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How to Install a Chassisworks Rollcage - Gettin' Cagey

Installing a street-friendly Chris Alston six-point rollcage into a '66 Chevelle.

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There are a couple of reasons to fill the interior of your car with a rollcage, from meeting safety requirements of a sanctioning body to stiffening up the chassis. We have a '66 Chevelle in the stable that is being built for the street, but with a focus on autocrossing it on weekends. We recently installed a complete G-Street coil over suspension system from Chris Alston's Chassisworks (July 2013 issue). The fully adjustable suspension will allow the car to be quickly set up to run the cones, then dialed back for the ride home.

While we have a great suspension in the car, it is attached to a factory frame, and it has some flex to it. We want the suspension to do all the work instead of the frame moving around with it. So, we are going to stiffen the factory frame the best way we know how, by throwing metal at it. At the end of this story the car will have a boxed frame with solid body mounts and a six-point cage. All this should get the factory chassis as stiff as possible, and net us a safer place to be when we strap on a helmet and get after it.

We have been building this car for a while, and unfortunately there is one thing that goes with this story we didn't photograph, the boxing of the factory frame and adding the cage mounting pads. There are frame-boxing kits out there for the A-body chassis, and are a great complement to a rollcage or high-end suspension. We will find another car and bring you a frame-boxing story, so look for that in a later issue. Back to our main point of all these words, the rollcage.

We ordered up an eight-point cage kit that features 1-5/8 by 0.134-inch wall mild steel tubing, and upgraded it with the optional swing out door kit and removable seat belt bar. This gave us all the components we needed to create our 6-point cage, since we won't need to install the subframe struts that are required for unibody cars. Because this is being built for simple autocross events, we don't really need to conform to any real rules about layout or size, but this cage should be good for 10-seconds and above on the dragstrip. If you are building a car for a specific thing like drag racing or open track stuff, you need to check with that specific sanctioning body for cage requirements. To further stiffen the chassis, we ordered a solid body mount set from ABC Performance. The ABC crew offers a bunch of early Chevelle specific items, and even has a frame boxing kit that we mentioned earlier.

So we had our cage kit from Alston and solid mounts from ABC Performance now we needed one specific tool to add to our collection of necessary items for the job. We already had full selection of magnets, grinders, and an 110v MIG welder. What we needed was a tube notcher. We looked to the king of do-it-yourself, Eastwood, for its Economy Tube Notcher and Hole Saw kit. Once we had all the parts and tools, we gutted the car's interior and got busy.

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