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robzilla

bolt in or weld in cage

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i am having a cage fitted next week, i am wondering which way to go with either a bolt in or weld in cage, the bolt in is cheaper and can be removed and moved to another car if needed, the downside is the chassis won't be as stiff, is there any other pros and cons that i need to take into consideration? any advice is appreciated.

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I doubt the stiffness factor will be too great - if the bolting points use opposing planes then I can't see it moving much at all!

Flexibility can also be an advantage over welded joints, which can fracture.

I'd rather have a bolted in one to be honest. Bolted joints aren't really going to move that much - all suspension compontents, and strut braces are bolted joints, after all, and they endure more than roll cages do (until you roll it).

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id go bolt in so if the shell gets destroyed in a non roll over then you can reuse it. as long as they use sufficient spreader plates on the bottom it will be fine

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the cage still will be handmade and is a very good quality, i think i might go for the bolt in type so i can move it to another car if needed, the weld in one is welded to the roof and to the screen pillar and tied into the shell completly so it would make the car stiffer but it would have to stay there. The bolt in cage will still be welded together its just bolted to the floor.

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I doubt the stiffness factor will be too great

The difference is in fact huge, been there done that with Impreza track cars

A bolt in cage adds something to torsional strength, but weld that same cage in and it will add more.

However most weld in cages have more pick up points because they are fitted in sections so you're not so restricted by the completed section you can fit through a door way for example, and the number of pick up point together with their location makes the biggest difference. Fitting a full weld in can get interesting as more often than not involves taking a hole saw to the floor pan and bulkheads to fit all the tubes or weld the hoops in place.

If you go down the route of a bolt in don't fit it because you want more shell rigidity, fit it because you want protection if you roll, because you have removed things like side impact bars from the doors (as long as you're using a cage with door bars) to reduce weight, have fixed bucket seat and have multipoint seat harnesses. If you're having a bolt in cage custom made go for one with weld in mounts for the cage feet as simply bolted through the floor with spreader plates isn't as secure IMO

If you want to stiffen up the chassis one of the most effective things you can do is seam weld the shell, now here what you do is weld an inch miss an inch on each structural seam, having first stripped off all the sealer and paint. It's also only worth seam welding the shell between the strut tower, don't go forward of the front ones or rear of the back ones with the seam welding as those sections of chassis are only there for crash protection and you might need them! Stiffening them up means they won't crumple correctly in an accident and make them more like a girder to punch through into the safety cell, somewhat non-ideal ;)

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