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Old 08-02-2003, 04:34 PM
GearHead69's Avatar
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Roll cage??

I am very cheap and I like doing everything possible to save money.. I want to fabricate my own roll cage, what materials are good and strong enough?? I was thinking like 1 1/2" water pipe, I don't know the wall thickness. Any ideas? I have a Mig welder and a the tubing notcher which I call a "fish mouth tool" I can borrow a bender from sombody, I'm pretty much set except for tubing. Thanks!

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Old 08-02-2003, 06:35 PM
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1.5" h2o pipe is galvanized isn't it? and way too heavy for what you want to do, check with your local scrap yard or iron works for scrap pieces of something like 1-3/4''OD x .134'' wall thickness, or 1-5/8" OD x .134" wall thickness.....
much lighter, and NO deadly welding fumes.......
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Old 08-02-2003, 08:56 PM
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Do you ever plan on racing your car at any racing originations ? If you do you might want to see
what the minimum requirements are to pass tech inspection .Nothing wrong with being cheap but if
your going through trouble of building a cage do it right and use the proper materials. I love the rem
piles at the local steel suppliers. Good Luck
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Old 08-02-2003, 09:59 PM
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Ok Here's the info on pipe....schedule 40 x 1 1/4 pipe is very close to the same 1 5/8 x 125 wall mild steel tubing which is plenty strong enough for a roll cage. It is seam welded and you can get it in black pipe. Not all pipe is galvanized.... If you need any more info, just ask........GlennK
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Old 08-03-2003, 01:22 AM
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The car is going to be a street/strip car.. Mostly race but I want it street legal so I race in the street class, it will only see the streets a couple times a year. I believe water pipe is galvanized, I have welded it before and it is dangerous from what I have heard but I have never had any problems.. Yeah I sound really smart but can't I use a automotive style resperator and be fine as long as it will fit under my welding helmet? Doesn't make since.. like if you buy tubing for farm use it's cheap but if it's for a race car it's really expensive for the same thing, My local welder told me that, I'll probably end up buying some made for frame work. Still thinking of the water pipe idea??
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Old 08-03-2003, 05:33 AM
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What kind of car do you have? You may want to look into Chris Alstons or Pully Engineering for the "U-Weld " kits. Autopower may have a bolt in bar for your car already.
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Old 08-03-2003, 11:46 AM
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I know every rule book I have seen (circle track)Im not sure about the dragstrips but they wont allow water pipe for cage use. I dont know what is stuctual different between water pipe and cage material but im sure there is a reason. Also remember not to grind any of your welds
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Old 08-04-2003, 02:00 PM
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My local track.. They don't even do an inspection test, you just have to wear a helmet running anything under 9 sec (it's an 1/8th mile track) If you have a fast car they need to be able to see the wheel studs. You have to be 16 to race. I'm gonna go to my local hardware store tonight and look at water pipe and see if it's a joined piece or single, take some calipers and measure the wall thickness.. etc, Thanks
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Old 08-04-2003, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by GearHead69
but can't I use a automotive style resperator and be fine as long as it will fit under my welding helmet?
it's my understanding, that to be safe, you need a fresh air system. a cartridge style respirator won't get it. but if it was me, i'd run a fan and keep the doors/windows open.
be safe as possible. do it right. and all that stuff......its your life.
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Old 08-04-2003, 03:29 PM
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they dont inspect your car? then just make it out of PVC
HHAHA just kidding someone at my school built a cage out of water pipes with a mig welder it seamed strong enough and it didnt look that hard to build oh yea also "measure twice cut once" or something like that
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Old 08-04-2003, 06:58 PM
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I always use PVC tubing to get the angles right before I chop into the steel pipe. Alot cheaper to throw out a bunch of plastic pipe.
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Old 08-04-2003, 09:00 PM
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I guess you didn't read what I wrote. DO NOT USE GALVANISED PIPE!!!!! Go to a steel supply and ask for 1 1/4 black Schedule 40 pipe. The wall is a little thicker than 1/8" It will weld good and be strong enough if you make a cage out of it...You can even buy a bender from Harbor Freight for cheap and it will work great. I would not hesitate to go that way. If you don't think the wall thickness is thick enough, ask for schedule 80 pipe.. As I said before, 1 1/4" dia pipe is a little bigger than 1 5/8" tubing ... Back when I was building chassis, the rules for NHRA was 1 5/8 x 125" for mild steel and 1 5/8 x .095 for chrome moly...GlennK
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Old 08-04-2003, 09:54 PM
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I will definatly check it out. How much should I need to make a 8 point cage, would 40' do it? What price should I be looking at for just the pipe material, will it be cheaper than buying a pre-fab cage? Could someone explain the difference between pipe and tube? Thanks
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Old 08-05-2003, 08:01 AM
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Black iron pipe is to brittle to be used for a roll cage, never mind heavy. Mild steel is all you should be looking at if you want to save a few bucks, the SCCA allows only mild steel to be used in cage construction.

Pipe is sized by ID, tubing by OD.

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Old 08-05-2003, 05:05 PM
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Pipe being too brittle ??? Hogwash. It'll bend before it'll break...I've been a pipe fitter for over 30 years and the only difference in the metal is the finish and the size. You can get pipe in just about any alloy you want. Ive worked with just about all of it.........GlennK
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