Early Bronco Roll Cages and Roll Bars

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The last major safety item that should be at the top of any Bronco wish list is a roll cage. Some may argue that the factory steel top is sufficient and a roll cage isn’t needed. But if you’ve ever seen what’s left of that hard top after a severe roll you would see the light. the Bronco hard top will give some protection and might be OK is a slow roll on the trail, but it simply doesn’t have the structural integrity of newer vehicles. Adding taller tires and a lift increases your center of gravity and your chances of flipping on the street or highway. A high speed flip or multiple roll down a hill with simply flatten or shear off a factory hard top.
[ad name=”Adsense 300×250 in articles right”]Roll Bar vs. Roll Cage – Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they aren’t really the same thing. A roll bar is a 4 point attachment where a roll cage is at least 6 or 8 point. “Points” refers to how many places the cage attaches to the body or frame. A typical 4 point roll bar is one hood that goes over the occupants heads (side to side) and attaches to the body behind each seat. Then kicker bars angle back to attach at 2 more locations. So 4 points total. This will probably do an adequate job in protecting the front seat occupants if the factory hard top is also used. Once you decide to take off the top you really should be looking at a 6 point cage minimum. This starts with the same 4 points of a roll bar, but adds bars on each side that attach to the main hoop and come forward, following the angle of the windshield, past the dash and attach near the foot wells. Additional spreader bars span side to side so you aren’t just relying on the flimsy windshield frame to protect your head. More elaborate, and safer cage designs build upon this basic 6 point configuration to include things like protection for rear passengers (family cage), seat attachment points (so if the cage separates from the body you and your seat stay within the protective cage) and frame tie-ins so you aren’t attaching the cage simply to the thin sheet metal of the bed.

Roll cages and bars of every style can be purchased several different ways. You can find a local ship to custom fabricate one specifically for your Bronco and your needs. You can order a fully welded cage from one of the major vendors that you just drop in and bolt up. You can order a kit that comes pre-fit, but unassembled and weld it together yourself. This of course assumes you trust your own life to your welding skills. A last option is to purchase the tools (chop saw and tubing bender) and fully fabricate and weld your own cage. Again, your welding and fabrication skills should be up to the task as your creation may need to save your life some day.