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Final Cage Build pics

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  • Final Cage Build pics

    Finally, I can say that I welded the last cage joint. While there might still be a few mounts coming off the cage (dash mounts, steering, ect), the cage is complete. Lots and lots of hours of fab work. I know why the good guys charge good money. Dont know if I'll build my next one or just pay someone like I have before, but it was definitely a fun experience and will make a great story when I finally finish the car.

    I have to argue that the pictures don’t do some of the details justice though. Specifically the gussets between the a-pillar and the cage. Aside from the obvious, these were welded in to later be covered with a faux suede that will start at the windshield, wrap around the rollbar, and terminate against the a-pillar again. I almost dont want to cover them though. This will make the front part of the cage almost invisible as it wont look like much more than a slightly bigger a-pillar. If you look at the older pictures in it is obvious how close the cage is to the a-pillars. Anyway, these gussets are perfectly tangent to the rollbar tubes and should look smooooooth once covered.

    Next pics will be of other detail interior work. I finished "re-shaping part of the floor to put the seats down way low. Brackets should be made this weekend. Coleman precision pedal box is in, but I dont like it. I will probably make a new pedal before I mount it.


    All the pics are here, but I copied a few teasers below:

    02 M Coupe

  • #2
    wow awesome build! Can't wait to see it all put back together.


    • #3
      Thats a pretty diesel cage.

      Ive been thinking about that idea a lot for my car. How much money did you spend on the Chromoly tubing?


      • #4
        That's some serious protection!

        Disclaimer: Remember, I know absolutely nothing, but it doesn't prevent me from having an opinion or suggestion. :


        • #5
          Looks well planned and methodical. Is the S54 and SMG planned for this vehicle? Can't wait till you start "wrapping" things up.


          • #6
            Thanks for the compliments. Yeh, it is some serious protection, but I am the guy who rolled my last toy 3.5 times at about 80 mph. The older I get the more bars I want around me.... Also, some of the extra work was to make this cage race legal should I not finish this project and want to sell it to someone else, or finish it and want to time trial or hillclimb it.

            Yes, the S54/SMG is going (already in) this car. If I werent traveling so much for work I would have the new subframe finished by now. It is possible to use the S52 swap info to do an S54, but I didnt want to use the single sump oil pan. So, I went with a true dry sump pan but that still didnt clear the crossmember. I decided just to build my own from scratch. Those pics coming next.

            I did not use Cro-Moly for several reasons. Long story short, a 4130 cage should only be TIG welded and should be normalized though most people dont do this. My TIG skills are not nearly as good as my MIG skills so I actually sold my TIG machine and bought a new MIG just for this cage. A good mild steel cage is more than protective.

            The cost question is a really good one, but relates to equipment too so here is a list of all the major tools I uesd and an approx cost:

            Welder: Millermatic 210 with spoolgun ~$2000 (spoolgun not needed for cage)
            Bender: Pro-Tools 105 w/ two dies ~$1000
            Tube notcher: Pro-tools HSN500 ~$200
            Good holesaw for notcher: $80 (yes, 80 bucks just for the saw but it was well worth it!)
            Chop saw: Dewalt DW872 $400
            Digital anglemeter: $100 on ebay (SUPER helpful)

            1020 DOM seamless tubing is roughhly $100 per 20 foot section. This cost varies dramatically so shop around. This cage would take 3 lengths to complete if you made no mistakes during bending. I sed 4 lengths.

            I am more than willing to answer questions on the fab if anyone is getting ready to start their own similar project.

            02 M Coupe