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HOW TO BUILD ROLL CAGES AND SPACE FRAMES

HOW TO BUILD ROLL CAGES AND SPACE FRAMES

by Ed Evans, 13th April 2017

How to

Roll cages and space frames can be made to personal specifications for your Land Rover.

Anything from a full roll cage to a relatively simple hoop will add significant safety to any Land Rover in the unfortunate event of a rollover. And with the option of additional fixtures, a cage can provide a mounting for extra fittings and accessories. The theme of the ongoing rebuild of my own Series III 88in is originality, though not at the expense of safety and practicality. The original static seat belts which are anchored to the top of the rear bulkhead behind the seats have never impressed me as being particularly effective. More importantly, on a practical day to day basis, the shoulder straps are forever falling out of reach, or out of the door, and when you do get them on, the length of the belt invariably needs re-adjusting. The answer to this is a set of inertia reel seat belts that would recoil when out of use and not require any adjustment when wearing them. But to fit these to my soft top Series III means providing secure shoulder-height mounts for the belts to pass through. These mounts can be provided on a hoop. And the hoop solves the other safety issue: that if a Series soft top vehicle rolls over, the screen and the soft top frame provide less than ideal protection for the occupants. My Series has been on its side several times in its former life as a trials vehicle and, although it withstood this, it was wearing a hardtop at the time, which obviously gives more rigidity above your head. I contacted Protection & Performance Ltd at Kelbrook in Lancashire, asking if they could supply an internal bar to which two inertia reel belt hangers could be attached. I also wanted the bar to be subtle so as not to detract from the appearance of the vehicle when the tilt is down. MD, Dan Evans (no relation!) sent a photo of his suggested roll hoop incorporating the seat belt brackets and reinforced by angled side tubes, all to be easily mounted on the cappings of my SIII’s rear body tub. Protection & Performance can produce standard and bespoke hoops and internal and external cages for pretty much any vehicle, but especially for Land Rovers driven on road, greenlane or in competition events. Naturally, the latter type are built to be fully compliant with competition regulations. I visited Dan and his staff to see my own hoop being made, and to take a look at other products under manufacture, which we’ll see later. Meanwhile, here’s how Chris Smith at Protection & Performance fabricated my new hoop.  



> INSTALLATION

After FABRICATION, the roll hoop was sandblasted, treated with etch primer, and finally powder coated in black. The finished job is supplied well wrapped, and with a full set of nuts, bolts and washers to assemble on to the vehicle. I’d originally planned the timing of the roll cage for when the Series III had been built up with the body on, but delays due to problems with the chassis had knocked my schedule for six. So, for now, I have trial-fitted the cage onto the rear body tub, while the inertia seat belt installations will have to wait for a later date.

PROTECTION & PERFORMANCE LTD

P&P Ltd supplies standard or bespoke roll cages, complete and powder coated, and to motorsport requirements. Cages can also be supplied in kit form ready for welding, and prepared components can be supplied to requirements. P&P also manufactures roof racks and tubular chassis and space-frames, all using a plasma CNC notching machine to achieve accurate joint geometry prior to welding. Samples of products are shown in the picture, left.
www.ppcages.com
sales@ppcages.com
Tel: +44 (0) 1282 842200
Colne Road
Kelbrook
Lancashire
 BB18 6SW








1
STEP 1
STEP 1

> BUILDING THE HOOP: The CNC mandrel bending machine is pre-programmed with all the cage designs, and accurately bends the tubing at the required angles for each type.

2
STEP 2
STEP 2

The computer indicates the lengths of tube needed for each job. Tubes are cut to length, before being degreased and cleaned inside and out.

3
STEP 3
STEP 3

The first tube section is slid over the bending machine’s mandrel which, when inside the tube, will maintain its tubular shape during bending.

4
STEP 4
STEP 4

The tube section is driven through the rollers, one of which swings round to bend the tube, with the mandrel inside preserving the circular section.

5
STEP 5
STEP 5

With the first bend complete, the tube is fed further through, forming the curvature across the top of the hoop to match the soft top roof.

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