Engine cage design tips

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bri_man57

Need to Build
Jul 11, 2005
2,487
19
38
31
Ventura, California
#11
Looks good. On my Tacoma I ran down tubes behind the dash from where your windshield bars intersect to the bar going across for the seat mounts. Actually fit in there pretty good and I think you could keep your dash like it is but the radio and heat would be in the way if your keeping them.
I did the same. I always felt like under the window bars was very under built on a lot of trucks I have seen. Got these extensive c pillar areas and then not much going on under the window bars.

Nothing that goes straight down but they go through the cowl
I actually went from under the window bars to the seat tube as posted right above, built my center console around that. I also went from under the window bars down slightly through the firewall. They were hard tubes to make and doubt would work with hvac, but if those were there I would say you can leave that tube out as there would be a "tie down" point slightly further toward the cab.

You would probably be okay without it, but I would try to sneak it in if possible.

Not sure what you have going on where the outer engine cage tubes meet the a pillars, but I would put a hefty gusset in there. Mine is a 7" piece of tube, 45 degree angle on both sides heading toward engine cage. I then plated over that whole triangle. When I was caging mine I kept reading about trucks cracking there and it makes sense. Lots of flex there. Adding that tube you are talking about would also keep that flex down.

Fab work looks great dude!

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breynolds710

Junior Member
Oct 4, 2016
48
5
8
#12
I should ask, is this going to be a play truck or raced? Because people say they run their play trucks hard but they typically aren't running down torn up course at speed after 50 TT's and 50 6100's and the rest of the field have gone through, the abuse difference between the two is substantial...
Thanks for all those pics! I just got the old shock hoops cleaned off the frame, I’ll look closer at them later tonight. I’ll try and squeeze that tube in next to the booster.

And the truck is only for play and it’s going to be way overkill but I want it to be fun and safe in any kind of terrain, from the dunes to the Rubicon trail.
 

breynolds710

Junior Member
Oct 4, 2016
48
5
8
#13
I did the same. I always felt like under the window bars was very under built on a lot of trucks I have seen. Got these extensive c pillar areas and then not much going on under the window bars.



I actually went from under the window bars to the seat tube as posted right above, built my center console around that. I also went from under the window bars down slightly through the firewall. They were hard tubes to make and doubt would work with hvac, but if those were there I would say you can leave that tube out as there would be a "tie down" point slightly further toward the cab.

You would probably be okay without it, but I would try to sneak it in if possible.

Not sure what you have going on where the outer engine cage tubes meet the a pillars, but I would put a hefty gusset in there. Mine is a 7" piece of tube, 45 degree angle on both sides heading toward engine cage. I then plated over that whole triangle. When I was caging mine I kept reading about trucks cracking there and it makes sense. Lots of flex there. Adding that tube you are talking about would also keep that flex down.

Fab work looks great dude!

Sent from my SM-G900T3 using Tapatalk
Thanks! Appreciate it. This is the 5th cage I’ve put together and by far the most elaborate and I want to make sure it’s done right. As I posted earlier, the truck is a play truck and won’t be raced. That being said if I do roll it, I want to be able to cut the roof skin off and replace it and have nothing else be tweaked so I will go ahead with the vertical tubes.
 

breynolds710

Junior Member
Oct 4, 2016
48
5
8
#14
Well I wasn’t able to get all the tubes in that I wanted to but I’m confident it will be strong enough. The tube I put in next to the booster is nearly touching everything in that area lol. I landed the tubes essentially where the motor mounts are, just a little further back from where the bump cans are. Doing this allowed me to “stand up” the tubes that support the cowl tubes. The second pic shows I have about 1/8” of clearance from the steering shaft hahaha.

Also thought I’d throw in a pic of how the shock mounts are coming out because why not. The booster *should* be able to come out still...



 

Travisfab

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 21, 2003
19,885
107
63
San Diego
#17
I know it's tough with trying to keep all the heat and ac, but the dash bar, and then a back of engine cage bar really bugs me in builds. It's redundant and kills the load path in my opinion.
 

breynolds710

Junior Member
Oct 4, 2016
48
5
8
#18
I know it's tough with trying to keep all the heat and ac, but the dash bar, and then a back of engine cage bar really bugs me in builds. It's redundant and kills the load path in my opinion.
It does seem to be common in most builds I see and I agree with you. However for a truck that won’t be raced, I’m confident it will protect my noggin in the event of a rollover.
 

bri_man57

Need to Build
Jul 11, 2005
2,487
19
38
31
Ventura, California
#19
I know it's tough with trying to keep all the heat and ac, but the dash bar, and then a back of engine cage bar really bugs me in builds. It's redundant and kills the load path in my opinion.
As in the dash bar is really the back engine cage tube is what you're saying?

I agree, it's a little redundant but the dash bar can be a good 8 or 9 inches back, maybe more, from where the op is at so it does help. I would definitely say he doesn't need an engine cage cross brace.

My engine cage has no "back engine cage" tube, just the 4 through the firewall connected to the dash bar, has no engine cage cross member, and been fine for the 8 years I have been off roading. BUT, I also have tubes under the window bars that exit the firewall at the bottom and land on the frame right outside the firewall. These then connect to diagonals in the engine cage. I understand those tubes under thr window bars are hard to put in with anything resembling a stock dash, other then the skin, but that bugs me when trucks are missing them. And lots are.

It's always a compromise though. For me to comfortably do those tubes, hell even the ones through the fire wall, I had to completely re do the wiper system, major pain and doesn't work all that well, went right through where the gas pedal mounted so had to re do that and it's never been right since, definitely no stock heater, but I was dead set on having a legit cage. Looking back I wish I hadn't messed with the wiper system, I can hang with the others lol.

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oorracing

<span style="color: orange;">DR Mod</span>
Jan 15, 2006
10,508
41
48
Long Beach Ca
#20
As in the dash bar is really the back engine cage tube is what you're saying?

I agree, it's a little redundant but the dash bar can be a good 8 or 9 inches back, maybe more, from where the op is at so it does help. I would definitely say he doesn't need an engine cage cross brace.

My engine cage has no "back engine cage" tube, just the 4 through the firewall connected to the dash bar, has no engine cage cross member, and been fine for the 8 years I have been off roading. BUT, I also have tubes under the window bars that exit the firewall at the bottom and land on the frame right outside the firewall. These then connect to diagonals in the engine cage. I understand those tubes under thr window bars are hard to put in with anything resembling a stock dash, other then the skin, but that bugs me when trucks are missing them. And lots are.

It's always a compromise though. For me to comfortably do those tubes, hell even the ones through the fire wall, I had to completely re do the wiper system, major pain and doesn't work all that well, went right through where the gas pedal mounted so had to re do that and it's never been right since, definitely no stock heater, but I was dead set on having a legit cage. Looking back I wish I hadn't messed with the wiper system, I can hang with the others lol.

Sent from my SM-G900T3 using Tapatalk
This. Those tubes that continue from the windshield “A” down the frame outside the firewall are crucial for preventing chassis fatigue at the firewall. Yes they are a total pain in the ass to get in there, but it’ll be easier to add those now and be done vs fixing bent/twisted/cracked tubes later down the road. Vintage air and Rain-X FTW haha


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