exoskeleton vs INternal Roll Bars | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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exoskeleton vs INternal Roll Bars

DuffyT

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June 19, 2007
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City, State
Rochester, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 Limited
Hello all!

Was sitting and browsing you tube videos of trucks and i found my self following the trail of rollover videos. So a thought came to mind..

What are peoples thoughts on external frames vs internal ones? Is there a benefit? Does anyone have a story or reasoning to support one more then the other?

I can see how an external one would 'preserve' the general shape of the truck if a roll over happened.. however i feel like you could get/make a larger, thinker, and perhaps 'safer' one if it was internal..

Just a thought... I know that some of the rigs on here have some pretty bad ass looking 'guards' around the bottom edges.. but nothing that wraps all the way around ( correct me if i am wrong, did a fair amount of searching but i know i have missed stuff in the past, hehe )

-Tim
 



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Exo cages are much weaker as you cannot get the proper triangulation needed by going around the body. Also, they'll put your over-all width about 4-5" wider, which is a huge amount on some types of terrain.
 






they are also heavier
when you do crunch the sheetmetal underneath the exo cage its impossible to fix.
INternal cage can be tied into or up against the interior cab, keeping the sheet metal in shape even when bashed against rocks/trees
 






Diff Wack Daddy has good exterior support bars that I have personally seen save his fenders and windows, but he also has a full cage inside. RangerX also has sweet use of a cage that goes in and out. Smart use of your space is great

I used to think exo cages are bad ass, but my opinion they just keep getting uglier.
I mean what would you rather have? Body damage or this jungle gym on your rig getting caught on boulders and trees?
 

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^^^^^^
That one could have been designed better (ie pulled in closer to the body, smaller diameter tube, etc.)
 






no way that one is sweet, you can actually remove the fender from behind the bar after the rock hits the bar and slides right into the fender

A combo interior / exterior is cool too, but geesh lets keep them tight to the body and try to think safety first, not paint job first
 












Another con to an internal cage is that fact that it interferes with interior space, like cargo room, leg room, and most importantly head room. It can be dangerous if you hit your head on the cage in a rollover.
 






Another con to an internal cage is that fact that it interferes with interior space, like cargo room, leg room, and most importantly head room. It can be dangerous if you hit your head on the cage in a rollover.

wear a helmet? i woudl if i went offroading, if there's a threat of a rollover, nobody'll laugh or poke fun. look at the guys on tv that build rigs just for offroading, most of them wear helmets, and they have rollcages we'd never think of!
 






If done right, a internal cage can use very little inerior space. You just need to be creative, and use space wisely..

new_cage_front.jpg


backseat_cage.jpg
 






...yup you can tuck in right up tight....as long as you don't start your interior on fire when welding right Steve???

That cage is awesome, look at the cuts in the door skins to make it fit.


I recall I asked the same question years ago, it took me 4 years to go with a cage and I am glad I went interior. Steve's truck looks way more cozy than my truck though. In defense of exo cages, that XJ I posted is just a mess, there are some really good looking cages if you search, I've just never seen an exo cage I like on an explorer. Usually they are on yotas.
 






...yup you can tuck in right up tight....as long as you don't start your interior on fire when welding right Steve???

That cage is awesome, look at the cuts in the door skins to make it fit.


I recall I asked the same question years ago, it took me 4 years to go with a cage and I am glad I went interior. Steve's truck looks way more cozy than my truck though. In defense of exo cages, that XJ I posted is just a mess, there are some really good looking cages if you search, I've just never seen an exo cage I like on an explorer. Usually they are on yotas.


What is this "Fire" you speak of...?:rolleyes:

06022007083.jpg



..and wait till you see Paul's truck with Winters Combo cage!:cool:
 






I think the best way to go is a full interior and augmented partial exo tied into the interior for support. The main point of any cage should always be the protection of the operator and passengers of the vehicle. Protect them first, then you can think about how to protect the shape of your sheet metal.
 






Lets not forget the exo and internal combo design of the upcoming PaulB/Winter truck !
 






Of course there are ways to keep the cage from taking up interior space. But for example, with the triangulation at the C pillar in Stic-o's truck, or any other truck with a permanent bar in that place, it limits the size of the cargo you can carry. And the famed fabricator Winter once told me a story of someone who died of a head injury from a rollcage. The bottom line i'm trying to make is that with an internal cage you'll have to sacrifice some interior functionality.
 






It also depends on what you want it for. No way in hell id haul butt through the desert or anything else high speed with anything but a well designed interior cage. Exo cages are cool for slow speed crawling, but wont protect much if you go end over end at 50 mph. Ive gotten to sit in alot of caged trucks lately, and if designed right your head is nowhere near them. And for the extreme cases, wear a helmet lol. I love the design of Stico's cage, still retains alot of the stock interior pieces and doesnt take up a whole lot of room.
 






Of course there are ways to keep the cage from taking up interior space. But for example, with the triangulation at the C pillar in Stic-o's truck, or any other truck with a permanent bar in that place, it limits the size of the cargo you can carry. And the famed fabricator Winter once told me a story of someone who died of a head injury from a rollcage. The bottom line i'm trying to make is that with an internal cage you'll have to sacrifice some interior functionality.


If you notice, though, I ran the "B" cross bar so it protects me more (I can't jump out in hairy sitros), and on the C pillar, it allows for use of the larger fold down part of the back seat to be used, with space under to still move some larger objects. I built it that way, because it was still my daily driver, and main cargo mover at the time.

But now I just have a pick-up :p:


and the cargo panels were spose to go back in, but after I almost burnt the truck to ground trying to make it work, I ripped them out:rolleyes: I still plan to put the part of the panel back in some day though. From the front of the cargo glass forward probally;)
 






Paul's truck with Winters Combo cage

oooooh do tell Winters fab is top notch
 









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