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cage mods


rocmoc
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Well. I have started some cage mods.

Braces in the front windshield like snowman's but with rectangle tubing. This allows easier mounting of the windshield.

Passenger grab handle mounted to the new lower windshield brace.

Braces for the middle roll bar (soon to be the rear roll-bar) similar to snowman's but again with rectangle tubing. I am referencing snowman as there are already pics up on this site.

I am removing the rear lid & roll-bar and replacing with round tubing braces from the top of the middle roll-bar (now the rear roll-bar) down to the rear upper tubing of the engine compartment. This will dump nearly a hundred pounds off the rear.

And finally doors somewhat similar to snowman's but with the front of the door higher starting at the height of the new lower windshield brace. The door will angle down from the front to the upper engine compartment tubing. And they will be suicide doors, hinged in the rear. This is the opposite of snowman's.

My objective is a stronger safer cage with less overall Trooper weight when finished. If something is added, something has to be removed to get lighter.

Pics will be added.

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

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Last fall when I was up near Kinarfi's area, Kanarfi and I went for a ride in my Trooper. We were riding an area that was free of trees and went from quite high hills on down to a lake. There is an area when you first head torwards the hills it seems flat but actually is sloping uphill. Likewise when your comming down from the hills this same area feel flat but actually is sloping down. Well, I cam ripping down and when I got to the flat (I thought) area I kicked it up a bit so I could rip some corners. Now, I've races enough to pretty well know what I can and can't do or shouldn't try. First corner, I started to slide, way more then I anticipated. The trail dropped about at a 15-20 degree slope to each side. I didn't want to get sliding sideways down the side or we would roll almost for sure probably 3 or 4 times before finishing the side slope. Had all I could do to get it to stay on the trail and as I corrected, the rear swung around to the other side. This went back and forth 3 or 4 times when everything began to level out and I had things back under control. Close call, just didn't know I was going down hill. That was when I decided to make my roll cage dependable. It can happen to the best of us. Like Rocmoc said, safety first then fun.

Lenny

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Design!

I have pulled / unbolted the cage from the body. This is done by removing 2 allen bolts on the four tubes of the cage at dash level. I have decided to add a brace across the rear of the cage same as the windshield area. This will allow me to do all of the welding and bracing away from the Trooper. Also will be able to remove cage again if need at some point in the future. I am going to do the same with the new rear angle down supports for the roll bar. I am removing 4 1/2" out of the upright tubes of the cage. We have 10+ inches of head clearance and this will bring if down to around 6". I will cut the uprights above the mounting point, where the allen bolts are, and remove the mounting plug. Cut the tubes and re-weld the plug back into the upright tube. This means there will be no additional cuts or welds in the uprights of the cage. I will cut the tubes today!

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

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Design!

I have pulled / unbolted the cage from the body. This is done by removing 2 allen bolts on the four tubes of the cage at dash level. I have decided to add a brace across the rear of the cage same as the windshield area. This will allow me to do all of the welding and bracing away from the Trooper. Also will be able to remove cage again if need at some point in the future. I am going to do the same with the new rear angle down supports for the roll bar. I am removing 4 1/2" out of the upright tubes of the cage. We have 10+ inches of head clearance and this will bring if down to around 6". I will cut the uprights above the mounting point, where the allen bolts are, and remove the mounting plug. Cut the tubes and re-weld the plug back into the upright tube. This means there will be no additional cuts or welds in the uprights of the cage. I will cut the tubes today!

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

2426406400104110397xwMFYw_th.jpg

I'm sure you don't need this caution, but just cutting the 4 1/2 " sections out will change the geometry and you'll have to make some bends to make thing match up again.

Kinarfi

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Yup I know but ya just bend things to fit.

Already made the cuts, cut off nearly 5". Ground the weld off of the plugs and they came out easily. They fit nicely back into the new shorter tubes. Cage is sitting on one set of the plugs, front plugs, while bolted in place. VERY very pleased with the new cage height. I need to tack weld the front plugs first to make sure they are in the correct location. BUT I need to pull the gas tank. It is too close to where I need to weld. After I tack weld, I will remove and weld completely. Then bolt it back on and use a come-along to pull the rear upright tubes in to place on to the rear bolt plugs. Then I will make a few carefully placed adjustments to the cage so alignment will remain. May heat a tube or two or smack it with a hammer & tack weld. LOL! Love that big hammer almost a good as duct tape or baling wire. At any rate everything went really well today. Unfortunately I am being pulled away on another project so will not be able to work on it again until next week. I will take pics of the plugs & cuts before I weld. One last note, the tubing wall thickness is not uniform and is pretty thin at the seam. Also the metal is soft in the tubing, plugs & welds. It was surprisingly easy to grind and only took a few minutes.

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

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That's the idea but a better fit. The top of the front of the door will be level with the top of the dash on the driver's side and angle down to the tube that loops around the engine compartment. About 1/3 of the way from the rear of the door will be a loop that will vertically as high as your head to protect you from anything coming in the side should you lay the Trooper over on it's side. The door will fit in the opening not overlap like the Russian door similar to the way snowman's doors did. I am think of covering the door so mud, water & dirt can not come in but with a tasteful covering. I will take pics when I get that far. Hopefully by the end of the month.

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

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Havn't done my doors yet but have planned on doing the same thing for side protection should you roll it or lay it on it's side. Concerned about a rock reaching into the opening and getting the passenger or I. The side of my head and all the way down my shoulder and side will be protected from the side. The door will start like your doing Rocmoc, at the dash and go back to in front of my waste and then roll up and then go back after it's high enough to protect my head. Mine will hindge on the back and the front latch will be something like a semi trailer door latch, a structural latch that can't come apart in a crash. I want the door to be completely structural and act like it's bolted in when it's shut. I also want it to become reinforcement to the Troopers frame and roll cage.

Lenny

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Well I couldn't wait. I did it. Cage is shorten, welded & installed. I love it! I took a pic of the joint plug before I weld the tubing back on.

Kinarfi,

The metal in the tubes is so soft! A little come-along pulling from the rear on the roll bar and everything lined up. Tacked the plugs in the rear, took it off and weld. Threw the cage back on the Trooper and the alignment was so close the bolts reached and started. After everything was tight a few good smacks with the big hammer and PERFECT!

Just a note. The metal in the roll bar & frame is very soft & dirty. Makes for some lousy welding & bends easily. I will be using better / stronger metal in the reinforcements that I am adding.

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

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Well I couldn't wait. I did it. Cage is shorten, welded & installed. I love it! I took a pic of the joint plug before I weld the tubing back on.

Kinarfi,

The metal in the tubes is so soft! A little come-along pulling from the rear on the roll bar and everything lined up. Tacked the plugs in the rear, took it off and weld. Threw the cage back on the Trooper and the alignment was so close the bolts reached and started. After everything was tight a few good smacks with the big hammer and PERFECT!

Just a note. The metal in the roll bar & frame is very soft & dirty. Makes for some lousy welding & bends easily. I will be using better / stronger metal in the reinforcements that I am adding.

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

Soft roll bars are great. That way when they collapse in on your head they don't cave in your scull but just rap around it.

Lenny

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  • 5 weeks later...

Completed the cage mods except the two down supports in the rear today. I love it! I am emailing a pic file to Kinarfi so he will hopefully put them up for viewing.

Haven't figured out how I am going to do the rear supports. I don't want to block the removal of the radiator. If anyone has ideas I will listen. In the pics the support yet to be built is where the broom handle is.

I still need to paint and build the door for total safety & cage support. Notice the brace in the middle running from the top of the windshield down to the bottom of the rear support behind the seats.

Here's some photos for you all to enjoy about my cage mod.

2326035800104282158ESAAur_th.jpg

1st of 10 Looks real good, but I'm not sure Kinarfi would fit in :lol::D .

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

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Thanks Kinarfi! You CAN fit tho not as easily as before! I made sure there is headroom but tighten things up.

I figured out the rear support mounts. Will build over the weekend. They will be fixed / welded to the roll bar at the top & bolted to a flat 1/4" steel panel along the rear of the motor compartment. Plenty of clearance for the radiator but if necessary the supports can be removed out of the way along with the made body of the cage.

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

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Thanks Kinarfi! You CAN fit tho not as easily as before! I made sure there is headroom but tighten things up.

I figured out the rear support mounts. Will build over the weekend. They will be fixed / welded to the roll bar at the top & bolted to a flat 1/4" steel panel along the rear of the motor compartment. Plenty of clearance for the radiator but if necessary the supports can be removed out of the way along with the made body of the cage.

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

Hey, rocmoc, what tires do you have on trooper, size, brand,everything,,thanks, I'm thinking of get less aggressive set.

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Tires are Dunlop 31/10.50X15 from Craigslist. http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Dunlop&tireModel=Radial+Mud+Rover&sidewall=Outlined%20White%20Letters&partnum=105R5MROVOWL&tab=Sizes

Rims are Vision Wheel Buckshots from Discount Tire. http://www.visionwheel.com/wheel.cfm?id=476 You will have to also purchase a set of wheel lock nuts from Discount to make them fit.

You have to take a BIG hammer to the lower outside corner of the firewall. Just turn your wheels and see where they rub. Then smack it!

Sorry all this and more was posted but seems to be gone.

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

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Tires are Dunlop 31/10.50X15 from Craigslist. http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Dunlop&tireModel=Radial+Mud+Rover&sidewall=Outlined%20White%20Letters&partnum=105R5MROVOWL&tab=Sizes

Rims are Vision Wheel Buckshots from Discount Tire. http://www.visionwheel.com/wheel.cfm?id=476 You will have to also purchase a set of wheel lock nuts from Discount to make them fit.

You have to take a BIG hammer to the lower outside corner of the firewall. Just turn your wheels and see where they rub. Then smack it!

Sorry all this and more was posted but seems to be gone.

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

Thanks for info, I looked, couldn't find either. They look great. sorry to hi-jack topic,,, Quig
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Dang! Had a chance to work on the Trooper today. Cut off the BEST weld & metal on the entire machine. The hollow round stock used for the hinge on the rear of the engine cover. Started to grind the weld and realized quickly this is stronger and better than the tubing. Didn't want to take a chance of grinding thu the soft thin Chinese tubing so I switched to a Sawsall. It took a NEW blade on each weld to cut the things off, two blades. Dang the best welds & steel are gone, what's going to keep it together now. Also cut off the hydraulic cover supports and the locks on the roll bar for the engine cover. These things are for sale should someone need them, CHEAP! Rough cut the plate that will be the bottom mount for the rear down supports of the cage and rough cut the supports themselves. It is a pain to cut angles on my metal cutoff saw. Got it close and will grind the finish angles. Getting Closer!

Also have fitted a Hold-On Grip handle for the passenger.

Can only work on it about every third day as I have to stay ahead of the workman on my other project. Rebuilding our house, year 5!

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

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Dang! Had a chance to work on the Trooper today. Cut off the BEST weld & metal on the entire machine. The hollow round stock used for the hinge on the rear of the engine cover. Started to grind the weld and realized quickly this is stronger and better than the tubing. Didn't want to take a chance of grinding thu the soft thin Chinese tubing so I switched to a Sawsall. It took a NEW blade on each weld to cut the things off, two blades. Dang the best welds & steel are gone, what's going to keep it together now. Also cut off the hydraulic cover supports and the locks on the roll bar for the engine cover. These things are for sale should someone need them, CHEAP! Rough cut the plate that will be the bottom mount for the rear down supports of the cage and rough cut the supports themselves. It is a pain to cut angles on my metal cutoff saw. Got it close and will grind the finish angles. Getting Closer!

Also have fitted a Hold-On Grip handle for the passenger.

Can only work on it about every third day as I have to stay ahead of the workman on my other project. Rebuilding our house, year 5!

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

Wow, you are using the long standing Linclon 225 amp bussbox welder. Got my first one when 12 years old. One good tough welder that refuses to burn out. At least the old ones didn't no matter how much you went past the duty cycle. For cutting things like the back deck pivot sleeves, I use a typical 12,000 rpm small right angle grinder with a metal cutting cutoff grinding wheel. Checkers auto has nice thin wheels that last best i've found yet. Fast and good control even when under your machine. If your like me, the guard goes, just gets in the way too much but I do always use goggles and long leather welding gloves. It's easy to touch yourself with the wheel.

Lenny

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Yeah, have two of the grinders, an air metal cutting tool (not really a grinder) & a finish body grinder but I was too concerned about grinding a hole in the SOFT tubing by accident. Safer to cut it off with the Sawsall and then GRIND! Yeah Guards are gone and one does not even have the side handle. ALWAYS wear eye protection & gloves. All tho I am always in shorts and T-shirt even when welding. Too dang HOT! LOL!

I got the welder at the surplus auction of the University I was attending in the 70's. Paid $25 and has served me well. Still works like a champ. Every time I look at a mig (which I would LOVE to have) I say to myself, I could pay someone else TO DO the welding for what a meg cost talking myself out of the purchase. I'm a pretty fair welder so very pleased with the outcome. The grinder does a little touch up and paint hides all sin.

Finished the bottom mounting plate, will work on the tubes tomorrow. Maybe weld on Wed. Fitting it in between other projects. Have to hurry it up as our weather is entering the 80's phase making it "Hit the Trail Time".

rocmoc n AZ/Baja

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Wow, you are using the long standing Linclon 225 amp bussbox welder. Got my first one when 12 years old. One good tough welder that refuses to burn out. At least the old ones didn't no matter how much you went past the duty cycle. For cutting things like the back deck pivot sleeves, I use a typical 12,000 rpm small right angle grinder with a metal cutting cutoff grinding wheel. Checkers auto has nice thin wheels that last best i've found yet. Fast and good control even when under your machine. If your like me, the guard goes, just gets in the way too much but I do always use goggles and long leather welding gloves. It's easy to touch yourself with the wheel.

Lenny

same thing here with the grinder,gotta still be carefull even with the gloves as I found out yesterday.Doing some cutting on my brush guard yesterday,grinder bound up and kicked back.Ended up spending 4 hours in the emergency room and 8 stitches later.My stupid carelessness.

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