Roll cages offer protection and improve handling.
"Looking a bit cagey"
Many tracks insist that cars are fitted with roll cages and or roll bars. In motor sport competitions you will see that most regulations also insist on a roll-cage. What is the job of a roll cage and are there any advantages to having one fitted? More and more TorqueCars members cars are being fitted with roll cages, so is this just a new styling trend or is there something beneficial to the car tuner?
Many track cars are stripped of all unnecessary weight. This often involves removal of crumple zones which absorb much of an impact. When you are in competition you are pushing the car much harder and the consequences are that much more dangerous.
A roll cage will help to provide a strengthened zone within the car to protect the driver. Should 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 simple stipulation that one be fitted to exact details of bar diameter and number of connecting points and harness points.
The actual structure of a roll cage is calculated to increase the rigidity and obtain the maximum strength from the lowest weight. A big plus of having a roll cage fitted is that the car will not experience as much flexing as it otherwise would. Just as a strut brace can help cornering a roll cage will also improve your track times and allows for much tighter and more precise setting of suspension components.
A bare metal roll cage will obviously be intrusive inside the car and will obscure at least a part of the door. You should always get some roll cage padding around any part of the roll cage that your arms, head or legs can come into contact with. This can make a big difference in a crash and minimise fractures.
To fit a roll cage you should really strip out the carpets, headlining and even 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 custom made for each car. A 4 point roll cage will 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 can have curved door bars to allow easier access.
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