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Discussion Starter #1
hey fellas. i need your suggestions for a roll bar/cage. i'm very close to my goal of running 10's. first & only time out i ran the best of an 11.15 @ 120 mph spinning through 1st gear. i need my car to tech down to 10.00. i've worked hard to lighten up the car to it's 3180lb weight while still retaning full interior trim & body. am i correct that a 6 point bar will tech to 10.00? i have been strongly considering a moly bar vs. mild steel obviously for the weight savings. i plan on tig welding the bar in the car either way for a sanitary install. i am somewhat modest when it comes to my cars appearance so i'm not thrilled about having a jungle jim cage that will cert. down to 8.00 when i never plan on going that fast (seriously). is it worth the cost of moly vs. m/s for weight? how much stiffer is the chassis with an 8 point bar vs. a 10 point cage? what about from a safety standpoint? thanks in advance, bill.
 

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It really depends on what you want to do, will you be happy at 10.0's? If so you actually only need a 5 point bar, so basically a 6 point without the passenger door bar, and you can make the driver door bar and rear cross bar removable if you follow NHRA guidelines, that will tech to 10.0.
I don't know about cost wise, but a 6 point (or 5) in chromoly will save you about 30 pounds I believe, IMO worth a 100$-200$ cost increase, though I'm not sure how much it would actually be. Just consider once you've done the easy stuff, how hard it is to find 30#'s to shed.
On a full cage I would definately go chromoly. But unless you are going to want to race regularly at 9.99 and faster (to 7.50) you may want to stick to a bar, a full cage is going to be a major PIA to negotiate getting in and out of, or to work on the inside of the car.
As far as stiffness, any bar will help a lot, and of course the more points the more rigid, but I wouldn't add bars just for rigidity alone, and of course the more cage the safer you'll be in a wreck.
It really comes down to how far you want to go, once you have a 10 point cage, race car only status is just around the corner.
 

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Bill,
Since you are in Sacramento, I would follow onovakinds advice. I have done a lot of business with them (Chris Alstons Chassisworks) and they are helpful.

As far as moly vs. steel I'm not sure how much weight you will save with a 5 or 6 point (30#'s sounds like a lot). As you know you MUST TIG weld moly if you want it to be legal.

A couple other things the moly bars are lighter because they can be made thinner due to the added strength. You probably already know that but, a lot of people don't and have a misconception than moly is lighter than steel. The last note is if you do a steel cage you will want to MIG it from what I have heard and read NHRA prefers MIG welding on steel cages (I don't know why).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks fellas. i really would rather just put a bar in the car than a full cage for the streetability factor. and molly vs. steel to add less weight. i called chassisworks the other day about a molly bar & the sales staff were rude as usual. i try to buy as little as possible from chassisworks. they do make nice stuff though. long story short is they don't offer a molly bar, only a 10 point+ cage & won't custom bend a 1-3/4" c/m bar. s&w does make a c/m bar. i may go with that. this is a street car & i do want to keep some of the street car comforts. also, even though i have no desire to go faster than 10.0, if later i do, i can convert to a cage easily. tig welding the bar is not a problem. thanks for the advise guys.
 

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Whatever you decide, I suggest making the left side door brace swing out.
It wasn't hard to do, and makes getting in and out easy.
I've also seen some cars with a removable seat belt brace, for easier access to the back seat. I'm not sure how that works with seat belts attached.

BTW, I went with a 10 pnt steel cage, mig welded, with the left side swing out only. Still have a back seat, rear struts follow roof line then down thru the package tray and weld to the trunk floor over the frame rails.
Follow the NHRA rulebook closely, some of the bars need to be placed at correct heights and distance to each other.

---Bill.
 

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WOW, I am shocked you had a bad experience with Chassisworks. I have never had a bad experience there and they remember me by name when I walk in. If you don't like the way they treat you I can't blame you for going elsewhere. I can tell you they are VERY busy at times and maybe that's why they were short with you?

I have done business with S&W before as well but, shipping all the way accross country gets expensive. You might want to try Art Morrison they are at least still on the left coast and should save you some shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
camaroman7d, i've purchased 5 complete backhalf rear setups & numerous nicknacks over the years from chassisworks (probably around $20,000). i've never recieved good customer service & always leave pissed off. i would rather spend $200 in freight from somewhere else for the same thing i can get from them locally. anyhow i don't want to beat a dead horse here. i like the idea of a removable back brace but i hear it's not nhra legal. i have not looked into art morrison yet. i'll check them out. over the last few months i installed a r/p steering & glass hood to shed weight. i feel like i would be going backwards not to make an effort to save weight where i can on this matter. i am considering the swingout side bars too. thanks,bill.
 

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I know, 30#'s sounds like a lot to me too, but I am almost positive my buddy that builds chassis' told me about 25-30 pounds on a 6 point bar. Of course I can't confirm nor deny, I'm going by what I recall hearing from him. Even if its 20 pounds (which I'm sure it is at least) it's worth it to me.
I know for a fact you can make the rear cross bar removable and be legal, but it has to be securely bolted when in place. The rule book gives you dimensions as to where it has to be, no specifics on bolting or welding, thats how you get by. Obviously it has to be done well and securely or they will shoot you down. My buddy has a 62 nova that he wanted to keep streetable, so one of our local chassis builders, a well known one, built it for him. 5 point, no passenger door bar, removable driver door bar and rear cross bar. Obviously with no cross bar you have just lap belts, but you could use it easier on the street that way.
And you are correct, if you build a nice 10.0 legal bar, it can always be added to when you get "the bug", but that never happens ;)
 

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Sean, You could be right (and probably are) about the weight savings. I just wouldn't think it would be that much only a 5 or 6 point.

Bill, obviously you have had bad experiences with them, I wasn't trying to change your mind, just offering my experiences.

As far as the removable back brace, it is technically perfectly legal, I was told it will be totally up to the opinion of the tech inspector. With that in mind, I made a section of mine removable to allow access to the rear seat. If the inspector isn't looking for it he will never see it, the padding will conceal it. It is safe or I wouldn't have done it and I also added other bracing to insure it is strong and safe.
 

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Good idea on the cross brace Royce. And your exactly right, it's a decision the tech can accept or deny. However once you have a cert sticker on your bar, thats about all they look for. You really never know though, we used to go up to Canada to race a lot, and it's funny just how much harder they tech you if you start beating the locals ;) , but oh well, I guess you play by the rules of whoever owns the sandbox, it's best to be prepared.
I'm tempted to call my buddy now about the bar, just to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
68rs406, camaroman7d, sc68z28, thanks for your time & thoughts on this matter. i feel comfortable with my original plan to run a moly 6 point bar with removable door bars & back brace. the shoulder harness can stay on the back brace when out of the car. then slap the back brace in & door bars (won't have to readjust the harness either) & go racing with the ability to be street & passenger friendly when nessesary. thanks again very much guys. bill.
 

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No problem Bill, glad I could be of help. I think that is the best idea, in fact thats pretty much what I decided to do with my car, I still havn't determined if I'm going to put one in my car or not though, it's more street use than strip.
In regard to the weight of the bar, what I found was obviously it will vary from car to car due to amount of material, but basically you save about 1/3 of the weight of a mild steel bar by going chromoly (from tube thickness), so 20-30 pounds is about right, well worth it IMO. Just thought I'd let you guys wondering know what I found out.
 

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One comment, you can normally run a smaller bar than what is common in the off the shelf kits. I put a 1 5/8" mild steal 10 pt cage in and that 1/8" makes a nice difference in fit and a minor weight savings. It is legal everywhere and available from most suppliers if you ask. If you don't, they will typically sell you 1 3/4".

BTW, my cage added some serious weight to my car, but I picked up almost 2 tenths with it. A stiff chassis is a great thing!!
 

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(1...I put a 1 5/8" mild steel 10 pt cage in and that 1/8" makes a nice difference in fit
(2... and a minor weight savings.
(3...I picked up almost 2 tenths with it. A stiff chassis is a great thing!!
These are 3 excellent points. :thumbsup:
---Bill.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
i was told by a friend of mine that back in the day he was running a sbc in a luv truck & just by adding a 12 point gave hime something rediculous like a 1.5 second gain in et from the added chassis stiffening. man, i'm still torn between the 6 point bar & 8 point cage. but still leaning toward the 6 pointer. bill.
 

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The only difference between a 6 and 8 point (depends on who's roll bar it is) is that the 8 point will have two diag. bars from the main hoop to the floor, behind the front seats. When you go to a "cage" 10 point then you have the halo, forward struts, and A pillar bars. I would go at least with the 8 point, it really won't effect entry or exit from the car and it won't really be noticable. It will effect rear seat leg room a bit. The diagonal bars will help keep the car from twisting.

Some manufactures call their 6 and 8 point bars a bit different. I'm not sure which style you are looking at.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
hey camaroman7d, i was considering a 6 point (main hoop, rear bars, door bars). i'm not sure if i want the a pillar bars & windshield bar that make it a cage. to me the forward bars kinda kill the street car status. i definately don't want to go through the firewall. i have a two year old daughter & a son coming end of the month so it's important that i live in the event of a crash. lol!! that factor makes me want to go with a cage. otherwise i really don't want the forward bars that i don't need to tech to 10.00. i'm torn damnit!!! i'm going to go molly either way because i'm tig welding in whatever bar/cage i decide to go with for the purpose of not blowing sparks all over my interior. it's worth the extra time to me vs. stripping the inside of the car. anyone ever seen a car crash/rollover at say 130mph with just a bar? what were the results? thanks,bill.
 
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