Looking a bit cagey
Many tracks insist that cars are fitted with roll cages and or roll bars. In motor sport competitions you will notice that most regulations also insist on a roll-cage. What is the job of a roll cage and are there any benefits of having one fitted? More and more TorqueCars members cars are being fitted with roll cages, so could this be just a new styling trend or is there something good for the car tuner?
Roll cages offer protection to the driver and tighter body control.
Many track cars are stripped of unnecessary weight. This often involves removal of crumple zones which absorb a lot of an impact. While you are in competition you are pushing the car harder and the consequences are much more dangerous.
A roll cage will help you to provide a strengthened zone inside the car to guard the driver. When the car flip over onto its roof or be struck by another fast moving competitor the cars driver will have a fighting chance. The regulations for each motor sport body vary and range from the straightforward stipulation that one be fitted to exact details of bar number and diameter of connecting points and harness points.
The actual structure of the roll cage is calculated to increase the rigidity and acquire the maximum strength from the lowest weight. A huge plus of experiencing a roll cage fitted is that the car will not experience as much flexing as it otherwise would. Just as a strut brace will help cornering a roll cage will also boost your track times and allows for much more and tighter precise setting of suspension components.
A bare metal roll cage will obviously be intrusive inside the car and will obscure at least an element of the door. It is best to get some roll cage padding around any part of the roll cage that your particular arms, head or legs can come into contact with. This can make a significant difference in a crash and minimise fractures.
To suit a roll cage you must really strip out the even, headlining and carpets remove the seats. The fitting process can make a lot of mess. You will need to locate the strongest chassis points and connect the roll cage to this. Bolts and welds are the most common methods and occasionally you may need to drill through the floor pan or into the sills to allow a good join.
Roll cage kits come with full fitting instructions and are personalized for each car. A 4 point roll cage may have 4 connections that need to be made (surprise surprise). Some may require that the door be welded shut so ask before your order if you are not planning to climb through the window. Kits could have curved door bars to enable easier access.