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1971 baja bug
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runslikeapenguin
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smokey the bear wrote:
i dont have a ball joint front end.


unless someone converted the car to link pin for off road reasons your car is a balljoint.
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mybugsucks
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did an exoskeleton for my baja, and it turned out pretty awesome. It takes a significant amount of time to get all the measurements and bends right. Plus I spent about a week just staring at the shell trying to figure out how to wrap tube around it.
the positive: It looks awesome, and not many people have exos on a baja. I feel safe as hell driving around in that car.
the negative: It's too heavy for a 1600. Especially with 31" tires. You lose the front hood space as well.

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samayne
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's.. different.. can't say i hate it. not as ridiculous as the orange.(maybe because it's not orange...)
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AZ-BUG
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can deliver Pizza practically anywhere in that baja Exclamation
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GhiaBateman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats tight!! and yeah I'd like my pizza on top of the mountain.. I'll give you an extra 10min before it's free! Shocked hahaha!

no really that cage looks awesome, can we get a rear pic?? and what size tubing is that? looks like 2"
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mybugsucks
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's 1-3/4". Here's the back.

the pictures terrible, but its the only one i have.

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dustymojave
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The downside to an exocage is that it will virtually always be vastly weaker than a properly built interior cage, even if it's made of stouter material. There is NO cross-bracing in it and it doesn't tie-in to the critical chassis points. Lack of important cross bracing means it will not qualify for a race cage. It is also heavier due to the fact that it has to go farther to connect to the car at all.

So it is only a "looks wowee" deal for those who don't know better.
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runslikeapenguin
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well im sorry but im going to have to piss in someones cheerios right now.
so if anyone feels like letting lose shoot me a PM and tell me how you feel. yes i know im being a jerk right now, im just being straight up honest about this. im trying my best to be critical without putting everyone off.

but the idea of an exo cage is a bad one. really it is. the only thing you gain in doing this is body protection.

where as mybugsucks's exo cage is light years better than the orange one it still lacks a great deal of structural integrity.

for starters where are you tied into the tunnel? it seems like all of your pillar feet and free and open to the world, single sheer, and not braced at all. not to mention they are on a single bar that leads from what looks like your torsion housing? up to the frame head? which is what supports all of the load from any kind of force that would be exerted on the roll cage. which would all be transferred to leverage against that bottom bar.

also with an exo cage you cannot run dash or B pillar braces unless you cut a hole in your body pretty much making the idea of an exo cage useless. so where did you mount your seat belts? whats going to support the A and B pillar of your exo cage when a car T-bones you? or you roll over? what are your seats mounted to? where are your door bars? (which you cant have because you would have to climb in through the window.) you may have some cage work in the car, i cant remember your build but i cant see any and it dosent seem like it would be practical or possible to run a lot of the needed chassis section with the exo cage. if im wrong please post some pics.

also wheres the cross bracing? from what i see in that cage it would fold up like a card board box and slam into the body if it was rolled over with any good force. i would wager that it would even flex without breaking to the point of contact with the body in the event of a roll over. and to run adequate cage bracing you would have to cut holes in the body to do so, once again defeating the purpose of an exterior roll cage. where are you tied into the torsion housing? what bracing have you or could you give to it? by running cage pieces to it you gain both cage integrity and reduce the chance of bending it, which is why its advised to run bracing to it from the legs of the cage as well. which with an exo cage you cant really do.

also with the rear is your rear cage removable? it doesn't look like it. how do you get your engine out? or service it easily for that matter? with how your interior shock mounts are made what are they tied into? what are they braced up with? are they standalone? just welded into the chassis and independent of the exo cage? it looks like part of the bumper is tied into them, what happens to the rear end geometry if you get badly rear ended?

with the front it looks like that whole front clip, the bumper, the bumper braces and the shock mounts would have to be bolted in, am i right? if not how would you remove the one piece front end? one of the huge reasons for running a one piece besides weight saving is the easy access of the front end for service and what not. the exo cage seriously defeats this. also where is all of this front end cage work tied into? just the frame head? why is it not tied into the A pillar? it needs to be, with the size of that front bumper it looks like there would be a lot of leverage on that front suspension system you have going on. with the lack of bracing what happens if you rear end someone? or hit a tree? or get mad air and nerf on the front end, or worst case scenario endo? that front end would be totally toast. and even if you dident have a crazy endo situation and it was just a little accident it looks like you would still blow that front clip with your shock mounts all out of wack, which already look like they are only operating on a percentage of efficiency anyway with how they are mounted. is that beam running on a frame head? because with the lack of bracing and structural integrity i really hope so.

mybugsucks, im sorry i picked on your car, but i just couldn't stay silent on the issue of an exo cage. i don't want to give people any bad ideas here. and you just happened to offer up the pictures of your car. i do give you props for thinking outside of the box (or outside the baja in this matter) but in most cases there is right and there is wrong in the matters of chassis building and safety.

for everyone else if you really want an exo cage go for it, you can do what you want with your own car, but for the sake of simplicity, integrity, safety and performance chassis design i seriously advise against an exterior roll cage. all in all its a bad idea, it will take you a lot of time and work for an inferior product to that of an interior roll cage and the advantages that come with one.
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runslikeapenguin
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dustymojave wrote:
The downside to an exocage is that it will virtually always be vastly weaker than a properly built interior cage, even if it's made of stouter material. There is NO cross-bracing in it and it doesn't tie-in to the critical chassis points. Lack of important cross bracing means it will not qualify for a race cage. It is also heavier due to the fact that it has to go farther to connect to the car at all.

So it is only a "looks wowee" deal for those who don't know better.


you beat me, i took to long writing my explanation. Wink
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smokey the bear
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

runslikeapenguin wrote:
smokey the bear wrote:
i dont have a ball joint front end.


unless someone converted the car to link pin for off road reasons your car is a balljoint.


ya sorry i do have a ball joint front end. my mistake. What you were saying about those exo skeletons is the reason i asked becaus at first i thoughts oh that would look sweet and it does but how would i hook it up. but anyways is it bad to have ball joint front end . or will it do for now, but is something i should change down the road once i get a some more money or whats the deal with them?
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runslikeapenguin
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smokey the bear wrote:
runslikeapenguin wrote:
smokey the bear wrote:
i dont have a ball joint front end.


unless someone converted the car to link pin for off road reasons your car is a balljoint.


ya sorry i do have a ball joint front end. my mistake. What you were saying about those exo skeletons is the reason i asked becaus at first i thoughts oh that would look sweet and it does but how would i hook it up. but anyways is it bad to have ball joint front end . or will it do for now, but is something i should change down the road once i get a some more money or whats the deal with them?


ball joint front ends are fine for most people. with a few mods they handle off roading pretty well. they only issue is that if you ever want to go long travel on the front end you will pretty much have to convert to linkpin, which is a much stronger front end. the only weak link with the ball joint front end is that ball joints were designed for the street and don't have a whole lot of movement limiting travel.

you can however find parts from a Thing front end, the spindles and the arms which allow for more travel from the ball joints, and stronger arms and a spindle that gives you around 3" of lift. mix that with a decent shock and adjusters and chances are you will be very happy with the front end.
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caromin
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If all you care about is protecting the body that cage is ok I guess, it isn't going to protect you much. When an exoskeleton is wrapped around the squareish body of a Jeep or Landrover it doesn't take much away from the styling because it's boxy anyway.

To each his own, we're all individuals, bla bla bla... Just my opinion but the exoskeleton totally takes away from the curved lines of the VW which I think gives it it's style and...it looks like the car is in Jail.
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dustymojave
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

caromin wrote:

...and...it looks like the car is in Jail.


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

I'll have to remember that one...LMAO
Never thought of it that way.

Having grown up around racing where things are done because doing it makes something work better, and is tested in front of many...I've always felt that exocages made no sense. If you are trying to protect bodywork, you are making ugly that which you seek to protect from ugly.

Engineers live by the phrase "KISS" (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). Also important is "The shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line." The exocage fails to live up to either statement.

I often write long-winded answers which may overwhelm some readers, and so worked hard at keeping my previous response concise and edited out a great deal, but that's OK...RLAP put it back in for me! ... LOL
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mybugsucks
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

damn, runslikepenguin, you definitely just ripped me a new one. Haha. It's all good tho. That reason is why i stopped updating my thread. Didn't feel like hearing how much of an idiot I was for building my bug like I did. I don't think I can possibly answer all your questions, but I'll give it a shot. And to set the record straight, in terms of performance, weight, safety and the like you are completely right, an internal rollcage is the way to go. There is a reason why SCORE requires an internal cage, and I am more apt to trust them than any of the random joe's who build exo's on their jeeps and toyota's. Not going to lie, the main reason for the exocage was to build something different than what i had seen before. And something that didn't look absolutely retarded like the orange exocage from earlier. For me the only benefit that the exo will provide is saving some body damage from brush, plants, trees, rocks and the like. So for the sake of the thread, if you are looking for performance, safety, reliability and the like, all traits which should be mandatory design aspects for all vehicles, don't build an exocage.

In regards to my car, the entire car is caged in. There is a lot of internal bracing as well. I chose to close off access to the front clip because there isn't anything i want to store in there, and since there is no substantial material available under it, why would I want to access it?(This is rhetorical, don't answer it. I know i could put a spare tire/gas tank/tools/electrical/etc in there. I just didn't want to.) The entire chassis is based on 4 running bars that span the entire length of the frame. Two run straight from the outer edges of the front beam along the side of the pans, and tie into the center channel/frame right next to the tranny mount. (these are the visible ones in the picture). Two more run from the top outer edges of the beam upwards to a leg hoop that spans the driver and the passenger's legs, then back to an internal cage behind the driver and passenger's heads, and back all the way to the rear shock mounts and engine bumper. The lower tubes that run along the outside of the body, are welded to the center channel at 90 degree angles in 2 places on each side, one under the drivers feet, and one under his seat. There is an internal hoop protecting the driver and passenger, tied into the running bars, center channel of the frame, and cross braced. It is the mounting point for the seatbelts. The rear cage now is detachable. I made mounts after designing the cage and assembling to make sure it would fit how I wanted it to. Now the lower bars bolt onto flanges mounted to the tranny frame horn, and the upper bars mount to the running bars. Once all the interal, cross-braced framing was done, I built up the exocage around it. And I believe most of that is explanatory. The front bumper is designed to deflect oncoming impact down below the front suspension housing. In case of endoing, hopefully the outer cage, coupled with the internal crossbraced cage will keep driver and passenger safe. Seats are mounted to center channel, outer running bars, and 90 degrees bracing from running bar to center channel.

Essentially, my car has an internal rollcage, then I built it up enough to form the foundation of my exocage. Being an engineering student, i am fully aware of the inherent design flaws of building an exocage. My design is too heavy, bulky, and completely worthless if I were desiring to race competitively. But I am not. I designed my car to be a fun project, different than all the other bajas I see at pismo, and on the modest budget I could afford. I had fun building it, and I am stoked to have a car that looks different from everyone else's.

runslikepenguin, very thorough analysis, and some of the best advice i have read in a while. Here's my old build thread, but it pretty useless because i never updated it. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=240173&highlight=
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runslikeapenguin
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mybugsucks wrote:
I chose to close off access to the front clip because there isn't anything i want to store in there, and since there is no substantial material available under it, why would I want to access it?.


well for one you have your whole front end, the cage work, the beam, the suspension, the steering, your wiring and so on. all of that looks completely inaccessible.


mybugsucks wrote:
Once all the interal, cross-braced framing was done, I built up the exocage around it. And I believe most of that is explanatory. Essentially, my car has an internal rollcage, then I built it up enough to form the foundation of my exocage.


pics or it didn't happen, sorry dude but from the pictures you posted i see nothing inside that car. i did look at your build pics and its not as bad as i thought but it's still lacking.

i really hope you braced up more of that front end, and that little internal hoop is braced up from the inside to the back of the car, or at least braced up in the fashion of a door bar.
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mybugsucks
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You win, RLAP.
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riNR
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

holy snikes! to each his own and everyone's car has to serve them different purposes base on geography, trail type etc.
I happen to think that buggies with LS engines are ridiculous but then that is because I am referencing them on my type of trails. They're still great rails just wouldn't work here. To each his own.
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samayne
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think it would be a fun project if time and resources were readily available but like said before, not practical. looks like it was pretty fun and props for doin it different.
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allencoal1975
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

don't take it too hard mybugsucks. I was once a member of a 4x4 club ,and I have seen a lot of exocages. not a lot on bugs ,but I have to say the few I have seen on bajas yours is at least a 8 out of 10. I don't know about running in the sand ,but it looks like it work great rock crawling.
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smokey the bear
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ya the only reason do have an exo would be deep woods (like were i live) or rock crawling. with all that extra wieght you might as well have a jeep. what makes vws so aswesome in the sand and offroad is the weight. they will just float on the sand. but offcoarse everyone her knows this. So lets put this exo thing to a rest. So what do you guys thing i should do for shocks for my rule with everything else being stock for now?
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