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Unread 05-13-2013, 11:57 PM   #16
only in a jeep cj
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Purpose and name: Can anyone tell me why they changed from the classic design? Is it because it's stronger? Looks better? Has a stupid name from someone that caught on? No, none of these. Ill tell you why. Because in the late 80s, the govt said that all US cars/trucks with forward facing rear passenger seats had to have 3 point seat belts by such and such date.....so in 1991, you have a redesigned rear bar to allow the upper seat belt mount. That's it.

Front Spreader bars: The front spreader bars do two things, it keeps the windshield frame from folding back on you (as much) in a rollover when it caves in, and firms up the windshield positioning for consistency in soft top and door alignment. As a plus, instead of the 12 seconds it takes (without tools)to lower your windshield....now it will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Strength: I would argue that the design of the rear bars actually makes them weaker as the upper rear corner can bend or fold (think four corners of a box as it lays flat. In contrast, a triangle (old style viewed from the side) can not easily collapse unless there is a break at a joint. In rollbars, cages, structures, etc, triangulation is always stronger than regular 90 degree bars.

Looks:I too, personally do not like the looks as I grew up with the classic profile of the CJ representing what a Jeep is. The 91 on rollbar is a out of place to me as square headlights from 87 to 95. But hey, that's just me. And the name..."family bar".....Who came up with this crap? Like in a word, it implies that it is now, all of a sudden, safe to put your loved ones in the rear seat and they are magically protected from all harm....wow.

Soundbar:The reason I don't like the sound bar is because the left speaker is 5 inches from your left ear and the right speaker is a few feet away from your right ear.....not good as the best stereo sound comes from speakers placed at a distance apart that you are back from them....yes, I know its a Jeep, but anything has better imaging than that sound bar.....even the rear wedges and dash locations.

In short the ONLY real reason to go with a 91 to 95 bar is if you want or need 3 point rear seat belts. (and never plan on lowering your front windshield again). Also...Pulling on your steering wheel to get in is not the way to do it....get a step, loose weight, reach for another pull point OR whatever you need to do.

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Unread 05-14-2013, 06:33 AM   #17
waterdowg
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I have one I plan on putting in. But I'm only using the rear. I'm not installing the spreader bars. I only want it to add 3 point seat belts in the rear.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 06:58 AM   #18
2Xtreme
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Neither bar are considered great rollover protection.

I did the swap, mainly because of the shoulder harness option and I just plain like the look of the family bar better. I think it makes the jeep look more complete.

That said, when I did roll my Jeep I was glad I had the family bar.
It did get tweaked and pullout out of the tub. But keep my head from getting squarshed.

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Unread 05-14-2013, 08:06 AM   #19
CJ7ROB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkhsm View Post
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 agree, I like the classic rollbar look in Jeeps. My Jeep won't really be a family Jeep anyway. I have modern vehicles for that. I can't think of when I ever really wore my seatbelt in the back seat of any vehicle anyway.

Daisy knew what I'm talking about

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Unread 05-14-2013, 08:48 AM   #20
82JeepCJ7
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All low speed roll overs. Fact is, the factory cages suck. A good cage should be the first upgrade.









Stock bar with added front cage and spreaders.


The key is triangulation. Keep a bar from having a side load and failing.

A good friend of mine walked away from this because of a good cage.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uACVL1aKK6k




And just for fun..
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Unread 05-14-2013, 09:07 AM   #21
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I have a couple of questions about those pictures:

One, how do you know they were all "low speed rollovers"? And "low speed" doesn't automatically mean "low impact". You can roll down a mountain at "low speed".

Two, other than the one green TJ, looks like the factory bars themselves pretty much held up just fine and protected the occupants. The TJ on the bottom, it's cage is holding up just fine, too.

The CJ bar is warped to the side, but not collapsed. Looks like mostly the front windshield area are what failed....where there is no tubing. I wouldn't realistically expect any cage to not give SOME. As long as it doesn't totally collapse. So some warpage is fine, as long as it keeps you safe.

That kind of proves what I was saying: The factory bars are fine if you add a front hoop and some bracing to them. Not saying they're as good as a pro-built cage, but they are fine with some strengthening for the vast majority of CJ users, other than the rock guys. In all of these, the windshield frame is the main failure point. And none of them seem to have front hoops.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 09:17 AM   #22
Matt1981CJ7
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Pac,

Does a front hoop, that secures all the way to the frame, render the window cranks on hard-doors useless?

Matt
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Unread 05-14-2013, 09:32 AM   #23
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I for one love my family bar as I stated in my previous post. It does appear in the pictures provided above that the rollbars did a fair job in protection. One side note though and please correct me if I'm wrong, but any factory rollbar doesn't tie directly into the frame. When replacing my sport bar, the mounting locations were sheet metal with a nut tacked to it.
So, with an after market or home made built rollbar, how are they tied into the frame (especially in the rear part of the vehicle)?
Just curious.....

P.S. My post is #23 in this thread
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Unread 05-14-2013, 09:38 AM   #24
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This topic - adding to the cage - is can of worms. Adding two spreaders, can turn into "scratch built cage" pretty quickly. Couple more considerations...
- Hard doors: To Matt's question - not just the window cranks, but the depth of the doors will interfere with most windshield hoops (the ones that go to the floor)
- Seat belts: It's not a matter of finding a place to attach the shoulder harness, you have to do this AND keep the supporting bars away from all passengers's heads. I had a buddy die in his CJ when his head hit the roll bar just above the shoulder harness attach point - a side impact.

I think it's worth noting that "My Jeep is not a hardcore trail rig - it's mostly on the street... so I don't need a that much cage" is NOT an excuse to go cheap. The fact is, it's much (!) more dangerous out there on the street, than the trail. Rollovers on the trail - for the most part - are "gentle" compared to street crashes. Every rollover I've seen on the trail has been more like slow motion.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 09:57 AM   #25
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I did it for the added shoulder belts in the rear for my 2 sons. Also, I like the spreader bars.

Here is my build for pictures (the latter pages show the finished project): http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/bo...oject-1085653/

I followed Bard's thread for the installation:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ch...ollbar-556232/
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Unread 05-14-2013, 10:48 AM   #26
Matt1981CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manhattan View Post
This topic - adding to the cage - is can of worms. Adding two spreaders, can turn into "scratch built cage" pretty quickly. Couple more considerations...
- Hard doors: To Matt's question - not just the window cranks, but the depth of the doors will interfere with most windshield hoops (the ones that go to the floor)
That's a bummer, but thanks for the info.

If I went to the trouble of changing roll bars, I'd want a fully functional cage, but it would have to work with the hard doors and top.

I've seen front hoop versions that secure to a special bracket on the dash. What's the skinny on those?

Matt
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Unread 05-14-2013, 12:31 PM   #27
Manhattan
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A tube will fit there - allowing room for the doors. But, I've only seen that with custom/stick-built cages.



Then the next challenge is getting to the bolts securing the windshield to the dash.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 12:43 PM   #28
PROJECT 23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt1981CJ7

That's a bummer, but thanks for the info.

If I went to the trouble of changing roll bars, I'd want a fully functional cage, but it would have to work with the hard doors and top.

I've seen front hoop versions that secure to a special bracket on the dash. What's the skinny on those?

Matt
Power windows brother
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Unread 05-14-2013, 12:48 PM   #29
Dave2002ti
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Please

Dont use shoulder harnesses w/o using the proper seats to locate the harness and the sub belt. Sub belt ie 5 pt or the 5th and 6th point keep the harnesses located on the hip bone. Not using the sub belts can cause serious injury in an accident since the belts are not properely located and can ride up.

Also consider using rollbar padding.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 01:06 PM   #30
markso125
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Im probably going to go with the family bar over the sport bar because of the seatbelt points.
Having two little kids in the back seat on 3 point harnesses is safer then just the lap belt, on or off the road. Im more worried about them then looks even though I think the sport bar looks alot better then the family bar.
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