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Looking for pointers , installing my weld-in cage tomorrow :D

Old 11-28-03, 10:26 AM
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Looking for pointers , installing my weld-in cage tomorrow :D

I will be installing my weld-in 6 point Kirk cage tomorrow, I have a certified welder doing the welding, and I have seen many cages before, but I would appreciate any pointers, or helpful hints that you guys may have. Thanks, Carl
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Old 11-28-03, 02:11 PM
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Can you post some pics of this cage? I found Kirk's website but its under construction and has no info.
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Old 11-28-03, 02:47 PM
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Make every effort to tie the floor plates into the rocker, if they are not that way already. It will dramatically improve the strength of the cage in a rollover situation, preventing floor punch-through, and should reap some benefits in torsional rigidity as well.

Even if you have to make some additional plates, they should be as large as possible to help distribute load. Many of the pre-made cages are a compromise in design in this particular area, but you can still make it better prior to installation.

Also, make sure to make all of your tubing welds 360 degrees around. Some cages will sacrifice the weld to get closer to the body. Not an ideal design. It may be necessary to trial fit some pieces, then weld them outside the car to get a complete weld.

Lastly, take your time. The finished product is usually well worth the extra time spent to do it right.
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Old 11-28-03, 07:13 PM
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be sure to post pictures when its done
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Old 11-29-03, 12:17 AM
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Well we got started, but it is an adventure to say the least. Since the pieces were all coped, I presumed the cage was ready to go. I was wrong, there is some cutting to length to be done(and recoping), I now need to talk to a "Cage Expert", as I need to know if I need to tear the whole thing out, and start over, or if I am O'k. Basicly everything fit as it ought to, except that the main hoop is canted 4* back at the top. This was caused by the forward bars being too long. Basicly, I tacked up the cage, forward bars, door bars, windshield bar. this took a good 4 hours to get it all to fit. then when we went to position the rear cross brace(points 5, and 6), we discovered there was no way it would fit as intended. The entire cage would have to move forward ~1.5". We had already cut the dash(as planned), but we would have had to cut away a substantial amount of the main support. This is sooooo frustrating, I know what it should look like, and my buddy is a welder by profession, we are having a hell of a time. Why, No instructions, what a joke, at a minimum, there needs to be something calling out the order of assembly, with notes on how the cage should fit relative to other parts of the car. In addition, there needs to be some heads up as to how to deal with welding the top of the bars. Basicly I am sure seasoned racers are just laughing at me, there is a reason professional installation costs what it does, but SHIIIIIIIIIIIT, I've built just about everything , and anything under the sun, it should not be this hard.. That said this is so important, Tim, or Damon, or Chris, post your phone number, and I'll call you on my dime, I've got questions, and Kirk will be closed tomorrow. Thanks, Carl 707-696-2705
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Old 11-29-03, 12:25 AM
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Carl, check the west section. somebody recently posted that he has a friend who does roll cages etc. if you need somebody to install it i'm sure that person can help.
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Old 11-29-03, 10:35 AM
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Install is pretty much done
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Old 11-29-03, 07:46 PM
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Pictures for us curious ones?
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Old 11-30-03, 01:46 AM
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Carl-

Glad you got past the hurdle. Nothing is ever a brainless weld in kit when it comes to cages . I hope you guys did it on flat ground and used a level when tacking the stuff up.

Dropping your car off at a shop is usually very pricey. Especially when you ask for non mild steel.

I'm curious how it turned out myself. Your car is making progress and '04 should be a good year. I'll be doing an NHRA legal 10pt cage in Spring '04 myself.

-GNX7
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Old 11-30-03, 11:48 AM
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The main hoop is out about 3*. The top is tilting back slightly. We were too far in the tacking process when we realized we had pushed it in our efforts to get the forward tubes in, basicly the entire forward portion of the cage was fitted, and tacked(~5 hours), we aren't about to take it apart unless Kirk tells us it comprimises the strength. I really do not see how it would be weaker. There may be a moment where the car is perfectly horizontal, but upside down, but at the same time that moment is transient, and the car will be traveling through a whole range of positions with various other angles(in relation to the ground. There is an "X" brace in the back, and I will be adding a brace that goes between the rear strut towers, and triangulates with the main hoop. We mis-coped the dash bar, so I will have to order another, or just take the car to a shop, and have them put that bar in since it is a real bitch to weld all the way around with the windshield in. Anyway, I should be able to post pics tomorrow when I get a camera. Later, Carl.
BTW I will try to take good pics, so we can sticky, or archive it, this seems like a nice cage at a reasonable price.
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Old 11-30-03, 11:27 PM
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Did you get the tops of the bars welded? The latest trick is to punch a hole in the floor, let the cage feet drop through it, weld the tops of the bars, then lift the cage up and slide your well-plates under it.

The other trick is to cut the roof off, weld the tops of the bars, then weld the roof back on.

I'll let you figure out which one is easier.
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Old 11-30-03, 11:38 PM
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Actually, the feet were welded to the main hoop when it was delivered, but beyond that the cage design is such that all but the forward bars are directly over the frame rail. We modified the copes to allow us better access to the entire joint, the one I have not been able to figure out how to do is the dash bar, with the windshield in place. i think I am going to mount it a little high, and then angle it down towards the front of the car to allow welding the underside while still having the main length of the bar ~1/4" off the dash. As far as removing the roof, I'll pass on that since it's a unibody hatchback I'll have some pics up monday. I know for many this may be childs play, but for me, it is a serious challenge, to do right. I think a description, and good pics will help alot of others moving forward. Good night, Carl
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Old 12-01-03, 11:49 AM
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My FD track car construction photos...
http://www.bradbarber.com/BBcage2/index.html
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Old 12-01-03, 12:44 PM
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Thanks I like how you used the rear belt mounting point for a gussett.
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Old 12-01-03, 01:21 PM
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how much is all this costing....just wondering?

looks great.
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Old 12-01-03, 02:02 PM
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Hey Carl,

Sorry I didn't see this until now, hope it welded in ok, I'd take it over to a tech guy ASAP to make sure before you get too much farther in.. Those guys will make you rip it out if they don't like the installation unfortunately.

PaulC
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Old 12-01-03, 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by bradrx7
My FD track car construction photos...
http://www.bradbarber.com/BBcage2/index.html
I am by no means a cage expert but that looks very well done; I'm especially impressed with the door bars.

Is this a completely custom design?
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Old 12-01-03, 06:52 PM
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Yes, it was done by Greg Lucas at Lucas Racing in Houston. I already had a 4 point welded in by Mitch Piper (Virginia cage fab guy) and Greg finished it up after I converted the car to track only. We discussed various options and went from there. I specifically wanted door bars that went into compression went and intrusion happened. Also, putting in the Petty bar added a bit of triangulation across the cube.We welded the top hoop to the roof in case you did not notice. A decision was made to NOT go through the firewall as it would make maintenance a pain in the butt. If the car was full competition, maybe so, but this cage is in a track car and safety was the big issue. The car is very stiff as a result. Cost was $1700 including paint, door panel and window net. After there pictures were taken many other things were added, removable steering wheel, etc.
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Old 12-01-03, 08:35 PM
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Why does the cage not go to the rear strut towers? Rules based or is there some other reason? Was the cage tied into the rocker panels as well or are the pictures the final version?
-Matt
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Old 12-01-03, 10:13 PM
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No need to go to the tower tops. All the loads are covered by the solid mount Cusco. The cage is welded to the rocker panels with fabbed boxes at the main hoop and at the front floor. You cannot easily go forward of that and still have room for your feet on the dead pedal. There was no more fabrication after those images. Cgae building is open to a lot of interpretation. Lucas has lots of race car and restoration experience and my car has been seen by a lot of track folks who all nod their heads 'yeah' when they look at it.
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Old 12-02-03, 09:30 AM
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Brad, I am curious as to why there are bars going from the bottom of the rear cross to the bottom of the main hoop. What that your Idea or the fabricators?
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Old 12-02-03, 10:49 PM
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Pauly, that was my idea to triangulate the rear in plan view. Cage guy agreed it was good. Those two tubes and the Petty bar are thinner wall than the others because they are for triangulation only, not to protect against incursions.
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Old 12-03-03, 12:19 AM
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pic1
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Old 12-03-03, 12:27 AM
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more (dbl pst)

Last edited by Carl Byck; 12-03-03 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 12-03-03, 12:30 AM
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