Roll Cage buildup  

1.  Have your body and built up interior ready for mock-ups.

2. We'll start by building the rear section.  Use a toothpick to measure the height needed for the side bars.  Trim and test fit until you can place it in the body and it comes close to contacting the interior roof.

3.  Trimmed to fit.

4.  Grab some .100 styrene rod and make a 90 degree bend where the side is slightly longer than the toothpick.  We will use the extra length to tape the piece to the work surface in a future step.

5.  Use the toothpick method again to measure the width of the rear hoop.  Trim so there is a little room on either side of the toothpick.

6.  Use the toothpick to measure where the bend needs to be for the other side.

7.  Grab the toothpick used to measure the sides and make a mark on each leg so you know where the bottom of the cage needs to be.

8.  Cut the second leg leaving some extra material below the mark you just made.

9.  Now tape the main hoop to the work surface.  Start with one leg...

10.  followed by the other.  In doing so, square up the main bar.

11.  Grab the toothpick used for the side bars and make a mark that is high enough to clear the hump on the chassis floor.

12.  Transfer that mark to the side bars.  We'll be adding a cross bar just above this mark a little later.

13.  Use the same toothpick to mark the height of the door panel.

14.  Transfer that mark to the side bars as well.  A second cross bar will be added just below this mark.

15.  Measure a piece of rod for the crossbar.

16.  Cut 2 pieces that are the same length.

17.  Glue the first piece in place making sure it is above the lower mark you made on the side bars.

18.  Followed by the second.  Make sure that this one is below the upper marks you made.

19.  Check your reference to get an idea of how the cages were built in the car you are replicating.  On this one I am going to add a diagonal bar.  Figure out where you want the rod to run and mark it on the cross bars

20.  Mark the rod to get and idea of the angles that need to be cut for the lower diagonal bar.

21.  Cut the rod and glue it in place.

22.  Mark the upper bar...

23.  Cut the rod and glue it in place as well.

24.  Let that assembly dry for a few minutes and pull the tape off.  Trim off the excess material we left earlier.

25.  Grab a couple small pieces of tape and tape the assembly inside your interior.

26.  Test fit the body over the rear bar to make sure your measurements were good.

27.  Now we'll do the side bars.  Start by holding the rod in place next to the dash and marking the top of the door panel.  This will mark where the first bend should be. 

28.  Make your bend using the body to give you an idea of the angle that is needed for the A pillar.

29.  Make a mark on the rod where the top of the A pillar is to show where the next bend needs to be.

30.  Make your bend and use the rear bar to mark where the side bar needs to be cut off.

31.  Cut the rod and tape in place so you can test fit the body again before gluing it to the rear cage.

32.  Test fit.  The top side bar will be glued closer to the side window in the end.  The main thing you want to look for here is the angle by the A pillar.

33.  Glue the side bar to the rear cage.

34.  Repeat the side bar steps for the right side bar....

35.  Now grab the rod again and measure the top cross bar.

36.  Cut to fit and glue it in place.

37.  Next up is the rear bars that angle down to the package shelf.  Start by cutting an angle on the end of the rod until you get one that looks good when test fit from the rear cage to the package shelf.

38.  Hold it in place and mark where it meets the rear cage.  I usually have the end of the bar land about in the middle of the rear package shelf.

39.  Cut the first one to the size that is needed followed by making another of the same size for the other side.

40.  Glue the 2 rear bars to the top of the rear cage.

41. Test fit again...

42.  Another angle....

43.  and from the rear...

44.  Let the glue joints dry completely and the carefully remove the tape that was holding it in place in the interior.

45.  Make some driver's side bars by cutting some rod to size and gluing them in place.  Again, check your reference to see how many should be used.

46.  Do the same for the right side of the cage.

47.  Put the finished product in the interior to make sure nothing has shifted...

48.  From the other side...

49.  A final test fit with the body.  After the cage is completely dry go ahead and paint it and add padding detail.

50.  Paint your cage and add padding and other details if you want to.  This one's been painted black and I've added some padding.