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Unread 02-21-2011, 03:23 PM   #1
jatepper
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BUILD: OR Fab Sport Cage Add-On

Well, a few weeks ago I converted my 85 CJ7 OEM roll cage to a YJ family style rollbar from a 95 YJ. First, I would like to say I am very aware this is not a "roll cage". I only did it so I can have 3-point seat belts in the back seat so I can take the family around town in the Jeep. In preperation for this add-on, I had the roll bar sandblasted.

I did not like how the the YJ Family Roll Bar had those adjustable bars that went from the roll cage hoop in to the top my windshield. I were to roll, the windshield and cage would provide absolutely zero structural integrity. After calling OR Fab to speak to a representative, I opted to add the CJ weld-in sport cage to my YJ family roll bar. OR Fab's weld in roll cage ties in to the outer bolts of the dash (where the dash bolts to the tub). Again, I understand this could easily fail if I were to have a pretty good roll, but I do lite-moderate off road at best so I'm not too worried about it. I'm 6'2" and 245 lbs, so I need the leg room which is why I did not opt for a full cage down to the floor. Normally I would never sacrifice safety for comfort, but again, I do not do anything extreme on the trail. I know I'm going to get some flack, but oh well.

Anyway, the sport cage arrived today. Has anyone installed one of these? It is a weld on application and does not look too hard to do. I will document my build on this thread. I am also incorporating a removable cargo rack which would go just above the rear seat when I have no back seat passengers for camping, hunting, and such.

The OR Fab roll cage comes with a driver and passenger side bar that goes from the OEM hoop to the dash tie-ins. It also comes with a spreader bar that runs across the windshield to connect the driver and passenger side bar. Lastly, it comes with 2 overhead bars that connect the OEM hoop to the front spreader bar. One more thing..... I'm also going to add a spreader to the family roll cage over/behind the rear seat to provide a little overhead protection to the rear passengers.

My plan is to tack everything in place in the Jeep and remove the roll bar to perform final welding. If anyone has any tips/tricks/suggestions, please feel free to share.

Here is a factory image of the sport cage I'm adding....

fab-cj-weld-sport-cage.jpg  
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Unread 02-21-2011, 04:00 PM   #2
sherlocktk
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I installed mine approx 1 year ago. I welded everything in place, did not take it out of the vehicle, but that would have helped a lot for the 'upside down' welding you need to do. I also added an additional length of tube just above the dash about 5 inches higher than where you weld it to the dash mounts. I figured this would add to the structural integrity. I also welded in some handles to assist with getting in and out of the cage, similar to how rock hard does there cages. I use mine all the time and its a great addition.

I welded in my Tuffy Console (overhead) between the spreader bars. this was a good mount, and it also provides some lateral support for the cage to prevent/resist twisting upon a bad roll over. I do not have any pics handy but can take some tonight. Ill post them up tommorrow morning.

As far as installation, Everything was notched reasonably well. The notches where it hooks into the main cage needed a little "help". I suspect this is due to variation from the factory over the years of production. but nothing a couple of minutes and a grinder could not take care of.

Tack everything in place and once you get it all lined up I would do more than a tack so you can remove the cage from the tub maybe like 3/4 or so weld on each joint so it does not move. Then unblot and burn in the rest.
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Unread 02-21-2011, 06:01 PM   #3
jatepper
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Sherlocktk,

Thanks for the reply. This is the kind of feedback I was looking for.

I was surprised to find that my kit came with grab handles to help my fat butt get in and out. I don't think I was supposed to get these but what happened was I ordered this kit from 4x4groupbuy.com and since they mainly drop ship, they told me it was shipping directly from OR Fab and should ship within 2 weeks. Well, a month after I ordered the kit I had nothing waiting for me at the front door. I had to call back 4x4groupbuy and they said it was going to be another 2/3 weeks. They put me on hold for a few minutes and they said they found a company in UT that had one kit in stock and they said they were not sure why it costs more money. But since I waited so long, they just had that company ship the sport cage to me without making me responsible for the difference. The difference in the price must be because of the grab handles??? So, I would like to convince myself I got hooked up! LOL

I took all the pieces out of the box and just held everything in to position where I think it belongs and it looks like things will fit well. I may end up making my own overhead console. I am also going to figure out how to mount my CB speaker overhead too (it is small).
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Automatic-258 I6- Detroit lockers front/rear - Superior 1-piece axles, Ramsey Pro 9000 Winch, Quick Disconnects, 33 BFG AT's, 4.10 gears, Howell TBI, DUI HEI Ignition, Ground Pounder Rear Bumper / Tire Carrier Combo, Handen Fab integrated winch plate front bumper w/hoop, ORF weld-in front sport cage.

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Unread 02-21-2011, 07:15 PM   #4
Jim1611
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Jeremy I think tacking it in place then taking it out to do a good job of welding is best, besides it'll be easier to paint too. Tell you something I'd do that might save you some extra work. You're always bound to have things warp, spread apart and move when you pu the heat to it and with that in mind I would run a temporary bar from where the cage bolts to the dash back to the factory roll bar. Maybe even slant it down towards the floor a bit that way you'll keep it from warping away from the dash.

I think I'd put some gussets up overhead where the new bar meets the old one. If nothing else it'll look cool.
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Unread 02-21-2011, 07:57 PM   #5
jatepper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1611 View Post
Jeremy I think tacking it in place then taking it out to do a good job of welding is best, besides it'll be easier to paint too. Tell you something I'd do that might save you some extra work. You're always bound to have things warp, spread apart and move when you pu the heat to it and with that in mind I would run a temporary bar from where the cage bolts to the dash back to the factory roll bar. Maybe even slant it down towards the floor a bit that way you'll keep it from warping away from the dash.

I think I'd put some gussets up overhead where the new bar meets the old one. If nothing else it'll look cool.
Jim,

Great tip! I will do just that. I have plenty of angle iron I will do it out of so I don't have to waste the expensive DOM making these temporary braces.

Very smart idea! Thanks.
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Unread 02-22-2011, 07:28 AM   #6
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^^^^^^ MODS- Please delete this spammer and his account. Thanks.
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1985 Jeep CJ-7
Automatic-258 I6- Detroit lockers front/rear - Superior 1-piece axles, Ramsey Pro 9000 Winch, Quick Disconnects, 33 BFG AT's, 4.10 gears, Howell TBI, DUI HEI Ignition, Ground Pounder Rear Bumper / Tire Carrier Combo, Handen Fab integrated winch plate front bumper w/hoop, ORF weld-in front sport cage.

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Unread 02-22-2011, 10:56 AM   #7
sherlocktk
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Sorry for the bad cell phone pic. My camera died about a year ago and the wife was not home last night. Here you can see the bar I added across the front bottom and the handle that I added for the passenger. There is an identical one on the drivers side.

If you need any more specific shots of what i did let me know. I would weld in a 16 ga plate or so on top of the spreader bars in the middle, it will add "tringulation" by being a giant gusset. I did add little 4 inch x 1/4 inch thick gussets where the cage meet the factory cage. Just a simple "Emergency backup" weld in gusset as I like to think of them.
img_0472.jpg  
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Unread 02-22-2011, 11:43 AM   #8
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I plan to put one of these in my CJ. Can't wait for to see how yours turns out.
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Unread 02-22-2011, 07:28 PM   #9
jatepper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4by4junkie View Post
I plan to put one of these in my CJ. Can't wait for to see how yours turns out.
Thanks. I think it will turn out pretty good. I will be going at it at full force starting next weekend I think. This weekend is unfortunately shot as I have to make a visit to the mother-in-law. More to come soon guys. Thanks!!
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Automatic-258 I6- Detroit lockers front/rear - Superior 1-piece axles, Ramsey Pro 9000 Winch, Quick Disconnects, 33 BFG AT's, 4.10 gears, Howell TBI, DUI HEI Ignition, Ground Pounder Rear Bumper / Tire Carrier Combo, Handen Fab integrated winch plate front bumper w/hoop, ORF weld-in front sport cage.

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Unread 02-27-2011, 08:13 PM   #10
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OK... I started on the build. Like SherlockTK, I had to also take the grinder and slightly modify the notches on the ends to the tubs (only the tubes that go from the main roll bar hoop to the dash brackets). Piece of cake though. They were not off by much.

As I stated, I already had my YJ family bar sandblasted, so preperation was a breeze. I just lightly went over some the areas where the kit welds to with the flapper to get some nice clean looking steel. I fit everything together and tacked it up. Instead of little tacks, I ran a couple of small 1/2" beads as I don't want this falling apart when I take it out to melt it all together well.

The two overhead bars can be placed where ever I want. I was going to put them in the middle with about a 12" gap between them so I can make an overhead panel. In the mean time, they are just being held up by pulling the spreader bar with a nylon ratchet strap. Does the trick for the time being.

I am going to run wires to the overhead internally through the DOM. So, I will have to take the spreader bar off and cut out a 3/4" hole or so to fish the wires through. The only problem I foresee is fishing the wire from where the spreader bar meets the forward bar and then down to the dash. The forward bar is a 90* angle, so fish tape will be a challenge. When I drill the hole in the forward bar, I will probably weld in a little directional plate to help the fish tape slide towards the front of the Jeep.

Well, enough yapping and here are some pics. I will also be adding another spreader bar just above the dash like Sherlock did as well. I think that is a great idea.









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Unread 02-27-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
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is that really what the OR Fab bends look like?
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Unread 02-27-2011, 09:07 PM   #12
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Yep, that is how they bent them. From what I have seen, most bends are shaped like this. Are these "bad" bends?
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Unread 02-27-2011, 09:39 PM   #13
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They look a little kinked but they shouldn't affect structural integrity as any rollover should work against the bends actually trying to flatten them out.

The bends on the outer pieces look better....just seems to be the middle spreaders.
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Unread 02-27-2011, 11:12 PM   #14
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Yep, that is how they bent them. From what I have seen, most bends are shaped like this. Are these "bad" bends?
those are from a crush bender like what you would use in a muffler shop....i prefer and only do mandrel bends on any kind of tubing

btw nice fastback in the background
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Unread 02-28-2011, 06:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by DeViOuS_CJ5 View Post
those are from a crush bender like what you would use in a muffler shop....i prefer and only do mandrel bends on any kind of tubing

btw nice fastback in the background
Now that it has been brought up it bothers me. I'm going to call OR Fab to see if they can send me new bars. I see what you are all talking about.

Thanks about the fastback. Thats my other baby. I love her, but in all honesty, not as much as the CJ. She's a 65 2+2 w/289 and C4 trans. Runs great, looks good, and zero rust. Hopefully in 20 years she is worth a lot of money!!!!!





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1985 Jeep CJ-7
Automatic-258 I6- Detroit lockers front/rear - Superior 1-piece axles, Ramsey Pro 9000 Winch, Quick Disconnects, 33 BFG AT's, 4.10 gears, Howell TBI, DUI HEI Ignition, Ground Pounder Rear Bumper / Tire Carrier Combo, Handen Fab integrated winch plate front bumper w/hoop, ORF weld-in front sport cage.

USMC 1999-2004 Semper Fi!

Hood Hi-Lift Jack Mounts for CJ/YJ/TJ/JK

Torchmate CNC Plasma Table Build / Projects

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