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Roll Cage Test Results.

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Norcal69, May 11, 2020.

  1. May 11, 2020
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Northern California
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    Well one of my roll cage designs got a good test. I should say that I did not personally bend and weld this cage. It is a copy of the cage that I designed for my jeep. I always have considered this cage; and my own cage to be the bare minimum when it comes to safety. A solid compromise between space, function and safety.
    Steve was driving his 71 the other night without the swaybar hooked up. The combo of an S turn, soft RR spring kit, no swaybar and about 45-50 mph was all it took.
    Earlier in the day I took a short ride with Steve. We discussed the necessity for the swaybar while street driving. Later that evening he rolled his jeep about a mile from my shop.
    Let me start off by saying that Steve is just fine. He was sore for several days and has a knot on his head from hitting the ground.....road rash on his left arm.... a bruised ego...... but he overall is fine. He is extremely lucky to be alive. We think his head just barley hit the pavement as the jeep rolled.

    Miraculously the jeep came to rest on its wheels with the left rear tire blown off the bead. Steve believes that the jeep only made one barrel roll rotation, but I think it may have been two rotations judging by where he came to rest in the gravel. After the initial shock and collection his emotions Steve picked up the contents of his jeep. The passenger seat, which was attached to the factory brackets, flew out at some point along with tools, flashlights, blankets, dog... ect. His dog appears to be just fine and she jumped right back in the jeep after it came to a rest.
    We are still in disbelief that the jeep came to rest on its wheels. After cleaning up his yard sale he reached for the key and the jeep fired right up!

    The pictures do not even begin to show the damage. The dents on the front of the hood are fresh from the wreck. There is lots of road rash on the top of the cage. Front bumper is 1/4" channel and was straight.... but now has a nice swept back look on each side. The body sides have a little crease on both the drivers and passenger door openings. Window frame is racked pretty good, but I think I can save it.
    It really is allot worse than the pictures show.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Replacement window frame for new cage mock up/ fabrication.

    [​IMG]


    Some things I would like you all to see.
    The front hoop is attached to both the floor and dash. The dash tie in really seems to support the entire system. I first did this to my jeep and it noticeably stiffened up the body.
    This cage was not yet finished. Large 5" gussets were waiting to be added to the intersection of the front hoop and spreader bars that run front to rear. (My cage has these large gussets in all corners)
    The main hoop was 2" .120 wall DOM. The front and far rear bars were 1.5" .095. DOM. The replacement cage will be built with a front hoop of 1.5" .120 wall and the gussets will be added from the get go.

    All in all we are happy with the performance of the cage. Steve lived and walked away. The cage absorbed the impact forces of a good speed roll over. I do question his claim of 45-50mph speed. It would take a good deal of speed to make a complete revolution and land on your wheels. Knowing how Steve drove this thing...... a 60 mph number would be believable..... :shrug: ....his speedo cable has been broken for a while.
    Steve now understands my affinity for swaybars on the street.
    This post could easily have been a RIP..... Just trying to share our experiences and make everyone a little safer.
     
    Muzikp, Walt Couch, fhoehle and 6 others like this.
  2. May 11, 2020
    Twin2

    Twin2 not him 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
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    I am glad no body was killed . including the dog
    I've always wondered the integrity of a cage . when the spreaders are located inward like that vs out board
     
    Bigdaddy13 and Lilbuff63 like this.
  3. May 11, 2020
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2020 Sponsor

    Washington DC.
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    That cage saved his life.
     
  4. May 11, 2020
    Rich M.

    Rich M. Shoe pusher

    Maryland
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    First glad Steve is good to go. This is timely for me as I will be finishing up some cage work this coming weekend. I'll be pondering some changes / additions. Thanks for sharing.
     
    Dne007 likes this.
  5. May 11, 2020
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Northern California
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    Cage's can be debated till the cows come home. But I am not a fan of outboard spreader bars. Too easy to hit your head on it. I prefer good gussets like in my cage.
    I'm just posting our experiences.
     
  6. May 11, 2020
    Dne007

    Dne007 Member 2020 Sponsor

    Cypress, Tx
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    So if your friend had just a simple roll bar, he would have probably been really bad off? Would the sway bar have saved the day with a simple roll bar? and was he belted in? and the dog saw what was coming and jumped just in time like Bugs Bunny jumping just before the elevator hits the ground? :whistle:
     
    georgecj6 likes this.
  7. May 11, 2020
    Jw60

    Jw60 Chim chiminey Chim chim cher-ee!

    Sedalia MO.
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    I've got some work planned on my roll bar to protect the rear seat passengers. I've gotta think a bit more now.
     
  8. May 11, 2020
    Fireball

    Fireball Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Thank goodness he and the dog are fine. The cage did a good job.
     
    Bigdaddy13 likes this.
  9. May 11, 2020
    wheelsontheroof

    wheelsontheroof New Member 2020 Sponsor

    dupont pa
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    that jeep looks pretty good for a 360 or a 720. great roll bar . how are the seat belts mounted
     
    V8willysCJ5 and Bigdaddy13 like this.
  10. May 12, 2020
    Bigdaddy13

    Bigdaddy13 Member 2020 Sponsor

    So.Cal
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    I see failures due to lack of triangulation, and a lack of outboard spreader bars. Easy enough to put some padding on these, IMO. That said, i think the cage did a fine job, and obviously absorbed a large amount of energy pushing downwards and backwards at the windshield. like Apollo 13, I'd call this a successful failure.
     
    V8willysCJ5 likes this.
  11. May 12, 2020
    wheelsontheroof

    wheelsontheroof New Member 2020 Sponsor

    dupont pa
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    as long as any roll bar updates arent named after the driver. in racing thats a bad thing .
     
    Bigdaddy13 likes this.
  12. May 12, 2020
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Northern California
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    Have you ever hit your head on a roll bar at high speed? Hit it with padding on the bar and a bare head? How about hit it with a helmet on and padding on the bar?
    It’s a pretty memorable experience after a couple weeks when everything comes back to you. This high speed roll would have been much worse with outside spreader bars. I would never recommend any outside spreaders unless it was a race Jeep with a helmet worn. I want those bars as far away from my head as possible.
    As stated in the beginning, this is a bare minimum cage for wheeling and around town use. IMO
    If the cage had straight up front hoop not tied into the dash everything would be much worse.
     
  13. May 12, 2020
    Jeepsterjim

    Jeepsterjim Member

    Lincoln, CA
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    Norcal
    The Jeep seems to be parked in a industrial area N. of auburn.....near Foresthill turn off. If so, I used to go there for driveshaft wor, radiator work and custom upholstery work.
     
  14. May 12, 2020
    Bigdaddy13

    Bigdaddy13 Member 2020 Sponsor

    So.Cal
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    Agree to disagree, buddy. :) Like i said, i think the cage acted like a crumple-zone which is not great for maintaining the passenger compartment, but is perfect for absorbing energy.

    and yes, i’ve had my share of bumps and bruises on-road and off.

    For me, the fact remains that Roxors, UTV’s, side by sides and yes, even Stock jeeps with full cages (YJ and up) all have outboard support bars. And if anyone is worried about liability, its bean-counters and corporate engineers.

    4973D660-21A6-49B1-922E-12BFC5CD9EAB.jpeg

    On another note, helmets off-road, quite honestly, aren’t a bad idea all thing’s considered, but to each their own.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  15. May 12, 2020
    masscj2a

    masscj2a Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Chester Mass
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    Just glad to see he and the pooch were ok. I guess any type of a roll bar is better than none at all. Imagine if there were none at all.
     
    V8willysCJ5 and Bigdaddy13 like this.
  16. May 12, 2020
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Northern California
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    The cage is being duplicated at a race shop in Redding, Ca.
     
  17. May 12, 2020
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Northern California
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    The lap belts are mounted to the body. The shoulder harnesses are mounted to a tab on the cage. You can see the shoulder harness mount location in the second pic. I know that he was not wearing the shoulder harnesses at the time of the crash.
     
    wheelsontheroof likes this.
  18. May 12, 2020
    matt johnson

    matt johnson Member 2020 Sponsor

    chesapeake, va
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    X2. So glad he and pup are ok.
     
  19. May 12, 2020
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs 2019 Sponsor

    At the foot of...
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    This is why I don't like racing type harnesses for a street vehicle. Too often people don't take the time to put them on and if you're not wearing them they're worthless!
    Glad the driver and pooch made it through ok!
     
  20. May 12, 2020
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Northern California
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    Like I said in the beginning. This cage was not yet completed. Gussets were to be added to all 90 degree intersections. One of those things where we ran out of time and all of a sudden 2 years had gone by. If the gussets were installed there is no way that the front bar would have bent even half that much. We have no one else to blame than ourselves for not taking the time to complete the cage. In the end the front bar did everything it was supposed to do; even the window frame is salvageable.

    As I also said in the beginning.
    This jeep is not designed to fly through the desert at high rates of speed day after day. If we were doing things like that the cage would look much different.... but then again the entire jeep would be designed much differently.
    This is an around town, camping and occasional Rubicon rig. There is a point where the roll cage begins to hinder the ability to jump in and head down the road, trail, across the ranch, ect...... You have to ask yourself what are you going to do with your own Jeep? Are you going to do those muddy rock bouncer hill climbs... tumble to the bottom just to do it all over again? Or do you want a cruiser jeep that you can still put a soft top on? If you want to run a soft top, that outboard spreader bar is right next to your head......
     

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