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Roll Cage Install: '73 CJ5

I recieved my Christmas present early this year. I ordered a roll cage kit from Four Wheel Drive Hardware, made by Kentrol. I had considered the kit offered by Rosser, by M.O.R.E. Offroad, but some serious logistics problems surfaced. I spoke with a guy at Rosser, ready to place my order, until informaed of the $100 truck frieght for the kit. And I wanted an extra pair of spreader bars, too.

After my intial scare, I readied myself and called Four Wheel Drive Hardware. I had called them the same day I called Rosser, but they couldn't offer an extra set of spreader bars, so that was a turn-off. Anyway, I called, and to my surprise, It was $158 delivered by FED-EX! WOW! NOW I can have Christmas!!

So, I checked with a couple of buds. Hitman came through, and so did TJ... that's what good neigbors are for! So, with Chris(Hitman) and TJ over, I started getting things together. After almost an hour of searching, one of the plates which go on the front floorboard was MISSING!!! Well, no need to waste time. I gingerly cut a piec of aluminum I had in the shop to serve as a temporary spacer 'till I get a new plate in.

Upon full inspection of the Kentrol kit, we found the tubing fairly thick. Very good. The front hoop had a minor angle to them, I presume for earlier CJ's (kit fits '55-'75), which had to be cut / ground flat. The hoop went strait to flat floor on mine. The spreader bars were grooved at the back behind a slight bend, I assume is for head clearance. They were not grooved at the front because the tubes are cut to fit the application.

As I said, first we cut and ground the bottom of the front hoop and set it in, making final measurements to center it. Also, I had taken measurements with the windshield up, giving 3/4" behind the mount for the rearview mirror, which came out to about 33/4" at the top of the dash. With the PLATE (and temp plate) in it was tacked down and supported with a nearby piece of 2" PVC. Again, measurements were made to make sure tha thing was straight. The spreader bars were positioned one at a time and carefully measured and then torched to the appropriate length, then ground as close as possible, which turned out to be anywhere within 1/2 an inch. :)

Chris was the major force on the grinder, doing pretty well. TJ made himself a temporary bench vise, holding all stock as it was cut, graffted and hammered to a (almost) precise fit. The welder, a SEARS 90 amp MIG, was fired up and put to the test. I did a majority of the welds. Chris gave it a shot, as did TJ. All in all, It took about 4 hours from the time the CJ was moved to the shop, seats removed, until Chris left with 75% of the welding done. All in a days work? Final checks on the welds and finishing work will be completed, and when final, a pic will be posted.

At this point, I'll thank Chris (Hitman- on JU!) and my trusty bud, TJ for some awesome help.


Total cost involved? The kit came delivered From 4WDH at $158.00. 6 bolts and 6 lock nuts were a little under $5. I'm not taking into account here that I had to go get a ($10) roll of .030" MIG wire and a ($65) bottle of Argon.

To see the rest of the pics taken while working on the cage and some of the other finished shots, go here.

GO TO....

CJ5 Page
CJ5 Specs and Add-Ons Page