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BigDaveZJ
05-01-2010, 02:46 PM
This should prove to be an interesting one! :smt066

Couple subjects to cover (feel free to add your own too):
Internal vs External (and combo)
Material
Design
Frame/Unibody Tie-ins
Keeping it on a budget
Triangulation (we know we need it, but how many know why?)
Using a cage to strengthen the unibody
Keeping the COG low
What would you change on a cage you already built?
How did your cage hold up in a roll?
What ZJ/WJ specific issues did you run into?
Buggy vs full-body w/ cage

To me, cages are like entire builds, what works for one person may not work for another, for a variety of reasons. The one thing that is constant though is that we each need to be comfortable with the level of safety our rig provides for us and our passengers.

Pretty much anything that relates to cages is open game here. I think we can keep some of the basic fab stuff out though, like bending, notching, welding. Those really deserve a separate TOTM and we can beat the cage horse to death IMO without getting into those, and they apply to much more than just cages.

Let's git it awn! :smt024


EDIT: Don't forget pics or diagrams or whatever you've got!

SirFuego
05-01-2010, 11:40 PM
I'll probably have multiple posts of tech and whatnot, but I'm jus going to start with some background on why my cage turned out the way it did.

OK so before I got SB406 to build my cage, I did a LOT of research that led me to an idea of what I wanted. It ended up turning out a LOT different (for the better) than what I was expecting -- but SB406 sorta got "carried away" (in his words) on the little nuances of my cage AND the plan for the rear end totally changed.

Now I wanted head room, so I opted for an exo cage up front -- but I still wanted B pillar triangulation. So the decision was made to hack everything behind the B pillar. The reason was primarily so the cage could be "picked up" and fully welded everywhere before it was tied in. Rather than building everything off of a B hoop, I wanted it from A to C so that I have a smooth sliding surface against rocks and trees. I think Mike did a REALLY good job keeping to the lines of the body for the front, but there was a LOT of work that was done to make it look as good as it does.

Basic things I learned in this process:
1) Before you put a tube in place, think of what purpose it serves. If you can't think of any purpose, there is probably no point in having it there. Think of where the stress points will be in a roll and try to strengthen that node.

2) Long unsupported spans are undesirable. This is part of the reason I have the "A" triangulation in my B hoop. Basically, if I ended up on my lid, there was already plenty of support at the B pillars, but nothing in the middle. This also proved to be better for head clearance.

3) As for B pillar triangulation, I did a lot of research on why this is needed. If you search hard enough on Pirate, you can find a couple cage threads that show pics of untriangulated and triangulated B hoops involved in a roll. The results were pretty obvious -- non-triangulated B hoops "worked" in that they protected the occupants, but they parallelogrammed to where the cage was pretty much worthless after that. The rigs with B pillar triangulation showed no signs of parallelograming and most could still be used without cutting out and replacing tube.

4) As for triangulation in general, it helps to distribute both vertical and horizontal forces -- both of which are going to be present in any roll. As a result, it significantly strengthens an area. But triangulation for the sake of triangulation may not really be very helpful, so consider (1).

5) Gussets add a lot of strength to a cage.

6) If you have a door bar tied into your rocker anel (more info on my cage tie ins later), you will feel basically any hit to your rocker panels and it will be felt throughout your whole body.

I have more to add, but I don't feel like typing much more right now...

dp96zj
05-03-2010, 11:00 PM
Let's btt this.



I know a bunch of you guys have cages, and some of you have redone them (recently, Cam and Pearce). What makes your new design better than the old one?



And a more generic question, how did everyone tie it into the uniframe? Maxx, I'm sure you wouldn't mind throwing some pics into this thread. Or if you no longer have a uniframe, you can answer as well ;).



What kinds of complications have you run into when building a cage? Or do you have any advice for people who are working on putting a cage in? (ex: rstrucks and his new cage)



Do you recommend doing a big-ass exo with a gigantic stinger? (for Cody) :flipoff2:



Exo or interior cage? Or both?


And for future reference:
http://www.mallcrawlin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22042

ATL ZJ
05-03-2010, 11:43 PM
I rebuilt mine because I didn't feel safe anymore doing what we do these days. Whether it is hauling ass on the side of a mountain with no guardrail or hammering it on a ledge at the top of a steep 300' slope, I didn't think my existing "cage" would cut it in a very serious multiple roll. Mostly I wanted more headroom, more side protection, and more triangulation.

I'll get into more detail later if I have time but the keys are making triangles and nodes, strong "frame" ties, sound construction- good notches and welds, proper tube placement, and quality material.

SirFuego
05-04-2010, 11:41 AM
I know a bunch of you guys have cages, and some of you have redone them (recently, Cam and Pearce). What makes your new design better than the old one?
I haven't redesigned mine, but if I had to change anything, I would change the way it ties into the front and beef it up a bit more. I already had a ton of extra work over what was originally planned, and I didn't want to add battery fuse/box, etc relocation to the list to cut the fenders as I have it now.

I would also cutout the rockers and raise them up as high as possible and practical for boat sides.

I would have also put skins on ASAP. I've been meaning to do it for a while (like basically everything else), but never did. There is LITERALLY 2-3 inches of solidified mud where the rear seats used to be. I got one side mostly cleaned up and will hopefully tackle the other side tomorrow.


And a more generic question, how did everyone tie it into the uniframe? Maxx, I'm sure you wouldn't mind throwing some pics into this thread. Or if you no longer have a uniframe, you can answer as well ;).
I still have my uniframe from the front crossmember to a little past the rear coil perches. Ideally, I'd like to have cut out the floor/frame rail behind the front seat -- but again it came down to the fact that I can't weld, so I wanted to minimize the work being done.

My rocker cutouts are each tied into the frame rail with fish plates three times. My cage ties into each rocker cutout thrice. It also ties into the front bumper, rear bumper, and rear spring perches.
Here is a post showing the rocker cutouts tied into the frame rail:
http://www.mallcrawlin.com/forum/showpost.php?p=237228&postcount=234

Here is a pic on how it is tied into the rocker, rear spring perch, and rear bumper:
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/th_3-30-09007.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/?action=view&current=3-30-09007.jpg)

Here is some additional uniframe stiffening:
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/th_4-2-09006.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/?action=view&current=4-2-09006.jpg)

At some point, the rear floor is probably going to go bye-bye, so I'm hoping that additional uniframe stiffening will allow me (or whoever works on it) to build off of that for the rear frame.


Exo or interior cage? Or both?
IMO, that is a matter of what you intend your cage to do. An exo will help to protect your ZJ's body, but an internal cage would be safer in a roll.

I usually don't like the look of exo cages, but I wanted an exo up front primarily because of head room and in anticipation of the fact that I'd probably be cutting out the B pillar and windshield at some point anyways. The key to a good looking exo, IMO, is keeping tight to the body -- which can be difficult because of all the bends you need to make. IIRC, SB406 needed to do 8 or 9 bends on my lower windshield spreader and 4 or 5 on my upper part.

SB406
05-04-2010, 12:42 PM
Looks like Jared has hit most of the major points regarding his build.
Two things to add though-
#1 - Don't start with a truck that is rotted. I ended up replacing most of the floor in the front of Jared's truck. His seats were literally falling through the floor. Part of the job had been started, so my options on repair were limited (hence all of the different pieces of material welded on underneath).
To regain the strength, I used 1/4" plate. It's welded into the area above the "framerail" (see circular welds on floor in Jared's posts), the center tunnel, and the top of the slider supports. This adds huge rigidity in a side load situation, and triangulates the rock rail supports.

#2 - Don't start with a heavilly abused truck. Most of the reason why things got "carried away" on Jared's cage is because EVERYTHING was smashed. As I explained to Jared, shapes add strength, but smashed is not a shape. His truck was wheeled HARD, half rotted, with no doors, pivoting on the B-pillars. Anything that would protect you in a roll was now kinked. So, I wrote off any strength from the roof and decided to build a cage that could hold the rest of the truck together.

Overall, I think it turned out pretty decent for what we started with.

SB406
05-05-2010, 11:09 AM
How have people's cages held up with different materials?
Some of my cage is DOM and some is HREW. Both types are 1.75" .120 wall. Have have dented some of the HREW. I can't say for certain if it would or wouldn't have dented had those pieces been DOM.
This pic shows one such dent. I got side hilled and used a tree to stop me. The tree hit right behind a supporting tube under the hood.
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/KGB%20Benefit%2010-10-09/th_RC001.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/KGB%20Benefit%2010-10-09/?action=view&current=RC001.jpg)

SirFuego
05-05-2010, 12:06 PM
Well, I can't say I have HREW experience, but I do know that I've bashed the A-to-C bar hard off of trees in situations where I wasn't paying attention and it hasn't dented. I also had an arguably hard hit on my tailgate tubing backing up with a lot of throttle directly into a tree. I know DOM's not indestructible, but I've been happy with the hits it's been subjected to so far.

ATL ZJ
05-05-2010, 12:16 PM
DOM is a lot more crush-resistant than ERW. For an unscientific test, bash two pieces of the same OD and wall thickness with a hammer or crush them in a press. A situation where DOM dents will usually cause ERW to dent deeper or fold flatter.

indy242003
05-05-2010, 03:16 PM
I would like to see some pics of some full body rigs with cages from the inside with explainations as to why you built it that way. I've been planning to build mine for a year now, and can tell you that the Grands bring thier own set of challenges for tubing. I don't want to start hacking sheet metal to "buggy" mine. I want it to still look like a grand. That was never my intention when I started building it. You can do a lot of reading on cage designs, but the Grands are a different beast that requires attention to detail. I'm subsribing to this and look forward to using the leasons learned from you guys. I think this has the potential to be one of the best threads of all time on MC. :smt071

SirFuego
05-05-2010, 03:25 PM
Here is a good thread with an exo-internal combo:
http://www.nagca.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36535

ATL ZJ
05-05-2010, 03:36 PM
here is what I did for an internal cage back in the day... It was pretty minimalistic but that configuration didn't last long... If I were to build another internal cage I would add an X in the B hoop and a harness bar. The hardest thing about internal cages is how many bends you have to make to clear parts of the interior and still have room for the occupants.

http://www.mallcrawlin.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=1035&stc=1&d=1147667621

http://www.mallcrawlin.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=1034&stc=1&d=1147667621

http://www.mallcrawlin.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=995&stc=1&d=1146972991

http://www.mallcrawlin.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=1038&stc=1&d=1147667621

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v125/atlzj/camguardrail3.jpg

slim616
05-05-2010, 10:58 PM
For my cage right now the only thing I would change is a bunch of rookie mistakes i made as i was bending it and would of moved a few spots were i connected the exo cage into the endo cage. I built my cage with the idea that not if it rolls but when so i reinforced everywhere I though would take a hard hit. Also I kept in mind to build it so the jeep could be lifted by the cage.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/md4wheelin/fc3.jpg
http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/md4wheelin/fc4.jpg
http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/md4wheelin/reartear2.jpg
http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/md4wheelin/rebuild%20project/P9040013.jpghttp://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/md4wheelin/rebuild%20project/P9070028.jpg
http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/md4wheelin/rebuild%20project/P9070033.jpg


ill have to get some pics of how i tied the B and C pillars into the unibody The A pillar is tied right into my sliders.

BigDaveZJ
05-26-2010, 01:20 PM
Bump.

Was hoping for a bit more info in this thread. If you've got a cage in your rig, at least post up some pics and talk about how it was built a little bit.

rstrucks
05-26-2010, 03:30 PM
I'm hoping to be finishing up my internal/external cage over the three day weekend. I'll post pics when I do.

dp96zj
05-27-2010, 09:47 PM
maxx, chad, kraqa, any pics of yall's cages?

CrawlerReady
05-28-2010, 01:31 AM
I'll be posting pics in a few days. Made a few changes since I originally built it.

chadjans
05-31-2010, 01:30 AM
chad, any pics of yall's cages?

See my build thread for photos, including the internal cage and the changes made to it to date. Putting a cage in a unibody is somewhat difficult but begins with a good suspension system. They all need to tie together.


What I have learned over the last 10 years:

Good cages begin with a good suspension.
Rockers should be stupid thick and tucked up out of the way (on my to do list).
EVERY cage should be made with DOM. HREW dents horribly and does not belong in a cage, only playground equipment.
Gussets can never be overused.
Invest in a GOOD angle finder and digital level. I use a Bosch http://www.boschtools.com/Products/MeasuringAndLayout/Pages/BoschProductDetail.aspx?pid=DAF220K and Craftsman http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_10155_12602_00948292000P?keyword=level
Some of my best tube copes have been done with a chop saw and angle grinder.
Long unsupported tubes bend.
Dead nodes should be used very sparingly. I have only three. And two of those are on the bumper.
Seat mounts and seat belts should be simple and part of the cage (on my to do list).
Storage, make sure to think about it during the build, not last.

SirFuego
05-31-2010, 02:45 AM
EVERY cage should be made with DOM. HREW dents horribly and does not belong in a cage, only playground equipment.


That's the most common argument for not using HREW, but what about supporting bars (i.e. B pillar triangulation) that aren't going to see any direct impacts even in a rollover?

In the grand scheme of things, I don't know that would really save you much money to run HREW for those supports, but if you are out of DOM and have HREW lying around -- why not use it for those supports?

I agree with the rest of what you said, though.

ATL ZJ
06-02-2010, 02:23 PM
What I have learned over the last 10 years:

Good cages begin with a good suspension.
Rockers should be stupid thick and tucked up out of the way (on my to do list).
EVERY cage should be made with DOM. HREW dents horribly and does not belong in a cage, only playground equipment.
Gussets can never be overused.
Invest in a GOOD angle finder and digital level. I use a Bosch http://www.boschtools.com/Products/MeasuringAndLayout/Pages/BoschProductDetail.aspx?pid=DAF220K and Craftsman http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_10155_12602_00948292000P?keyword=level
Some of my best tube copes have been done with a chop saw and angle grinder.
Long unsupported tubes bend.
Dead nodes should be used very sparingly.
Seat mounts and seat belts should be simple and part of the cage (on my to do list).
Storage, make sure to think about it during the build, not last.



agree with all these as good rules of thumb. I have a mix of DOM, ERW, and chromoly in my current cage. The ERW is only used as bracing- it is not the primary structure, and none of it is located where it could ever get hit by a rock.

storage is not the only thing that should be considered before building a "cage"... suspension, seating, fuel containment, etc. all need to get figured out before any tube is bent.

And I just use my iphone for a digital level.

paulkeith
06-02-2010, 02:43 PM
I've said it before, I'll say it again. Cages should not rely on welds or tubes in bending or tension. Steel tubing has strength in compression. Your cage design should be such that if each node were theoretically a pinned joint free to move, your cage should still be a rigid structure.

SB406
06-03-2010, 11:33 AM
One note about HREW-
If you bend it, you're supposed to put the seam to the inside of the bend for the most strength.

zj95maxx
06-03-2010, 11:52 AM
posting all my cage build pics here to help out anyone who is planning on making a cage and doesn't feel like searching too much to find pics of ZJ cages inside.

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/j022.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/j023.jpg

not AMAZINGLY happy with the A pillar, but it works
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03903.jpg

C pillar, there is like no room to mount plates underneath, so what I did, if you remember I have 1/4 plate where my coils are for my coil traps, perfect spot for tube.
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03905.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03908.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03906.jpg

Rear Halo
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03902.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03907.jpg

Top C pillar bar
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03910.jpg


dash bars
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03915.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03916.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03920.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03921.jpg


D pillar
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03932.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03934.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03942.jpg

seat bar
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03956.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03957.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03958.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03959.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03960.jpg

Spreader bars
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/a004.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/a003.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/a002.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/a001.jpg


http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04010.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04011.jpg

Speaker bar
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04015.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04016.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04017.jpg

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04039.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04040.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04042.jpg


how it connects underneath, the tube inside is welded to a plate, 4 bolts go through to underneath, another plate and tighten the bolts

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03913.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03922.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/j037.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/j038.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/j039.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/j040.jpg

zj95maxx
06-03-2010, 11:53 AM
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/j041.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03941.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC03951.jpg

D pillar
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04003.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04008.jpg
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/zj95maxx/DSC04021.jpg

SB406
06-03-2010, 05:52 PM
Nice pics.
Another best practice is to not make the plates on the top exactly the same size as the plates underneath when mouting to a body. As the body flexes, you can develop cracks along the edges of the sandwiched plates if they are the same size/ shape.

rstrucks
06-23-2010, 11:37 PM
This is my cage about 85% complete. It is all 1.625" .120 wall DOM except for the straight rear c-pillar supports, they are 1.5" .120 wall DOM.

From my build thread;

Cage is just about finished. There are a couple of braces to add and the front A-pillar will also tie into the wheelwell protection but for the most part it's done. I know it is not as strong as it could be but I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out and I really didn't want to add another hundred pounds of tube to an already heavy rig. I figure it should handle a light roll or a flop with out too much carnage. If it gets hurt too bad I'll just swap my drivetrain parts into a TJ or something. The purpose of the int/ext cage was more to protect the passangers in a roll and to help keep the sheetmetal somewhat clean by allowing me to lean up against trees or limbs without worrying about busting the glass out of it........ hopefully.

I tried to build it as low profile as possible as it is right now I may have a hard time getting the ZJ out of the garage.

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2418.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2423.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2422.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2417.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2414.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2425.jpg

Inside pics....


Trying to keep the headliner in good shape and have the cage poke through it was fun.

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2412.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2411.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2410.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2406.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2404.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2403.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2400.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2396.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2395.jpg

And here it is with the rest of the interior in it.

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2436.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2437.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2441.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2442.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2443.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2435.jpg

And a few more of the outside.

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2446.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo22/ryanshand/ZJ%20build%20pics/IMG_2445.jpg

chadjans
06-29-2010, 05:05 AM
Ryan I like the internal portions of the cage. Still on the fence about the outside.

One question though, do you think your C to D kickers would have been better served with a different shape? Like starting from a higher node with a longer vertical and horizontial leg or maybe a tie in to the outside portion that exists in that area?

I ask because I really don't see that kicker serving a purpose in its current shape other than supporting your shoulder harness bar. Just curious of your thinking.

Chad

rstrucks
06-29-2010, 09:41 PM
One question though, do you think your C to D kickers would have been better served with a different shape? Like starting from a higher node with a longer vertical and horizontial leg or maybe a tie in to the outside portion that exists in that area?

I ask because I really don't see that kicker serving a purpose in its current shape other than supporting your shoulder harness bar. Just curious of your thinking.


Just for some support for the C pillar. I thought about a long, straight (top of) C pillar to D pillar (base) kicker. I also thought about one that followed the roof line but just decided to go with the harness bar height tie in. With the way the C pillar leans forward there isn't a lot of angle between the kicker and the C pillar so I felt ok going this route. This kept it cleaner looking (to me anyway). When building it I tried to balance strength, weight, and trying to make sure it didn't look like a jungle gym inside as I still still drive this thing on the street. I know the "way it looks" should be lower on the priority list when building a cage and I think I kept things in the right order.

This cage could be stronger (and heavier) but with the way everything is tied together I am confident that I'm in good shape. I also tried to leave room for improvement in the future. Should this thing end up with a really dented up body and busted out glass, I may add on to what I've got built already.

BigClay
02-16-2011, 02:08 PM
Going to bump this up. I am contemplating a cage and I am still torn between interior, exterior, or a combo like Ryan has done. I need advice on pros and cons of each set up. My rig is still full bodied and I want to keep it that way.

So throw out some more opinions.

SB406
02-16-2011, 03:44 PM
Exo will save the body and glass better, but interior looks better. Interior cage takes away from cabin space. You have to be careful with an interior cage so that you don't hit your arms or head on the bars.
A ZJ isn't terrible to fit bars inside though. My latest project is caging a VW Beetle. Not THAT is tight.

BigClay
02-16-2011, 03:56 PM
What about strength, would one be better than the other?

SirFuego
02-16-2011, 05:26 PM
A triangulated interior cage will be stronger than an exo cage with no internal supports.

The shape of the cage dictates strength. Triangles are extremely "strong" shapes. When you run an exo, you can't run cross-bracing in the important areas (i.e. the B pillar) to create "triangles". Although you do arguably have the structure of the chassis of a full-bodied vehicle to compensate for the lack of triangulation -- so it may still be "safe", but it's not going to be as strong as a triangulated interior cage using the same materials.

Ryan's cage (with respect to full-bodied rigs) is one of the best I've seen because it has the triangulation of an interior cage, but the exo part makes for a much more comfortable interior. Maybe you could convince him to use your rig to show the finer points of making a roll cage for an episode of Trucks! He already has experience in caging a ZJ ;-)

Maxx and CrawlerReady have nice interior cages as well that you could probably snag some ideas from.

BigClay
02-16-2011, 10:37 PM
Excellent idea... so Ryan want to do a cage in my ZJ on an episode? :D

blackbeer
02-17-2011, 05:50 AM
Does maxs rear halo gradually decline from front to rear? If so is there a reason? The top hoop connections being above the rest desirable? Any other a pillar and dash designs? My plan is to get the pillars bent and add the straight pipe myself. Guesstimate of how many sticks it takes to do an internal cage? Great thread but itd be great to see more and hear more info for those of us w zero experience in this department looking to do it right

rstrucks
02-17-2011, 10:49 AM
Going to bump this up. I am contemplating a cage and I am still torn between interior, exterior, or a combo like Ryan has done. I need advice on pros and cons of each set up. My rig is still full bodied and I want to keep it that way.


I think SB406 and Jared pretty much summed it up. Ultimate strength goes to the interior cage. I like to think that mine is mostly an interior cage with some of the benefits of an exo. While my cage (and Jeep) isn't going to survive a hard roll-over without substantial damage, hopefully I will. I'm also hoping that in a light roll or flop I can get by without too much damage where as if I had a full interior cage I'd be screwed.


Excellent idea... so Ryan want to do a cage in my ZJ on an episode? :D

Hmmmmm, bribes can be sent to my Paypal account. I know you have insurance money so don't cheap out on me!

;)

BigClay
02-17-2011, 11:37 AM
Hmmmmm, bribes can be sent to my Paypal account. I know you have insurance money so don't cheap out on me!

;)


Payment sent ;)

BigClay
02-23-2011, 04:41 PM
OK, another question. I see we have mentioned 1.75" .120 wall and 1.625" .120 wall for exterior tube; are these good standard sizes for a cage? Is 1.5" not recommended for external tube in a cage?

paulkeith
02-23-2011, 06:06 PM
I would avoid 1.5 for an external cage. I think it can be appropriate in certain secondary structure applications, in areas that can't see point impact, etc. but for exterior lines of an exterior cage, i would never go less than 1.75 .120 DOM.

cowboy63b
02-23-2011, 08:26 PM
subscribed, i wanna see where this goes.

BigClay
03-21-2011, 10:01 AM
Well I have a guy lined up to do an exo cage for me, but I just found out that he quoted me 1.5" HREW... he said he has built many cages with this and they have worked just fine...
I asked if he could do 1.75" DOM and he said he could do DOM for a higher price (which I understand) but his bender can only do 1.5". So my question is, how bad would it be to go with 1.5"? I am having a delima because the price is right for this guy, so is 1.5" worth the lower price...

rstrucks
03-21-2011, 10:59 AM
Well I have a guy lined up to do an exo cage for me, but I just found out that he quoted me 1.5" HREW... he said he has built many cages with this and they have worked just fine...
I asked if he could do 1.75" DOM and he said he could do DOM for a higher price (which I understand) but his bender can only do 1.5". So my question is, how bad would it be to go with 1.5"? I am having a delima because the price is right for this guy, so is 1.5" worth the lower price...

Seems strange. Most cages (especially ones built for a santioning body) are made of 1 5/8" DOM or 1 3/4" DOM. Does he have much experience doing cages? Not saying he's not the right guy but I would be hesitant to have a guy build me a cage that doesn't really seem to have the equipment to do it correctly.

I wonder if his bender can only handle 1.5" or he just doesn't want to buy as new die set for larger tube?

Ulitmately it's your call. You'd "probably" be fine but you may want to look around some more.

AgitatedPancake
03-21-2011, 12:37 PM
We have pretty heavy trucks when it comes to caging vehicles, I wouldn't skimp in that area. I plan on 1 3/4 DOM for mine all around

zj95maxx
03-26-2011, 12:43 PM
Does maxs rear halo gradually decline from front to rear? If so is there a reason? The top hoop connections being above the rest desirable? Any other a pillar and dash designs? My plan is to get the pillars bent and add the straight pipe myself. Guesstimate of how many sticks it takes to do an internal cage? Great thread but itd be great to see more and hear more info for those of us w zero experience in this department looking to do it right

I did not mean to have the halo decline. It was too big of a halo... Oh well

BigClay
05-05-2011, 05:07 PM
Well I went with 1.75" 120 wall DOM for all of my cage. This is a pure Exo, so I don't think one has been posted up in this thread yet.

*Pictures stolen from my build thread.


http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/002-2.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/003-2.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/001.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/009-1.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/015-2.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/018-1.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/027.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/030-2.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/045.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/047.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/046.jpg

http://i358.photobucket.com/albums/oo27/CW_2009/004-1.jpg

Horus
05-05-2011, 08:01 PM
My no holds barred cage.

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w133/Tunaspear/413601903_photobucket_31623_.jpg

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w133/Tunaspear/413601903_photobucket_30415_.jpg

From my buggy build. We kept the dash, windshield frame and the firewall on the drivers side. The whole chassis is DOM. Factory unibody runs from the nose to about the firewall. From there it is box steel from the pedals to the rear link mounts. Should do okay in a roll.

FortCollinsZJ
05-29-2011, 09:19 PM
That looks super bad ass. Really clean and smart lines. I like the idea of keeping a windshield. Please update it as you get more done!

Horus
06-02-2011, 04:35 AM
That looks super bad ass. Really clean and smart lines. I like the idea of keeping a windshield. Please update it as you get more done!

Thanks. I thought about starting a build thread on here as I don't bother with the one on NAGCA anymore. The rig should be sitting on it's own suspension in a week or so.

SirFuego
06-02-2011, 02:43 PM
Thanks. I thought about starting a build thread on here
Please do. Those are some sweet looking lines on the cage and I'm curious what you come up with for your suspension.

Are you welding the windshield frame to the cage? I still have everything from the B pillar forward and that rattles all the time on the cage...

1ABrian
06-02-2011, 05:19 PM
All I can say is WOW. The construction of all these and cage designs are fantastic. I wish my GC wasnt my daily rig so I could chop it up :(

SirFuego
06-02-2011, 05:38 PM
Just realized that I didn't put in any real pics of my cage. These are the highlights, but more detail can be found in my build thread starting here:
http://www.mallcrawlin.com/forum/showthread.php?12601-93-ZJ-Robot&p=237228&viewfull=1#post237228

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/3-9-09016.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/th_3-16-09007.jpg (http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/3-16-09007.jpg) http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/th_3-19-09005.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/?action=view&current=3-19-09005.jpg)
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/th_3-22-09009.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/?action=view&current=3-22-09009.jpg) http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/th_3-22-09010.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/?action=view&current=3-22-09010.jpg)

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p302/SirFuego/Photo_03-1.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/th_4-13-09004.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/sb406/Jared/?action=view&current=4-13-09004.jpg) http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p302/SirFuego/zj/Finished%20Cage/th_Picture007.jpg (http://s131.photobucket.com/albums/p302/SirFuego/zj/Finished%20Cage/?action=view&current=Picture007.jpg)
http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p302/SirFuego/zj/Finished%20Cage/th_Picture001.jpg (http://s131.photobucket.com/albums/p302/SirFuego/zj/Finished%20Cage/?action=view&current=Picture001.jpg) http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p302/SirFuego/zj/Finished%20Cage/th_Picture003.jpg (http://s131.photobucket.com/albums/p302/SirFuego/zj/Finished%20Cage/?action=view&current=Picture003.jpg)

BigClay
01-06-2012, 01:43 PM
OK, I have been meaning to update this thread with a real world stress test on a ZJ exo cage.

Let me start off by saying if you are wheeling a ZJ (or anything for that matter), and you do not have some form of a roll cage, you are taking your life into your own hands, and I will not ride with you on anything more than a gravel trail.

Here is why. I have been to Uwharrie at least 20 times and I have only been near a flop once and that was due to my stupidity and my "I bet I can make it up that rock" attitude at the time. But I did not flop that time, just came close. Fast forward to my last trip to Uwharrie. A buddy and me were out wheeling for what was supposed to be a half day of just enjoying the day, nothing too hard, just trail riding. We get to the highest peak at Uwharrie, park, and get out to just watch some other people and enjoy the great Fall weather. After about an hour we decide to head back to the trailer and call it a day. As we get into the jeep a group begins coming down the trail and an XJ is in the front of the group and he asks if he can park on the side of the trail where we were. I fire up the jeep and start to do a three point turn to get turned around and head down the trail. As I do, my back passenger tire climbs a rock that I didn't see and proceeds to get the ZJ off balance. Before I knew it, the jeep began to lean too hard to the driver side, and then over she went, and over, and over, and over...

We barrel rolled 5 times down a steep hill and got completely airborn once as we rolled, slamming back to earth hard each time. The exo cage with out a doubt save my life and my passenger's life.

Now onto what I learned about cages and why this is relevant to this thread. Exo cages, built properly, can save your life in a mutiple barrel roll; however, in doing this the cage sacrafices itself. Once the roll stoped, the DOM was flat in some places, pretzeled in other places, and plain bent to hell in others. An exo cage does not have the horizontal rigidity that an interior cage can provide, so the exo cage banged into the ZJ body during the roll.


In my opinion an exo cage is like a motorcycle helment, it is meant to save you once, and then thrown away.


I still like an exo cage for the interior room, but my next cage will incorporate an exo cage in the front and tied into an interior cage behind the front seats and in the back.