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Baja Forums -:- VW Volkswagen Bug, Baja, Bus, Sandrail and Thing -:- VW Volkswagen & Baja Bug General Discussion -:- Rollcages for the tall
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Rollcages for the tall
Bug, Baja, Thing and Buggies. Most every thing that will not fit any any other area. See list of other Forums for better topic placement...Volkswagen General Discussion
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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: Rollcages for the tall
Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 07:56 AM
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Gunpilot wrote:
Quote::
Man I love your skid plate, bug looks nice! See you have a rollcage, thinking of doing the same, does it restrict as far as room inside? Im a tall dood, knees hit the wheel when I brake and need all the space I can get.

I have a friend Matt who is like 6'6" who has a full caged Baja for play, and he and his dad have another 30 year old race Baja they've been racing the last couple years. He has also ridden in and driven the 5-1600 race car my son co-drives in. None of these cars seem to be a particular problem for Matt. However, I can see where it could be for some people.

Lowering the seat can help headroom, but does little for leg and arm room. One of the primary problems in fitting a Baja for a tall person is that the b-pillar of the roll cage tends to restrict rearward adjustment of the driver's seat. So I recommend for those situations to install the seat before starting on the cage, or at least mocking up the seat where it will be comfortable for the tall driver.

The common off-the-shelf roll cage kits ("Class 11" cage by Latest Rage and EMPI 6-point bolt-together cage) are designed to have the B pillar installed vertical next to the B pillar of the body. This gets in the way of the top corner of seats and prevents moving them back much further than a stock seat will adjust.

If you're going to put in 4 or 5 point harnesses (I recommend for substantial offroad use...and what's a Baja for if not that?), you'll need a crosstube in the cage for the shoulder harnesses to mount to (to the floor is dangerous!). This adds to the interference between the cage and the seats.

Latest Rage Class 11 Cage:


EMPI Cage:


So...in fabricating a custom cage to deal with this, it's easy to get around these problems.

By moving the base mounting point of the cage B Pillar back to the torsion housing as in this drawing:


You have a great deal more room in the cockpit for a tall driver. The shoulder bar is back away from the seats so there is no interference with the belt buckles. The diagonal can be installed in the B Pillar hoop from corner to corner without being a problem. There is plenty of head, arm and leg room.


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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: Rollcages for the tall
Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 09:01 AM
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Gunpilot wrote:

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Man I love your skid plate,

The skidplate is to me essential for offroad driving. It MUST protect the underside of the car or it's useless. Many front skidplates I see on Bajas and buggies end at the middle of the beam tube or higher. I see so many offroad racers wasting high$$ beams on rocks which have passed entirely under the edge of their skidplate. And yet...many of those use very thick material (up to 1/2" thick) to make a skidplate which does nothing but serve as ballast weight in the front of the car.

I use 1/8" 6061 T6 Aluminum for front and rear skidplates. Thick enough, yet light weight.


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BugZyla.com
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Post Post subject: Re: Rollcages for the tall
Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 03:22 PM
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Are you using a body lift on any of the bajas? I am 6'1" and a baja without a body lift is a little tight for me. The 3" extra clearance makes a huge difference in all of the above factors. This allows you to keep the center hoop farther forward in the sweet spot for more structural strength. For the cross bar behind the seats, just bend a piece of tubing on each end to about 45-60 degrees depending on seat location to set the bar back a little.

Another question, is the cage design you laid out in the last pic legal for any of the racing sanctioning bodies?


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Post Post subject: Rollcages for the tall
Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 09:06 PM
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I'm 6-4 and i have free floating bucket seats and i havent got an issue with headroom. Although, i have a serious issue with my car, by PO, my seats are bolted through the floor. Do you guys have custom cross bars to mount the seats too?

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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: Re: Rollcages for the tall
Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 01:44 AM
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BugZyla.com wrote:
Are you using a body lift on any of the bajas? I am 6'1" and a baja without a body lift is a little tight for me. The 3" extra clearance makes a huge difference in all of the above factors. This allows you to keep the center hoop farther forward in the sweet spot for more structural strength. For the cross bar behind the seats, just bend a piece of tubing on each end to about 45-60 degrees depending on seat location to set the bar back a little.

Another question, is the cage design you laid out in the last pic legal for any of the racing sanctioning bodies?

Yes Daryll. This config is race legal:

I have a 5-1600 race car outside with it's cage built that way. It anchors to the torsion housing, what stouter place in a VW Baja is there? That's far stronger than attaching the cage to the 18 gauge floor pan sheet metal. And your suggestion works fine too.

Although Phil, I'm not too sure what you mean by "free floating bucket seats". It sounds like they're not bolted in the car...????? Then you say "my seats are bolted through the floor". Hmmmm...
Are you trying to say that a previous owner bolted seats to the floor at a location other than the stock spot?
If done well, that works fine. You don't have to have roll cage tubes to mount seats to.


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Post Post subject: Re: Rollcages for the tall
Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 02:55 AM
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Whoops. sorry. brief moment of idiocy. I meant suspension seats. It's a problem because they used regular bolts which are long. if i high center out or anything i'm afraid im going to rip a bolt out. I could tack weld a carriage bolt from underneath to fix that issue, however I want to have my seats mounted on a cage rail so at least if i center out and mess up my floor my seats will always be in the same position.

oh, and my seats are mounted within the stock seat area.

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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: Rollcages for the tall
Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 03:20 AM
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OK. Now I get it.

Bolts about 1" - 1-1/4" long, installed through the floor from below with large area washers on them should work fine. Don't use carriage bolts. They are quite weak! OK for skid plates, but not for what holds you in the car.

But mounting to the cage is better, if you have the cagework there.


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Post Post subject: Re: Rollcages for the tall
Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 06:56 AM
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Thanks for the info Richard, I agree the torsion is the most solid place to attach a cage.


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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: Rollcages for the tall
Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 06:40 PM
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Just a follow-up...

Here's the more advanced version of that cage. More of a 5-1600 race or torsion bar hard play version.



copyright RP 2011


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