Topic: Holy roll cage cost, batman

So... my original source to install my roll cage has vanished.   I have started calling around the Nashville area and have gotten quote from 4-6K for a Lemons roll cage.   One guy was 4200 to install a RCC cage.    Soooo, any of you people in the south have a good guy that can help me get my cage installed in my W124 Mercedes.  I have beer, coffee, wine, bbq and good old cash.  I am willing go just about anywhere driveable in a day.

Team Captain - Questionable Compression Racing
1992 Merc-B 400E "Benz Green Machine"
total noobs....

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

Holy crap!  $4200 to install a pre-bent cage?  Damn, were they planning to TIG weld it? Two of us installed our RCC cage in a day, so I sure wish I could make $2100 per day!

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

Ours was done in Akron Oh for about $2400. TIG welded by a guy that essentially just does cages.
He made it from scratch.

Gingerman Oct 2016,Gingerman April 2017
Corvette track July 2017  (engine went Kaboom)
Gingerman June 2018, Gingerman Oct 2018

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

Best deal out there within a day's drive of Nashville

https://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/view … p?id=37344

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

I have soooo much time in this car already.... I hate to abandon it.   I'll keep it in mind though.

Team Captain - Questionable Compression Racing
1992 Merc-B 400E "Benz Green Machine"
total noobs....

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

Ratdoggy wrote:

Ours was done in Akron Oh for about $2400. TIG welded by a guy that essentially just does cages.
He made it from scratch.

I think we paid $700 for the kit from RCC and installed it ourselves in just one day.  It wasn't hard, but to be fair this was my 3rd cage and I learned from my mistakes on the first two.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

Those prices are not uncommon.   I (we) paid $6500 for a cage install in our Spec E46 (SCCA/WRL car) done by Fall Line Motorsports.  It is truly a work of art and they do build high end professional level race cars, so their rates are higher.   If you do the math on the hours to properly plan, bend, fit and weld a nice cage and then it is understandable why it costs so much for a race shop to do the work.  The overhead is considerable for those types of businesses and there has to be profit for a business owner. 

Our Lemons cage was made from scratch by an individual for $2350 about 7 years ago.  He wasn’t getting rich at that price either.

LemonAid - Changing kids lives one lap at a time.

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

Was the $4200 quote including the cost of the cage or not?

I know steel prices have gone through the roof over the last year or two, so that's driving cage prices up. How RCC still has the same price for their cage kits as 3 years ago baffles me, unless they're just still working though a pile of tubing they've had forever. On top of that it takes time to do it right. Yes you can power through a pre-bent kit install in a weekend if you've done it before, but getting it to fit nice and tight to the roof and A-pillars takes time if you're trying to squeeze every last fraction of an inch of headroom out of it. High end race shops aren't going to do a slap dash job either, it's their name on the cage, they will build it to their standards no matter the racing series because their work is their best business card.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

It was for the cage as well.   I had budgeted for about 1/2 that.  I think I may have found a solution (learning to weld), but this level of spending was not expected.  But almost there, feeling good as soon as I get this milestone completed.

Team Captain - Questionable Compression Racing
1992 Merc-B 400E "Benz Green Machine"
total noobs....

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

If you plan on welding your own cage, you need a halfway decent welder first. The baby welders sold by home depot will NOT cut it. They'll lay what looks like  a weld, but they can't put out the power to weld .120" wall tube. A good 110V machine can do it, but a 220V machine is better.

And make sure you take the time to practice enough before hand. It's easy to lay cold welds with MIG that look ok, but are weak. Remember that your drivers are trusting their well being to your welds. Take the time to practice, then practice more, all on bits of roll bar tubing. You'll need to know how to lay a good weld when you can barely see what you're aiming at. Welding in a cage is nothing like welding at a bench.


I'm not saying you shouldn't learn and try it, I'm just urging the necessary precautions. It took me a couple years of welding before I felt confident enough in my ability to weld a cage I trusted my Dad to climb into.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

I' m paying someone to teach me to weld as he goes.   I'm not doing this one myself.    Teach a man to fish theory....

Team Captain - Questionable Compression Racing
1992 Merc-B 400E "Benz Green Machine"
total noobs....

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

An excellent approach. Have fun.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

I dont charge enough apparently yikes.  I would feel bad charging a Lemons racer 4500$ for a weeks worth of a side project

959 Toyota Tercel   6x Lemons loser

New England Area roll cages send me an email I'm in Central MA

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

at those prices, if you can't weld or want to, buying an existing caged car is clearly the way to go, heck even pay to have one shipped
might be less expensive if hard to find where you are.

There are a lot of how-to-weld videos out there, most are pretty good.

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

If you have two working hands, eyes that work and any reasonable hand-eye coordination then you too can weld with some practice.   But, for me, I need someone who isn’t doing their first cage if I’m getting in the car.  They need to have formal training and experience in not only welding but building cages.   Beyond welding, there is understanding how to position a cage within a car, and reinforce it, so that it is roomy and safe.  The person needs to understand the physics involved in a crash so they understand why they are building the cage the way they are.  (Not just because they saw a cage built this way in another car that was similar.). Tech is not that thorough in any organization that it will “catch” cages that are not as good as they should be. 

Having said all that... not to be dramatic, but if your safety is worth less than a few thousand dollars between a qualified person and a weekend warrior (or yourself), then have anyone do the work.

LemonAid - Changing kids lives one lap at a time.

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

Is there formal cage building courses out there? I mean I like the guy who built my cage, but he’s not gonna live forever, not with how much rattle can laquer he goes through.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

$4200 including the cage is on the high end, but I am sure a lower cost source can be found.

1992 Saturn SL2 (retired) - Elmo's Revenge -  Class B winner, Heroic Fix winner x2
1969 Rover P6B 3500S - Super G-Rover - I.O.E Winner, Class C Winner
1996 Saturn SW2 - Elmo's Revenge (reborn!)
1974 AMC Javelin - Oscar's Trash heap - Organizer's Choice

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

Guildenstern wrote:

Is there formal cage building courses out there? I mean I like the guy who built my cage, but he’s not gonna live forever, not with how much rattle can laquer he goes through.

Pagel does them at his shop but...it is a bit of a hike for you.

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

This guy on Youtube has a good series on building a time attack cage. it's overkill for Lemons but the techniques are good.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P … FtXMIrpjuz
He's got tons of videos on building car stuff and welding.
As for welding,Jody from "Welding tips and tricks" on youtube has the absolute best videos on welding.
https://www.youtube.com/user/weldingtipsandtricks

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

erich wrote:

This guy on Youtube has a good series on building a time attack cage. it's overkill for Lemons but the techniques are good.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P … FtXMIrpjuz
He's got tons of videos on building car stuff and welding.
As for welding,Jody from "Welding tips and tricks" on youtube has the absolute best videos on welding.
https://www.youtube.com/user/weldingtipsandtricks

Here's a Jody video that is super useful - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DPhc5K_thg - Macro Etching Welds with Household Products.

You do a test weld, cut through it, polish it (I use this HF abrasive pad set in a drill - https://www.harborfreight.com/2-in-3-in … 561.html), then acid etch (I use Naval Jelly). It's an easy way to see how much your welds are penetrating (or not).

18X Loser - Delinquent Racing - '86 TRUMPACO Merkur - '18 Northworst, Pointless, '17 Freeze, Sweat, Pointless, '16 Pointless, Vodden, Sweat, Turrible, Freeze - '15 Vodden, Freeze. '96 Taurus SHO Skunk - '17 Vodden (Hope for the Future award - not me, rookies), '15 Pointless, Turrible. A&D w/Panting Polar Bears '17 Turrible, w/Pit Crew Revenge '18 Vodden. w/Flying Scotsman '18 Arse Freeze.

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

OnkelUdo wrote:
Guildenstern wrote:

Is there formal cage building courses out there? I mean I like the guy who built my cage, but he’s not gonna live forever, not with how much rattle can laquer he goes through.

Pagel does them at his shop but...it is a bit of a hike for you.

Depends on how long it is. Couple days may be worth a Plane ticket.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

Email him.  Next one is coming up soon if I remember correctly.

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

Guildenstern wrote:
OnkelUdo wrote:
Guildenstern wrote:

Is there formal cage building courses out there? I mean I like the guy who built my cage, but he’s not gonna live forever, not with how much rattle can laquer he goes through.

Pagel does them at his shop but...it is a bit of a hike for you.

Depends on how long it is. Couple days may be worth a Plane ticket.

From the Book of Faces......

Evil Genius Racing
January 28 at 9:29 AM
Due to popular demand I'm doing another cage building/welding class. Probably in late March or sometime in April, maybe even May, depending on when I and students are available. Class lasts an entire weekend and is VERY hands on. If you are interested, contact me... Class will be in Davis, CA.

29+x Loser.....You'd think I would learn......
5x I.O.E  Winner   1 Heroic Fix Winner   1 Org Choice Winner
2x  I Got Screwed Winner    1 Class C Winner
(Still a Class B driver in a Class A car)

Re: Holy roll cage cost, batman

For reference that price does seem really high. I lived/worked in Nashville a year ago but I'm now in az. I would look around some more theres a lot of dirt track guys down in Georgia.  Last cage I did was a RCC cage and I charged 1000 bucks labor. (About 40 hrs) and that was really only because I had to fix some things there other "welder" tried to do. And remove the sunroof.

Owner/Captain of The 27 Club E46. Phoenix, AZ
and now the #95 Thunderbird