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The VIPER Garage  |  How To Instructions  |  How-to section  |  Rollbar, Rollcage, removable sidebars
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Author Topic: Rollbar, Rollcage, removable sidebars  (Read 16179 times)
RTTTTed
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Viper Nation - ezine
« on: January 08, 2012, 10:40:22 PM »

Perhaps many of you have been wondering if a Rollbar was practical.  A sixpoint rollbar is required for every Viper convertible and roadster since even the Gen 1 go faster than 13.0 sec at the quartermile drags.  My American Racing Technologies GTS TT is an 8 second car and has (at the moment) a bolt in Autoform and welded/bolt mounted removable sidebars.  It has a $400 safety harness.  My car has gone 200mph in the Mile (Goliad) and 10.04 (Supra Nationals at Hennessey) on back to back weekends driving to the tracks and racing on street tires with the 950rwhp pump gas tune.  Kirk tried really hard to get 9s with DRs, but ended with 10.002 ET.  Kirk said if he would have drag raced a bit more he would have gotten 9s on street tires.  I think that 9.9 was the fastest street tire time posted on Viper Alley.  Kirk did sell me a set of new wrinkle slicks to use ...



My TT GTS came with a Rollbar installed.  





Having gone faster than 200mph it also included sidebars, which (thankfully) are removable.  The idea of removable sidebars is that when they are out of the car there is nothing to stop you swinging in and out of the car.  But that's not the case in my TT GTS.  The front lower sidebar mount is right in the way of swinging your feet out the door.  



It looks as though the front mount is a bolt in and will be removable after pulling off the side sills.  

The rear sidebar mount is merely welded to the rollbar.  Kirk found the rear sidebar mount perfect for grabbing onto as he climbed out of the car.  Me, not so much.  I didn't notice the rear mount of the sidebar whatsoever and completely ignored it.  



This car has also gone 9.2 ET in the quartermile at Braedenton strip and that was with a 4th gear misshift.  Expecting high 8 second passes with this car.  

I may try to figure out a full (bolt together) roll cage as I saw in a Pro Targa Rally Porsche.

Keep watching this thread if a removable roll cage is needed for your street machine.


The sidebar front mounts are way too high and in the way of getting out of the car.  With the sidebars in place the car is only slightly harder to get in and out of ...



The sidebar is easy to remove with 2 spring pins holding it in place on the driver's side and a couple of bolts holding it in place on the passenger side.  The sidebar is formed to fit into the cutouts of the doorpanel making for tight clearance but it touches nothing, even the added sound chamber on the bottom of the door has lots of clearance from the tubes.



The double bends show the shape and the passenger side bar shows what a tight fit this is.  



The reason this has to go is because the front mount is too far back and too high for getting in and out of the car with ease.  The front mount was installed in the middle of where your feet go through when entering or exiting the car.



From the top the view shows that the sidebar welds onto the main hoop and the front bolts to the floor and the plate behind the exhaust pipe (under the door).

« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 02:59:20 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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Viper Nation - ezine
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 11:09:11 PM »

This picture of the bar and driver installed n car shows that no comfort is lost to the bar and the sidebar may be more comfortable for resting your elbow while driving, if you get a chance to relax ...



There are 2 bolts under the floor and 2 bolts (3/8" x 1") going sideways to the back of the exhaust - under the insulation.  That mounts the front bar solidly to the body.



I'll move the front mount forward and lower it  :lol:so that the door opening is clear.  The rollcage will be much stronger once it reaches past the door opening as well as allowing driver and passenger feet freedom to enter and exit.  Kirk advised me that he thinks I  need a 8 point cage.  I will do some test fitting to see if a fuller cage is practical, but I doubt it.  For this car to go 10 sec on an NHRA track would be impossible as there is a lot of SFI parts that are not even available for my car and a funny car cage is required to go faster than 10 sec.  I am not going to put a funnycar cage in my car.  Having a $400 seatbelt harness that is expired after only about a half dozen uses seems completely retarded doesn't it?  Paying significant amounts of cash for ever pass in safety harness makes no sense.  Do they wear out not being used enough?  I bought two cheapo Safety harnesses that are still in the box.  Guess I should get them recertified before I install them?  They're two years old already.  Never used ... but that's why they wear out???  

« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 12:23:31 AM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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Viper Nation - ezine
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 12:32:23 AM »

Excellent support plating on this front mount for the removable side bar.  



The mounting plate reaches past the door opening ... which is important for strength.  That the mounting is for a 90 degree join area (the floor and side structural member) of the car further increases the strength of the cage and the body structure.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 03:13:40 AM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 09:28:34 PM »

I cut the tubing at the top of the welded brace and then cut a piece of 1.5" OD tubing and it slides inside the 1.75" tubing.  I took this shot so that people wondering about the overlaps could get a better look at the fabrication and how to build one.  There are a lot of different ways, but this one is pretty.  I don't know who to credit though, probably ART? 


« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 03:47:39 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2012, 09:31:46 PM »

That looks great Ted!  I am jealous, would love to have that setup!

I like how it works for street use as well.
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Yeh, this is Leslie, like my new screen name? :)
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Viper Nation - ezine
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2012, 11:38:25 PM »

That looks great Ted!  I am jealous, would love to have that setup!

I like how it works for street use as well.

Now that I've chopped the front mount so that it will be lower than the side sill it will be excellent on the street because it will just be enough to fill the hole in the carpet, lol.  The rolbar and front mounts will add stiffness to the body even without the removeable sidebars.  Safety for an already exceptional strong body that I drove into a Semi with.  The uncaged GTS saved my life is how I see it.  Kirk and several of my friends recommend that I put a full cage in the car since the power is stupendous.  Once I have the sidebars finished I will look into building a set of front bars for my GTS and report on if that is practical or not.

The rollbar does interfere with reaching behind the seats, but with the back of the seat swiveled forward there is no problem.  You should buy a bar for your GTS because it sees so much track time Leslie.  Would you like me to look into the possibility and pricing of building one for you?

Ted.
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1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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Viper Nation - ezine
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 02:37:57 AM »

After filing around the tube I finally got both smooth and fitting together well.



Common sense would dictate at least 1 3/4" depth of the inner tube into the mount.  I inserted about 3".  This will be loose.  The top piece will be welded into 1 3/4" tubing for strength.  This will be the front edge of the new removable sidebar.
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1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 03:05:51 PM »

I've inserted the 1.5" x .120" pipe of tubing into the sidebar and I'll fillweld the holes I drilled through the sidebar to secure the inner tube.  The amount of insertion is past the black marker line.



Unfortunately, my 'new' mandrel bender is a China approximation.  So I made some small "don't squish me here" plates and used my torch to heat the tubing for a smooth bend.  It's really a good thing I only do this once in a great while nowadays.  This couple hundred dollar bender has absolutely no comparison to a GreenLees.



It took several attempts before I figured out what was neeed to get a decent bend with this machine ...







« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 03:10:38 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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Viper Nation - ezine
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 10:43:39 PM »

I built 2 driver's side door bars.  I cut 2 backing plates (for sandwhich support under the floor) and bolted the front mount back into the car.  I inserted the new (not yet) swivel sidebar and started chopping the length down until I got a perfect fit with my grinder.  The pipes end so that the door bar hits the anchor bar and stops because of the end angles of the joining pieces.

 

When open ...



The new sidebar can be seen weaving around and into the contoured door panels.  Absolutely nothing like fitting an old A or B body doorpanel.  All they had was door handles and window winders ...  



I removed the "claps/lock from the old sidebars and it will weld onto the new sidebar, but not until everything is bolted into the car.  There is no room for error and everything needs to fit perfectly so that the Spring lock pin will align with the hole in the anchor tube when the bar is closed.  

The last picture show the vastly lower height of the mount and that removes the problem of the front mount blocking the exit.

When the side bar closes it can't swing past the anchor bar because of the angle cut into the ends of the tubes, once the clasp is welded in place this should be equal to a solid bar if there's a rollover..







« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 02:49:44 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2012, 11:26:53 AM »

thats going to be MUCH better that way. way to go.

when you change a rollbar like you did there, how does it effect the support or integrity of it ? does it need to pass inspection again or something ?
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Viper Nation - ezine
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2012, 12:31:04 PM »

 :D  Good questions Phil.  Every different organization has their own rules and they're pretty much all different.

Drag Racing (NHRA) requires a full roll cage with Funnycar driver's protection.  Having a Rollcage means that you also need 5 or 6 point race harness, neck brace, window net, sonic inspection, sticker, etc.  

Road Racing seems to require a net for both sides of the driver with a cage. neck brace, seat harness, gloves, etc etc etc

Mile Shootout seems to require a 6 point cage or rollbar, seat belt harness, metal valve stem caps, etc.

There are pages and pages of safety requirements with NHRA and IHRA being by far the most ridiculous rules of all.  A 9 sec drag car is not really streetable because of all the requirements.  Because GM built exploding flexplates, transmissions, Harmonic Balancers etc. NHRA made rules for everything and then started a Safety Foundation so that a vast amount of car parts need "SFI approval" before being considered 'safe'.  Not sure how a $100 sticker makes anything safer?

Autoform uses 1 3/4" tubing and NHRA requires 1 5/8" x .120" wall thickness.  Using 1 3/4" is stronger and doesn't require the .120" wall thickness but I used it anyway.  The most serious issue with .120" wall thickness is that when bending the curves the outside of the bend will make the .125" tubing wall thickness thinner.  Tested with a sonic reader standard wall thickness on a 1 5/8" tube also varies by as much as .010" so going with the 1 3/4" should aleviate wall thickness problems.  For the miniscule amount of weight gain of 1 3/4" the extra safety is worth it.  

Rules change as well.  When I built NHRA legal chassis's, cages and roll bars a swing out side bar was normal.  Those rules required 1/4" plates for the pivots.  Ugly, but functional.  I believe ART built these sidebars and they have installed metal sleeves inside the tube for shear strength at the lock pins.  That was not required, but such a great idea that I will re-install the sleeves inside my bars for the extra strength.  The overlap and lock "clasps" are also an excellent design that I peeled the clasp from the old sidebar and am reusing that as well.  These "clasps" wrap the bars for a much prettier and stronger design than my old 1/4" by 1" plates of the old days.

Requirements and inspections are all different.  I've kept with the "overengineered" concept so that I'm expecting no issues with tech.  I plan to expand to a full cage with removable frond, side and windshield bars at a later date.  I saw an engineered full cage in a Porasche GT3 made for a Rally car that legal.  I figure I can easily do that as well.  I have been advised but several people that a big hp car should have a cage for a lot of reasons.  Kirk also suggested several times that I should get full caged because this car is serious.  If I am serious then the cage is neeed.   :idk:  It doesn't take a large amount of thought to realize that even my 950rwhp pump gas tune should be caged for the protection of the car, and at this hp level the car will probably go 50hp faster, just from the extra frame stiffness.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 12:01:51 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 11:38:21 AM »

I drilled and slotted the base mount on both sides.  These slots are to allow the side bar to pivot open and closed.  The tubing being only .120" wall thickness I wanted to add strength to the pivot area as well as keep any tech inspectors happy by adding thickness and strenght to the base. 

I cut a second piece of 1 3/4" tubing about the length of the 1.5" insert to the base mount.  I drilled and slotted a hole in the same place as the slot on the front of the base.  The second slot will be cut and fitted later.



The sidebar mount is powdercoated so it did take some time to grind the coating off of the metal (nice job ART).  I slitted the short piece of tubing and cut, then spread the tubing so that it would fit over the original base mount, then welded it on and reproduced both slots with my high speed grinder after drilling a couple 3/8" holes to get started ...



After finishing the slots and re-rounding the inner tube of the basemount (removing slight warpage of the weld and the small spots of welding flash I clamped the base into the vise and inserted the side bar.  Using a long 3/8" bolt I tested the swing open and close of the sidebar and finished the fit of the slots.






Then I primered and painted the basemount.  Not as good as ART's powdercoating, but I can't powdercoat.  The shipping would be about $120 for the bar and mount.





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1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2012, 01:35:24 AM »

I made a couple more sidebar front mounts as patterns/spares.  Because I used similar bends and heights of the sidebar I also needed to build the extra front sidebar mounts on the same angles.  They're different as I don't have the exact same materials but they're similar to my redesigned mounts. 



I used my MIG welder to put all the pieces together. 



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1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2012, 12:47:14 AM »

Today I drilled the swivel pivot bolt hole larger until a sleeve fit into the tube and welded that in.  The purpose of the tube around the bolt is to removed the shear points inside the pivot tube adding strength to the sidebar. 



I ground and filed the weld flat and smoothed the weld overflow inside the bolt's tube.  I also did some welding inside the pivot tube to add strength to that area.





Then I fitted and clamped, bent, banged with a hammer, fitted and clamped for hours today.  Finally I got a spot weld that worked and that allowed me to weld and fit the latchplate onto the sidebar and then painted it!  It's beside the woodheater drying now.
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1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2012, 01:55:20 AM »

After leaving the paint to dry for a hours I inserted the removable sidebar into the front mount base and inserted the 2.5" x 3/8" bolt into the slots with the nut towards the front of the car (looks neater).  I tried the Dark Blue paint this time as the Black enamel was too soft and was continually collecting scratches.



I shut the sidebar and dropped the button lock spring pin through the holes.  Top mount bar also has tube welded through mount to increase shear strength.



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1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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