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Old 12-31-2009, 12:36 AM   #1
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Roll Cage

I saw this topic was briefly covered in the general/tech section. However, since a cage and armor went on my Jeep before lift and tires for family safety, I'm strongly considering the same for the SMB.

So, I get the impression that if I go forward with it, I'll be the first. The shop I plan on using is Extreme Off-Road in Clovis, CA (next to Fresno). They are set up for this kind of work and have extensive experience building custom cages.

I spoke with Dave (owner) today. Based on the fact that I'm basically going with the Transformer theme (no full-blown RV interior), he recommended I have SMB do the interior first, then have him do the cage.

If I follow through (promised my wife I would), I'll follow up with a full-blown report and pics. In the mean time, if anyone else has pursued an interior roll cage I would love to learn from your experience.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:57 AM   #2
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Re: Roll Cage

Interesting idea. You may want a minimalist cage just for weight considerations, of course depending upon your planned usage of the vehicle.

If you are an anal retentive planner, if you have lots of time, and if you have a willing fabricator, you could set up the cage to be the support structure for and interior units (galley, bed platform...). That would require a bit of back and forth of the vehicle to and from SMBw however.

And you better take a lot of pics (before and after).


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Old 12-31-2009, 11:11 AM   #3
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Re: Roll Cage

I'm thinking that weight won't be as much of an issue for me (as has been described on other threads) since I'm not going the full-blown RV route (no galley, cabinets, extra batteries, etc., etc.). I had previously thought about a removable bed frame to be supported by the cage behind the 2nd row of bench seats. That was one of the 1st things Dave mentioned doing when we spoke.

That may lead me to just have SMB do a blank interior (Dynamat, windows, walls, flooring, and electrical). Then, have Extreme Off-Road install the seats and cage (SMB has been hesitant about using someone else's aftermarket seats).

We'll see. Gotta get the van here first.

As others have mentioned, once the decision is made to move forward, the wait is tough...
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:43 AM   #4
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Re: Roll Cage

Somewhere ther is a thread about what a SMB with a PH roof can take in a roll over. I was stunnded what it took for damaged and came to the conclusion you might not need to add the extra weight. Sorry don't know where or the validity of the thread. Might have been on the owners group.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:45 AM   #5
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Re: Roll Cage

This is a great project. Please share your progress.

I have been worried about the same issues for several primary reasons. 1. These are heavy vans, many near their GVWR (or a little over). 2. Many are lifted. 3. The crash pics I have seen of SMBs in rollovers (I've only seen 4-5 total though) have all shown crushed roof support columns (I don't know if lighter vans have this problems also....I suspect they do).

Good luck.

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Old 01-09-2010, 10:29 PM   #6
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Re: Roll Cage

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Somewhere ther is a thread about what a SMB with a PH roof can take in a roll over. I was stunnded what it took for damaged and came to the conclusion you might not need to add the extra weight. Sorry don't know where or the validity of the thread. Might have been on the owners group.
Here is the link.

Ray

http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/ne...-mexico_10471/
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:19 AM   #7
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Re: Roll Cage

I'm not sure that that incident in the Surfline report is a good or typical example of SMB rollover damage. The report states that there were 14 surf boards strapped to the roof plus a car top carrier of some sort. That much extra weight up high must have contributed to the roll over (caused primarily by the fishtailing trailer) and probably caused peculiar crushing damage as well.

Not that I want to find out what "typical" roll over damage might be mind you, but that over loaded rig was a disaster waiting to happen.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:00 AM   #8
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Re: Roll Cage

Agreed. That was one badly loaded van. I wonder what regular vans to when they roll over. I spoke with an EMT/rescue paramedic who said the roofs often collapse. The SMB modifications don't involve strengthening the support columns at all (as far as I know), so a roof collapse will be more likely with more weight (Star Cool, Furnace, water tanks, propane, lots of cabinetry, OSB floor covering) all bolted to floor.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:00 PM   #9
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Re: Roll Cage

pictures of van rollovers look bad, but nearly all fatalities and serious injuries are due to ejection, not from the roof collapsing (so... wear those seatbelts...)

PS - the stock roof is designed to support 1.5x GVWR.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:49 PM   #10
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Re: Roll Cage

PS - the stock roof is designed to support 1.5x GVWR.


Which GVWR? The GVWR is sometimes upgraded due to the addition of upgraded suspension components and brakes. I'd appreciate a citation on that info.

Tom
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