Poly Cage Install with Special Sauce - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 61 Old 06-29-2011, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Poly Cage Install with Special Sauce

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 Id 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 JKs 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.


My Solution:
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!





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post #2 of 61 Old 06-29-2011, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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The second issue came up when I was drilling the holes for the A-Pillar floor plates. The body is very thin and flimsy. And although Poly was smart to position the plates in an area where the body has a channel under it, there is about 2 of dead space between the 2 layers of sheetmetal. Im pretty confident that the floor would collapse down to the bottom of the channel in the event of a rollover.


My Solution:
I cut a hole through the floor under the floor plate. I then welded a piece of tubing to the under-side of the plates that pass through the floor and tie in to brackets on the frame using bushings at the frame. I still bolted the plates to the floor since I had already drilled the holes, but the main support comes from the frame.




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post #3 of 61 Old 06-29-2011, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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The third thing I disliked was the only geometric flaw I saw in the cages design. The weld-in dash bar starts at the A-pillar bars and then goes forward about 6 before making a nearly 90* bend at the windshield. Although the dash bar looks cool, Im not so sure it really adds enough lateral support to the A-Pillar and windshield frame to do much good. The dash bar and the header bar above the windshield basically create a rectangle, which can easily deform or fold when side-loaded.
My Solution:
The obvious solution was to add some triangulation to the rectangle. So I added 2 angled spreaders that run down the windshield. I also added gussets between the A-pillar and the dash bar, since it protrudes forward so far.




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post #4 of 61 Old 06-29-2011, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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I then added a harness bar and some various gussets throughout the cage.



The A and C pillars are now all tied to the frame. Still to come are some B pillar tie-ins which will intersect the harness bar, and then off to Line-X to do the tub.
A matching Mastercraft bench seat will take the place of the fuel cell, and the cell will be moved all the way back to the rear.
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post #5 of 61 Old 06-29-2011, 02:38 PM
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Nice work!
That looks awesome

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post #6 of 61 Old 06-29-2011, 02:48 PM
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Looks awesome!!

I took the same approach.. I used the Poly for a foundation and added what I wanted from there.


lllll


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post #7 of 61 Old 06-29-2011, 05:39 PM
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Nice work. it looks ready to roll now.
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post #8 of 61 Old 06-29-2011, 09:17 PM
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Nice work.
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post #9 of 61 Old 06-29-2011, 10:51 PM
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Looks good, been waiting to see what you did.

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post #10 of 61 Old 06-30-2011, 12:14 AM
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Naaaaaaawce!
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post #11 of 61 Old 06-30-2011, 06:28 AM
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post #12 of 61 Old 06-30-2011, 01:01 PM
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Beautiful Co4Lo. I'm gonna steal a few of your ideas if you don't mind. I'm gonna bend all the cage myself.

I've been debating a full rip out but it's such a pain in the ass. Lol. I might take this approach and bend up a poly, Co4Lo, toothprick design.

Thanks
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post #13 of 61 Old 06-30-2011, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toothprick View Post
Beautiful Co4Lo. I'm gonna steal a few of your ideas if you don't mind. I'm gonna bend all the cage myself.

I've been debating a full rip out but it's such a pain in the ass. Lol. I might take this approach and bend up a poly, Co4Lo, toothprick design.

Thanks
That would be sweet. If I hadn't decided to put a rear seat back in it, I probably would have cut it down to have a fast-back profile like the cage The Victim.
But I don't want to pop somebody's head off if I roll.
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post #14 of 61 Old 06-30-2011, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Co4Lo View Post
That would be sweet. If I hadn't decided to put a rear seat back in it, I probably would have cut it down to have a fast-back profile like the cage The Victim.
But I don't want to pop somebody's head off if I roll.
I kept the rear as well. Even though it will hardly ever be in. But my girls love to be picked up from school in the Jeep. So priorities must take over.
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post #15 of 61 Old 06-30-2011, 07:55 PM
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i really like what you did with the floor mount i may copy that

polys cage is definitely the way to go besides a full custom cage imo
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post #16 of 61 Old 06-30-2011, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBirish View Post
i really like what you did with the floor mount i may copy that

polys cage is definitely the way to go besides a full custom cage imo
Thanks!
Did you notice that the bushings at the frame are cut/ sleeved OEM control arm bushings? Same as the C-Pillar tie ins.
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post #17 of 61 Old 06-30-2011, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Co4Lo View Post
Thanks!
Did you notice that the bushings at the frame are cut/ sleeved OEM control arm bushings? Same as the C-Pillar tie ins.
knew they looked familiar. Genius!
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post #18 of 61 Old 06-30-2011, 08:52 PM
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I have some of those Ballistic gussets left over and like how you added them to the dash spreader. Might have to add them to mine when I have some free time and am willing to repaint the sucker

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post #19 of 61 Old 06-30-2011, 09:47 PM
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HA! I knew that there was a cage in your JKs future Post more pics when you can.

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post #20 of 61 Old 07-15-2011, 07:30 AM
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Pretty sick ideas CO4LO... like the fact you bent the tubing around the dash and into the floor. Not a bad way of creating an A pillar.

The B Pillar overhead tie in was an obvious must do. What a shitty design. But why did you use the mount that you fabbed up on the frame tie in of the A pillar. I'm guessing because you didn't want to just weld it to the frame. Looks good, looks real good.

I'll be interested in what your rear seat area looks like when you bolt the tank in and move everything around. Not much room back there.

I'm also assuming that your going to move your spare to the outside of your tailgate...Or create some cool deal to mount your tire to the rear of the cage with keeping in mind the soft top.

Kick Ass! I can't wait to build my cage.

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post #21 of 61 Old 07-15-2011, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourplyn View Post
But why did you use the mount that you fabbed up on the frame tie in of the A pillar. I'm guessing because you didn't want to just weld it to the frame. Looks good, looks real good.

I'm also assuming that your going to move your spare to the outside of your tailgate...Or create some cool deal to mount your tire to the rear of the cage with keeping in mind the soft top.
You have to use bushings when tying a body-mounted cage to the frame because the body is mounted with bushings. If you just run the tubing through the tub and weld it to the frame, the body won't be able to flex on the frame the way it is intended to.

The spare will be on a custom removeable carrier that will bolt on to the rear of the cage with tube clamps. This would hinder the use of the rear window in the soft top, but who cares.
Otherwise maybe a swing down carrier?? Not sure yet.

The rear will be a tight squeeze. I moved the fuel cell all the way back to the gate and will be installing a single Mastercraft Rubicon seat in the middle. Just enough room.
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post #22 of 61 Old 08-06-2011, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Cage done.
Might have to change up the harness bar a little because there will be a single rear seat. We'll see...


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post #23 of 61 Old 08-06-2011, 06:19 AM
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Nice work! Definitely gives me some ideas for my future cage build.

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post #24 of 61 Old 08-06-2011, 07:32 AM
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Nice job on the cage and really awesome Jeep, nicely done
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post #25 of 61 Old 08-06-2011, 07:42 AM
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Your seats are missing sir. Just thought I'd let you know!



Looks great man. Nice work as always!

Now...go be hardcore and flop it with a forklift to test your skillz.

Marcus


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