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Discussion Starter #1
Faelar can chime in as I dont think I have seen another vert with either bars or a cage. I have posted before on this subject. I want to see if anything has changed.

Does anyone make a bolt in/weld in kit for 'verts of a bar or cage? I have not heard of any to date.
I dont know if I will even need a full cage or even want one. It remains to be seen if my car will trap over 135mph. That is the magic speed, right?...when vetrts need to convert from a bar to a full cage?

Is there any cage currently designed that does not mount THROUGH the front dash?

Faelar, how much did your cage cost? I dont see any foam zip tied to your driving area. I thought legally there were areas that needed to have foam zip tied on. No?

Faelar, are the cross bars blocking your seats removable for off track driving?

My plans now are to get a reinforced set of bars that look like this:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=845786&highlight=point+roll+cage

...but for a 'vert. No rear seat destruction. Problems?
 

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Faelar, are the cross bars blocking your seats removable for off track driving?
I never intended to drive my car beyond an occasional local rally, or to a meet like cars and coffee, which happens to be two miles from my house lol. My car isn't easy to get in and out of. It's not at all something I would want in a car I drove quite a bit.

For a convertible pretty much your only solution is a custom cage. The cost between $2,500 and $3,500 for your typical 8 point cage. If you want it done right you need to cut up your dash, front speakers will have to go and door panels will have to be cut. You'll will most likely need to completely remove the soft top (so you will need a hard top). Your back seat will become useless.

There really is no "removable" solution for a roll cage in a convertible.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I never intended to drive my car beyond an occasional local rally, or to a meet like cars and coffee, which happens to be two miles from my house lol. My car isn't easy to get in and out of. It's not at all something I would want in a car I drove quite a bit.

For a convertible pretty much your only solution is a custom cage. The cost between $2,500 and $3,500 for your typical 8 point cage. If you want it done right you need to cut up your dash, front speakers will have to go and door panels will have to be cut. You'll will most likely need to completely remove the soft top (so you will need a hard top). Your back seat will become useless.

There really is no "removable" solution for a roll cage in a convertible.
Thank you for that information. It looks like my trap speed is only going to be 135mph tops. Thats way too much to pay and give up just to trap at 140. I dont see my car spending a lot of time doing quarter miles anyways.

That's OK. I am not that cut up about things. A good roll bar will have to suffice. What would you call the Raven bar in my link?....a six point?...a four point with two cross struts? I dont know much about bars or terminology.
We do have a local guy that builds entire chassis and custom roll bars and cages.
 

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Why are people so obsessed with doing the absolute minimum to protect their lives when racing their cars?
For me its all about finding a happy medium.. my car will likely spend more time driving to/from the track and on the streets then at the drags.. or the track for that matter. So I'd rather not make the car MORE dangerous to drive on the streets simply to make it more safe for the other 15% of the time it will be driven.

I'm not against adding a rediculous amount of removable padding for when driving on the streets but honestly i'm more concerned about my safety on the streets then at the drags..

I'm not ready to turn my car into a trailer queen.. half the fun is driving it to/from events. I got some looks when my car drove off from Firebird Raceway.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Why are people so obsessed with doing the absolute minimum to protect their lives when racing their cars?
1) Installing a stout approved and Spec'd roll bar by a commensurate professional is NOT the absolute minimum. The absolute minimum is doing nothing. Yes, nothing. Every HPDE track and 99% of the clubs in South Florida allow an E46 M3 to participate as long as the factory roll over bars are in place and operational. That is not good enough for me. I choose NOT to do the bare minumum. I am the only M3 vert that I know who is getting a roll bar installed BTW. The rest opted to do the minimum...nothing.

2) We are not RACING. We are participating in HPDE. I am really installing the roll bar more for the street like our Florida Turnpike, I95 and I75. The incidences of roll over in HPDE is zero for verts in my area. On the street, roll overs happen every day. I am in far greater peril driving TO my event than participating in it.

3) The photos I am posting show tubing that looks stouter than normal. i like it. I am going over this with my fabricator. These bars do VERY well in the event of a roll over.

4) I participate in maybe 5 to 7 events a year if i am lucky. the car is driven maybe 5k a year total now that I have my Lexus. I may take it on some long trips and the mileage might get to 7k a year. I am not about to chop my dash up, remove my speakers and suffer folding and unfolding myself into a pretzel to run a full cage just becasue some one thinks I should. i am 6 foot 4 inches tall and go 235...it would be a nightmare to deal with a full cage the other 200 days a year I might use the car.If I am running errands, I could get in and out of the car a dozen times in a day. My 800hp M3 is the ultimate grocery getter now. I will use it for mundane daily tasks.

5) Putting a hard top on my vert is totally out of the question. Why HAVE a vert? It makes NO SENSE to buy a heavy vert and then not even use the reason why it is heavy. I LIKE running with my top down at the push of a button. We have guys in my meet up group(trackweekend.com) far more hardcore than me, all of whom use their track cars as daily drivers too. I have seen baby seats next to five points! LOL. We all drive them home at the end of the day. I have never seen anyone get stuck. No reason to go to the expense and hassle of tow vehicles and trailers. Some vettes come towing their own track tires on a little caddy. So cool. Its a culture to drive our cars to these events. Yes, there are a few that go the full cage route. i choose not to

6) Where do you get off there is an OBSESSION to be unsafe?! That's absolutely ridiculous and offensive. With in reason, I have done everything I can to make my car as safe as possible, with the best brakes (6K), expensive high boil fluid (80 a litre), 900 dollar brake pads, Five point restraints, Recaros securely anchored, aero devices for incredible down force, yes that all goes to safety as well. Every bushing, upgrade to linear springs coil overs were all designed to give me more control and ultimately make the car safer. Enormous amounts of cash were spent to this end BEFORE any speed work was done to the motor!! So, just the opposite, Skippy. There has been an obsession towards handling, stopping and keeping all four circles of rubber contacting the tarmac, not the other way around.



My bar will be FINE. Dont be dissin my BAR, man! Respect the BAR! Got it?
You do what ever it is that you do, and I am fine with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
If the bar in that link is in fact from Raven Performance then I suggest you reconsider what you think about it.

Raven Performance dont make toys nor do they make cheap crap.

http://www.ravenperformance.com/
which link? The last one I have no idea. I like the size of the tubing. I have to get custom made as no companies make roll bars for verts.

As far as the first link, yes that Raven product had some shortcomings. I dont know anything about 'toy", but not securing the uprights to the floor is pretty bad.

Raven P does not ship ANY of their bars to the USA. They are in Canada. I was just using them as an example to ask about configuration. There are several configurations for roll bars and I dont know what they all are....five point six point and variations of cross member supports.

I was seeing if any members knew and got a flippant answer instead.

I dont know anything about their other work, just what i see here. Its moot since they dont ship to the USA. But are you saying Faelar is wrong about them? I wouldn't care really. That's between you guys.

The bar is one of the very last things that gets done along with the Recaro seat installation. I am just passing time until I actually have my car back and I can get it to my fabricator(who is an expert race chassis and roll cage/bar maker). That's all he does and he comes on the highest recommendation.

I will end up with something really strong and useful. Something that would save my life in a flip. It will also stiffen the entire car.
 

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I will end up with something really strong and useful. Something that would save my life in a flip. It will also stiffen the entire car.
A bolt in "roll bar" isn't going to do anything for your chassis. Only a full "roll cage" that is welded to the frame rails is going to help with cowl shake.


Raven Performance dont make toys nor do they make cheap crap.
A bolt in "roll bar" that doesn't even have side bars, nor is welded to the frame rails is not a safety device. A very hard impact could easily rip a bolt in roll bar from it's anchor points.

Below is what happens to cars with bolt in roll bars. The roll bar below was a 4 point Autopower bar.

 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
A bolt in "roll bar" isn't going to do anything for your chassis. Only a full "roll cage" that is welded to the frame rails is going to help with cowl shake.




A bolt in "roll bar" that doesn't even have side bars, nor is welded to the frame rails is not a safety device. A very hard impact could easily rip a bolt in roll bar from it's anchor points.

Below is what happens to cars with bolt in roll bars. The roll bar below was a 4 point Autopower bar.

]
What about a weld in roll bar? Thats what we are doing. if you think my guy cant design a reinforced weld in roll bar that will hold up in a roll over then you are delusional.

The same delusions you have that a 71mm turbo cant spool up fast and deliver good low end. Just because you cant make things happen doesnt mean others wont succeed where you have failed. I am real happy for the path your car has taken as long as you are happy. But that doesnt mean your path is the only way to do things. I dont know why you constsantly present your choices in this manner. Its boring and I tire of it. You are simply too predictable. Present something you have not done and its automatically no good. Just not reality, bro.

Not concerned about cowl shake or stiffness anyways. I dont have any appreciable cowl shake. One reason BMW convertibles are so heavy is not only the weight of the pumps and mechanisms, its the extra reinforcement that they put in. The convertible is supposed to be a stiffer car in the end than the coupe. I have this on good authority, but I hate it when I cant specifically remember the exact source of that information.

Why did you suffer such a weight penalty when you disabled almost everything your car is as far as a convertible. You no longer have a soft top convertible, right? You have only a removable hard top. If you get caught in a down pour with out your top, you are screwed.

Why didnt you just get a coupe which is lighter. I mean you essentially have a coupe now, only a lot heavier.


Auto power offers what amounts to a joke: see photo below
compare to the next photo with larger tubing, more supports and weld in design.
No, of course the first one is virtually worthless. Its almost criminal that they sell these. Good to mount a camera to.Thats about it.
I am not saying my bar is going to look exactly like the one in the red car, but close I dont doubt and certainly adequate to protect me. I need to tell my installer what i need out of it, and he will build it.
 

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You guys think the tracks are much more strict that they really are from what I have seem. I trapped 137 and they didn't care...

And I disagree about a roll bar not stiffening things up. I definitely felt my rear end tighten up a bit after installing a bolt in roll bar. Obviously a full blown cage will tighten things up more, but the roll bar did make a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
You guys think the tracks are much more strict that they really are from what I have seem. I trapped 137 and they didn't care...

And I disagree about a roll bar not stiffening things up. I definitely felt my rear end tighten up a bit after installing a bolt in roll bar. Obviously a full blown cage will tighten things up more, but the roll bar did make a difference.
I know for a fact that our road courses are VERY lax about roll bars and cages. I can show up with 800HP and as long as I have the factory roll over, I can run on the track.

As far as our drag strip, they are very strict about you wearing a helmet in a vert if you less than 14 seconds. The exact time I forget, but the guy who hands you time slips will flag you and tell you that you HAVE to wear a helmet the next run.

As far as the 135mph trap speed, I have no idea. I can ask around and report back if Palm Beach International enforces that. Possibly not. Possibly not.

We have an 1/8 mile track on the Dade(Miami) county line that is fairly lax too. The name? Oddly enough: County Line Dragway...LOL.


So, a roll bar stiffens up your M? Why does that not surprise me? Thanks for posting. Show us your bar, brother!
 

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You guys think the tracks are much more strict that they really are from what I have seem. I trapped 137 and they didn't care...

And I disagree about a roll bar not stiffening things up. I definitely felt my rear end tighten up a bit after installing a bolt in roll bar. Obviously a full blown cage will tighten things up more, but the roll bar did make a difference.
Different tracks different rules/etc.. we got the boot after doing 11.38 @ 134.7 Thats so marginal I'm suprised they booted us, even at a strict track.

However... they knew what we were up to.. two passes with shut downs at the 1/8th then suddenly we run it all out near the end of the night. They knew we, that we knew what we were up to. Now had we run 11.38 @ 110 they might not have cared, but trapping 135 and 11.38 combined must have been enough for them to care. Now at Sac. they may not care so long as we don't run under 11.. or trap over 140.. who knows.. but I have plans to continue to go under 11.. but it does suck getting booted, especially for me being I don't have any convenient tracks. Sacramento is about 2 1/2 hours away and for Phoenix I had to fricking fly in. So I might as well come prepared. :\
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Different tracks different rules/etc.. we got the boot after doing 11.38 @ 134.7 Thats so marginal I'm suprised they booted us, even at a strict track.

However... they knew what we were up to.. two passes with shut downs at the 1/8th then suddenly we run it all out near the end of the night. They knew we, that we knew what we were up to. Now had we run 11.38 @ 110 they might not have cared, but trapping 135 and 11.38 combined must have been enough for them to care. Now at Sac. they may not care so long as we don't run under 11.. or trap over 140.. who knows.. but I have plans to continue to go under 11.. but it does suck getting booted, especially for me being I don't have any convenient tracks. Sacramento is about 2 1/2 hours away and for Phoenix I had to fricking fly in. So I might as well come prepared. :\
Boo to track Nazis! We are all rooting for you and some are a bit jealous I might add. I have to admit it is exciting. I have been looking at this landmark for a couple years now, wondering. It's about time. Your goal is in the bag, barring any sort of track ban. That would suck.

Too bad the full cage is just so invasive. You dont have one for the same reasons that I have stated. We have about beat that issue to death. i dont know what else to say except "good luck".

My track is 1.5 hours away but it is 1000 degrees most of the year. They hosted the Speed Channel game show Pass Time recently. The MC was a giant ball of sweat all night! FI times suffer. Test and tune nights, guys have to ice their manifolds and push their cars in line! I just dont go when its that hot. It stops being fun and starts being painful.


Some old pics I have
Nice. Looks substantial. But I am leaving that all up to my fabricator.
What did the installer/fabricator say it was supposed to be capable of doing in the event of a roll over?

How do you feel about it? Do you trust it? What is the short thin horizontal strap behind the driver's seat? Camera mount?
 
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