Hard Dog Harness Bar Install

HD Harness Bar

HD Harness Bar

This is one I’ve been meaning to add to Sharka for a long time – the Hard Dog bolt-in harness bar. Those of us with NB (or “M2” as HD calls it) rollbars need a solution to use a harness. They offer this bolt in bar.

I honestly had no idea what to expect when I ordered it. There are very few photos of this part online. I figured it was a decent part like their rollbars and wouldn’t be difficult to install.

alas…

The "instructions"

The “instructions”

The hardware.

The hardware.

This is what the harness bar came with – a single page of text and a few washers. No photos. No packing list to ensure me that I did indeed have everything. Just what you see here.

The instructions were super cryptic. I was honestly at a loss after reading them. They made me more confused than I was before reading the instructions. A single photo would have been SO very helpful.

But how many ways could it go on, right? I knew it had to go in behind the seat but in front of the rollbar rear support. There’s a seatbelt tower back there. It probably bolted to that tower.

Trial and error.

Trial and error.

There are two possible holes in the seatbelt tower. The mounting holes on the harness bar are too far apart to fit in place of the OEM rear bulkhead brace. That left one set of holes – the seatbelt mounting holes.

Ugh. As if the belts weren’t bad enough already.

OEM belt/bolt configuration.

OEM belt/bolt configuration.

Hard Dog bar/belt/bolt config.

Hard Dog bar/belt/bolt config.

I was already in a crabby mood after reading the “instructions” but this made me see red. Mounting the harness bar this far up on the factory seat belt bolt and using this metal spacer… it just does not seem very secure. Not being able to use the large rectangular factory spacer seemed… horrible.

I don’t like any of this. It seems like safety is taking a back seat to being able to bolt parts into the car.

Hammer time.

Hammer time.

The orange thing is a hammer. I got to hammer the side locators flat to make them fit. What this photo doesn’t show is the time it took to very very carefully align the four bolts so that they all worked together and could fit into the holes. It was extremely not easy.

This is ONE bar and FOUR bolts. How could it be difficult?!?! My frustration level was in the red zone at this point. I feel agitated just typing about it a week later.

The seat belt caps no longer fit.

The seat belt caps no longer fit.

"done."

“done.”

That’s the icing on the cake. The caps on the seat belts no longer work. The bar doesn’t let them.

Did I mention the seat belts no longer pivot? They’re also held firm by the harness bar. They’re pointed in the right direction, but they retract even worse than before due to the lack of pivot.

Yuck.

Installed.

Installed.

Well, it’s a harness bar. It’s installed.

Yuck.

As I mentioned above, this thing seems like a step backward in terms of safety. The way the bar bolts in at the top of that tall seatbelt bolt does not seem at all safe to me. That’s a lot of sheer force right at the top of that bolt that was not present before. And losing the seatbelt pivot functionality… yuck.

Less than 12 hours after installing this, I called Moti of Blackbird Fabworx and ordered a new GT3 rollbar. I’ve lusted after the gorgeous bars that he makes for a couple years now. The new one will be stronger than what Sharka has now, lighter, LOOK a hell of a lot prettier, and come with an integrated harness bar. It’s gonna be SO awesome.

I can’t wait to tear this HD harness bar right back out.

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  • Erick says:

    Thanks for this update.

    I need to spring for a Blackbird roll bar in the future as well.

  • Mike says:

    Wow, must have been really bad. This is one of the only negative reviews I remember you ever writing.

    I can’t wait to see the install of the GT3. Do you by any chance know if it uses the same mounting holes as the harddog?

  • Stoly says:

    I’ll echo Mike as I too am curious as to the mounting points on Blackbird roll bar as I plan to rid mine of the double hoop Hard Dog roll bar it came with. My initial plan was to go with the single diagonal Hard Dog as it would use the same mounting points behind the seats. Looking forward to seeing your blog on the new bar and hate to see that you had such a bad experience.

    I’m definitely going to wait to see the Blackbird swap before making any decision.

    • Adam says:

      Like I said, I’ve lusted after the Blackbird bars for a while. I’m rather pleased to have a reason to install one. However, I would have honestly preferred to have not wasted money on the HD harness bar and have just been able to use it happily for many years.

      oh well.

  • Keith Tanner says:

    If you want the belts to rotate, just put a spacer between them and the bar. I wouldn’t be worried about safety, the bar is attached the same way as the stock belts are.

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