How to build a Roll Cage

Introducing our Roll Cage Fabrication Skills Course……. When we start to improve the performance and speed of our cars we also raise the likelihood of things going pear shaped. Having a roll cage could be the difference between life and death.

Pretty heavy introductory paragraph right? Although we don’t think about this fact all that often it becomes apparent when we show up to the racetrack, sign a waiver, go through scrutineering and head out on the racetrack.

At a minimum we will need a helmet, a fire extinguisher and some approved seatbelts but this really only provides the bare essentials we require for un-timed sprint laps in a street registered car.

Go beyond this and the regulations usually stipulate a roll cage that is made up of steel tubes that reinforce the body shell from a rollover or impact.

I personally have had a lot to do with roll cages and although I have never put one to the test (touch wood) I have built plenty over my time and am now in the position where I can teach you how to build your own.

Our Roll Cage Fabrication skills course has been many months in the making and something I think you will get a lot of value from.

So whats in the course and what can you expect to learn by subscribing to Engineered to Slide? Like all of our courses we have a comprehensive standalone course that will take you through every aspect of understanding a roll cage.

This begins with the introduction module that covers the course structure and PPE requirements you need to stay safe when fabricating.

From there we get into understanding a roll cage module that details the purpose of a roll cage and the design elements of one, this will explain the pillars and tubing designations so that you can read your rule book and work out the tube locations you need to follow to produce a roll cage that fits within your rules.

The fabrication aspect begins by knowing what tools are required for such processes as cutting, drilling, tube bending, tube notching, dimple dies, welding, measuring and templating. This covers the often confusing world of tube notchers and benders which you can make yourself from our downloadable plans, all part of our subscription service and free if you are a yearly member.

Then we shift our focus to the materials used for roll-cage construction and this is a very interesting and often misunderstood factor of roll cages. Mild Steel, Chromoly, Docol, T45, Sheetmetal, Removable bars and Fasteners all feature here. 

Once the materials are understood we can start planning and measuring with seperate process videos on class designation, programs and future tech (CAD) measuring and ordering steel, driver comfort and performance provisions. It was fun to get a chance to show you the scanning and CAD side of things with a full scan of the S15 interior.

Now its time for the fun stuff as we get into the shell preparation needed to begin the roll cage install. This module includes dash and window removal, sound deadener removal, building a rolling JIG setup, spot weld and panel removal and lastly the roll cage footings.

The Practical Skills builds on the skills we learnt in the Staple Skills of Fabrication course and includes marking and cutting our tube to length, bending a main hoop and front legs, notching tube into position, finishing the notches, templating, making sheet metal gussets and also a process video on lifting and welding gussets to allow for 360 degree welding in all the hard to reach places.

To give you a taste of what each process is like I have included a sample of the course with the bending process video, I always try my best to add in any tips or tricks that I have found during my own personal projects.

This leads us into the welding techniques that can also be backed up by taking our seperate MIG or TIG welding course, this details the intricacies of roll cage welding as its not always as straight forward as it seems.

When things are cooled down we shift into the cleaning and approval process followed by dash cutting and refitting, fitting seats and harnesses, painting, roll cage padding, refitting windows and finally the conclusion.

All in all its a 42 Video course that stretches over 4 hour and I guarantee it wont leave you guessing how any aspect of roll cage design and fabrication is done.

Once you have finished this you can also see my project on an RX8 full national spec roll cage that I completed at the start of the year.

I would love you to check it out and if you have not already then you can subscribe by signing up to a monthly or yearly plan. If you need any help or guidance that you may not have found during the course then I am always available by clicking our little chat icon.

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