harness, so i’ll keep it for now. the latch is a little tedious but doable if you take your time. unlatching is no problem. I keep the lap belt snug and the right shoulder belt snug. keep the left one loose so i can reach trim and carb heat (mine is on the left). i did have the shoulder belts pull out of the adjuster unit if i pull the tab too hard. fixed it by putting a tie wrap on the metal tang so it won’t pull through. not a good design.

    there is no way to reach altimeter setting knob without releasing lap belt, which i am not willing to do with the door open on a bumpy day. just have to live with the setting i started with. i just did a 6.5 hour cross country to reposition the plane. belt was never uncomfortable even when snug.

    that’s a long, three fuel stop ride in a J3 but it was a blast. 500 AGL most of the way.

    and i still can’t land it worth a damn on pavement, so learning continues.

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