The safety of the drivers and passengers should not be forgotten when building up your dream rig. The need for a roll cage is both an after thought and a piece of the master plan from the beginning.
With Project Storm Trooper its current status and future additions, the need to build a roll cage is necessary. Fabrication is a skill that some people have and others lack. For us, we know the ins-and-outs, but are always up for some extra guidance.
We headed over to RSO Performance in San Jacinto, California to see how they build their roll cages and to pick up some pointers on ours. RSO has been using a program called Bend-Tech to help design roll cages and bumpers for their vehicles.
“We’ve been using Bend-Tech for 15 plus years now,” Tyler Francis of RSO Performance explained. “Over the years of free updates and optional plug-ins, the program has really developed into a versatile and easy to use tool that we use daily. We highly recommend the program for anyone from the DIYer to the professionals.”
We were excited to see what our roll cage would look like before we started fabricating the first tube. The program allowed us to input our die measurements to make sure the bends would match. With some quick measuring on the truck, we were able to get the start of our roll cage drawn up. Our roll cage would be done in stages, allowing us to update the measurements in Bend-Tech if something changed in the installation.
Once the measurements are plugged in Bend-Tech does the rest of the work. It will calculate the angles, where to start the bends, and even give you notch templates. We printed the instructions and got started bending some tubes.
The first tubes that we wanted to get installed would run from the frame up the A-pillar and out the back of the cab. These tubes would be the foundation for the rest of the cage. Once those were in, we would add the dash bar and move our way to the back of the truck.
Using the program first hand on both the design and installation side we can say that it did make our lives a lot easier and less stressful. Knowing exactly how long of a tube to cut and how the notch would land made sure we would waste as little of material as possible.
We still have plenty of work to do on the truck to get it ready for next year’s race season. Stay tuned for more updates as we finish building out roll cage!