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Old 06-15-2016, 04:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Roll cage tube diameter and thickness

Hey guys, I have been thinking about building a full body roll cage on a jeep tj. I'm on a budget where every penny counts. I want a cage that when I roll it won't bend. So what do you guys think is the best diameter, thickness and material of the tubing and where can I get it.
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Old 06-15-2016, 06:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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2" Schedule 80 is what I'd use.

Seriously if you are asking a question like this I'm guessing you haven't been around much racing. Get involved helping a race team for a year or 2 before you pull the trigger on a race car.
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Old 06-15-2016, 06:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How would I get involved in a racing team?
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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where are you located? Look for people who race and need help.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would never use pipe to build a roll cage if I valued my life..

1.75 x .120 DOM is the only thing I will use unless its a spot that gets beat up, then its 1.75 .188 DOM. Some use 2" .120 but I havent seen a need for it yet.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would never use pipe to build a roll cage if I valued my life..

1.75 x .120 DOM is the only thing I will use unless its a spot that gets beat up, then its 1.75 .188 DOM. Some use 2" .120 but I havent seen a need for it yet.
Haha, new school pirate members are way too nice.

If you don't see a "need" for 2" tube you've never read an ultra 4 or score rule book. Over a certain weight your car needs to be 2" tube.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Most TJ's are heavy. 2" for the main parts, but you can probably get away with some 1.75" fillers, in places that won't get dented in a roll
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Haha, new school pirate members are way too nice.

If you don't see a "need" for 2" tube you've never read an ultra 4 or score rule book. Over a certain weight your car needs to be 2" tube.
You stated 2" pipe, and I dont see a need for 2" tube because I dont build ultra 4 cars . Theres no reason to build them on the east coast, the ones that do travel out to you guys... I dont have that kind of time haha.

The mega trucks we build are just fine with proper geometry and 1.75 .120 and .188
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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As posted above, in your other thread you talk about making this a 4600 car so you need to know the rulebook backward and forward. Chances are slim you will not be in the 2" range based on the typical weight of a TJ.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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1.75x0.120 DOM, 1020 steel

TLDR: use 1.75x0.120 DOM mild steel tubing (1018 or 1020 alloy (1026 is even better, but not as available and more expensive)


A.K.A. DOM CARB tubing A-513 (or equivalent) see reasoning below:

Hi guys, former FSAE design lead here, (ive also worked with a few guys from the BAJA SAE team at our school). In order to keep this from becoming another huge in depth thread on tubing, ill try to touch on all the points here in one response and keep them as concise as i can. see links at the end for more info and other threads

Material:
**use DOM mild steel. most bang for your buck, period. pipe is not an interchangeable term for tube. pipe has different manufacturing tolerances, AND its weaker than TUBE given the equivalent cross sectional area. its a cheap alternative but imo if you're spending the time and money on a cage, do it "right"- meaning NO well respected shop will suggest that you use schedule 40 pipe to make a roll cage, or any structural component. for the same "basic" level of safety, you are using more tube, which will weigh down your rig, and somewhat offset the cost of the pipe-which is its ONLY advantage.
**HREW is steel TUBE that is seam welded. Again, its cheaper than DOM but also weaker given the same cross sectional area. I repeat; if you're going to spend the time and money, do it right the first time and never have to worry or second guess it.
**DOM tube is made FROM HREW, but goes through an additional manufacturing process. (during the process it "eliminates" the seam. this is typically what you would find any reputable shop using for a non race oriented vehicle.
**Chromoly steel tube: its about twice the cost of the mild steel DOM, and about 40% stronger, which means you can use thinner wall tubing and effectively have a lighter vehicle. cons to this are typically the longevity and processing (welding). High carbon content is stiffer, and thus more prone to cracking compared to mild steel. you SHOULD be stress relieving all welds. this is not nearly as critical with mild steel as it is with chromoly steel. before you make the argument of "bro, my buddy mig welded a chromoly cage and it didn't crack" I urge you to check out the links that go into detail about tube choice, and proper welding procedure for metals. long story short, chromoly rigs are designed with a life span in mind. ill put it this way: if you plan to keep the truck for years, use mild steel. it will be less prone to cracking due to stress over time, which means it will be more reliable 5 years from now. the only reason someone should justify using chromoly is if budget is not a factor and they are trying to save literally as much weight as possible.

Size: 1.75 is a very common size. for off road rigs that are typically in the 2,500-8,000 pound weight range, you will not use smaller than 1.75" for proprietary members of a roll cage. for smaller, lighter street vehicles, 1.5" is very common. for huge full size trucks, 2.0" is recommended.

steel tube comes in many nominal sizes. larger diameter tube is stronger than its smaller diameter equivalent. for example, 1 5/8" x0.095" tube is 99.3% as strong, but 12.2% lighter than 1 1/2"x.120" tube. that is to say, 1/8" larger diameter in this case allows about 12% weight savings over 1.5" tube.

That being said, you will benefit THE MOST from a well designed cage, as opposed to going with the cheapest material. a well designed cage with "expensive" material can be safe and possibly close to the cost of a poorly, overbuilt cage with shit material. for NON proprietary members of the cage (aka, not the main roll hoop) you can use 0.083 thick tube, or some other thickness. bottom line is, it really just depends on the design, how you truss it, etc.

the last bit i will say about material, is that you should shop around. i have had quotes on tube vary by over 300% between suppliers that are less than 10 miles apart. This is driven in part by current market demand, or if that supplier has any on hand at the time.

My local source charges about $3.65/ft for 2"x0.083, and about $3.79/ft for 2"x0.120. to further compare prices, 1.625"x0.095" is $3/ft and 1.625x0.120 was $4.5/ft. - point is, it really just depends. most places give you a better price if you buy a single size in bulk.


more reading cause you couldnt get enough:

Pirate4x4.Com - Extreme Four Wheel Drive

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/gener...rw-vs-wtf.html

4x4 Buggy Building & Tubing - 4Wheel & Off-Road Magazine

https://www.roguefab.com/tube-calculator/

Last edited by succubusjuice16; 07-14-2016 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting the link. We have a little calculator on our page for anyone that missed it - https://www.roguefab.com/tube-calculator/

Cage design is more important than material choice.

And if you roll bad (like onto a hard surface like rock, or roll more than once in an occurrence) your cage will probably bend no matter what you make it out of. A cage is meant to save your life at least once. But once is all you can hope for in a really bad case. Race cars are money pits, they need to be repaired/rebuilt after they're crashed.

My rig is for trails only, and I have everything from 2" x.134 down to 1.25 x.065 on it. Less load and length, less metal. I also have some longer spans in a few areas that I chose to keep that way for specific reasons, and they had to be really beefed up because of that.
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Old 08-22-2016, 10:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by succubusjuice16 View Post
TLDR:
**DOM tube is made FROM HREW, but goes through an additional manufacturing process. (during the process it "eliminates" the seam. ]
I'm guessing you know this, but for clarification this statement is wrong. DOM and HREW are both manufacturing processes, neither are a material type. What he means is that tubing typically referred to as DOM (1018, 1020, etc) is a mild steel and so is HREW.

OP: if you really want to race study the rule book for the sanctioning body and build to spec. Also if you don't have the fab skills then pay someone who does. It doesn't matter if you build it out of 6" x .500 wall heat treated 4130 if it isn't well designed and welded properly.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havasusprings View Post
I'm guessing you know this, but for clarification this statement is wrong. DOM and HREW are both manufacturing processes, neither are a material type. What he means is that tubing typically referred to as DOM (1018, 1020, etc) is a mild steel and so is HREW.

OP: if you really want to race study the rule book for the sanctioning body and build to spec. Also if you don't have the fab skills then pay someone who does. It doesn't matter if you build it out of 6" x .500 wall heat treated 4130 if it isn't well designed and welded properly.
Continue. I thought after they hot rolled electric welded some metal, they drew it over a mandrel to make the thickness uniform and smooth out the weld.

Could you elaborate how both are made?
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=havasusprings;37986601]I'm guessing you know this, but for clarification this statement is wrong. DOM and HREW are both manufacturing processes, neither are a material type. What he means is that tubing typically referred to as DOM (1018, 1020, etc) is a mild steel and so is HREW.

you are correct, although i didn't intend for DOM or HREW/ ERW to be interpreted as a "material". from what i've read about this i suppose i misinterpreted some information regarding "DOM being made from HREW tube": the beginning processes between HREW/ ERW and DOM are the same, but DOM tube does have additional manufacturing processes. Namely, being drawn over a mandrel which cold works the material. This "eliminates" the seam, and in the process of cold working strengthens the metal as well. im not sure one way or another if a tube of HREW can be made into DOM tube (doubtful). But that's besides the point.

https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/di...seamless-tube/
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I know this is a really old thread, but it sounds like you guys know what you are talking about and so far nobody anywhere else can give me a straight answer. I have a 2014 Tundra 4x4 double cab on 35x12.50 with a 3" lift. I occasionally take it out to our deer lease and if it rains it can get slick. I had a 2005 Tundra back in the day that I slid on a very minor incline after it had rained for 15 mins just enough to get the surface slippery and I had only had the truck for 3 months. It slid sideways into a tree leaning over at a 45 degree angle. It put a dent the size of a basket ball in the rocker panel area of my 2005 Tundra 4x4. I don't want that to happen again to this new truck so I am putting sliders on it. I have a guy who will build them however I want. Currently he builds them for my truck out of 2x2 .188 square tubing for the main slider body and legs, with 1/4" steel mounting plates and gussets where it attaches to the frame. The actual outer kick and rub area is built from 1.75" .120 DOM. The curb weight of the truck with me, a passenger, full tank of gas, and some other gear is about 6,500 lbs. If the bed was loaded with 800 lbs of deer feed it could easily be closer to 7,500 lbs. He said he thinks the 1.75" .120 DOM will be fine, but after reading your comments here, I am wondering if I should go with either 2" .120 DOM or even 2" .156 DOM... or should I go real big and use 2" .188 DOM? I don't plan on going rock crawling in this truck, but I can't say that I might now be going down a trail at 7,500 lbs at 15 or 20 mph and slide sideways into a oak tree at a glance. Or maybe drive over a 18" downed oak tree and have the truck drop 18" onto the sliders. Something like that. I don't want the sliders to take one hit and be toast. I don't mind if they get a dent, but I want the structure overall to be maintained for the most part. Thank you for any help!
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:41 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I know this is a really old thread, but it sounds like you guys know what you are talking about and so far nobody anywhere else can give me a straight answer. I have a 2014 Tundra 4x4 double cab on 35x12.50 with a 3" lift. I occasionally take it out to our deer lease and if it rains it can get slick. I had a 2005 Tundra back in the day that I slid on a very minor incline after it had rained for 15 mins just enough to get the surface slippery and I had only had the truck for 3 months. It slid sideways into a tree leaning over at a 45 degree angle. It put a dent the size of a basket ball in the rocker panel area of my 2005 Tundra 4x4. I don't want that to happen again to this new truck so I am putting sliders on it. I have a guy who will build them however I want. Currently he builds them for my truck out of 2x2 .188 square tubing for the main slider body and legs, with 1/4" steel mounting plates and gussets where it attaches to the frame. The actual outer kick and rub area is built from 1.75" .120 DOM. The curb weight of the truck with me, a passenger, full tank of gas, and some other gear is about 6,500 lbs. If the bed was loaded with 800 lbs of deer feed it could easily be closer to 7,500 lbs. He said he thinks the 1.75" .120 DOM will be fine, but after reading your comments here, I am wondering if I should go with either 2" .120 DOM or even 2" .156 DOM... or should I go real big and use 2" .188 DOM? I don't plan on going rock crawling in this truck, but I can't say that I might now be going down a trail at 7,500 lbs at 15 or 20 mph and slide sideways into a oak tree at a glance. Or maybe drive over a 18" downed oak tree and have the truck drop 18" onto the sliders. Something like that. I don't want the sliders to take one hit and be toast. I don't mind if they get a dent, but I want the structure overall to be maintained for the most part. Thank you for any help!
Not really the right place to post...

You're not racing. Use 1.5" sch80 pipe. If you're really worried about it use 2" sch80, it's almost 2.5" in diameter though so it starts to look rather large.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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^except don't listen to that guy and don't use pipe.
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Zealots

1.5" Schedule 80 pipe has an external dimension of 1.90 and a Nominal thickness of .20, it weighs 3.65 pounds per foot.

2" Schedule 80 pipe has an External dimension of 2.38 and a Nominal thickness of 0.22, it weighs 5.02 pounds per foot.

In the oil field where I live welders and fabricators have equipment to work with pipe so it's often a lot more economical to use pipe. DOM tubing is some fine stuff but if you don't already own a bender and tooling then you'll need to lay out some cash to get started. If you plan to race or enter off road contests then DOM or Chromoly is the way to go but if you just have a shade tree rig that has a tight budget then pipe will work just fine.

If you doubt me then just take a look at a drilling rig or cattle guard anywhere in this part of the world. I use pipe myself on occasion but I don't have the facilities to bend it. Pipe is nice to keep around because a 1.5 pipe will fit over an 1.5 tube, because of this you can make hinges and collars for the tubing. I have noticed very little difference in welding on pipe vs. tube and in most cases they are both coming from overseas these days.

So as I stated if you're putting a roll cage in a new King Ranch F350 go with 2" DOM but if you're putting a rollbar in a 1971 Hoopty it doesn't really matter what you use because anything will be better than having nothing at all.

It's important to note that it's difficult to bend anything larger than 1.25 pipe or 1.5 tubing with a manual bender and that the dies for tubing and pipe are different.

I'm not advocating pipe I'm simply stating that it can, will and has been used for 75 years in this type of application with success. I have personally been hanging upside down in rigs made from pipe and your mom's interest in pipe is most likely how you got here.

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Old 06-21-2018, 12:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Sure, something is better than nothing and sure, people use pipe to build steel weldments all the time. That doesn't make it correct for structural applications.

If you have the option to do something correctly, then you should.
Tubing is specifically meant for structurally loaded scenarios and pipe is meant for internal fluid pressure.

but yeah...if you want to burn brodies in a field without dying in something like a go kart built from a motorhome then use the SCH40 poo pipes you have laying around.
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