Roll Cage: Driver’s Door Bars

Okay, so based on the traffic to the site recently….folks are getting bored with the cage install.  That’s okay, its almost done.  I ordered the last of the parts that need to be welded to the cage, today.  Accomplishments for the day: drivers door bars, and rear diagonal bar.

Windshield Bar (Round 2)

Okay, so last weekend I installed a door bar as the windshield bar.  Today I got to grind and cut it out.  Step one, put a brand new grinding wheel on the angle grinder to make sure I grind out nice and square.  Once it was down to almost base metal, I put the cutting wheel on and under cut the weld.  Then I used a hammer to knock it free.  Finally, I put an old grinding wheel (rounded and smooth) on and ground the rest of the old weld material off and the pipe smooth.

Next install the REAL windshield bar.  Not surprisingly it will a little quicker the second time around.  Unfortunately, it reveals the mistakes I made with the cage sides.  Apparently, I’ve left them a little wide, and cut them a little short.  Then windshield bar doesn’t reach all the way to the windshield frame.  Its not a structural issue, it just sits a little lower than it could.


Driver’s Door Bars

Okay so this process is probably getting repetitive.  That’s good for me, because it means I learning what I’m doing (which means that I have a chance of cutting a bar right the first time)….but, I suppose its not very exciting for the reader.

I set the driver’s door into place, and began the process of measuring the location of the lower door bar.   Notice that this is the bar I removed from the windshield.   I found that 2 inches above the outer door sill was just about perfect for the lower bar.


I also made the bar parallel to the door sill/pinch weld, and flat angling into the car.  I used welding magnets to hold the bar basically in place.  I marked the axis of intersection onto the door bar.  Then I used the my protractor to measure the intersection angle between the two bars.  Off to the joint jigger.  Once I had the end cut and it fit correctly (but still long), I repeated the process on the front end of the bar.  Then I began cutting it to final length.  The bar is supposed to run parallel to the pinch weld, and just a bit wider.  1/2” at a time until close, then 1/4”….then 1/8th inch until perfect.  It is important to keep checking and adjusting the angles of the notcher both the angle setting and the rotation of the pipe.


Next was to repeat the process for the upper bar.  The upper bar is designed to meet the main hoop at the same level as the harness bar.  There are some decisions to make with the upper bar.  It can be mounted so that it is wider or narrower based on the chosen length of the section that meets the main hoop.  The longer you leave this section, the wider the bar will be at the driver’s hips.  I chose to maximize this width.


The other choice is how high to mount on at the front, where the bar meets the cage side.  You can mount it very low to improve entry/exit, or you can mount it higher which will minimize the bending moment between the door bar, and the knee bar on the cage side.  I choose to mount rather high above the midpoint between the lower door bar, and the knee bar.


Finally, the vertical members.  I simply spaced these evenly down the length of the bars, fitting the first at the driver’s hips.


Rear Diagonal Brace

This bar was pretty simple really…as bars go.  Its straight, and doesn’t have to fit exactly between two fixed points.  Its simply a matter of measuring the angles and making the cuts.  However…..!!!!  Cutting the hole in the bulkhead turned out to be a real nightmare.  I drilled three different holes, and finally gave up and just got out the grinder and just kept removing material until the bar didn’t interfere with the bulkhead.  I’ll just weld some sheet metal back to close the hole.



Tomorrow I have some family things to do.  So, I won’t get much done.  That’s okay, I’ve only got the passenger side door bars to go!  Almost done.

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