Motorsport Tools Blog

  • HANS Devices & The MSA Guide 2015-2016




    The MSA Announcement

    On June the 9th the MSA Council voted to male FIA approved Frontal Head Restraints (FHR) mandatory for Stage Rallying, Hill Climb and Sprint (with certain exceptions in each) from 1st January 2016 onward.

    Summary from the MSA;

    "Motor Sports Council, the MSA’s rule-making body, has voted to mandate the use of Frontal Head Restraints in Stage Rallying, Hill Climb and Sprint – with certain exceptions in each – from 2016 onward.

    The decisions were taken yesterday (9 June) at the second of Council’s three meetings in 2015, held at Motor Sports House.

    After a very lengthy debate, it was decided that from 1 January 2016 an FIA-approved FHR will be mandatory for all Stage Rally competitors, except for those in Historic Category One vehicles, for whom it will be a recommendation in 2016 and mandatory from 2017.

    It was also decided that from 1 January 2016 an FIA-approved FHR will be mandatory for all Hill Climb and Sprint competitors, except for those in Period Defined Vehicles, Road-going Series Production Cars and Road-going Specialist Production Cars. Nonetheless, it will be recommended for those excepted competitors.

    The relevant new regulations – along with all others approved by Motor Sports Council yesterday – will be published in due course."


    Early Development of the HANS Device

    The device was designed in the early 1980s by Dr. Robert Hubbard and Jim Downing, following the death of one of their mutual friends, Patrick Jacquemart who was killed in an IMSA testing accident at Mid-Ohio. The first prototype was developed in 1985, and in crash tests in 1989 (the first to use crash sleds and crash dummies using race car seat belt harnesses) the energy exerted on the head and neck was lowered by some 80%.

    The HANS Device became mandatory for Champ Car in 2001, Forumla 1 in 2003 and the World Rally CHamp WRC for the 2005 season. The FIA then made the HANS device compulsory for all international event from 2009.


    HANS Device Guidelines


    • The HANS Device is worn UNDER your safety harness.
    • Belt adjusters should rest on or below the lower portion on the HANS Device.
    • Change or remove padding for best fit, pads are for comfort only.
    • Never modify the body of the HANS Device.


    HANS_device_01 HANS_device_02


    Head Rest Clearance

    • The HANS Device may lightly contact the helmet or head rest.
    • If your HANS pushes your head forward uncomfortably, a more upright device may be required.
    • The HANS Device may move back and forth a little during racing.


    Belt Mounting

    Quote from the MSA;

    "The shoulder strap mounting points should be lower than the point at which the straps bear down on the HANS, such that the straps make an angle of 10 Degrees to the horizontal. The mounting points must be equally disposed about the user’s centre line so that straps spread outward slightly from the mountings and around the HANS. This helps to keep the straps firmly engaged with the HANS."

    QSG Belt Overhead Generic

    • If the mounting points for the belts are far behind the seat, the belt mounts should be very close together. (Belts may touch or even be crossed over each other if necessary)
    • 75-100mm distance between inner edges (shown above) is typical.
    • If the mounting points are close to the seat, the width between the inner edges of the belts should be equal to or 25mm (1 inch) less than the width of the HANS Device.
    • HANS works with any 2" or 3" shoulder harness.
    • Mount should belts of harness 25-50mm below the horizontal. ( MSA quote "10 Degrees to the horizontal" )


    HANS Device Tethers

    • Standard 450mm length tethers fit most applications
    • DO NOT over tighten tether carrier screws.
    • Tethers are dated. Replace every 5 years. Also replace after major impacts or sooner if wear is observed.


    Helmet Anchor Points - Helmet Posts

    We have conflicting advise on if a non HANS helmet can be fitted with HANS anchor points. So we will refer you to the below quotes from the governing bodies.


    Quote from the MSA;

    "The helmet must be equipped by the helmet manufacturer or agent with FIA homologated fixation points and the helmet must be manufactured in accordance with one of the required Standards. Some helmets are specifically manufactured and homologated for use with HANS"


    Quote from the FIA;

    "5. Helmets with HANS®

    5.1 An FIA approved helmet conforming to FIA 8858-2002 or FIA 8860-2004 (or latest revisions) fitted with helmet-tether-anchorages shall be used. Please refer to FIA Technical List 29 for further details.

    5.2 The position of the helmet-tether-anchorages shall comply with FIA 8858-2002. It is strongly
    recommended to use helmets with helmet-tether-anchorage inserts fitted by the manufacturer
    as original equipment: these are identified by a glossy silver holographic FIA label.

    5.3 Original Equipment helmet-anchorages should not be removed for painting the helmet.
    However, if it is apparent that the helmet-anchorages have been removed, they shall be correctly
    refitted with thread locking compound."


    USEFUL LINKS - We highly recommend your read these in preparation for using a HANS Device.

    FIA HANS Device PDF Guidelines (Issued: 01/07/2007)

    MSA HANS Device PDF Guidelines

    HANS Performance Products USA - HANS Device Quick Start Guide PDF (Dated: August 2014)


    The HANS Performance Products USA Range


    HANS Device Sport 2 II FIA 20 Degree Large

    HANS Device Sport 2 II FIA 20 Degree Medium


    hans_device_fia_sport2_front hans_device_fia_sport2_back

    • SFI and FIA approved
    • Entry Level Pricing with the Same Safety Performance as Professional Series HANS Device
    • Equipped with Sport anchors
    • Sliding Tethers
    • Injection molded super structural thermoplastics
    • 20 degree size Large
    • Weighs 918gms


    HANS Device Sport III 3 FIA 20 Degree Medium

    HANS Device Sport III 3 FIA 20 Degree Large


    hans_device_fia_sport3_front hans_device_fia_sport3_back

    The HANS III represents the third generation of injection molded HANS devices and features a contemporary approach to reducing weight. Using an all new design and polymer, the device features a hollow collar that substantially minimizes weight. Engineered reinforcements ensure an exceptionally strong structure that provides the same level of safety as every HANS device. The reduced mass guarantees the lightest and most comfortable injection molded HANS ever.

    • SFI and FIA approved
    • Entry Level Pricing with the Same Safety Performance as Professional Series HANS Device
    • Sliding Tethers
    • Injection molded super structural thermoplastics
    • 20 degree
    • Weighs 600gms (Medium) / 650g (Large)


    HANS Device Adjustable FIA Medium

    HANS Device Adjustable FIA Large



    • SFI and FIA approved
    • Device adjusts in 5 degree increments, from 10 to 40 degrees
    • Sliding Tethers
    • Injection molded super structural thermoplastics
    • Weighs 1085gms


    HANS Device Pro Ultra Carbon Fibre FIA 20 Degree Medium

    HANS Device Pro Ultra Carbon Fibre FIA 20 Degree Large



    hans_device_fia_proultra_front hans_device_fia_proultra_back

    The Pro Ultra device applies lightweight construction of the Carbon Fiber Pro series to the modern new shape of the Sport II. The Ultra saves on weight and allows for easy entry and exit from the race car, even smaller tighter vehicles. The 100% carbon fiber construction features a hollow core for increased weight reduction without sacrificing strength.


    • SFI and FIA approved
    • 100% Carbon Fiber Construction
    • Sliding Tethers
    • Light Weight 644gms (medium)/ 734gms (large)
  • Back in Stock- Motamec Laser Wheel Alignment Tracking Gauges

    These Motamec laser tracking gauges are now back in stock, ideal for the home mechanic and race / rally teams, simple to use, works just like the Dunlop type tracking gauges!

    Buy it now: Motamec Tracking Gauges

    12323 212142 1123432


  • New TOLSEN tool brand added this week including VDE Line


    Our newest tool brand Tolsen is now in stock, Tolsen are great value hand tools for professional and DIY use at a very competitive price. The yellow coloured tools are for general use and the red VDE Line range are insulated for use with live circuits up to 1000v.

    25042-ts 10044-ts 10003-ts

    The Tolsen tools range include a massive range of pliers, screwdrivers, hammers, socket sets etc. Professional quality hand tools at an affordable price. See our Tolsen Tools range

    Tolsen20Logo banner2

    The VDE Line by Tolsen is a range of insulated hand tools fore use on 1000v live circuits. These are professional quality tools used world wide in the electrical trade. See our VDE Line range

    v90047-ts v80115-ts v33450-ts

    The Tolsen VDE technical tools that carry the VDE-GS mark conform to the
    VDE regulations and comply with European or internationally harmonised
    standards. These electrical products are tested in a series of impact,
    electrical, insulation and other product property tests and comply with
    the safety requirements of the respective guidelines.

    Tolsen VDE Insulated tools that are marked with the symbol of the double
    triangle and the assigned voltage or voltage range are suitable for
    working on energised parts at the stated voltage.

    The Tolsen VDE insulated tools that comply with the IEC 60900:2004
    international standards are designed under a detailed set of rules and
    are subject to a series of specific tests for checking the electrical
    safety of the protective insulation.

    Best sellers:


    Tolsen V12038 Insulated VDE Cable Sheers Wire Cutters 380mm


    Tolsen V80320 20 Piece Insulated VDE 3/8 Drive Scocket Set MasterTool Kit


    Tolsen V33212 12 Piece Insulated VDE Interchangeable Screwdriver Set Electrician



  • Check out this months new products, Oil catch tanks, sill stands, footrests...




    We have been working on some new products lately to add to our never ending range of motorsport parts, here's some of the latest stuff:


    DSCF1191_logo fghfkfgk


    Motamec alloy rally car co-driver foot rest, available in plain aluminium or powder coated black. Top quality TIG welded footrest for your navigator.

    Motamec Alloy Foot Rest

    Motamec Alloy Foot Rest BLACK



    DSCF1536v01_logo2 DSCF1201v01_logo3 DSCF1200V02_logo

    Motamec oil catch tanks, 1 litre capacity, with or without a breather cap. Complete with sight gauge and drain plug. Required for most motorsport events to prevent oil loss on race tracks, pits, service areas etc.

    Motamec Oil Catch Tank

    Motamec Oil Catch Tank with Cap





    New design high speed rally wheel brace, WRC type with 19mm socket. Includes in car mounting bracket. Black powder coated finish.

    Motamec WRC Wheel Brace





    DSCF1057_v02ok_logo DSCF1175v01_logo

    WRC Works style sill stands, CNC machined pins, TIG welded steel frames with wheel nut trays. Two pin sizes available 20mm or 25mm. As used by professional race and rally teams.

    Motamec WRC Sill Stands 20mm

    Motamec WRC Sill Stands 25mm





    Escort Mk2 Alloy centre console switch panel, replaces the original Ford plastic ash tray panel, very smart, TIG welded aluminium with punched and flared side holes.

    Escort Mk2 Alloy centre console switch panel






    New Escort mk1 or Mk2 alloy radiator to suit the Cosworth YB or Millington Diamond engine, has the correct top hose fitting for a neat installation. These Escort rally spec aluminium radiators come complete with mounting brackets for Spal fan. and a fan switch boss.

    Escort Alloy Radiator YB Cosworth or Millington


  • Q&A With Simon Woolley - Classic Ford Editor


    Classic Ford Magazine have been to see us at HQ to photograph the Escort project car for the upcoming calendar edition. There will also be some features that we contributed to in the magazine early next year. But we thought we'd take advantage of Classic Ford Magazine editor Simon Woolley's while he's here and ask him a few questions for our blog.


    1). What's currently in your garage?
    Simon - A 1969 Corsair. It's been there a while and will be there for some time to come. It's being restored by my friend, Jon Hill, but neither of us has much time. Or money, for that matter.

    2). What was your first Car?
    Simon - A 1979 Mini 1000. I was well into 'bikes, but my Dad was desperately trying to keep me away from them, so he told me a Mini was like a 'bike on four wheels, and I fell for it. I soon had it in bits.

    3). What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't editor at classic ford?
    Simon - Honestly, I don't know. I've always been deeply obsessed with cars, magazines and writing, so I've been pretty lucky to combine all three for so long.

    3). Out of the cars you've featured in recent years, which did you really want to take home with you?
    Simon - That's like being asked to choose your favorite child. Impossible!

    4). What cars are in your dream garage?
    Simon - Pretty much all the cars I lusted after when I was a kid: Escort RS1700T, Lancia Stratos, Fiat 131 Mirafiori, Opel Manta 400...

    5). Given a big budget and a lot of time, what project would you build?
    Simon - I wouldn't be happy with just one project - I'd fill a unit with five or six cars, twice as many engines, and have them all on the go at the same time.

    6). During your tenor at Classic Ford, what are some of the parts that have come onto the Ford scene that you have found most innovative or exciting?
    Simon - It's the quality that I'm most impressed by. When I first started mucking about with cars, it wasn't great and you were almost expected to have to modify new parts to get them to fit - these days they pretty much all bolt straight on. We're spoilt, really!

    7). Have you ever fancied a go at rallying?
    Simon - I did some co-driving in the late '90s in a Mini Cooper S on the Rally Britannia. It was daunting, particularly around the Caerwent stages, flat out, weaving in and out of railway sleepers that would've pulverized the Mini if we had hit one. I think I decided there and then that the best way to enjoy rallying was as a spectator!

  • Which Brake Fluid?



    I came to work this morning knowing I needed brake fluid. I was going to order some DOT5, simple! The higher the DOT number the better right? Well if you look at this table of DOT brake fluid standards you'd be forgiven for thinking the same:

    Dry boiling point

    Wet boiling point

    DOT 3
    205 °C (401 °F)
    140 °C (284 °F)
    DOT 4
    230 °C (446 °F)
    155 °C (311 °F)
    DOT 5
    260 °C (500 °F)
    180 °C (356 °F)
    DOT 5.1
    260 °C (500 °F)
    180 °C (356 °F)


    But the table above doesn't tell you the full story. Let's have a look at another table;

    Dry boiling point

    Wet boiling point

    Viscosity limit

    Primary constituent

    DOT 2
    190 °C (374 °F)
    140 °C (284 °F)
    Castor oil/alcohol
    DOT 3
    205 °C (401 °F)
    140 °C (284 °F)
    1500 mm2/s
    Glycol Ether
    DOT 4
    230 °C (446 °F)
    155 °C (311 °F)
    1800 mm2/s
    Glycol Ether/Borate Ester
    DOT 5
    260 °C (500 °F)
    180 °C (356 °F)
    900 mm2/s
    DOT 5.1
    260 °C (500 °F)
    180 °C (356 °F)
    900 mm2/s
    Glycol Ether/Borate Ester


    As you can see the DOT standards also refer to what the fluid is made out of. The boiling points listed are the minimum required to meet those DOT standards.

    What you need to know is that Glycol-ether is hygroscopic meaning its water absorbing. It will absorb water from the atmosphere as soon as you unscrew the lid off your shiny new brake fluid bottle. The wet boiling point ratings are based on 3.7% water content. I have seen it said that it takes 2 years for fluid to absorb 3% water but this figure increases when under heavy use, motorsport use!

    DOT5 is made of silicone so its hydrophobic, it does not absorb water. However because it doesn't absorb water any water that finds its way into the system will remain as water 'globules", long term this can cause spongy brakes and in some cases corrosion.

    DOT5.1 is recommended for cars with ABS and ESP due to its "constant viscosity under a wide range of temperatures"

    NOTE: You must never mix DOT5 silicone brake fluid with any of the other Glycol based brake fluids.



    Now let's look at some boiling points for some popular high spec brake fluids:

    Brake Fluid

    DOT Rating

    Dry Boiling Point

    Wet Boiling Point

    RRP / Litre

    Castrol SRF

    DOT 4

    310C / 590F

    270C / 518F


    AP Racing 600

    DOT 4

    300C / 572F

    204C / 399F


    Motul RBF 660

    DOT 4

    325C / 617F

    204C / 399F


    ATE Super Blue ( or Type 200)

    DOT 4

    280C / 536F

    200C / 292F


    Wilwood 570

    DOT 3

    300C / 573F

    140C / 284F


    AP Racing Formula 5.1

    DOT 5.1

    275C / 527F

    185C / 365F


    Automec DOT 5

    DOT 5

    260C / 500F

    180C / 356F


    AP Racing 551

    DOT 4

    275C / 527F

    150C / 302F



    Here are the links to the brake fluid available from;

    ATE "Super Blue" Type 200 Dot 4 Racing Motorsport Brake Fluid Boiling Point 280C

    AP Racing Formula Dot 5.1 Performance Brake Fluid Boiling Point 269C 500ml

    Castrol React SRF Racing Motorsport Brake Fluid Boiling Point 310C 1LTR

    AP Racing 600 Brake Fluid 500ml Boiling Point 312C

    Wilwood 12Oz 350ml Hi Temp Racing Motorsport Brake Fluid 570F DOT3

    Automec DOT 5 Silicone Brake & Clutch Fluid 1 Litre 1000ml High Performance



    I am by no means an expert on brake fluid, all of the above information was gathered by searching and reading on the internet, forums, product descriptions, chats with brake fluid manufacturers and Wikipedia.

    I did find some interesting discussion on ATE Super Blue (or Type 200) vs Castrol SRF brake fluid. They are both highly rated by motorsport competitors but have very different price points. The advice in choosing was that if you like to change your brake fluid regularly then ATE Super Blue is very cost effective. But it you really don't change your brake fluid often then the Castrol SRF, because of its excellent wet boiling point rating, can also be very cost effective despite its much higher price.

    I think I'll be taking home some ATE Super Blue for my own car as it's such a bargain but I think we'll be topping up the Escort project with the Castrol SRF.

    Please feel free to share your experiences and opinions in the comments section below.



  • Dan Bilzerian & Ballistic BJ Baldwin's latest video

    Another amazing film by Monster Energy following BJ and his 800hp Trophy Truck as he tears through this seaside Mexican city...

  • This weeks Special offer: Extra 15% off Facom and Britool, Ends Monday!

    To launch the Britool brand on Motorsport Tools we're giving an extra 15% off all Facom and Britool products this week.
    Offer end midnight Monday 25/08/2014 - OFFER NOW EXPIRED


    Facom and Britool are premium tool brands that's widely used in the automotive trade. They are part of the Stanley Black & Decker group, a multi national industrial tool manufacturer with a turnover of over $10 billion and 45.000 staff worldwide. We now have the full range of both Facom and Britool listed on our website.


    Britool first started production in 1908 under the British Tool and
    Engineering Company. The company grew quickly during the Second World
    War, Britool was one of the main suppliers of tools to the British armed
    forces supplying over 200 million tools which included their high
    quality spanners and sockets.

    In 1991 Britool joined forces with Facom, one Europe’s largest tool
    manufacturers. Facom's strong development facilities and technical
    experties enabled Britool to maintain its position as the tool brand of
    choice for all areas of engineering –  including Automotive, Aerospace
    and Industry.

    Here are some Britool examples:


    Britool Expert 42 Piece 1/4' Socket Set 748254 E030702B


    Britool Expert 101 Piece 1/4SD & 1/2SD Socket & Spanner Wrench Set


    Britool Expert Workshop Garage Tool Cart Trolley E010106B


    Britool Expert 6Pc Screwdrivers Set Slotted & Phillips E160902B


    Britool Expert 18Pc Combination Spanner wrench Set Metric in Roll E110313B



  • Beta Tools - More about the Italian tool company!


    Beta Tools (Beta Utensili) is a world leading Italian manufacturer of
    hand tools and equipment for automotive and industrial sectors. Beta
    Utensili have 550+ staff world wide and the range includes over 10,000
    products. The full range is available on


    Beta hand tools are made in Italy and carry lifetime warranty.


    Founded at the end of the first world war, the Beta tool workshops rapidly
    expanded and in 1939 they registered the “Beta” name for the production
    of professional hand tools that became its core business from the second
    world war onwards.


    Early Beta production factory, Italy



    In the early sixties Beta Utensili was expanding quickly and were
    employing two hundred staff and went on to design the famous orange
    'Tank Trolley'. From then on the range of tool trolleys grew to include
    the wide range of orange roll cabs and tool boxes that are available



    The seventies was the start of a long term relationship with motorsport.
    Beta pioneered motorsport sponsorship and the first great success came
    in the 1975 Formula 1 season with Vittorio Brambilla at the wheel of the
    famous orange “Beta Utensili March”. Brambilla won the Austrian Grand
    Prix at Zeltweg.



    Other Beta motorsport sponsorship include Ferrari, Jordan, McLaren and
    Minardi F1 teams. Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha in MotoGP. and
    several teams in the WRC and British Superbike.



    The Beta tool range has expanded over the years from the production of
    hand tools to the wide range of over 10'000 products that's available


    Beta product categories include: Specialist wrenches, sockets and drivers, torque wrenches, drilling
    threading tools, measuring and marking tools, pullers, special
    automotive tools, electricians & electronics tools, insulated tools,
    sparkproof tools, Air tools.



    Beta also do a large range of work wear and safety footwear under the 'Beta WORK' brand




    Beta tools and cabinets are widely used by MotoGP race teams


    The new Beta Racing Mobile Roller Cabinets


    The famous Beta 41H Tool Trolley, widely used by motorcycle race teams


    The Beta boardroom with real Formula 1 car, part of the recent F1
    sponsorship deal.  Note the walls are lined with famous
    racing driver’s helmets - all with connections to Beta Tools.



  • Free 10 LED Torch / Work Light with every website order!



    Yes a free LED torch with every website order, limited stock so be quick!


    Super Bright SMD LED Technology
    Complete with adjustable clip and magnet
    Strong, 10 LED / SMD light, works with 3xAAA Batteries (Batteries Not Included)
    Soft rubber coating


    Add the free torch at checkout when placing order!


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