Originally Posted by CJay7
I am thinking about a custom rollbar for added backseat protection. I am doing some body work and will have the old one out so I was thinking about either a custom or later YJ rollbar for added protection for rear passengers but I am having trouble finding anyone in my area that can make one. Does anyone know of a mail order or possibly somewhere in the Virginia Beach area that may do this kind of work? How strong would a YJ rollbar hold up in the event of a roll over if I were to go that route? I love the classic CJ look but I am concerned about having kids in the back (someday) without more rear support. If anyone can help or has some ideas I would greatly appreciate it.
more than anything, if you want all around security you need to tie the cage into the frame. a triangle is structurally preferable to a square, and there is no reason to toss your old cj cage when it will work fine. i'd find a fab shop, and have a rear section bent up and have a front hoop with two straight and two angled spreader bars connected to the original cj cage.
viewing from top
|\ /| < front hoop 2 straight 2 angled, woohoo another triangle!
----- < stock cj main bar
\|_|/ < rear section
you can see the basic idea in this link, from the rear.
just an angled hoop bend, two angle notched tubes going down and two connecting it to the stock cj cage. plus it looks almost as trick as having a full cage bent up. if you go the full cage route, i'd have the seats bolted to the cage via tubing running along the floor and tie in the seatbelts, etc. not only is that safer, but it structurally rigidifies your jeep's body. my tubing follows the body lines in the tub and frame/cage/coilover mounts/rocker panels/bumpers and skidplate are all tied in together.
you can either order a prebent front hoop or have the aforementioned fab shop do it all, which is your best bet. i don't know of anyone who sells a trick looking rear cage. i know 4wd hardware - www.4wd.com
i think, they sell a smittybuilt front cage hoop and you can purchase extra pre-notched and bent spreader bars. they also sell 6 point tie into frame kits, which if you can't find a fab shop, you could make do with something like that and use a wrangler rear. probably would still want to put gussets in all the corners of the wrangler cage and maybe even a cross, as the wrangler cage really is not the most impressively safe design.
one other option i can think of for the moderate wheeler who doesn't go try and kill himself like i do, a bolt together kit.
they sell a kit for CJs and even a frame tie in kit. for your needs this might be perfect.
if you do use a fab shop, make sure all the points connecting to the sheet metal are attached through the sheetmetal via a rub rail bracket and then welded/bolted to the frame. the best triangular design in the world won't do you any good if the cage punches through the sheetmetal, which is a serious concern when you talk about a full front/back flip. a simple layover isn't going to be much of a concern, however accidents happen and it's better to have a full cage protecting everyone.
one place you might look if you're having trouble finding a shop to do this... muffler places. they have all the tube bending equipment, you might have to supply some 1 3/4 .134 wall or 1 1/2 .120 DOM tubing, but it would probably be pretty reasonable.
take it easy,