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Removing and reusing a roll cage

Old 04-13-08, 08:19 PM
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Removing and reusing a roll cage

I was recently in a decent accident that essentially totaled the car (bent firewall, tilted shock tower, disformed door frame and popped out most of the spot welds on the inner fender.) All of the wiring, suspension, entire engine bay and drivetrain are still good though.



I've found a shell that I'm planning on swapping everything into and I have a cage I'd like to cut out and reuse. I know I'll have to cut some of it to get it out/in. It also isn't as close to the roof as I'd like. Based on a bit of research online, I gather it might be a smart option to get a new base plate welded to a bit of the same size tubing (as a spacer) and a piece of tube that slides inside as additional support for the welding when the base/spacer is connected to the existing cage.

NOTE:Before I hear anything about the stock seats and harnesses, they've since been replaced with a Clubman for the passenger and a FX1-Pro for the driver side for proper support/safety.

This is the cage:






I suppose I'm looking for any hints/advice on doing this sort of thing or if my idea for raising the cage is sound?
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Old 04-13-08, 08:54 PM
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It all depends on what organization you race with. You need to meet their rules.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:16 PM
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The proper way to reshell a roll cage is to remove the glass, cut the pillars, lift the roof off, remove the cage, and then do the same to the new shell to get the cage in.

If it was mine, I'd look into just replacing the L/F corner of the car. If the firewall isn't too badly bent then this would be the easiest way, even before considering all the other work required with a reshell.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:55 PM
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The situation is like this: I'm not currently running in any sanctioning bodies and likely won't until I get everything sorted out on the car (power and reliability). The cage was already in the car when I bought it and I've since been using the cage, seats and harnesses on the street. I kinda like having the seats/harnesses for when I get on some of the hillcountry backroads here in TX. Of course I know it wouldn't be safe to run both of those without at least a roll bar.
Do you think it'd be possible and safe (enough) to just cut up everything else and save the main hoop and rear supports to install as a rollbar?
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Old 04-14-08, 04:52 PM
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Usually you can cut and reweld cages as long as they are properly sleeved, at least you can in SCCA. You do not run with any club now but I would think about what future direction you may go. Personally I do not like cages in street cars. They are a little hard on the head with no helmet.
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Old 04-14-08, 05:18 PM
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When you sleeve the tube you need to drill holes int the outer tube and rosette weld it in addition to the butt weld. This is accepted procedure in SCCA and I have done it several times over the years with no issues as to legality. I agree that the best way is to remove the roof, install the cage and re-install the roof.
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Old 04-14-08, 09:42 PM
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check with a few body shops as the front clip replacement will be cheaper in the long run then the reshell. only good way is to remove roof and remove the cage with the base plates connected. sleeved/butt welded tubing is not as strong as a continuous piece
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Old 04-15-08, 12:06 AM
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I hope you wasn't running the race harness with those stock seats.
That's the wrong way to run a race harness.


-Ted
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Old 04-15-08, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DragonRx7 View Post
NOTE:Before I hear anything about the stock seats and harnesses, they've since been replaced with a Clubman for the passenger and a FX1-Pro for the driver side for proper support/safety.
Maybe earlier, but he fixed it.

If you only need a roll bar you should be able to cut off the front section and take out and re-insall the rear into another car without needing to cut off the roof or anything.
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Old 04-21-08, 07:10 PM
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That's good to hear about just reusing the main hoop/harness bar and rear supports. I was worried I wouldn't have enough room to squeeze it out.
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Old 04-22-08, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Don49 View Post
When you sleeve the tube you need to drill holes int the outer tube and rosette weld it in addition to the butt weld. This is accepted procedure in SCCA and I have done it several times over the years with no issues as to legality. I agree that the best way is to remove the roof, install the cage and re-install the roof.
or buy a vert and not have this annoying "roof" problem!
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Old 04-22-08, 12:50 AM
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Verts have other roof problems, like the inability to have rear support braces AND a working roof at the same time. Yea, much easier.
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Old 04-29-08, 09:01 AM
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I can't say about local prices for you. But a cage costs about $1400-1800 here. Fixing the front end would cost $2000-3000. I know, I' ve used both options. You will save a bit on the cage by salvaging the old one, as steel has risen in price. But labour is the big cost on a cage.
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Old 04-29-08, 07:47 PM
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i think icedawg is right on, cheapest and best is to write off the existing cage completely, you might be able save the main hoop or something (cut it out with the mounting plates still attached) and put the rest from new maybe, splicing and rosette welding is labor intensive its not ideal to work with a bunch of old stuff.......
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Old 05-28-08, 02:29 PM
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I vote cut off your roof, but if you don't, I vote sell me your cage
and I'll cut off my roof. What's your clearance from the top of your
cage to the roof?
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Old 05-28-08, 10:01 PM
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1) The clearance was about 2".
2) I already cut up the front arms to remove the dash.

I decided to just scrap it and possibly sell the main hoop/rear struts/harness bar. Besides, would you really want to cover shipping from TX to WA?
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