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I am doing research so I can design a roll cage. What is the most SIZE EFFICIENT steel tube that I can buy. I want a cage that will protect my family when in the hills as well as on the road. My buddy, who will be welding it together, suggested 2" pipe with .25" sidewalls. However, he added that it would add a great deal of weight.

In the latest issue of four wheeler(I think) they built a custom cage out of .012. Is that strong enough (provided the design and welds are done right).

Scott
72 Commando

 

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2" .120 wall cold rolled steel is a very good roll cage material. Make sure to tie it into the frame, or at least use different size backing plates, as compared to the mounting plates, so that you dont get the cookie cutter affect at the floor boards, if the roll cage is ever needed.

Jeff
89 Wrangler
If at first you dont succeed, your replacement will try and try again.
 

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I agree with the 2", 0.120" wall tubing.
You shouldn't need anything thicker unless you plan to race NASCAR...
Use chrome molly tubing, or some other hardened tubing if expect low speed tip overs, and you don't want the cage to deflect.

If you expect high energy impacts to the cage, use soft steel tubing.
Soft steel will absorb the energy of the crash, but it will bend and distort pretty easy when the energy is applied to it.

Make sure all of your tubing joints are 'fish mouthed' and that metal meets metal BEFORE you weld...
Don't try to use weld like bondo to fill voids and gaps...
Make sure of your penetration on your welds. Your cage is only as good as it's welds.

BOLT your cage to the frame!!
Use backing plates, and bolt the cage to the frame.
Always use backing plates when bolting any stressed member to the frame.

Don't let anyone talk you into welding on your frame unless it's absolutely necessary... (And it never is...)

Never just drill into a cage to bolt anything on...
Drill your hole oversize, and insert a piece of tubing, and weld it in.
That gusset will keep the cage tubing from being crushed, and weakening it when someone cranks a bolt down.
You don't know how may good safety cages we reject at the tracks because someone drilled a hole in them and didn't use a gusset...

Good luck, Aaron.

"I Have The Body Of A God... Buddha"
 
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