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Re: 4ksq roll cage

Mark Nelson wrote:
> There are plenty of shops and car builders throughout the country that
> do excellent cage work, but specialize mostly in road cars and off-road
> racing.  If you think that Europeans have the best cages, I think I'd
> beg to differ in that all you have to do is go and look inside a winston
> cup car (no flames please ;-).  Show me a rally car cage that can barrel
> roll down pavement at 200+ mph =).
> In all seriousness, I would argue that US car builders make some of the
> best cages.  Go look inside an SCCA Trans Am car for instance.  I got to
> see several of them at the Reno Grand Prix, and those cages look VERY
> well built and VERY well designed.  When you have someone like Jack
> Roush or Tom Gloy building the car, you can bet that it's going to be
> professionally built in every regard.  If you want more tubing, then go
> look in a SCORE trophy truck.
> Basically, I think in something like a rally car, you have several
> strategic points where you want to make sure that the cage takes the hit
> and then make sure that the impact is dispersed throughout the car,
> instead of being centered in one area.  While this does take thought and
> planning and some engineering expertise, I don't believe that the
> Europeans have anything on us in their technology for roll cages.  If
> anything, I think that many US cage builders have much more improved and
> practical ideas than what I've seen on the WRC cars.  Just my 2 pennies.
> cya!
> -mark nelson

I was refering to rally cages only. The very best road race cage builders 
 in this country will come short of English  in rally cage construction.
They can bend pipe and weld at least as good or better than aneone 
else.Difference is in design and willingness to apply technology.
NASCAR cages are very different from rally cages. The best rally cages in 
this country are built with essential attributes  of homologated GrA 
cages and not knolledge of road racers. Look inside Paul's Hundai next 
time you see it. Than look inside GrA Toyotas and Fords. Same design.
Look inside Carl's Ford.
When JB orders his cages he provides all the designs. His cage man 
provides execution only. I know that for a fact. 
 When I was learning about cages I took pictures and compared.My biggest 
surprise was when I went to England for the first time and saw how many 
rally cages appeared alike. Than I talked to my contact at Toyota Team 
Europe and he explained. He said that when they develope rally cages they 
test caged shells for strength and flex. Than they crash test caged 
cars.It takes many months to develope and perfect a works cage. 
All the developments eventually filter down to privateers that follow 
them closely. When I knew little, most SCCA PROPally cages looked good. 
Now when I see a cage built by road racer for rally without consulting 
homologation papers I can tell that there is a big difference even if it 
is tucked close to body work and all the welds appear good and clean. 
That is not to say that I have never seen bad cage work in England.
Vast majority of English rally cages however are better. 
I feel however that it is also a money issue. Homologation cage in my 
Toyota was about $4500. That included seam welding and double plating
as well as strut braces for front upper and lower suspention pickup 
points tied into the cage. That didn't include complete diassembly and 
paint stripping and repainting.  Trouble here is that you also need to 
rewire the whole car completly because original harness doesn't fit any 
more (and is bad even in Audis). And the list goes on. This is too much 
money for a privateer without sponsorship. And when budget is small we 
end up building minimum to pass tech sometimes not realising possible 

Mike Z