If you own a jeep and are into some serious four wheeling, it may be a very good move to remove your factory roll cage and replace it with an aftermarket or custom roll cage. The strength and dependability of the stock roll cage on a jeep are areas of much deliberation but the general rule is they will protect you for about one good roll over. If you decide to replace your factory roll cage yourself or even if you are removing or replacing a custom or after market roll cage, here is a helpful guide that should get you through the process.
Step 1 - Remove Any Attachments
Almost every roll bar will have padding at certain points. This padding is there simply to prevent painful bumps on your head and elbows while getting in and out of the vehicle. Some of these pads are attached via a Velcro strip and some have a zipper. If you have the zipper type, you can spray the zipper itself with some lubricating spray and let it set. This will make it easier to remove and reinstall later. If you have other attachments like a speaker bar or lights, these should easily unbolt from the roll cage.
Step 2 - Unbolt the Roll Cage
Most stock roll cages are bolted together and also are bolted to the floor. If it is all bolts, it makes this portion of the removal that much easier for you. The stock roll cage is probably put together using torx bolts. To remove them you will need your torx wrench. Once unbolted from the floor, the rest of the stock roll cage should unbolt into two or three big pieces. If you have a custom or aftermarket roll cage it may be the case that the entire thing is welded together. If so you can use a couple of ratchet straps to squeeze the feet of the down bars together and the cage should lift easily out of the jeep
Step 3 - Cutting Portions of Your Roll Cage
You may find that the foot plates of the roll cage that bolt into the floor of the vehicle are welded to the frame instead of bolted in. If this is the case, you will have to do some cutting of the actual roll bars in order to remove your roll cage. If you find this to be necessary, simply cut the bars as close to the foot plates as possible. What is left of the foot plate if you cut it close enough should be easily concealed by carpeting or floor mats. When you cut the bars, it is advisable to use a saws-all instead of a grinder. The saws-all should cut through the bars just as easily and will not fill your cab with sparks. Make sure to wear your safety goggles and gloves when cutting metal bars.
Step 4 - Installing Your New Roll Cage
Whether you are installing a bolt in roll cage or are welding one in the process is very much the same as removing your stock roll cage but backwards. Often your new aftermarket or custom-built roll cage will bolt into the same holes as the stock roll cage you removed. If not you may have to do some drilling into the frame but make sure your new roll cage will fit like you want and that the down bars will not block and processes that are important to you like the emergency break.