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time for a cage

the cab cage gets bolted the the floor yes, but on the other side of the floor it also gets welded to the frame. The body becomes one with the frame. You can bolt through the floor, look at Rookie's build on his BII.

I plan a full cage, cab and seats tied into the frame for sure.
I think of places like POtato Salad hill and Lionsback when I think cage, where if you roll once you could be going over a few more times.

I plan to tuck the cage up to the sheet metal as much as possible, so if it does get crsuhed in a corner the piece can be cut and a new peice welded in. Keeping the body damage "contained" if you will.

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Hey Matt could you post a pic of yours chopped up??

I see what you're saying Jamie. Actually today i went buy the 4x4 shop and he was showing me his blazer that he was working on his cage in and he had bolted it to the floor and on the bottom of the floor he had another flat piece of steel and a tube welded to that going down to the frame to be welded, so like you were saying it's all one.

But since i don't have a roof and don't have to worry about replacing sheet metal on top if i roll, how important is it to tie into the frame? Don't make fun of my ignorance, this is why i ask, lol.

So it's time to start thinking of a cage design. I'm hoping to get the top chopped off on sunday evening or monday and then i'm taking over there for them to look at and to see if we can get an estimate about how much it will cost with me helping. Then i'll decide if i want to do it myself. If i do it myself then i'm just going to get a pipe bender and buy some pipe from work. We stock all sizes in all kind of different weights. I think i'll end up with 1-1/2 pipe, but i haven't looked up on the computer to see what we haven in 1-1/2 so i'll find that out tomorrow.

I've just been running through my mind what i want in the cage, and i don't think i want anything fancy. I've never studied cages or tried to design one, so i don't know what makes one strong and where all your tie ins should be, so i'll need you alls help with that. Tomorrow night i'm going to try to draw something up on MS paint to post here, probably a top view and a side view. I want to get the internal cage design first,then we can see what to do with a little bit of exo. So any ideas or pointers you have will help!

Nice and simple and still effective. ust might want to put a diagonal bar behind the B pillar. Then you can also extend it if you want to still hold rear passengers but use a similar design.



I forgot to mention that i'm going to cover all the "internal cab" with cage, from the windshield to the rear hatch.

Any disadvantage to using pipe over tubing??

JoshC said:
Any disadvantage to using pipe over tubing??

This thread from Pirate 4x4 should give you plenty of info about pipe vs tube. There is also a ton of info there about designing cages.

Thanks for that link Michael. That's what i was thinking before i read that, so that just helps. I've been on there for recently and was going to search for some stuff but i couldn't find the freakin search button.

I did some research today at work for some pipe. I looked up 1-1/2" pipe because IF i go this route, i'll just get the HF pipe bender, and i was looking at those, they have 2, and one says it has an 1-1/2" die and the other doesn't say, i emailed them and didn't get a response. Anyways, here's some numbers that might help someone in the future:

NPS 1-1/2, OD 1.900", Seamless Plain end (not threaded)

INCHES (wall thickness) .145, .200, .281
SCHEDULE # 40, 80, 60
lb/ft 2.72, 3.63, 4.86

I did look at some 1-1/4 on the computer the other day, but didn't get any of the info. I'll post some info on that size tomorrow, just like the above, just for future reference.

I can get the sch 80 for $4.27 a foot, and the sch 160 $6.57 a foot. I looked in the whole company and couldn't find any sch 40 in this size. I have no idea how much 1-3/4 tubing is per foot, i'll find that out next week when i take the explorer over to the shop to let the guys look at it.

If i can find out that the HF bender, one of them, has a die for 1-1/4 pipe then i'll go with that. It will be lighter and cheaper.

If you read some of those post on that pirate thread in the link above, one guys says that you have to grind it alot to get it clean and have to sand to paint it. That's not really true. Unless you go get used from somewhere, then yes, but that's the nature of steel. New pipe comes bare, painted or coated. I'll get the painted just because it's not sitting on a pipe rack somewhere rusting. Plain end pipe is made for welding gas lines for whatever use, so it's just like tubing, just a different size.

Back to cages, Michael could post a pic of your cage? Didn't you chop of the rear of your truck?

I was guessing that it would take around 100 ft for a cage, does that sound about right?

My first cage design, just kind of made it up from what i've been thinking about this week. Please don't flame me for my rookie MS paint job :D

Please feel free to correct me where i need correcting!!!!


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Just out of curiosity why dont you just by a pre made tube frame and swap your stuff over to. would be more work but I would think it would work and look a hole lot better. As for you picture above I would add a diagnal attaching to the B pillar behind the drivers head and going to the floor behind the passanger seat. maybe add one to the C pillar as well Im no cage expert so take it as that.

Like Matt said, for strength a diagonal bar from top of driver side "b" to pass. bottom "b" and same with "c" pillars.

I made a couple mods to your design just based off of what I've seen out there.


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Josh, what Froader posted looks pretty good. Remember, triangle = good. :D

My cage pics are here. This was 140' of tube. The cage above is likely going to be 250 - 300'. Remember there will be a few miscuts/bends in the begining.

I don't know if this has ever been mentioned but would a XJ kit fit into a EX?
I guess in this case it would. :D
Not bad for 1000 bucks though :rolleyes:


link to cage

you might also check out Jegs they have some crazy low prices on cages. So low that it might be worth it to buy one even if its not the exact fit. Just modify it.


Josh, like Froader said about the longer diagonal bar. That is what I did with the one on the back of the bed. If that top bar above the roof took a hard hit, the longer diagonal bar will support it more then if it was a short one. Also you can see how I tied the outside roll bar with the inside cage via the cab penetration.

Thanks Matt. I had thought about that diagonal bar but didn't put it in the picture, so we're on same page.

Thanks guys for the replies.

Stic-o, that cage doesn't look like much for a $1000! But i noticed that it bolts together. But i'm not sure if a cage from them would fit or not.

I like the idea of designing my own cage and putting the personal touch on it ya know? All the ideas above are great and very helpful, so i'm looking forward to starting and going from there.

One question, what is the starting part of a cage, like where is your first tube/pipe??

IMO, I would start with on of the main hoops and then locate another one. I would not weld or bolt it solid at this point, but just some tack welds. The tubes that may set on a plates on the floor... just set the tube on at this point. Even the smaller tubes could be just tacked. Most likly you will want to change some things at some point. Pay close attention to the cab area for clearance issues with the tubes, Like controls knobs, due you plan to take the dash out later, leg room and your head LOL. Just one bridge at a time and it will come together. You can even mock one up with some electrical conduit. You don't even have to bend it in a radius just 90 deg. bends to at least give you an idea. Just bend it at the right height and you can even use it for a template. Then cut some more for you diagonals.

Just copy red bulls design and you will be good to go, that truck is so dang sexy! (no back seat though)

I do like red's cage, but i want to keep my rear seat, so it will be a little different. Progress is being made. I've got the doors off, headliner out, and right rear window out without breaking it. Tomorrow my brother is coming over to help me take the rear hatch off and help me lift the cab off while i cut it off. I did cut the A pillars but didn't do anymore till i had some help.

I finally got a sheet of specs for some 1-1/4 pipe:

1-1/4, seamless, plain end (not threaded), OD 1.660

INCHES (wall thickness) .140, .191, .250, .382
SCHEDULE # 40, 80, 160, xxh
lb/ft 2.27, 3.00, 3.76, 5.21

I can get the sch 40 for 2.65 per foot and the 80 for 3.08 per foot.

The bender i'm wanting does come with a die for 1-1/4, so i'll be going with this size. I'm not sure whick sch to use I'm thinking that i'll go with the sch 80 because 1-1/4 is .19" small in diameter, and the sch 80 is a pretty stout thickness. What do you guys think?

I'm going to get the bender this week, might do a few things with it. I'm going to make a few other things i've been wanting to make with some scrap 1-1/4 pipe so i can get a little bit use to it before i start wasting the good pipe that i'll have to buy. I'll probably actually start the cage the week after Christmas cause i'm off that week too, and my buddy is taking a couple of days off and he's going to help me.

Your going to go with pipe instead of tubing?

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yeah, it's going to work better for me with cost and wall thickness