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Top Tips for Your Next Roll Cage Build

Updated: Feb 26

A roll cage is a distinctive feature and a vital component of a race car. It provides the necessary safety measures for drivers and ensures the car's stiffness and strength throughout the racing season. When installing a competition-legal roll cage, there are two options: welding together a pre-bent kit or opting for a custom-built cage tailored to a specific car. This article will explore the benefits of custom roll cage fabrication and the key factors to consider for a strong and safe roll cage.

Mazda Racing Series RX8 Roll Cage
Mazda Racing Series - Dark Horse Racing Team

Legality: Consulting the Rulebook

First and foremost, it is crucial to consult the rulebook and adhere to the regulations set by Motorsport New Zealand (MSNZ), IHRA NZ, D1NZ, NZDRA or any other sanctioning body. These rules dictate the specifications and requirements for roll cages in different racing categories. Understanding and following these regulations ensures that your roll cage meets safety standards.

Correct Materials: Building a Quality Roll Cage

The foundation of a quality roll cage lies in using the correct steel tubing with the required diameter and wall thickness specified by the rule set. Choosing high-quality materials ensures the strength and durability of the roll cage. Using subpar materials can compromise the safety and performance of the cage.

Mazda RX7 Drag Car Roll Cage
Mazda RX7 Drag Car Roll Cage

Weld Quality: Connect with Confidence

For a roll cage to serve its purpose effectively, it must have solid welds that connect all its components. Roll cages can be welded together using two prevalent methods: MIG (metal inert gas) or TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding. TIG welding produces stronger and cleaner joints, providing a more professional and aesthetically pleasing finish.

Tight Fit: Enhancing Rigidity and Space

A well-built custom roll cage will have tubing close to the car's body. This optimises the interior space and enhances the torsional rigidity of the car's tub. A tight fit between the cage and the body ensures maximum safety and performance benefits.

Shores NZ Fabrication Roll Cage
Shores NZ Fabrication Roll Cage

Suspension Pickup Points: Safety and Performance Integration

While prioritising safety, it's essential to consider performance benefits as well. Integrate the roll cage with as many suspension pickup points as the rules allow. By tying the cage into these points, you can enhance the overall performance and handling of the vehicle.

Max Headroom: Safety and Comfort

Designing a roll cage with maximum headroom is crucial for safety and comfort. Sufficient headroom allows for easy ingress and egress, making the experience more comfortable for the driver. Moreover, a proper headroom design minimises the risk of head injuries in a collision.

Paint: A Professional Touch

A professionally built and installed quality roll cage deserves the finishing touch of paint. Paint the roll cage with the rest of the car, ideally with the windows and shell bare. This meticulous approach adds to the overall polished look of the vehicle and contributes to its resale value.

Mazda Racing Series - Dark Horse Racing Team
Mazda Racing Series - Dark Horse Racing Team

The Expertise of Custom-Fit Roll Cages

Building a roll cage is far from a simple welding job. It requires extensive experience and knowledge to create a safe and functional structure. At Shores NZ, we specialise in custom-fit roll cages, offering expertise and craftsmanship that meet the highest standards. When you're ready for your next roll cage build, call our team.

In conclusion, custom roll cage fabrication offers the ultimate combination of safety, performance, and expertise. By designing and building a roll cage tailored to your specific car, you ensure maximum safety, optimum performance, and adherence to racing regulations. It is essential to consult the rulebook, use quality materials, focus on weld quality, achieve a tight fit, integrate with suspension pickup points, prioritise headroom, and add the finishing touch of paint. With the expertise of professionals like Shores NZ, you can rest assured that your custom roll cage is in capable hands.

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