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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default How to weld a mild steel roll cage

    Hello,

    I want to learn to properly weld a roll cage into a production based racecar. The cage would be contructed of 1.5" OD x .095" wall DOM Steel Tubing.

    I will be using my Millermatic 212 with .030" wire and 75/25 argon/co2 mix.

    Any tips or suggestion on starting settings for my Millermatic and techniques for welding the cage is much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Greg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,825

    Default

    Try to get good fit ups in all your connections. Move around while welding so as not to get to much heat in one area. If your not sure of your welding skills then get someone who knows.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Scotts VAlley, CA.
    Posts
    39

    Arrow

    Greg,

    As MMW said, fit up will be critical for a good cage. I'd also suggest in investing in a good tubing notcher, such as a JD2, Ol' Joint Jigger, or a JMR tubing notcher. Having well cut tubes will make a big difference on how the quality of your weld turns out. I'd also cut up a bunch of test joints to practice on.Tack the new tube in at least 3 places to prevent movement, and then proceed. Start with going around the tube joint a 1/3 at a time, till you become proficient enough to do 1/2, or all of the joint at one time. Again, paying attention to heat, and quality of weld.

    Another tool that will help along the way is called a "Pipemaster", basically, it patterns what the cut on the tube your joining to the rest, should look like, and gives you a pattern to cut to for a good joint.



    Hank
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    612

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg K View Post
    Hello,

    I want to learn to properly weld a roll cage into a production based racecar. The cage would be contructed of 1.5" OD x .095" wall DOM Steel Tubing.

    I will be using my Millermatic 212 with .030" wire and 75/25 argon/co2 mix.

    Any tips or suggestion on starting settings for my Millermatic and techniques for welding the cage is much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Greg
    What kind of racecar are you planning to build? Just wondering about the 1.5" x .095" DOM size.

    My tip would be tack the entire cage together before any finish welding to keep warping to a minimum. Jump around as opposed to welding in one area to keep heat down as stated above.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Torrance, Ca
    Posts
    83

    Default

    A big + 1 on all above. Have to recomend a DVD for ya. RON COVELL "Working with tubing." I have a few of his DVDs and there a good deal for the price. Lots of info. You can order them here. http://covell.biz/ One day Ill have the complete set.
    Last edited by Blue Collar Moto; 04-02-2008 at 01:33 AM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Torrance, Ca
    Posts
    83

    Default

    And heres a good article on tubing notchers. For a real good one you have to modify it.
    http://www.bikerradiomagazine.com/fo...pic.php?t=4059
    Last edited by Blue Collar Moto; 05-07-2008 at 11:22 AM.
    Dynasty 200 DX
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    "We conquer by degrees."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks to everyone, We are building a roadrace car to SCCA specs. I have quite a bit of time to practice seeing that we will not be doing this till next fall/winter (the cage will come in kit form requring fitting and welding).

    What about heat settings and wire feed speed? I read the article here on the Miller site about Hendrick Motorsports using the Millermatic 210, the article mentioned heat settings of 4 and 5 and wire speeds of 35 - 45 IPM if I remember correctly, just not sure of the specs for the NASCAR cage, I believe it is DOM mild steel, as for the wall thickness, I have no idea.

    Also, what about welding the cage to the rocker panels/firewall of the car, any special considerations in doing this work?

    Thanks

    Greg

  8. #8

    Default

    Greg,
    Remeber someones life could depend on this cage.If not done properly and it fails to protect well.
    Have someone chk your work. and practice as suggested to get the feel of doing round tubibg

    Also weld settings are just " starting points" get you close ,most welders adjust to their liking and speed and weld character.At least thats how I do it .

    Most cages use 3/16's plates to distrbute the downforce of the tube in case of rollover .

    Proper cages usually sit right on top of the main frame rails.

    But I'm not up on SCCA cars and design.

    If its your first cage seek someone to inspect your plan before doing it.

    have fun
    Rich

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    612

    Default

    As Fortyfords said, have someone check your work. When I built my 25.4 chassis, I asked questions of a couple different track tech guys I know. And, probably most important, I asked many questions of the NHRA inspector that would eventually be tagging the chassis. That way if he red flagged something, I could say, "but that's how you told me to do it".
    BTW It passed first time by NHRA & IHRA, I think mainly because I kept them in the loop during the build process.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    298

    Default

    Get and study the SCCA rule book if you have not done so alleady. Be sure you are building to your class too. It will set the guidelines and rules you have to follow. Things like the square inch size of each cage foot, total number of bends in a main hoop, support tube angles, total number of contact points and many other important details are all spelled out. The actual welding is about 5% of the time spent building a good cage IMO. Thinking, planning, drawing, cutting, bending, fitting, cutting, fitting, recutting, fitting and tweeking are about 90%. The other 5% is grinding paint off and cleaning up beer bottles (in some shops).

    Look a the other good work and methods. This is not a try it and see if it works kind of thing. Testing and having a cage fail in real world is bad news for the crash test dummy. The cage feet have to resist being pulled away as much as being pushed down. A rollover is far less common than a hit in the sides. A cage needs to be able to resist being deformed from all directions.

    (edit) Installing a kit cage, the cage will likely come with instructions.
    Last edited by Vicegrip; 04-02-2008 at 08:02 AM.
    Weekend wannab racer with some welders.

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