I know that there isn't a huge strength advantage to having a family roll cage over the original CJ sports bar, but I picked one up the other day and am now contemplating whether or not i want to install it. I don't want this to turn into a "just get a real roll cage" topic, but wanted some feedback about the swap.
I had intended to install it and modify the windshield frame a little to accommodate the "spreader bar" that goes from the main roll bar hoop to the windshield.....This way I could put some grab handles on and make it a little easier for my 5'4" wife to be able to get in and out of the lifted CJ and I wouldn't need to pull on the steering wheel to get in the driver's seat. I figured it would be nice to have......
Now that I've had it for a few weeks I'm wondering whether or not I should make the swap. Leave behind the classic sport bar look or deviate and have the family style roll bar....
I just want to know what some of you think about this.....yay or nay? Advantages other than what I've mentioned that you can think of? any disadvantages? I really value the input of my fellow CJ-ers so any input would be greatly appreciated.
I did the swap in the fall and love it. My wife is 5'4" as well and the grab handles help with getting in and out. I also like it because I was able to install a soundbar instead of having to use those wedges that fire into the rear of the seats.
I'm also looking to get one of those frame less soft tops and you have to have a family bar.
I say go for it...
Did it. Was thinking man I'm gonna miss the classic sport bar look. Then I installed it. Can put shoulder harnesses for each passenger. Get the windshield bars to hang handles off. And it does not obstruct views (or shooting) out of the back seat. I'd attach a picture but it won't let me.
I installed one and am happy with it.
Wife loves the grab handle that hangs off the windshield spreader bar for getting in/out, plus to hold onto generally. I had also moved the passenger seat back 2 1/2" to give her more leg room.
Have to admit Im now thinking of adding a sound bar to it since the rear lower speakers suck lol.
I'd skip the stock YJ bars to the windshield and get an add-on front hoop instead. The stock bars don't do anything because the windshield isn't strong. Putting a front hoop in there gives you an actual cage of sorts.
Yes, you can build something a lot stronger, but do you NEED it? There are literally thousands of Jeeps that have been rolled with whatever bar they had stock and it didn't fail. And some have, but most didn't. They held up enough to protect the passengers, and very, very few ever would have benefited from frame tie-ins, which are a popular addition in the Jeep community.
My rule of thumb is, if you are planning on scraping it over huge rocks, or up and down steep hills, go with a cage with some cross-bracing. If you body is solid, there's still not much need for frame tie-ins, unless you just "want to". Again, yeah, they're stronger, but do you NEED it? I've seen videos of stock TJ's that rolled multiple times down a hill and the stock cage held up. And again, occasionally, they don't hold up.
Make a determination of what you plan to do with the Jeep, and build from there. Chances are, a YJ family cage, with a front hoop and maybe a rear cross bar will hold up to anything you'll ever encounter if you're not going to seriously wheel it.
I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can't trust em. -
I have always thought that the CJ sports bar is the way to go. To tell you the truth, I think the "Family" roll cage kinda looks forced, awkward, and a total product of the 90's. While it is very functional, it's not very pleasing to the eye. When I think "Jeep," I think of one bar tube and two support members. This is a purist way of thought, I know, but it seems to me that the sport bar is more than functional, especially if you are not using your rear seat. If you are using a rear seat, then it may be necessary to use a full roll cage for safety. However, I think there is no prettier thing than a Jeep with a minimal roll cage. Just my two cents.
I put one on my 85cj. I didn't care for it after a week so I pulled it off and sold it. The stock bar is going to protect about the same as the other cage. The weight of the engine would prevent the rear of the jeep from tilting in a roll over. The main hop and the front of the jeep will be on the ground and the rear will be up in the air.
As was already mentioned that front windshield spreader isn't doing jack other than giving a spot to grab on. I'd do the adds front hoop and some spreaders with welded in grab handles.