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Ian

M2 redux

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I think you should post your roll cage offer on the main forum.

Cheers,

Ray

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I think you should post your roll cage offer on the main forum.

Cheers,

Ray

Hi Ray,

That's a good idea, I'll have to post in the "Parts For Sale" section.

The first cage went out today. Attached are two pics of the shipping format, which I think worked out well. The main hoop, the two A-pillar bars, and the main hoop diagonal were tacked together for shipping. I didn't want to actually put a tack deep between two siamesed tubes, as that would take forever to carefully remove (so you don't nick the tube). Instead, I cut a bunch of rectangles out of 18 ga sheetmetal and tacked them on as braces. They worked quite well, and once the tubes had cooled I wrapped them with Gorilla tape for insurance.

 

Evereything else fit in a box designed for shipping lamps. Well, actually two boxes spliced together, but it did result in the heaviest lamp I've ever seen. Once again thanks to the folks at Gorilla tape it turned out to be a sturdy shipping box. And it had better, as it weighed about 100 lbs.

cage_in_a_box2.thumb.jpg.76611e93ce6ec1731180266ecf317ad3.jpg

UPS seems to be the best way to go for shipping. I'll know the exact cost a little later, but it should work out to about $170 shipped to Calif. That was with pickup from a residence, so a nice young man came and removed the two packages from my garage while we were having dinner (either that or there is a thief with a serious hernia in our neighborhood).

Now, on to my car. At least, on to my car after Pete's 2002 rally car. I've got the main hoop and A-pillars for his car bent up, and I'll work on his cage this weekend. Then on to my car. That is, after Joe's CS race car, that is, and Roy's 2002. Then on to my car...

Ian

Edited by Ian

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(edited)

Well, I have to clean up the shop! The second law of thermodynamics states that systems will naturally tend to increase in entropy, and that certainly applied to my garage/shop after my recent cage-building adventure. And my wife had the gall to suggest that she be able to park the Mini in the garage! Can you believe it?

You can decrease entropy by adding energy to the system, so I tested this theory tonight by organizing my mess of DOM cut-offs, project car parts, and improvised tools taking over the garage. I really needed to better use my storage space under my welding table, and I had a lot of DOM mis-bends from the previous cage. So, a little quality time with the tubing notcher and the welder resulted in DOM shelf-dividers. Guaranteed to protect the contents in case of roll-over or head on collision.

Here is the result empty, and then in its natural state; stuffed to the gills with car parts, DOM cut-offs, and tools. Order is restored in the universe!

Divider_01.jpg

Divider_02.jpg

Divider_Full_05.jpg

Edited by Ian

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All this welding under and at the back of my welding table reminded me of how my eyesight is starting to suck with advancing age. Cheater magnifying lenses in my welding helmet help once the arc is going, but I have difficulty seeing the target before starting the weld if the light is dim. In the past I've moved work lights around to illuminate my target, but these are awkward, and I'm always knocking them over when I pull back from the weld and my helmet is still down.

I recently found a great product called the MIG Light. http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/stk23240.html

It's a little battery-powered LED flashlight that attaches to the end of your MIG gun. It looks bulky, but it is really light and I don't notice it on the gun. Today when I added the dividers underneath my welding table I had to weld in the back and underneath my table, which blocked most of the available light. Previously, I would have dragged a light in, flashed my helmet with the light, swore, adjusted the light several times so I could see without triggering my helmet, swore, banged my head on the inside of the structure while adjusting the light, swore some more, then done the weld. With this little baby I just crawled back, hit the trigger, and got out.

Well worth the $23, at least for these old eyes!

Mig_Light.jpg

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I think a post on the main discussion board would be appropriate. Not sure how many people would be looking for roll cages in the parts section!

Cheers,

Ray

I think you should post your roll cage offer on the main forum.

Cheers,

Ray

Hi Ray,

That's a good idea, I'll have to post in the "Parts For Sale" section.

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Ian

Just saw this thread......great read.

I should clean my garage..lol

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I took a brief diversion from my M2 to make a cage for my friend Joe's CS racecar. This was a real pleasure to do, since the CS is such a beautiful car. But also a real learning experience, since the CS seems to have more unpredicted twists than a knuckle-ball pitcher.

For example, here are two pics of the A-pillar bars. Joe wanted the A-pillar bar to be really tight to the A-pillar, but notice that in the CS, you can't just run the tube from the rocker up to the windshield, and then angle it back and up to the roof. First, it has to jog inwards and backwards at the level of the dash, then after a few inches it bends upward and inward again. This took a couple of tries to get the bar to meet up with the main hoop at the back!

In the second pic, notice how the bars don't hug the A-pillar. This required quite a lot of head-scratching before I realized that some German engineer had spec'd the A-pillars to bow out! Who'd a thunk it?

CS_A-Pillar2%20copy.jpg

CS_A-Pillar_bow%20copy.jpg

Joe also wanted the harness bar to curve back, so he could move his seat further to the rear. Here is a test-fit of an early version.

CS_Harnessbar%20copy.jpg

And then the door bars.

CS_Doorbar%20copy.jpg

CS_Doorbar2%20copy.jpg

I wanted to keep the doorbar gussets a little simpler than my last version. I don't think the horizontal brace at the intersection of the upper and lower tubes added much support, and it did add weight. So this time I cut hourglass gussets out of 18 ga and tacked them for welding on each side of the door bars. When fully welded along the perimeter the gussets should tie all 4 tubes of the doorbar together.

CS_Cutting_gusetts%20copy.jpg

Finally, it was time for the CS to go to the welder. Joe had put up a tent to keep the weather off his car while it was in my driveway. Here's a pic of the car in the HF "Portable Garage", and then once the car was loaded on a trailer the tent was taken down and transported inside the car.

CS_Tent01.jpg

CS_Tent02.jpg

It was a real privilege to work on Joe's CS, and I can't wait to see it back from the welders' and in paint.

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And now back to '02 content! I've got one more cage to build before I can get back to my own car, and that's for Pete's sunroof tii. I've been working really hard to get the cage tight to the interior. This keeps the bars away from the driver's body parts, and looks nicer. This is my 4th or 5th iteration of the main hoop. Since I've got the coordinates in software, I've been able to make incremental improvements each time, moving bends in and out to get the bar tight to the interior.

With Pete's hoop I think I can call the design done; if I get any closer to the interior I don't think I could get the headliner or rear interior panels installed.

Now, on to the A-pillar bars...

Pete_MainHoopUL%20copy.jpg

Pete_MainHoopUR%20copy.jpg

Pete_MainHoopBow%20copy.jpg

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Ian...

that CS is a beauty.....

re the main hoop:....the clearances look excellent...congrats. I cant wait.

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Time for a wardrobe adjustment here in upstate NY. Bending up an A-pillar bar when a 3-day storm began. Great forecast for skiing, though!

Pete_A-Pillar_test%20copy.jpg

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"Interesting" bends on the A pillar. If the car is to be raced, make sure it is hidden when the car is inspected as this snake-like area will be rejected as a very weak point has just been created (only two bends are accepted). Also make sure the floorplates have enough area and comply to the rule book. The tubes can't be just welded straight onto the rockers or floorpan.

CS_Doorbar%20copy.jpg

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"Interesting" bends on the A pillar. If the car is to be raced, make sure it is hidden when the car is inspected as this snake-like area will be rejected as a very weak point has just been created (only two bends are accepted). Also make sure the floorplates have enough area and comply to the rule book. The tubes can't be just welded straight onto the rockers or floorpan.

Valid points, all. I just bend 'em. And the cage is just tacked in for these photos, it's now ready to have the floor plates made and final welding.

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Hi Ian,

I am a friend of Mike Bonkalski's and he referred me to you when I asked him about roll cages. Your work is impressive and I am curious how much the cage in a box kits cost?

I drive a turbocharged 1976 non sunroof 2002 on the street and could use the extra margin of safety if I am ever involved in an accident.

I guess since I do not track the car other than an occasional auto-X or driver's school I would be interested in learning more about the easiest access and most street friendly version you have designed.

Can you send me some CAD images of this version or photos of one that you have installed in a 2002?

Thanks in advance,

Kurt

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Hi Kurt,

I'd be happy to discuss this with you. Shoot me an email and I can send you some pics. However, I have to get my M2 done this winter and on the road for summer, so I probably couldn't get to any new cages before next fall.

Ian

2002_race_no_sunroofl.jpg

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(edited)

It's been a cold and snowy winter in upstate NY, and the single digit temps combined with my unheated garage, has inhibited me from bending much roll cage tube during the past few months. As an additional complication, I mounted my tubing bender on a stand which bolts to drop-in anchors in the middle of where we park our two cars in the garage. This works great in the summer, when we can just park the cars outside while I'm bending. However, part of the deal made with my wife was that she would be able to park her car in the garage during the winter, which makes bending tube a bit more of a chore. So domestic tranquility, plus the lure of good snow for skiing, has combined to delay my cage work.

However, I have been able to spend a little quality time with the welder this winter building an English wheel. Over the past couple of years I’ve been learning metal shaping, and have had the opportunity to use an ewheel on several occasions. An ewheel has a rigid frame that supports two rollers, an upper roller with a flat profile, and a lower roller that has the profile you want to put into your sheet metal. An ewheel can stretch metal into curves, and can smooth out rough areas where the metal has been gathered. But ewheels aren’t that common, and when I was making an aluminum intake for Woodstock for Targa a few years ago, I had to go up to a friend’s house in Canada to use his ewheel for the project.

As I’ve been learning metal shaping, I have began to have thoughts of making flaired fenders and hoods out of aluminum, which means I will need an ewheel of my own. But pieces that large require a large ewheel to finish nicely, and good ewheels are fairly pricey. Here’s the Cadillac of ewheels, the Crown Imperial from Imperial Wheeling Machines (http://www.wheelingmachines.com/) (note soda can for scale).

Crown_Imperial_34F.jpg.ad9c3aa01656fcab4de9a840a7105b74.jpg

The Crown Imperial is very fairly priced, given the price of the materials and the work involved in fabrication, but $ are $, and every $ spent elsewhere is a $ not spent on my 2002!

The cool thing about Imperial Wheeling Machines is that the owner, Kerry Pinkerton, will tell you how to build your machine if you want to go the DIY route. So that’s what I set out to do this winter, using the side of the garage that did not force my wife park in the snow!

The first step was to find the right material for the frame. I hung out on the metalshaping boards (Metalmeet.com, AllMetalShaping.com), read all the builds and tutorials, and cruised the metal surplus yards for a couple of months in the fall. I stumbled on a 10' piece of 10" x 4" x 3/8" rectangular steel tubing that had been sitting in the warehouse for over a year. It wasn't even on the shop inventory, so I could get a decent price on it. A little noodling with an ewheel stiffness spreadsheet suggested that I could make a frame with a 36" throat that would be plenty stiff. With a 36” throat, I could wheel a panel up to 72” wide, which would be plenty big for anything I might want to make for the 2002.

So I rounded up a friend with a trailer and we headed over to the metal yard to pick up the 10 footer. While I was there, I pawed through their cut-offs, and found enough 6" x 2" x 3/16" rectangular tube to make legs, so I grabbed that too. The metal yard loaded the 10' piece with a forklift, but at home a couple of friends did an admirable imitation of a forklift to help me get the 250 lb piece off the trailer and into my garage.

I read all the ewheel build posts I could find, and read Kerry's tutorials several times while I figured out the design. I really have to thank Kerry for all his help. I had many email exchanges and several phone calls with Kerry discussing the design of my ewheel, which is essentially a homage to his Crown Imperial. I cannot imagine any other manufacturer sharing so much of their hard-earned knowledge with the public as Kerry has done over the years.

I drew up my ewheel plan to scale in Adobe Illustrator. This worked reasonably well, and after fiddling with it through several iterations ended up with the design shown here.

449627501_01_36_inchewheelplan3.jpg.42904a004561941d3484edfcb5ce1296.jpg

This design uses all of the 10' section of box tube I had to give me a 36" throat, and actually needs a tad extra. However, I should have a bit of the 6 x 2 box left-over, so plan to double it up and use it to make the last 6" of the tool arm.

Edited by Ian

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