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Last Post 11 Nov 2009 07:04 PM by  Dan Lipperini Jr
Don't make the same mistake....
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jlipper81
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30 Oct 2009 10:06 PM

    As the owner of a successful race shop (RaceLabz), I have seen a number of cars that simply just should not be out on the track racing. How these cars get their logbooks is beyond me.

    If you are considering buying or building a car, please know where the car's history and most importantly - Who built the cage! Your life just isn't worth saving the extra $1,000 or so on your purchase. Take a look at these photos...these are cars that were called well built cars.

    There are a bunch of Spec Miatas out there we have had to take and strip out the entire rollcage and put new ones back in! One car that came to our shop we counted 14 joints that weren't welded more than 50% to 75% around the joints! Then there's cars like this Mustang, do you see what doesn't look right in the first photo? Scroll down and take a look at the highlighted portion of the photo!

    The moral of this post, pick a reliable shop that has a proven track record of well built / prepped cars. A bargain isn't always a bargain!

    Joel

    1 of the 14 partially welded joints on a rollcage in the photo below (This SSB car had a valid logbook from the Southeast division!)

    Another of the 14 partially welded joints on a rollcage in the photo below (This SSB car had a valid logbook from the Southeast division!)

    Here is the Mustang I was talking about...a cover story car in 5.0 Mustang Magazine! Had an impact and single rollver.

    Take a look at this photo then scroll down to see what is wrong with this rollcage!

    The main cage failed and pushed out the floor! What the heck kind of floor mounts were in this!

    In the end you get what you pay for.....save an extra month or two and spend that little extra and get a professionally built car and cage.

    Lynn
    Veteran Member
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    Posts:2523


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    30 Oct 2009 10:47 PM
    Joel, that Mustang didn't even have a cage.  Just a bolt in roll bar bolted directly to the floor pan.
    paulgauzens
    New Member
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    31 Oct 2009 07:20 AM
    Here is more on that unfortunate car...everyone was OK. http://culturegarage.com/article/bo...cage_fail/

    atcovan
    Advanced Member
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    Posts:632


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    31 Oct 2009 02:29 PM
    These guys are so lucky to be alive! Amazing this passed tech.
    paulgauzens
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    04 Nov 2009 07:50 AM

    atcovan wrote:
    These guys are so lucky to be alive! Amazing this passed tech.

    Agree they're lucky - just clarifying in spirit of communication - the welds Joel showed are on a different car than the flattened Mustang.

    Apparently the 'stang just had a bolt-in rollbar - if they used a bolt-in cage instead, it has lateral side bars that would keep the hoop from punching through to the depth you see in the pics..

    BillSeifert
    Basic Member
    Basic Member
    Posts:226


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    04 Nov 2009 07:32 PM

    I remember when that happened. If I am not mistaken, that was a Kirk rollbar. Kirk was, and still is a very reputable company. I talked to the owner when I was getting a cage put in my 944 by Kirk. He said he was sure that it was caused by a weak floor, not a problem with the rollbar. He stated at that time, that the Mustang owner should have put in a cage, rather than just a rollbar. It was about that time that a friend of mine got sent home from the ARRC for not having big enough plates on the bottom of his cage.

    Bill Seifert

    1999 Civic SI

    Dan Lipperini Jr
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    Posts:124


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    11 Nov 2009 07:04 PM

    Having floor mounting plates that are too small is also a problem when welding or bolting in a rollbar/rollcage in that they cannot distribute the load sufficiently. The mounts should dispurse a load into 2-planes(i.e. floor and rocker sill, floor and rear bulkhead) rather than just to the floor. It takes more time to design and build it this way, but in the long run it's worth the safety of the driver to do everything correctly. I often tell people that there is more than one way to design a rollbar/cage and nobody is right or wrong, they just each have their ideas and ways of building them. The only wrong way is when there is an accident and there is some type of failure in the safety structure.

    Here's how we do it when attaching the front bars to the floor/rocker/sill plate(Spec Miata) and the main hoop to the rocker/rear bulkhead and floor(NASA Rally spec).

    SCCAForums Image

    SCCAForums Image

    The following pictures were taken from the same car that Joel originally posted the pictures of. Remember that this was a car that was not only logbooked, but had just passed tech at the Run-Offs! It goes to show that you really need to look at every weld joint when looking at any cage. I keep these sections here in the shop to show others what to look for.

    SCCAForums Image

    SCCAForums Image

    SCCAForums Image

    SCCAForums Image

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