› Pro-line Back-half Cage
Pro-line gives you the truggy option for any scaler
When it comes to scale trucks, full-fendered rigs are the norm, but there’s something really cool about the look of a truck with a tubular back half and exposed suspension. So why don’t we see more of them on the trail? It used to be, to get the look, you either had to make your own by welding or brazing some tubing together or buy a back-half cage, but there were only two to choose from and they were specifically made for the vehicle they came from. The gang at Proline has just introduced a back-half cage that is designed for a universal fit, so you can combine it with any of their cab-only bodies and easily fit it on virtually any chassis. Sound good? It did to me too, and that’s why I picked one up for my project Traxxas TRX-4. Let’s see what this cage is all about.
The cage uses a five-piece molded-plastic design to get the look down, and you have to assemble it. Pro-line throws in all the necessary hardware to make that happen; you even get the screws and washers to attach the cage to the body. The cage itself has a great scale truggy look, which is enhanced by a moldedplastic plate that sits on the middle level. The plate is held in place by several small screws, and it features a molded-in fuel cell that further enhances the look of the cage and provides a place for the truck’s body mounts. There’s a mount for a spare tire, and the height of the screw and its plastic standoff is adjustable, so you can fine-tune it to the tire of your choice. Not running a spare tire? Then you can use that spot to mount another scale accessory or just leave it empty. Pro-line also supplies a bracket to mount accessories like shovels and jacks behind the cab. The nice thing about the way it’s designed is that it’s just as easy to leave it off or make your own plate to secure something else in that spot.
Pro-line doesn’t include assembly instructions, so you have to figure out how to put it together yourself. Pro-line does, however, provide exploded views along with some photos of the assembled cage to help you along. Once I wrapped my head around the parts and screws, the cage went together without difficulty. One tip: Set the height of the spare tire before completing assembly and installation of the cage because you can’t adjust it later (not without disassembly, that is). After test fitting the body and cab to get the height right, I removed the section of the cage that mounts to the cab and used it to mark the mounting-hole locations on the body. After installing the cage onto the cab, I marked the locations for the rear body posts of my TRX-4 by dabbing paint onto the posts and lowering the body and cage into place. The posts left two perfectly placed dots of paint, and I reamed holes in the soft plastic easily.
I loaded my cage with Pro-line scale accessories and a spare tire. The scale accessories were easy to install and the mount has a good grip on all the pieces, so there’s no need to worry about them sliding out.
On the trail, the cage looks equally good; after some crashes, it was still intact and only had a few minor scratches. The cage also gives you another spot to grab your truck, and I used it as a handle all day without it pulling away from the body or coming off the body mounts, proving the strength of the basic design. Installing and removing the spare tire was a bit of an issue due to the loose fit of the 3mm locknut. I had to keep pulling on it to keep the nut in the hex and spinning properly, but a dab of CA glue to keep the nut in place was all that was needed to solve that problem.
The Pro-line back-half cage is a nice piece, and it’s great that it’s a universal fit and can easily be mounted on any of today’s popular scale rigs. I’d like to see some instructions included for the build; that would have saved me a little time, but in the end, the couple of issues I ran into were minor. If you make sure you double-check the location of the mounting holes on your body before you ream them and get the height of the spare tire right before you assemble the cage, you can avoid them altogether. Overall, this is a great way to get that unique and scale truggy look for your scale rig.—kevin Hetmanski
My Pro-line 66 Chevy cab looks so much better with the back-half cage installed.
The Pro-line back-half cage comes out of the package with all that you need to assemble the cage and mount it to the body.
Here’s the assembled cage before I mounted it to the body and added scale accessories. It looks great by itself.
I used the cab section of the cage to mark the body for reaming, after positioning the assembled cage and body on my chassis to make sure the holes go in the right location.
The mount for the scale accessories has a snug fit and does a great job of ensuring they don’t slide out.
The spare-tire mount is adjustable to make it possible to attach various sizes of tires. Make sure you set the height before you assemble the rest of the cage.