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Silly question, been working on the seats and noticed my earth straps have corroded badly and 1 has fallen off.

I can understand most of the bonds on the car, doors, fuel tanks, scuttle beam becuase they need to have an earth on the but considering the seat straps simply go from the chassis beam to the seat rail and thats it, I'm really struggling as to why they are there !!

There's nothing electrical on or near the seats....one thing might be friction/static generated by moving the runners (once in a blue mood) but not to the point where it needs a 1/2" wide slab of copper joining it to earth.

It looks pretty deliberate, can anyone shed any light on why they're there ?

Dont see the point of replacing it only to need fixing again in the future.

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G'day mate :)

Yeah but it's done via the seatbelt anchor (little switch in the thing you press to get out).

I've just had the seat out, the only thing connected to it are the 4 spacers, 4 washers and 4 nuts that hold it to the GRP floor :(

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I think it is a safety issue. The braids are there to earth the seat frames to the chassis. I think possibly to provide a ground path if somehow the frames were to get electrically charged (i.e. lightning or fallen power line). Without the ground strap the seats would become like an electric chair (potentially kill you) if they had voltage somehow go through them. Either that or to prevent them from holding a static electrical charge from rubbing by getting in and out of the car (the source of a few gas station fires here in the US - (saw on Mythbusters recently here on Discovery in the US)

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It must be something they put on the later models because my 88 Turbo doesn't have any.

Oh my God! Now I am too afraid to drive the car in case I get struck by lightning :) Although if I do, can I sue Lotus for a ton of cash?

Richard

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Lightning wouldn't be attracted to a GRP car imo, if it did you'd be better off insulated from any current flow not a part of it.

Also the seats are completely insulated from the rails - esp mine as they are GRP as well no the metal framed leather ones.

The only thing I can think of is static but I'm really puzzled why it needs such a huge braid....gonna wire mine up inside the car I think and omit these straps and just use a bit of insulated 1.5mm from the frame to each seat belt arrestor.

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Lightning wouldn't be attracted to a GRP car imo, if it did you'd be better off insulated from any current flow not a part of it.

Also the seats are completely insulated from the rails - esp mine as they are GRP as well no the metal framed leather ones.

The only thing I can think of is static but I'm really puzzled why it needs such a huge braid....gonna wire mine up inside the car I think and omit these straps and just use a bit of insulated 1.5mm from the frame to each seat belt arrestor.

Lightning will be attracted to anything that offers a path to ground. That could be the engine, the antenna, the roll hoop in the A-pillar, the IPOD wires in your ears, your skin. The only problem with the Lotus is that it is not a Faraday cage like a steel or aluminum bodied car, so you will not be safe in the Lotus in a lightning storm!!! And neither will the fuel tanks...

The ground straps are big so that they don't gewt twisted apart when you tighten the seat bolts. They are also big so that they take more time to corrode.

The reason they are there is to discharge the static from the seat as you get in and out, so that when you go to fill up the tank at the gas station, you don't blow yourself up. Fiberglass cars, do carry a charge, you should always touch something grounded before fueling the car.

Oh, and the straps keep you from getting shocks when you get in and out (probably only happens in a dry climate like mine)

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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LOL hundreds of Esprit owners will be out checking their earth straps tonight incase 'flashy Esprit out cuases mushroom cloud !' local news headline :)

In the UK the nozzles for fuel are metal and grounded anyways so when you pick up you ground out. Not had a shock for years and my strap look as if it's been busted for a while now.

I reakon I'm more isolated through the seat than the accelerator pedal.

Perhaps I will ground them again but I'm going to do it from inside the car not underneath where it can't corrode away again.

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LOL hundreds of Esprit owners will be out checking their earth straps tonight incase 'flashy Esprit out cuases mushroom cloud !' local news headline  :)

In the UK the nozzles for fuel are metal and grounded anyways so when you pick up you ground out.  Not had a shock for years and my strap look as if it's been busted for a while now.

I reakon I'm more isolated through the seat than the accelerator pedal.

Perhaps I will ground them again but I'm going to do it from inside the car not underneath where it can't corrode away again.

http://www.komotv.com/news/story.asp?ID=37782

fiberglass bodied 308 bursts into flames at gas station.

Plastic (fiberglass and paint) can build up a large charge as you move through the air.

Since you live in a relatively humid enviroment, you probably don't get shocked at the pump, or getting in and out of a car. Some people live in places that have very little humidity (especially in the winter) and getting shocked is an everyday, many times a day, occurance.

Rubber shoes, rubber peddals, leather wheel, leather seats, plastic body, painted surfaces, big fluffy sweater... big spark.

Gas pumps have rubber handle covers here, you want to discharge the spark before touching the nozzle to the car filler neck!

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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static builds up in anything

conductive or not

parts that are not attached to each other

can build a potential difference from each other

if they are not connected by something conductive.

take for instance, hmm...blowing insulation in your attic

using a plastic tube, the insulation passes thru the tube

building up a difference in charge. touch the tube or the guy

holding it and ZAP!

also, lighting is attracted to anything with a potential to throw a

streamer out. it doesn't have to provide a path to ground. airplanes

get struck all the time.

chris

90SE

just because I don't CARE doesn't mean I don't UNDERDSTAND

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*sniff* love 308's :o

Such a shame but glad the guy was OK, he musta crapped himself something rotten.

Static could definatly have caused that or some sort of arcing - or even very hot surfaces can be enough to ignite fuel vapour.

The BMW Mini in the UK had a HUGE factory recal becuase the filler ring was not earthed propperly and sparks had been seen coming from the nozzle of the fuel filler !!! :o

I understand how and why static occurs etc, not questioning that, I guess by grounding the seat rails you're restricting the posibility of creating a potential difference as your PVC shoe soles rub on the synthetic carpet (bit like sticky balloon syndrome).

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