4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

IAM A DIY kind of guy. It’s some­thing my fa­ther al­ways tried to in­grain in me from a young age, but it re­ally took hold when I was knee-deep into my ap­pren­tice­ship. While my mates were throw­ing pay cheque af­ter pay cheque at their new rides, I was count­ing coins work­ing out how many days that week I had to dodge the train guards so I could buy a tin of body filler and a few cans of primer. It’s some­thing that’s still with me today – if a drain gets blocked or steer­ing wheel shake de­vel­ops, I lay out the trusty span­ner roll and fig­ure it out as I go. That said, I’ve been burnt enough times to know some­times I need to put on my big boy pants and call the ex­perts.

I’ve been sketch­ing out roll cage de­signs for the last few months, go­ing through ev­ery as­pect, ev­ery weld, ev­ery bend and ev­ery rule book, but I kept run­ning full­steam into road blocks, a lack of tools and a lack of ex­pe­ri­ence. With the 60 en­ter­ing a line-up of events with gov­ern­ing bod­ies as var­ied as their ter­rains, the cage had to be ex­ten­sive to keep all happy. From first gear low-range in CCDA events through to foot-to-the-floor and fly­ing-through-the-air in CAMS races, I had my work cut out for me. I en­listed the help of long-time friend, Steve Et­cell from Au­to­mo­tive Etcellence, to bend a few of the more com­plex tubes I couldn’t do. He laughed at me, called me an idiot, and then told me to bring it down and we’d do it right.

A com­plex roll cage can look like some­one’s thrown a bun­dle of spaghetti in the cab, but there’s ac­tu­ally a method to the mad­ness with ev­ery in­di­vid­ual tube de­signed as part of the larger pic­ture. For a ref­er­ence point to build off, Steve cleared a space on the shop floor and got to work bend­ing up the B-pil­lar hoop. In sin­gle-oc­cu­pant race cars you can get away with a di­ag­o­nal bar to pro­tect the driver’s head, but an X was more suit­able as the events I’ll be in of­ten re­quire a nav­i­ga­tor.

From here, the com­pli­cated roof bars/ap­il­lar sup­ports were bent up. While the 60 is al­most a square box, it does have a lit­tle curve to it mak­ing for a com­plex se­ries of bends to fol­low the body’s pro­file (the stuff I orig­i­nally reached out for help with). Ad­di­tional sup­ports were added to re­in­force the A-pil­lar bends in a big

hit, with side im­pact bars join­ing the wind­screen bars to tie it all to­gether. Think

Death Proof and you’re on the right line. Be­fore we could pull the cage out of the gap­ing hole at the rear for fi­nal weld­ing, the Beard Race Seats were dropped into place, with Steve cut­ting and fold­ing a set of stout brack­ets with his CNC ma­chine. While five-point har­nesses mount to a set of taxi bars that were in­stalled at shoul­der height.

There are a few op­tions for mount­ing the cage to the body, de­pend­ing on the style of events you’re run­ning in and how pre­cious you are about your paint. With the plan to even­tu­ally tie the front and rear sus­pen­sion points into the cage, we made the call to weld the cage straight to the floor pan for max­i­mum strength. By the time Steve sent me on my way, al­most 30m of high­t­en­sile tube steel went into the 60’s cab, with enough cus­tom brack­etry and dim­ple-died wiz­ardry to make things stand out for all the right rea­sons.

With an ex­ten­sive tube rear-end de­sign that’ll tie into the cage, I’m not able to close up the rear wall yet, so the next step will be to ditch the tem­po­rary 40s it’s cur­rently wear­ing and fit a set of rac­eready 37s on bead-locked wheels. Then I’ll take the gas-axe to the stock rear sus­pen­sion. Now, where’d I leave that lotto ticket?

now, look like much The 60 mightn’t out race-ready but it should come like this. look­ing some­thing now to done; Job cage into the the fit the cab.

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