How to Make and Install Your Own Car Roll Cage
There are numerous of accidents that happen in a year, especially in places with vehicle congestion problems, like the Philippines. Steel tubes welded together to form a roll cage can help protect you in the case of a horrific accident. For those who do not know what a roll cage is, it’s the protective structure that prevents the build of a car from caving in. These are usually found in racing cars who are always in danger of high velocity collisions. Such accidents are also possible on Philippine roads and it would be good insurance if you could craft your own roll cage for your vehicle. With the correct consultation, you can do it yourself.
Tools You Need
Here are the tools you are going to need to create a car roll cage:
Steps to Take
Follow the steps below to create and install the car roll cage into your vehicle.
- Remove the chairs and the carpet to access the bare metal floor of your car. These can also pose as fire hazard during this process. You may also remove the headliner for this reason, but it will be impossible to place it back once the roll cage is installed.
Size it Up
- Measure the following distances to determine how much tubing you need
- Floor to ceiling
- Rear of the front seats to the front firewall
- The width of the interior.
The Base Plates
- In order to get the legs properly placed, you must first install the base plates. This is how the legs will attach to the metal floor of your car.
- These must have an area of 36 square inches and must be 1/8-inch thick.
- It is up to you where to place these, but it is generally recommended to place the rear plates right behind the front seats; the front plates should be on the part of the floor that meets the firewall.
Contour the Base Plates
- Bend the base plates to match the shape of your car; don’t leave any gaps between the plates and the floor. You can do this by hammering them on an anvil or by heating them.
Weld the Base Plates
- Ideally, an expert must do this step because the base plates are much thicker than the car metal; a heated baseplate can burn through your car’s floor.
- If you are experienced in welding, then perform this step but be careful while doing it.
Bend the Main Hoop
- The main hoop is a large U-shaped steel tubing that will attach to the rear plates; the top of this should be placed very near the ceiling.
- Make sure that the corners have 90 degree angles when making this. They must be as near to the roof as possible. To do this properly, make the legs longer than you estimate them to be so you can trim them down to the perfect fit.
Measure the Supporting Bars
- The supporting bars should be attached from the top of the main hoop to the front base plates.
- They can be a straight tube, but it is recommended that they outline the ceiling. Either way, use a measuring tape or string to see how much tubing you need.
- Again, give allowance when cutting the tubes.
Contouring the Supporting Bars
- In order for one end of the supporting bar to attach perfectly to the main hoop, that end of the bar must be grinded to form a “fish mouth” that will fit like a glove to the top bar of the main hoop. Take your time with this to get it right. Weld it in place once you do.
- Then, weld the other end of the supporting bar to the front base plates.
- Finish welding all of the joints.
- At the main hoop and supporting bar joint, the space you left there should allow you to weld all around the joint.
- Use an aluminium plate to protect any flammable material during this process.
- Add more steel tubes for additional support. Most bracing is optional, but the most essential is the tube that should go across the inside of the main hoop. This should be slightly above the driver’s shoulder. For race cars this is a requirement.
- You can also add bars by the door for protection from side impacts.
- Remember to form “fish mouths” to weld these in securely.
- Clear coat the entire roll cage to prevent it from rusting. This will also allow you to see any cracks that may develop in it.
- Hide these cracks by painting over them.
Congratulations! You have made your own roll cage. Your vehicle is now much safer than many other vehicles on the roads.