Topic: roll cage welding in North Carolina

Hey everyone, I have talked a few of my friends into doing the Lemons race in South Carolina in September. We bought our turd car (96 Nissan Sentra) and have the engine out right now replacing gaskets. Once we get the engine back in and verify that it still runs smile, we will be focusing on the roll cage. Does anyone know where we could take this car in North Carolina to get a cage welded in, that meets the Lemons specifications AND be a reasonable cost? I have tried several local welding shops and none of them will touch roll cages, I contacted one shop in the Raleigh/Durham area and their estimate was going to cost between $1600 and $2400 just for the labor, not including materials, which is double of what we expected on the high side. I'm going to reach back out to that same company and see if they will consider us buying a prebent/precut kit, tack welding it ourselves and letting them do the final welds to see what the price comes back with, but we might be out of this race already if we can't get the cost down on the roll cage.

Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

I can't help you with a roll cage builder in NC.

I can tell you that those prices aren't really out of line with what any good shop will charge for a custom Lemons legal cage.

#928 Porsche 928 - West German Pushrodders

Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

You can search here on the forum and see what other people have paid for roll cages.

A pre-bent DOM cage (delivered) should be just under $1k.

A quality install is going to be at least $1,500.

The general budget for a cage should be between $2,500 and $3,500.

If your budget is super tight its best to buy a car that is already built. You can often buy a serviceable rolling chassis with a cage for less than the cost of the cage alone.

Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

$1600 to $2400 is pretty much inline with what a decent shop will charge you.  I'd be concerned with the $1600 cage.  Last time I paid less than $2000 for a cage, it was not legal.  Some of the best cages I've seen were closer to $4000.

I've been burned often enough that I do my own cages now.  My total costs (tube, plate, wire, gas and paint) are less than $500, depending on current steel prices.  I don't count my time.  If I did, I would stop racing altogether.

Apparently my name is really "Craigers".  Who knew?
We might be yellow, but at least we are slow
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Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

Thanks everyone for the responses, that's good to know that those prices are in range. This is the first time we have ever done this and had no idea how much a cage would cost to install correctly. We did search the forums but did not see pricing anywhere.

Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

Search using keywords roll cage cost. You will have to weed through posts to get to the ones discussing costs directly. The forums search function isn't the best.

Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

Depending on where you are in NC, Roll Cage Components is a viable option.  He mostly sells prebent cages but actually prioritizes his installs over the rest of us losers.  His cages ALWAYS pass tech.

Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

We had a circle track cage builder do our cage down in Reidville, SC, if that's close to you.  I have recommended other Lemons teams to him.  He did a good job, passed tech no issues, at a reasonable cost.  IIRC our cage was about $1000, but that was 5 or 6 years ago

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Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

Our kit from RCC was about $650 and we drove to VA pick it up.  It took me and my buddy a weekend to fit and weld it all into place.  I'd say the $1500 figure would be the bare minimum you'd expect to pay for a turn-key job.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
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Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

VKZ24 wrote:

Our kit from RCC was about $650 and we drove to VA pick it up.  It took me and my buddy a weekend to fit and weld it all into place.  I'd say the $1500 figure would be the bare minimum you'd expect to pay for a turn-key job.


We too bought an RCC kit, it was closer to $760, but we had it shipped to a residential address instead of driving our lazy asses up to VA to pick it up.  I wish I could say it only took us a weekend to fit and weld, but this was our first cage installation and it took weeks of working in the evening after kids were in bed and then an entire Saturday to do the final welding. 

Knowing what it takes to fit and weld a pre-bent cage, $1,500 minimum is not surprising.  Most of the quotes we got before going with RCC were north of $2,000.

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Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

GoFastEnthusiast wrote:

I wish I could say it only took us a weekend to fit and weld, but this was our first cage installation and it took weeks of working in the evening after kids were in bed and then an entire Saturday to do the final welding.

Yeah, this was our 4th cage, and you do learn a few things as you go. 

I'd like to say I'd offer to help these guys, but as cages are often a PITA, even when they fit right, I'd probably want at least $1K in labor too.  Every pre-bent cage I'd welded-in required some modifications.

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

Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

RCC cage kits are good, but a lot of people see the word "kit" and assume that fitting it all together will be easier than it is. Luckily, Jim is pretty responsive to questions. Our first cage went together fine in about two weekends, but I wish I could go back and do it differently now. Safe and secure is one thing, but it takes a little more skill to maximize the driver entry area and available space in the car.

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Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

SpaceFrank wrote:

RCC cage kits are good, but a lot of people see the word "kit" and assume that fitting it all together will be easier than it is.

Agreed, which is why I try to caution people who ask cage questions here that if you can't fit, notch, and weld tubing, the RCC kit isn't for you.  My current one fit pretty well as we only had to modify two bars.  The one prior, we had to modify every bar except the NASCAR bars.

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

Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

Roll Cage Components is not a far drive from Raleigh, and they will fabricate and weld in a custom cage very quickly and economically if you get the car prepped (gutted and good access to mounting points). They've done three of our Lemons cars and it's well worth the drive. Be sure to put your racing seat and mount in the car, but not bolted down, so they can make sure everything clears. Call Jim and tell him what you need.

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Re: roll cage welding in North Carolina

rmcdaniels wrote:

Roll Cage Components is not a far drive from Raleigh, and they will fabricate and weld in a custom cage very quickly and economically if you get the car prepped (gutted and good access to mounting points).

The OP's version of 'economical' is a bit skewed.  He thought $1600 was too high.  Would Jim build and install one less than that?

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