In an effort to expedite the last phase of my build to get the Jeep ready for 2011 EJS, I opted to purchase a weld-in cage kit instead of building a full custom cage.
After researching all of the kits available, I decided to go with the Poly Performance cage kit. Funny thing is, I ran into so many other issues trying to get the Jeep ready, that I never even installed the Poly cage.
EJS passed and I came home to the boxed up Poly cage still sitting in the garage. Now I had the time to do my custom cage, but thought I’d pull the Poly out and have a look. I was very impressed with the quality of the cage and decided to stick with it.
However, the disappointments with the JK’s design came quickly as I started prepping for the install.
The first thing that I had a problem with is the OEM B-Pillar area. The door headers simply bolt to the crossmember with some thin triangular gussets. After removing these gussets, I discovered that the crossmember is merely spot welded to some sheetmetal, which is then welded to the main fore-aft roll bar hoops. This explains why the OEM cages always seem to fold sideways when they roll over. No way was I going to allow this to be the foundation of my cage.
I hacked out the OEM B-Pillar Crossmember and replaced it with a fully welded 2x4” 3/16” wall rectangular tubing. I then cut off the bolt-on triangle gussets from the door headers and welded them directly to the new crossmember. Solid!