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post #1 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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New Poly Performance Cage w/ Zesty Special Sauce

The wife and I will be having our first baby in early June and needless to say we will be starting to take some family wheeling trips. That along with many other reasons got me really thinking that it was about time for a roll cage in the JK. Also with the ever-growing need to always want to go bigger and do something sketchier it is nice to have the piece of mind that if things do go bad you and your passengers will potentially be as safe as possible.

I needed a functional roll cage that would be strong and do its job of protecting the passengers. I didn't care for many of the cage systems that were currently on the market as most of them are sport cages which are definitely better than nothing but not what I was looking for. Going to a custom shop was out of the question based on the amount they would charge for a functional roll cage that would keep the interior setup clean and flow with the jeep. I could build my own cage, which is a great option, but I do not currently have much time to work with or bending software and without software creating a clean and functional design would be much more difficult. If I went that route I would prefer to be able to take my time and fit everything perfectly which would take longer than I would like to spend especially since I don't have an indoor shop and it was the middle of winter.

All of those things along with some other features made me go with the new Poly Performance/Synergy Suspension Roll Cage System. They have a few different kits that you can choose from. I choose to go with all of them which consisted of their new A-pillars that go directly through the dash (instead of around it like their old design) while still retaining your HVAC vents. It also ties into the floor, and then ties into the frame. Front upper and lower windshield bars that run from side to side linking the two A-Pillars. Their two top roof bars which run front to back connecting the A and B cross pillars. Two grab handles. Brackets for new 4inch speakers. B Pillars that ties into the floor, and also into the frame. A harness bar which goes behind the two front seats and connects both the B-Pillars. Two more top roof bars to connect the B and C cross pillars. Finally the C Pillars which tie into the floor and have a harness bar which goes behind the rear seat and connects both the C-Pillars. All necessary hardware is also included in the kit.

Note: With this kit you will not be able to run your factory front speakers. You will need to a purchase a 4inch speaker and either use the brackets that Poly provides in the kit which mount to the A-Pillars behind the dash or re-mount them to your doors which Poly conveniently provides instruction for as well. Your factory tweeters you can use as well as your factory sound bar if you do not alter the roof's B-Pillar cross bar. You will need to do a bit of cutting, grinding, welding, prepping, painting, etc but it is all straight forward and nothing tricky as Poly/Synergy has taken most all of the hard work out of the equation already. I would say that if you have installed a suspension system and are able to lay a weld that will fully penetrate then you are well qualified to do this job. If you are having a shop do the install it shouldn't take much time for them, especially if you have your jeep torn down before you hand it to them.


Now onto the pics and the writeup:

I received 3 heavy boxes since I ordered their JK 2 & 4 Door Thru Dash Front Cage Kit, JK 4 Door B-Pillar Cage Tie In Kit, and the JK 4 Door Rear Cage Kit.



Each box was very well labeled and packaged. The hardware kits were wrapped in shredded cardboard which you will see in the below. Each kit did include a set of instructions also, but it is advised that you go to the Poly Performance website and print the most up to date instructions that are available.



Each part is clearly labeled, however be cautious when unboxing everything as the packaging tape will tear off the label. Most parts are easy to tell where they go, but it may be a good idea to keep the labels readable as its easy to switch sides on the pillars.



Every part is top quality with well made notches, beautiful welds, laser cut tabs to allow you to quickly and easily line things up while assembling.







It is an option to get Poly's Tube Clamps while you are choosing which kit you would like, however it only gives an option to purchase 2 for the front lower dash bar. I opted to get four total so that I could use them on the front lower dash bar along with the B-Pillar harness bar. After having these in for a bit I will say they are not necessary and I would have been okay without them. Although I do not at all regret getting them though as I know I may end up using them in the future. It does make painting a lot easier for the front lower dash bar since you can remove it to paint, then reinstall it, and I do like having the option to remove the harness bar if I ever need to for extra room or for any other reason that may come up in the future.



Here is an overview of all components from the three boxes laid out.



Now we start to disassemble the JK. First take off your soft or hard top along with your doors. I do not have a shop so the majority of my build will be outside under a hack frame I put together and draped tarps from for my white trash shop.



Then I pulled the front seats out. If you slide the seats all the way forward you can use an impact on the rear bolts, then slide it all the way back and you can access the front bolts with an impact.



In order to pull the seats out you do need to unbolt the seat belt strap. All of the seat belt bolts on the JK use a T50 Torx head socket, but be warned that Chrysler really secures these. You can use heat if needed. Below is how my bit looked after doing just the driver side.





Before you can fully remove the seat don't forget to unplug the seat belt sensor.


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post #2 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Now we can move onto removing the rear seats. First I unbolted all of the forward most bolts, then moved to the back side of the seats not forgetting to unbolt the seat belts that run through the seat and attach to the tub. Then I unbolted all of the mounting points which are easily accessed by lifting up the bottom portion of the seat. Lastly, there is a little bolt which connects the passenger and middle rear seat to the driver side portion of the rear seat. I undid this which made it easier to take out the entire back row.











With the seats out the rig looks pretty empty.



I removed all of the sections of carpet making sure to label them so that I can put them back in correctly. However if you forget to label them it is not hard to find out how it all goes back in together.



You never know what you may find in your jeep. I bought mine a year ago and after pulling out all of the carpet I found this little voodoo bead. Hopefully removing it from the jeep doesn't apart any bad luck to come my way.



With the seats and carpet all removed we can start to tear into the dash. The instructions packet for the cage kit has very detailed descriptions and pictures on how to disassemble the dash and where all of the bolts are. Due to that, I did not take pictures of all of them but I will note some of the things I did starting off with removing the front windshield visors along with the A-Pillar plastic, the upper windshield plastic, and the padding/cover for the factory roll cage. Once those are removed it should look like the below.



With these parts also it is a good idea to mark where they came from so that it can easily be put back together.



Moving towards the rear, we can remove the factory speaker bar including the quick disconnect plug on the passenger side.







I finished removing all of the plastic and the padding/covers from the entire roll cage which left me with this big pile.




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post #3 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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With all of the plastic and cage padding removed I started to take down the windshield to make the install easier. The first step is to remove the bolts which attach the windshield surround to the factory cage.



Then you will have to use a Torq head socket to remove the windshield support bracket.



The final step to being able to drop the front windshield will be to remove the window wiper blades from each side. Once those are removed you can lower the front windshield down.





Here is a shot of the factory B-Pillar. You will be able to see how much structural strength the Poly/Synergy cage will add just by replacing this Pillar with one that will actually be able to support weight and be tied into the frame.



Now this is where my install of the cage was thrown some special sauce! My original plan was to follow Co3Lo's writeup with the prior Poly/Synergy cage system as I knew I wanted to replace the rectangle tube cross members that the factory cage has on both the B and C Pillar with 2x4x120 wall rectangle tube for the B-pillar crossmember and 1.75x120 wall DOM Tube for the C-Pillar crossmember. NOTE: THIS IS NOT PART OF THE POLY/SYNERGY INSTRUCTIONS.

I also wanted to add even more special sauce to the cage by replacing the factory roll cage with all 1.75x120 wall DOM Tube. NOTE: THIS IS NOT PART OF THE POLY/SYNERGY INSTRUCTIONS. PLEASE SKIP DOWN ABOUT 21 PICTURES IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ONLY FOLLOW THE INSTALL OF THE SUPPLIED MATERIAL.

The first step I took was removing the factory bars that ran from the B pillar to the front windshield.





Surprisingly the factory b and c cross members are thin wall rectangle tube which is not welded to the factory cage but rather bolted on. The below pictures will show the top and bottom bracket that hold in the B pillar crossmember.





I removed the brackets and also had to cut in order for the B-pillar to be removed.



These pictures will show the top and bottom bracket that hold in the C-pillar crossmember.





I removed the brackets and the C-pillar crossmember.



Here is a closeup shot of the C-pillar crossmember to show the bracket that attaches it to the factory cage.



Once the cross members were removed I cut out the rest of the factory cage using a sawzall.


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post #4 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Where the cage attaches to the tub was easy to cut. Since I was going to be welding to this point I went ahead and cleaned up the surface with a grinder and flap disc.





The B-pillar attachment took a little more precise cutting. I first made a mitre cut to remove the majority of the cage.



Then I cut vertically and horizontally on the tube, and also small amount of sheet metal which you will be able to see to the left of the tube.



Once I removed those pieces I cut again to get the remaining tube out of the way.



I needed to reuse the factory windshield attachment points which required me to cut the factory tube from the brackets. There are two main welds on each side where the bracket meets the factory cage.



Using a cutoff wheel I started to cut into the weld being careful not to cut into the bracket itself. Once the factory tube has been removed I used the grinder and flap disc to prep the surface for welding.





Once all of that was done with it was time to get my new 1.75x120 wall DOM Tube moc'd up. I only had one bend in each tube which was done simply thanks to my rogue fabrications hydraulic tube bender. I tack'd the front of the tube to the windshield brackets, and attached them to my front windshield. To help keep my width of the cage accurate I used the supplied Poly/Synergy upper windshield crossmember and a ratchett strap.





I used the factory B pillar crossmember to get the angles for my 2x4x120 wall rectangle tube which will be my new B-pillar crossmember. Using a grinder I notched it to fit.



Temporarily putting into place the Poly/Synergy's upper windshield crossmember and the A to B pillar spreader bars I was able to put the new B-pillar crossmember in its correct location and tack it into place.



NOTE: THE BELOW IS PART OF THE POLY/SYNERGY INSTRUCTIONS AND CAN BE FOLLOWED EVEN IF USING THE FACTORY CAGE.
I inserted the Poly/Synergy upper windshield crossmember which will touch the windshield brackets. This tube is to be pushed as close to the front of the vehicle as possible. I then tack'd it into place.



At this time I painted the floor plates with a weld-thru primer on the surface that will be placed down against the floor of the jeep. This is not necessary, but will help to prevent against future rust.



Since I was painting I also painted the frame tie in plates all with black.


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I then started to work on tearing the dash apart so that I could run the A-pillars through. The instructions that Poly/Synergy provides are great for this and they will clearly detail where all of the bolts and tabs are that need to be removed. Below is a picture of how my dash looked while I was working on mocking up the A-pillars. I did not want to remove more than what was necessary, but you can do as much as you want or feel comfortable with as long as you are able to put in and remove the A-pillars for test fitting. I had to install and remove mine a number of times to make sure I had the perfect amount of material cut to fit the A-pillars.



You will see how much room is opened up just by removing the factory speakers and housings.





Following the instructions I measured and marked where to start cutting and used a cutoff wheel to make these cuts.





This picture will show the cut away section of the lower dash structure.



Using the provided templates I cut the plastic on the upper and lower portions of the dash. A dremel tool worked really well for this. It is always best to cut less than more. I cut, then tested the fit, then cut and tested the fit over and over until just the right amount was trimmed off.





Here are some pictures with the plastic and dash structure cut out. Note: The vent duct is a very soft plastic and I used a sharp knife to cut it.







In order to mount the A-pillar floor plate I had to remove a grommet that was glue'd into place.



Once that was removed I could lay down the floor plate, then punch and drill out the holes for the supplied bolts.



You will need to paint the majority of the A-pillar before you finally put it into place and tack it in. The fit of this pillar is superb! I couldn't even think how many hours it would have taken me to figure out how to run the A-pillar cleanly behind the dash while still maintaining the outer vents. The notches create for a perfect fit.




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post #6 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a view of the pillar running through the outer vent. Per the instructions I used duct tape or similar to seal up the vent. I choose Gorilla duct tape which is black and very strong. I noticed a slight smell the first couple times I had the heat on full blast, but that soon went away and the duct tape is still holding strong.





I moved onto the roof of the cage and installed the A to B pillar spreader bars. If you are using the factory cage follow the instructions and install the B-pillar crossmember bracket which will be used as a guide for these spreader bars. Since I have my custom B-pillar crossmember I did not use the supplied bracket and was able to space my spreader bars out a little more.



For the C-pillar crossmember I chose to go with 1.75x120wall DOM Tube which I slightly bent on each side. With that tack'd into place I was able to install the B to C pillar spreader bars. Since I used a custom C-pillar crossmember I did have to slightly modify the spreader bars by cutting off the bent portion of tube which left me with two straight pieces of tube. Again, I did not use the supplied bracket since I did not retain the factory crossmember.



Moving onto the B-pillar I followed the instructions and used a chisel to remove the floor insulation 4" in and 4" back from the edges of the flat portion of the floor. The below picture is of the driver side.



I ended up taking a little more than necessary off and used a flap disc to clean the surface. Then I went ahead and layer down some paint followed by the floor plate which I then punched and drilled holes for the supplied bolts.





Once the floor plate is in I was able to put the B-pillars into place. Again, these notches create for a perfect fit. Since I did not retain the factory cage there was a small gap on the front side of the notch which was easily filled with some scrap metal.



Once the B-pillars were in place and tack'd in I moved to the C-pillar floor plates which were punched and drilled out for the supplied hardware. Per the instructions I used caution while drilling the driver side as the fuel filler hoses are directly underneath the bolt holes. I used a pice of scrap metal to prevent from puncturing a line.





With the floor plates installed I was able to start working on putting in the C-pillars. Since my new cage design is a bit shorter and slants down right at the back of the rear seats I was forced to cut a little off the C-pillars. I did put the seats in to help in mounting these pillars and to make sure everything would fit with no clearance issues.





With the main pillars in place I was able to start working on the harness bars. I did purchase the tube clamps from Poly which I used the the B-pillar harness bar. I put the front seats in to help determine the height in which I wanted the harness bar to be mounted. The instructions do have a detailed illustration of where the harness bar should be mounted in relation to the driver and passenger's shoulder height. They also provide the measurement from the floor to the harness bar for a reference.





Just to show you all, here is a picture of the front seat reclined all the way back. It did have to be slid forward a little but there was still plenty of floor space available.


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post #7 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Moving onto the C-pillar harness bar I followed the same instructions for the mounting height and tack welded the bar in place.



To finish off my custom C-pillar upper crossmember I added two triangulated supports to the outer bends that I made earlier.



Moving onto the front lower windshield bar I followed the instructions and mock'd it up about an inch above the dash. For this bar I also used Poly's tube clamps and tack'd it all into place.



Next up is the grab handles that are included in the A-pillar kit. I did have to use my grinder to slightly notch both ends of the bar. Once the notches were made and the grab handle was mock'd up how I wanted them to sit I went ahead and tack'd them into place.



With the entire cage tack'd into place and I made sure it was all to my liking I went ahead and started to fully weld it making sure to allow proper cooling so ensure it would not warp. Also I used the boxes that everything was shipped in as spatter guards which worked great and saved me some cost on other materials.









Since this kit required me to remove the factory front speakers Poly does give an option of using supplied brackets to mount 4inch speakers to the A-pillars, or they provide instructions on how to mount speakers to the inside of your front doors. I choose to use the provided brackets. While on the topic of sound systems, it took me some time to research what I wanted to do and I ended up using Visaton 4 inch woofers (Model #9020) for the new brackets, Infinity tweeters (model # 1021t), Kenwood deck, and then Derek from OCX Adventure Outfitters or crawltunes.com hooked me up with two 6.5 inch Polk DB651 speakers in his Offroad Trail Cans for the rear speakers. All this was powered by an alpine amp mounted under the front passenger seat. Along with the sound system I choose to go with Pro Armor 4 point harnesses for the front two seats and one for the rear.

Here is a shot of the above mentioned items getting ready to be installed.



I lined up the speakers to the new brackets, then marked and drilled out the mounting wholes.



Per the instructions I laid at least a 1 inch weld to the brackets on the A-pillars making sure that the speakers would mount and the dash still had enough clearance to not touch.





Then go ahead and paint the brackets and install the speakers. Don't mind my mess of wires. Obviously I haven't sprung for an sPod system yet.





After removing the factory tweeters I cut out the inner surface and used epoxy to mount the new infinity tweeters. There are different ways this could have been done, but I had epoxy from the rc crawlers that I build and play with so I decided to use that.


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Here is a nice shot of the cage all welded and getting ready to be painted.



I bought some painters plastic and a big roll of masking paper from Home Depot which was well worth the money since there is going to be some tight areas to paint and I didn't want to get overspray on the body parts. With everything masked off I went ahead and put up a small paint booth.



Here is a shot from inside the paint booth after a few layers have been applied.



With the cage painted and dried I removed the paint booth and the masking paper in order to install the rear speaker towers.



Something to take note of is with the front lower dash bar you will not be able to use a Daystar upper dash panel. I liked this panel as I put a bungee string through it which held my iPod in place while wheeling etc. Luckily I saved the factory panel and I just used that instead of the Daystar panel. I was debating cutting it, but with the way I ran the bungee though it the end product would have not been visually appealing.


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post #9 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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At this point I started to re-assemble the dash and put all the other plastic back on. Below are a couple shots to show how I trimmed my upper windshield portions in order to clear the cage.





I then went ahead and installed the seats followed by all of the carpet. The carpet will need to be trimmed to fit the A, B, and C pillars. The carpet does have insulation under it but a pocket knife or box cutter will still do the job for this. I did cut slightly more than needed which I was okay with but again if you want to keep this as clean as possible cut little by little and check the fitment often.






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Now for the time we have all been waiting for……The final product finished pictures. I went on a road trip to Moab, Utah towards the end of January which was the perfect opportunity to get some finished pictures of the cage. After having it installed for a bit now I absolutely love it! Looks, Function, Piece of Mind, etc have made this one of my favorite mods to date. Thanks to Poly Performance/Synergy Suspension for taking the time to develop such a great product and changing the market as far as roll cages go. This kit is easily installed or easily taken to a shop to have welded together all at a very affordable price for something that would cost much much more to have a shop custom build for you.



























Here is a shot with the doors back on and no hard top.



You will see that everything does fit perfectly with the factory hard top back on.



You may notice that in the pictures from Moab I did not have the frame mounts welded on yet. I actually was a little short on time and was not able to prep the frame, weld, and re-paint before I had to take off for my trip. This will show you that in fact the frame tie-ins are optional parts of the cage and do not need to be used. I do have mine on and will be taking pictures for you as soon as I am back from my honeymoon in Hawaii. I apologize for not having access to those pictures at this time.

If there are any points you would like to see more detailed pictures of or if you have any questions please feel free to let me know. I will be more than happy to help out.

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post #11 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 04:02 AM
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Looks good! Sure looks like it was a ton of work, but well worth it!

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post #12 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 04:23 AM
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Nice work. Now I want a cage even more.
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post #13 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 04:32 AM
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Nice job and excellent writeup.

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post #14 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 05:09 AM
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Nice work. Now I want a cage even more.
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post #15 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 06:36 AM
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great work man! Makes me considered there cage kit. Im wanting to redo mine and it seems like a good starting point. Thanks for posting this up and again great job!

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post #16 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 07:17 AM
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awesome write up. I think I missed it, if your broke it down, how long did the install take, ignoring things like tear down and painting and all the electrical shit? do you ever run a soft top? looks great, and I love that you were able to just do it in the back yard haha
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post #17 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 07:44 AM
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Holy Crap... that's a lot of work. Congratulations on the build and on the excellent writeup.
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post #18 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 08:29 AM
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Nice work! Nice write up! Nice rig! enjoy with the fam!
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post #19 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 08:35 AM
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Great job, thanks for the write up.
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post #20 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 09:37 AM
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Great write up and nice looking Jeep. Congrat's on the wedding.

If I may ask, how long did the demo and install take you?

At some point I will be using this write up to do my own PP cage, so thank you for doing this.
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post #21 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 09:42 AM
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Helluva write up ! Thanks man

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Building a capable off road Jeep is easy...building a street legal one that you can drive two hours away to wheel and then drive to work the following morning is the challenge...
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post #22 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mill Creek, WA
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Thanks for all the comments guys. It really wasn't that bad to do all the work. If you are going to only install the Poly/Synergy cage then you won't have to do all the extra work I did to remove the factory cage and build my new components. I was working about 3-4 hours a night on weekdays after work then full days on the weekend and I got this all done in about two weeks. The actual assembly of the poly cage components took the least amount of time. Tearing everything down, prep and paint, and putting it all back together took more time then putting the cage components into place and welding them.

It definitely is alot of work compared to the sports cage installs would take but to me that extra time and effort is well worth the payoff you will get. The JK is my daily driver and it did have to be out of service for most of the install. I did drive it around while I was working on tearing apart the dash and after the cage was completely welded while I was putting everything back together so it was not completely out of service the entire time. If you were able to do most of the tear down work and leave the driver seat in along with the speedometer then take it to a shop to have the components put in and welded it shouldn't take them much time to complete and get it back to you.

I don't have a soft top unfortunately. But if you just are doing the Poly cage without replacing the factory cage structure then there will be no fitment issues.

Northridge 4x4 Krawl Off-Road PolyPerformance/Synergy Suspension
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Last edited by RockAddiction; 02-20-2013 at 12:02 PM.
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post #23 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 11:54 AM
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The more I look at it, the more bad ass I think it is!
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post #24 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 09:53 PM
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Very impressive! another great thread that gets the wheels spinning in my head.
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post #25 of 58 Old 02-20-2013, 10:15 PM
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New Poly Performance Cage w/ Zesty Special Sauce

Amazing write-up! I'll be installing this cage in the next month and your write-up will be great to follow!

Thanks!
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