Roll Bars for Big Galoots

Per
Update by Per Schroeder to the LeGrand Mk 18 project car
Nov 9, 2011

Here's the picture that started the ball rolling on the new roll bar.
Joey lays out the new hoop.
By not flattening the top of the arc, the new bar is 2 inches taller.
Joey TIG welds the bar onto our chassis.
Here's the new bar after installation and painting.

Our LeGrand project has, to this point, been a completely legal build—as it meets all required specifications for SCCA’s B Modified class, both technically and from a safety standpoint. The roll bar height, for example, is required to be above the height of the driver’s helmet, in a normal driving position. We passed tech at Nationals for this requirement, but just barely. That’s all good, right?

Well, sort of.

We noticed that many of our pictures from Solo Nats show that our helmet is actually higher than the top of the roll hoop. While we passed tech, we decided that we really should extend the main hoop upwards by two inches to make the car appear (and be) safer. Our main driver has a very long torso—making headroom (or roll bar height) a constant issue.

The hoop that was on our car was actually not a constant radius and in fact, flattened out on the top portion. We had Joey Stokes at Stoked Metalworks bend a new bar out of 1.5-inch DOM steel with a more constant radius and TIG weld it to our forward braces and the chassis. We also had them make a new headrest brace and cross bar out of 0.75-inch DOM tubing. We’re using a steering wheel pad from Longacre Racing Products as a headrest. The end result is actually within a pound of our earlier design and is a lot more attractive to boot— Joey and his business partner, Frank West, did a great job on the bar and we’ll be visiting them again soon, for sure.

Before the roll bar and the forward portion of the cage was welded to the chassis, we had it powdercoated a nice shade of grey. We then had our local paint store mix up a quart of Dupont Imron paint in the same shade of platinum grey to paint the top portions of the bulkhead and the very bottom of the hoop where it was welded on. The Imron paint is nearly as tough as the powdercoating and should take a lot of abuse before it chips. We’ll be using these powdercoating and paint shades in the future—any time we’ve got something apart, we’ll take the time to do it right.

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