How to Repair a Damaged Roll Cage How to Repair a Damaged Roll Cage
A roll cage is a safety device that can help you to avoid being damaged by car accidents. The safety or roll cage can easily become damaged during an accident, as the roll cage is designed to be crushed so you don't have to be. If you are looking to repair the roll cage after some kind of crash, then this is not as easy as it might sound. The safety case is purposely built to collapse, so if you weld the wrong bit, then you may find yourself with a safety cage which is not safe. This is a dangerous situation for anyone to be in. However, fixing the car yourself can be one way of saving money.
Step 1 - Remove and Measure Your Roll Cage
The first step in repairing the roll cage is to remove it completely from the car. Depending upon the part of the car that has been hit, you may need to remove fabric and padding before unscrewing the bar, or you may need to simply open up a door, and pry it out using your crow bar. You can then reliably assess the damage before you go any further. This is not an easy job, and you should just replace any bars that look bent or cracked, rather than trying to fix them. Sometimes it is better to fit more bars than have a weld which doesn't hold during an accident. When you have checked over the roll cage, measure the width of each of the tubes that you are replacing, as you will need exact copies.
Step 2 - Cut off Damaged Bar
Once you have done this, remove the damaged bars, using a hacksaw. Get the bar in as close to the corner of the bar as you possibly can, to give you as reliable a weld as you can manage. Remember to cut cleanly through the bar, if possible, but you may need to simply file down the edges of the cut metal with a file in order to provide a smooth welding surface.
Step 3 - Install a Fresh Bar
Connect the new bar to the old metal, creating a splice which connects the two pieces, If you have two different metals, then you will need to at a joint here, but it is much safer if you use the same metal in your repair. Find a straight piece of tubing, and push this against the old bar, making sure to allow a small space at the top for welding. Make four small holes in the tubing, this will be used for welds. Find a smaller piece of metal, and then push this between the two parts of the bar. This is known as a slug.
Step 4 - Weld the Bar
Once the bar is in place, fire up your arc welder, and add metal to all of the holes around the tubing. If you don't know how to make rosette welds, have a friend do it. Leave the welded bar to dry fully before replacing in the car.