PDA

View Full Version : Litespeed's RZR-S cage build!



litespeed
03-14-2010, 03:39 PM
I decided to build myself a cage since I didn't like the way the factory one looked and mostly because I just wanted to. I bought a bender, a tubing notcher and of course from owning the "Crack-Kart" I already bought a mig welder back in 02. I also want a windshield made with automotive safety glass, a bigger roof and a rear windshield if you will for the rear to keep the mud off of me. I will make the front and rear windshields removable with Dzus fasteners so both can be removed in mins if i want that fresh air feeling or quickly install when it cools down or starts to rain...should be cool.

I checked around to buy an aftermarket cage and they were from the cheapest at about $1000 for a raw steel "sport" one to $2500 for a crome moly "race" powder coated cage. Way to much for this working man and it looks simple enough. So first I needed a bender. When asking around online I got everything from the JD2 Model 3 at $295 plus stand and dies to computer guided benders that cost more than my house. I liked the JD2 Model 3 and a few of the like "clones" but those type manual benders you have to bolt to the floor and you need at least 12 feet all around it well at least I do because of my longest one piece tube I plan to bend. If you add hydraulics then you can make it movable but at a cost of about 500 bux on top of the bender, stand and die which is about right under $700 shipped to the house. $1200 is way too much for a project unless I turn out to be the next Jesse James.....

So I found a simple hydraulic bender that was cheap and bends....Yea! http://www.tjdieselperformance.....der/Detail
Is it the greatest? Prolly not but for what I need it will do perfect and on top of that I was able to get it on sale on e-bay for $310 shipped to my door. How cool is that? Only downside I know of right now is it will only bend to 90 degrees where most others will do 110 to 210 degree. I won't have any bends past 70 degrees so mine again will do fine. I did find out that I can only bend up to about 80 degrees.

Next I needed a tubing notcher. Again asking online I got everything from a $80 dollar Harbor Freight one all the way up to a $5000 digital belt sander type. The one thing I read more times than any was don't skimp and buy a cheap light gauge one. They use a hole saw to cut the pipe and are attached to shaft. The cheaper ones have 1/2 to 5/8" shafts, bronze bushings and thin body's and they flex a lot. I ended up with a JD2 "Notch Master" after reading
fantastic things about them. JD Squared, Inc. (http://www.jd2.com/shop/custom.aspx?recid=4) This thing is a monster. Weighs in about 30 pounds and super solid. Has sealed bearings, 1 inch shaft all on a solid steel frame. No chatter from this dawg!!! I found this also on e-bay and got it shipped to my house for $265. When I got it and went to put it together there were pieces that didn't fit. A call to the manufacture and they sent me new parts...wrong notcher, crap. I called back and they sent out another part....it was the same as the other one so the last shipment was the whole assembly. It's all good cause they took care of me, it's what a good company does and JD2 is just that.But you know who I'm talking to/about!

My Welder is a Clarke 135 amp 110 volt el-cheap-O. I paid about 450 bux way back but it welds good...well as good as I can and most parts interchange from the so called better brands. Clarke actually went out of business this last year due to the economy...bummer.

The stock RZR cage is made from .063 or .065 (I forget which one!) 1 3/4" tubing. Most seem to build out of .095 to .120 which in my opinion is way over built on a car that only does 65 mph on it's best day. The stock cage will protect you if you crash but it will fold up. I have seen many. But many forget that it what it is suppose to do, absorb the energy of impact so your body does not. Like cars today with their special frames and bumpers. Don't forget
the vehicle is expendable, not the people inside. If your dead you can't drive the car anyway so what does it matter. Since my welding "skilz" are not all that they could be I didn't want to try welding the .063 anyway and don't mind a bit stronger cage so I went with 1 3/4" x .083 ERW tubing. Plenty strong for my application and cheap. I'll be using 12 gauge steel for the flat work pieces at the rear, upright brackets and front bumper mount.

All the pipe to build the cage, front and rear bumpers and plate material was around $200....for a $1000 dollar cage...not a bad profit if I say so myself. I'll still need to get the 4'x4' 12g aluminum for the roof and a couple 2'x4' pc of 1/8" for the front and rear windshields but those will be under $75 combined. Glass installed front and rear should be under 300 bux.

On to the pictures and updates as they happen,

Tom

litespeed
03-14-2010, 03:42 PM
More pictures,

litespeed
03-14-2010, 03:45 PM
More.....

Most of the cage is done. Need to add 4 more bars. One to bottom and top of front windshield area, one between the uprights for the seat belts to wrap around and last but not least one between the rear bumper uprights to transfer the load from the main cage loops. I also plan to add some bracing to the rear "windshield" area also, they will probably be just short angled tube piece coped from roof to upright.

The welding is harder than I thought it would be. Starting and stopping sure makes it hard to do good looking welds. I'm actually having a harder time welding around these arks as well. Doing a straight gusset is so much easier then keeping the gun tip the same distance all the way around. There are going to be some grinder marks when it's finished.....just overlook them! Smile

Feel free to throw out any pointers you may feel relevant. I should be done with the cage by the weekend and starting on the front bumper and roof.

Tom

litespeed
03-14-2010, 03:47 PM
Ditto.....

litespeed
03-14-2010, 03:49 PM
Again....

litespeed
03-14-2010, 03:52 PM
See if you can guess......

I finished all the bars and they are all installed. The whole cage is only partially welded and has to be removed to finish it. I added a tab for the rear view mirror and still need to add a tab for the dome light and a couple for flags. I'll probably add the flag mounts either at the rear bumper on both sides or somewhere on the rear down tubes on the main cage.

Any suggestions of anything to add while it's still raw paint?

I'm debating whether to add grab handles where the windshield and roof come together. I have some 1" tube I could use. What do you think about that?

Tom

Odyknuck
03-14-2010, 05:39 PM
Looking good Tom. Definatly will be a lot safer than the OEM.

Rat4020
03-15-2010, 01:57 PM
very nice !Looks way better than the stock . Prob a lot stronger also. One question what about the cooler rack???:DI didnt see one...

Odyknuck
03-15-2010, 03:05 PM
How do you like that after being in a 100 plus MPH nachine?

odypilots
03-15-2010, 04:17 PM
How do you like that after being in a 100 plus MPH nachine?

I'm also wondering how you like the RZR-S after the minibuggies? Good looking work on the cage! You might want to consider adding a flag mount on the front bumper.

litespeed
03-15-2010, 09:01 PM
Well I can't honestly say at this point since I only have about 1 1/2 hours on it other than a few trips up and down the street for the kids. It's definitely not as fast as you could assume but it does get up and go pretty good and having someone in the seat next to you screaming "Oh Sh#$!" kinda has it's own rewards if you know what I mean. There are a couple dozen guys on the RZR-forum that have done the Weber motor swap to 130 "stock" turbo ed and inter cooled 91 octane hp getting almost as much performance as my Drak had. There is one guy in particular that has boosted his to 186hp and 90 mph on race fuel so if the economy gets better (read, I'm a home builder!) I see a Weber in my future and again will be stomping Pilot azz from here to there. ;)

I thought Silver lake was the only park that required a front flag mount?

How have you been Dave?

Tom

Stomper
03-16-2010, 05:05 AM
Looks good, I added grad handles on my rzr cage that I just built. I think it adds a nice touch. I like that you did'nt bring the tube from the b pillar back to intersect at the bumper uprights so that you can still have acsess to the box. I also did that. I tabbed the open space behind the seats in the b pillar so that I could put a spider web design in there to act as a headache rack. It just seemed to finnish it off. Plus it will protect you from the stuff in the box in a sudden stop;)
Looks good and I love the white rzr's, mine is red.

odypilots
03-16-2010, 06:43 AM
I thought Silver lake was the only park that required a front flag mount?

How have you been Dave?

Tom

It's the only place I know of that requires a front flag, but for what it would cost, it's cheap insurance.

I'm feeling as pert as a rutting buck!

litespeed
03-16-2010, 09:29 AM
Looks good, I added grad handles on my rzr cage that I just built. I think it adds a nice touch. I like that you did'nt bring the tube from the b pillar back to intersect at the bumper uprights so that you can still have acsess to the box. I also did that. I tabbed the open space behind the seats in the b pillar so that I could put a spider web design in there to act as a headache rack. It just seemed to finnish it off. Plus it will protect you from the stuff in the box in a sudden stop;)
Looks good and I love the white rzr's, mine is red.

I have some ideas but still not sure on what I want to do. You have any pictures of yours?

Tom

TutTech
03-16-2010, 09:47 AM
Caping the ends of your bumper? They have weld on caps and Billet caps also?
A bar on each side going from the height of the back of the seat where the cross seat belt bar is back to the rear down bars coming off the roof I think might work out?.. maybe level with the back fenders or at an angle if you still want to get into the bed?
Could add support and give you a spot to strap things to the side of the bed when traveling etc?
If it gets in the way angle it up.. if not never mind.. just more support is all I was thinking.
Rear center whip mount on the back roof bar. Highest center point to stand up and be seen?

Other then that I think you did a really great job. Seriously looks nice.
Well done and congrats.

;):)

litespeed
03-16-2010, 04:27 PM
Thanks Tut,

I'm thinking about doing the 4 lights right below the roof in back, 2 red and 2 amber so I'll prolly end up adding the flag mount right past that as high on the bars as I can. Since i don't have a bending brake I'll just get a large aluminum angle in light gauge to go from roof to rear panel. I was thinking the exact same thing on the sides of the bed but I didn't want to use 1 3/4" tube. I would rather use 1 inch but I don't have a bender for that...I may have to buy another die.

I can see where building a whole car could be a lot of fun with a little bit of frustration mixed in for good measure.

Tom

DHjunkie
03-17-2010, 07:37 PM
Hey Lite, been a while. I can brake you up an aluminum piece if needed, Got a 90T 6 footer at work that I get to play with. Give me your measurements and I can set you up.

litespeed
03-18-2010, 12:16 PM
Hey Lite, been a while. I can brake you up an aluminum piece if needed, Got a 90T 6 footer at work that I get to play with. Give me your measurements and I can set you up.

With shipping and all it would prolly kill me. I was thinking 41" long x 1" x 4" x 3" U shaped piece made out of .050 to .060 aluminum. That should be big enough to fit 3 rubber mount sealed trailer style lights. I'm doing a center brake "third eye style" and two side ones for blinkers/hazard lights.

Tom

litespeed
03-22-2010, 02:49 PM
A few more updates 3-22-10,

I ground down some of my crappy welds and ended up touching them all up for uniformity. Cage looks great to me. I added handles at the front bends to help get in or something to grab to get out.

I installed a dome light on the cage because I hate when I can't see when it's late. I always had that problem in the Drak. I also added another el-cheap-O light under the dash to illuminate the foot area. Ever drop something by your feet and only have a dome light above? You bend over to get it and your body blocks the light......I hate that. The lights were $5.99 each at Wal-mart. I actually bought them somewhere else but they have the same ones there. They have a push button switch on the side so I can turn the top or bottom one off individually if i need to go into stealth mode. I temporarily taped a toggle switch under the dash to control the lights till I get some matching factory switches.

I installed my new Crow 4 point harnesses with sternum strap. They seem to be pretty comfy right now. I miss the Teamtech harnesses I had in the Drak and Pilot but I was too cheap to spend 600 bux on another 2 of them for my 63mph car. These cost me $210 shipped to my door.

I started on the front windshield today. I used 1/8" aluminum and I got it all cut up to match the body. I took it to a local fab shop to have them brake/bend the sides at a 90 degree angle and the top at a 13 degree angle to help stiffen the panel up for the glass. I got it to the fab shop late so they said I will have it back tomorrow. I'd love to have a brake but one to bend this heavy of aluminum would cost over a grand. I will go get the rest of the aluminum for the rear windshield and roof tomorrow.

My Dzus fasteners will be here by Friday as will my end caps for the rear bumper ends. I also ordered my side mirrors which also should be here by the end of the week. I got some new 5" round flat glass black mirrors from a restore truck shop. They are for a 1930 to 1950 something Chevy pickup truck. I'm too cheap to pay 150 or more for a set of "billet" ones...Like I give a rat's ass!

I'll post more as it happens......

Tom

litespeed
03-22-2010, 02:51 PM
Couple more pictures.

Stomper
03-22-2010, 03:40 PM
I have some ideas but still not sure on what I want to do. You have any pictures of yours?

Tom


Sorry for the late reply. There are some pictures on my build thread here

http://www.minibuggy.net/forum/utv-area/12332-buggy-project-hold.html

BTW looks very nice

Odyknuck
03-22-2010, 03:53 PM
Coming along nicely Tom. I really like the doors. Gives it a buggy look.

litespeed
03-22-2010, 08:08 PM
Coming along nicely Tom. I really like the doors. Gives it a buggy look.

Thanks. The doors were a must have so I looked for a RZR-S with them. I got lucky. They are really cool and give the car a safer feel.

Tom

Odyknuck
03-22-2010, 09:07 PM
I agree, the RZRs are way to open for my comfort level.


Thanks. The doors were a must have so I looked for a RZR-S with them. I got lucky. They are really cool and give the car a safer feel.

Tom

litespeed
03-23-2010, 09:23 PM
Few more updates today.....

Got my front windshield panel bent up today. Did the sides 90 degrees and top bend was 13 degrees. It fits snug and is super ridged now. Just have to figure out exactly how to make the glass and make a windshield wiper work. I plan to go street legal too. I also need to order some weatherstripping for the bottom of the aluminum panel to fill the gap between the it and the hood. I also plan to add trim around the edges. I found it all at McMaster-Carr. Another wait on shipping.......

I picked up all the aluminum for the roof (.060") and the back windshield (.125") and should get them installed this weekend. Just waiting on the Dzus fasteners.

I got the 1 3/4" end caps for the rear bumper and the flag tabs. Welded them up and grind ed them up. I did 2 flag mounts down at the rear bumper since my flags are 8' tall. Puts them about 11 feet up in the air. I didn't want to fight trying to put them up high. I can always add more up there if need be.

I got a few sunny day shots since it was about 70 here in Missouri. Buzzed up and down the street quite a few times and gave the kids some rides. Even got a bit of utility out of it helping the guy across the street.

See my pictures,

Tom

litespeed
03-23-2010, 09:25 PM
More pictures,

litespeed
03-23-2010, 09:26 PM
Yet another update...

My mirrors showed up. They are from a restoration company that specializes in old Chevy/GMC trucks. The mirrors are from 1936 to 1972 Chevy/GMC trucks to be exact. They were $9.25 each and had a 20 dollar minimum order so he charged me 10 bux a piece and 8 bux to ship. Seem to be really solid where the stud comes out the back and can be tightened up more. I made some mounts out of 1 1/4" angle and cut them up so they looked nicer and coped them with the tube notcher. What a handy tool that turned out to be. I'd like to have some sort of a guard to protect the mirrors but haven't had anything jump out at me yet. Any thoughts let them fly. Drilled a couple holes and "ta-da" saved myself from having to spend 120 to 225 dollars for a pair of billet painted black ones. These were the cheapest "nice" one I have found on the net, http://www.eliminator1racing.c.....goryId=131 i found cheaper but supposedly from reviews they moved around while riding...that would suck.

Who's the dummy now?

LOL

See them below!

Tom

litespeed
03-23-2010, 09:27 PM
Update 3-30-10

I got a bit more done on the car today. I welded all the Dzus brackets to the cage. I used a piece of cardboard and made a template for the rear panel and transferred it to the 1/8" aluminum for the back panel. I got the rear panel done. Dirlled the holes for the Dzus fasteners and installed it.

DHJunkie was kind enough to bend up the piece I needed for the rear lights and sent it to me. Worked perfect. I cut it to fit the cage, then cut out the lights and installed them. A few custom brackets and then installed it. Still need to hook up the lights though.

For the roof I needed a way to roll the front edge to match the roll cage. Had to put on my thinking cap. I came up with an idea and it worked. I got a piece of 8" Sona tube, thick card board type tube commonly used for deck piers and a piece of "L" shaped aluminum. I drilled holes in the aluminum, transferred them to the sona tube, and bolted the pieces together. I slipped an edge of the aluminum .060 sheet for the roof under the aluminum "L" and bolted it down tight. I then kneel ed on the sheet and rolled the sheet up. Note....not the easiest thing to do. A 40" wide sheet of .060 5052 aluminum is a lot stronger than you think it would have been. Took about 10 mins to roll it the way I needed it. I would have liked the leading edge to roll a bit tighter but using make shift fabbing tools some things have to give. Dzus'ed down and it looks great. Next time I do this i will use .040 aluminum and use a piece of 6" pvc sch 40 sewer pipe...I just didn't have any laying around.

The Dzus fasteners are so freaking cool. So easy to install and they look so trick. Make even me look like a pro. Weld on bracket, rivit spring retainer on, install Dzus locating pin, lay material on top, tap with hammer, drill 3/8 hole, use Dzus flaring tool, put panel back on and insert fastener and turn 90 degrees....done!

I think I'm going to offer to build some cages, sheet work or what ever cause I am totally digging this fab work. If I can make a few bux and get some cool tools i think it's a no brainer. Time consuming but actually easy to do. As I do more it really starts to get easier and I'm already picking up speed while doing it.

Trying to spend time with the wife and kids is all that slows me up I'm just trying to not travel down the road my father did, Mechanical Engineer/Tool & Die maker that had a complete machine shop in the basement, seeing the family a couple mins a day.

Check out the pictures,

Tom

Last point to make for now anyway! Last weekend I went to St. Joes taking the RZR-S for the first trip. It was super muddy out from all the rain we had and you can see in the pictures. The rear tires throw mud all over me. I had as much mud on me as did the machine. Who ever thought out the fender flair, tire width and all the holes under the dash was an idiot. I still need to seal up under the dash area but this roof and back panel should save my clothes washer a ton of work.

litespeed
03-23-2010, 09:30 PM
More pictures,

litespeed
03-23-2010, 09:34 PM
Save!

litespeed
03-30-2010, 11:40 PM
Updated today...look on page 3!