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 Post subject: Cage Fighter
PostPosted: November 26, 2019, 12:12 pm 
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Joined: April 1, 2010, 10:26 am
Posts: 443
Just came back from Dan Lipperini's shop in Exeter PA. I had him build be a cage for the Locost. The brief was a external bolt on cage, forward mounting with a nice slope to the roof line. My car looks very short and stocky because of the extra spacer between on the top rail. Dan more then exceeded my expectations, the cage looks great, he was even able to weld in slugs without damaging the body skin. The quality of the workmanship is outstanding. I will post more pictures later after I return from Thanksgiving trip to Boulder CO. Dan's user name is w650gb500 I am sure he will answer any questions.

Graham


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 Post subject: Re: Cage Fighter
PostPosted: November 26, 2019, 12:54 pm 
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We are Slotus!
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Joined: October 6, 2009, 9:29 am
Posts: 7687
Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Really nice work! Looks totally solid, yet there it is, unbolted and removed from the car. Cool!

Seems like Dan and/or brother Joel are in the PA Hillclimb group and one of 'em has a Mallock. Never actually met them, but anybody that runs hillclimbs in a Mallock and does it "Right and Proper" (see picture) is good folks in my book!

:cheers:
JDK


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Flying Mallock by Lipperini.jpg
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Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
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 Post subject: Re: Cage Fighter
PostPosted: November 26, 2019, 1:01 pm 
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Joined: April 1, 2010, 10:26 am
Posts: 443
Dan did show me one of the hill climb courses, he said it gets a little light over this rise, he was not kidding!!!

Graham


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 Post subject: Re: Cage Fighter
PostPosted: December 4, 2019, 11:01 am 
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Joined: April 15, 2011, 10:39 pm
Posts: 204
Location: Dallas, PA
Graham, glad you like how the “exo-cage” came out. It was a unique challenge as fabricating a cage in any 7-esque vehicle always is. Most look at any car and think that you can just start cutting/bending/welding and Voila, you have a cage. The problem with our cars is that the frame rails and aluminum body skins don’t allow for real attachment points to anything substantial. I say “substantial” as if there really is anything “substantial” on a car that has 3/4” and 1” tubing as it’s main structural elements!

First, I had Graham sit in the car and determined how tall the main hoop needed to be. His original rollbar was 3-1/2 to 4” too tall and looked awkward. We agreed to shorten it a bit, but his main concern was having the finished product look good on the car. The correct rake, length, supports, access to the and removal of the fuel cell, ingress/egress, etc.... Not only function, but aesthetics as well.

Next came some exploring and seeing just how his car was constructed and what was or wasn’t hiding beneath the interior and exterior aluminum body skins. No big surprises here, just 1”x0.095” tubing. I had some threaded sleeves that I use on the inboard side of upper and lower a-arms. They are 3/4” OD, 2” long and are tapped 1/2”-20. Once a design was figured out and where the sleeves needed to be installed, it came time to start drilling. First a 1/4” pilot hole, then a 1-1/2” hole saw gently through the aluminum skin. After that, a 3/4” hole in the outside of the frame tube and an 11/16” hole on the inner side. Each one was turned on the lathe to the correct length and then down to 11/16”. 0mce all of the slugs were fitted, it came time to weld but there was a bit of an issue. The original builder filled the space between the inner and outer aluminum skins with some type of styrofoam sheet and I was afraid of a smoldering fire. No worries though, some wet rags and air helped the whole welding process.

After the slugs were installed in the chassis it was time to start figuring the next piece of the puzzle. How to attach the tubes to the threaded sleeves. In order to do that, I cut some 1-1/2” solid bar stock to 2” in length. Those pieces were turned to have a 1” hole bored in them 1-3/4” deep so they have a wall thickness and end thickness of 1/4”. Some socket cap bolts attach them to the slugs.

Now the fun begins, it’s tubing time! Cutting tube, a bend here, a bend there, lots of notching, a whole bunch of grinding/fitting and welding it all in place. It sounds like it went quickly, but it took a bit of time to get right. Then, after it was all welded on the car, the moment of truth. While designing the cage, I wanted/needed it to be removeable in order to fully weld the body-side of the attachment pieces. With 2 people helping, the whole cage was able to be lifted off the car!!!!! Another hour of welding and cleaning up with a wire wheel and it was ready to slide back on the chassis. I was worried about the final welding causing a bit of distortion, but it fit with no issues.

The nice part about having the cage removeable is that Graham is planning on fabricating a new aluminum scuttle over the winter and once he begins, he won’t have to continually work around it. Once the rough shape and size is determined and fits under the front radiused cross bar, it can all be removed.

I appreciate Graham reaching out to me to work on this project for him. It also gives me some inspiration for the next 7 project that I build. I would like to eventually have a fully caged trackday/hillclimb 7, but that’s years down the road.

Thanks Graham and good luck with the evolution of your car.

Be safe,

Dan

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 Post subject: Re: Cage Fighter
PostPosted: December 4, 2019, 10:46 pm 
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Joined: April 15, 2011, 10:39 pm
Posts: 204
Location: Dallas, PA
While I still have a the pictures on my phone and before they get deleted, here’s a few more.


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 Post subject: Re: Cage Fighter
PostPosted: December 5, 2019, 12:41 am 
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Joined: December 17, 2010, 1:24 pm
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Location: Gainesville, Mo.
NICE WORK!!! :thmbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Cage Fighter
PostPosted: December 7, 2019, 6:28 pm 
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Joined: April 1, 2010, 10:26 am
Posts: 443
Sorry I have been slow updating this post but I was away on an extended Thanksgiving vacation.

I have now removed the cage and will get it to the powder coater hopefully next week. I snapped some more pictures. The quality of the workmanship is amazing, I especially like the way the plugs were installed without destroying the skin, I was expecting to have to re-skin at least a couple of panels.

Graham


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File comment: One man removal technique
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File comment: Very neat plug install
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File comment: Top corner
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File comment: Jog to give the main hoop a little more width
IMG_20191207_092727_small.jpg
IMG_20191207_092727_small.jpg [ 1.01 MiB | Viewed 2231 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Cage Fighter
PostPosted: January 2, 2020, 12:29 am 
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Joined: February 2, 2017, 1:02 am
Posts: 70
Location: Illinois
I really like the look of this cage. Looks very safe (though I hope we never have to test it). The good fabricators make it look so easy.


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