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Thread: Cegan builds a roll cage

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  1. #1 Default Cegan builds a roll cage 
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    So dad bought a new daily driver, and said that he wanted to race his old Saab as a family race car. So here we go.

    The car is a 2008 Saab 9-5 Aero wagon with 254k miles and an original clutch. So what could go wrong? Started by stripping it out in preparation for the cage.





    The car is covered in sound deadening, I don't care enough to take it all out, but it needs to come out where I'll weld in spreader plates. So, the best way to pull it seems to be freeze it. Mix some isopropyl alcohol with dry ice pellets to make a slurry. then spread on the sound deadening and let it sit. The material will separate from the floor and become brittle and peel up in larger pieces. On older cars the material will come up almost entirely in one sheet since it's dried up more, but this is new enough that it's still a little soft in it's normal state.





    Tonight I bent up the main hoop. First time ever touching a tube bender, so lets go for a hard part.






    Tomorrow I'll trim the extra off the legs, pull the front seats, and make sure it fits. It fit the roof perfectly after the first two bends, but it was too late to trim and fit after the second two.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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  2. #2 Default  
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    Will the cage be extending into the hatch area, or is it just going to be the front of the car?
    "It was more passionate than just cuddling"
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  3. #3 Default  
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    Quote Originally Posted by splatt View Post
    Will the cage be extending into the hatch area, or is it just going to be the front of the car?
    A little. The rules state that the rear down bars need to terminate no further back than the rear axle. The main hoop sits just in front of the rear seats and the down bars should terminate on the wheel wells.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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  4. #4 Default  
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    Pretending for a second anyone will read this or care, got the main hoop trimmed tonight. Fit is awesome.






    Goal is to bend up the forward bars on thursday, the windshield bar on friday, and weld all those in over the weekend.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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  5. #5 Default  
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    I'm watching. I actually came here hoping you'd get a chance to trim the main hoop and test fit.

    -Justin
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  6. #6 Default  
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    Probably a dumb question, but will you be welding in the main hoop first then welding everything to that, or welding it all together then welding the whole assembly in?
    "It was more passionate than just cuddling"
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  7. #7 Default  
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    Quote Originally Posted by splatt View Post
    Probably a dumb question, but will you be welding in the main hoop first then welding everything to that, or welding it all together then welding the whole assembly in?
    Usually have to assemble it inside the car, but I've seen some builds where they remove and replace the roof. I'm still not sure if they do pre-assembly on the roof-off builds, the only thing I can remember about them is that they took the roof off. They took the ROOF off for crissake!

    -Justin
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  8. #8 Default  
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    Quote Originally Posted by splatt View Post
    Probably a dumb question, but will you be welding in the main hoop first then welding everything to that, or welding it all together then welding the whole assembly in?
    You approach it like this:

    First you build the main hoop. Everything builds off of it, so you need it first. You can tack it in place, but do not weld yet.
    Next you bend up and fit the bars forward of that. There's a few different styles of cage you can build, but I'm using two long forward bars that go from main hoop to floor, with a connecting windshield bar. Similar to this


    Once you have those bars done you can weld them in for real. Since these bars have joints right at the ceiling you need some way to weld the full seam. This means dropping the cage somehow. There are a few ways to go about this. First is make the cage a few inches short, weld it, and then build up rocker boxes for it to sit on, as shown here:



    The other option is to drill holes in the floor and drop the cage through them. Then weld the cage, pick it up, and slide your spreader plates between the cage and floor to cover the hole. I'm going with this approach. The legs of the cage will sit on these sills in the car. So I'll drill through the sills enough to drop the cage 2 inches, weld, pick back up, and throw the spreader plates in.



    Once you have that all welded up you can weld in your main hoop diagonal.
    Next you get your seat situated. You need it in place to line up the next few things.
    With the seat in place you can locate the harness bar and weld that in. Then you can figure out door bars, sill bars, and all their bracing.
    Last you weld in the rear down stays.

    That's mostly it. There are a few extra bars you can add if you wish, but you do them last.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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  9. #9 Default  
    Really cool. how long do you have into to the cage build so far?


    are you guys building this for the hooptie fest?
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    You.... have problems.
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    you have issues.
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  10. #10 Default  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intheflesh View Post
    Really cool. how long do you have into to the cage build so far?


    are you guys building this for the hooptie fest?
    Yes, this is for the october race.

    Into the cage itself? about 4 hours between measuring, cutting, bending, and trimming the main hoop. Took me about 3 hours to build the bending stand, and probably 6 hours to strip the interior and pull the sound deadening.

    Just for Cheu's amusement, lets see if we can compare opportunity cost to paying someone. If I paid someone I'd still have to strip the car, so ignore that time. Last cage cost me $2100. Materials for the cage cost about $600. So that's $1500 remaining to cover my time. Now if I randomly pull out a number for the value of my time and call it $50/hr that means I have 30 hours to build the cage. Will I come out under that 30 hours? Maybe. Maybe not. Do I care? Not at all.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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  11. #11 Default  
    lol... i knew that would come up.

    I wasn't asking from a cheu perspective. i was just curious the man hours involved. I was taking a complete blind estimate, and was thinking 20 hrs.


    I have concluded if I can't complete a project in (1) 2-3 hour sitting, it will never be completed and I should just have (pay) someone to do it for me.
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    You.... have problems.
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    you have issues.
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  12. #12 Default  
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    As i have never built a cage before, this one will take longer than someone more skilled. however, once i've completed this one I bet I could build another in 2/3rds the time. So far the biggest time killer is cutting tube. We have a wimpy horizontal bandsaw.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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  13. #13 Default  
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    Forward bars are loosely fit. I need to fine tune the notching a bit and tack them in place. After that I'll get a windshield bar bent up. looking at the pictures I might need to put a few more degrees on the upper bend. I'll try that tomorrow.






    4 non-rushed hours tonight. It was open house night at MakeIt, so I got interrupted a lot.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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  14. #14 Default  
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    Windshield bar took way too long, and it didn't come out quite how I wanted it. I was really looking to have it come more forward off the forward bars, instead of up, if that makes sense. But I didn't bend the angles tight enough, and by the time i realized that it was too late. Once you trim the bars too much it can't go back in the bender. So I made it work. I'll need to add some gusset bars (example below), but that's no big deal. I have tons of pieces the right length from trimming the other bars.



    Example of gussets for the windshield bar.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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  15. #15 Default  
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    Are the gussets required, or just added peace of mind for you?

    -Justin
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  16. #16 Default  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin.b View Post
    Are the gussets required, or just added peace of mind for you?

    -Justin
    Piece of mind. Because this bar sticks up/out a little from the cage instead of just going across I want to make sure it's braced. I don't know that i'll gusset on each side of the joint, but at least on one.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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  17. #17 Default  
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    I'm just surprised their isn't a pre-cut kit for such a common application.

    -Justin
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  18. #18 Default  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin.b View Post
    I'm just surprised their isn't a pre-cut kit for such a common application.

    -Justin
    Common? I doubt many people at all have caged saab wagons. I could have measured and had a kit bent by a race shop, but that takes at least 6 weeks.
    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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  19. #19 Default  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cegan09 View Post
    Common? I doubt many people at all have caged saab wagons. I could have measured and had a kit bent by a race shop, but that takes at least 6 weeks.
    I've been having a bad sarcasm week.
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  20. #20 Default  
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    Did the first welds tonight. Tacked the front tubes to the main hoop, and then the windshield bar to the forward bars. Cut some holes in the sills, dropped the cage, and welded all the joints. Also welded in the gusset bars between the forward bars and the windshield bars. Then we pulled it back up and slid some plates under it to hold it.

    I did manage to stand up while climbing into the car and shove my back against the bars I was just welding. Hurt like a mother fucker.



    Futility Motorsport - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby (dead), Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon, BMW 313rx
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