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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Roll Cage- "A" Pillar & "C" Pillar fab and install

Today Wayne, master fabricator at the Offroad Connection, started the custom interior cage. I arrived at 9am to him already dry fitting the driver's side main tubing support, the A & C pillar combo. The day before we had discussed what I had in mind and then what would work. We reviewed a couple of pics on my tablet, still some question remained. How difficult it would be to get the cage fully welded? What's the best way to provide the most support yet keep it looking organic, free flowing and completely custom? Little did I know by the end of this day those questions would be definitively answered. That's what it looked like when I walked in. Wayne had this enormous tube with three bends and 1 plane change, lofted in the air above him. He was using the tube bender with the precision of robot that bends tubes really really precise.

With the assistance of his computer program, he is capable of minimizing the mistakes a normal person would make and also cuts down on waste.

The drivers's side main hoop. It has three bends and one plane change located as the A pillar rises past the windshield frame. Everything will be built off of this. The B pillar, the halo above the cab, the dashboard, and the seats. They will all be directly attached to these main supports which tie into the frame.

I decided [in design} to drop the C pillar down before it reaches the back corner. I didn't want or need the extra weight and protection in that area. The decision to angle it down as it passes the rear window also keeps access to the toolboxes and coolers unobstructed. It also minimizes the use of right angles. This keeps the look more flowing, which will develop more as the build progresses.

The drivers's side top plate. Made from 1/4" steel and using 1/2" grade 8 hardware. The purpose of these plates (top and bottom) is to sandwich the body together and prevent the down tube from shifting. It also helps displace energy in the case of a roll-over. . When I drilled the holes, two of them only had to go through the sheet metal, the other two went through the 1/8" thick 2"x2" that is used to strut the rock rails to the reinforced subframe.

This is the underside of the passenger side A pillar bottom plate. It was here that we split the mounting plate in two. Wayne will weld the mounting plate along the white line to the adjacent 3/16" thick 2"x2". The other two nuts that come through the 2"x2" will remain as is.

The drivers's side C pillar top plate.

The drivers's side C pillar bottom plate.

The passenger side C pillar top plate.

The passenger side C pillar bottom plate.

This is where we left it. Both main hoops are tacked to the plates.

Tomorrow we start on the B pillar.