Let me start out by saying that I’m no pro when it comes to bending tube or making cages, so don’t copy my design or work, or else it might kill you. That said, the last exo I built (for my now defunct XJ) held up amazingly well to the abuse I threw at it so I don’t doubt that this cage should survive my abuse.
Also, as this is built out of 1.25”x.120 wall DOM, it might be better to view it as more of a ‘tree guard’ than a true cage, though it will work at least as a one-time use cage in the event of a hard roll (dumping it on its side doesn’t worry me, it’s the endo’s ).
Onto the build! Here was the blank state I stared playing with:
I then fired up the MS Paint to start getting something figured out, and started bending tube. I had a few false starts with the hoops over the extended cab (didn’t get it tucked up close enough):
I reworked the B/C hoops to tuck them in more:
I then had a few false starts with the A piller :
A little cuttin’n and slugg’n and we were back in business:
Added the A pillar drop down, cowl bar, and windshield bar:
While the cowl bar looks a little funny, I’m actually pretty happy with how it worked out. It ‘just’ clears the wipers and the hood and isn’t really in my field of view when driving:
Added the header bar:
Then I pulled the bed off (yet again) to work on the roof and cross bracing behind the cab. I’m pretty happy with how the roof turned out:
Raised everything up to get some welding done on the back side of things (Hind sight is that I should have built the roof as its own entity so that I could have pulled the whole thing off the truck ):
Set it all back down and started working on the rear bracing, I know I should have added a vertical support, but that bar would just annoy me looking at it, so I’ll live without it:
Stuck the bed back on and worked on bending up those sides:
I then cruised over to Robs house to bend up the fender flare loops which turned out pretty nice:
Added the cross bracing to the front:
Added the braces to the rear:
Added bracing to the extended cab (I might add a bar over that window and another horizontal bar):
Tail light savers:
I had a friend add make up some little loops for me to use as tie down points for the few times that I need to strap something down;
Cleaned/sanded the tube, and got to painting:
Somewhat painted (Couldn’t keep the plastic out of the paint, so I need to do a lot of touching up):
And done for now, I wound up going a shade darker to make it blend into the truck a bit more:
As for this project, it doesn’t quite match what I had in the mind as I definitely hit a wall where what was in my mind, I could not make happen in tube form with the abilities God has given me. It is close enough that I’m happy with it (and most of my goofs are on the passenger side). As I said earlier, if my last attempt at an exo is an indicator, this one should hold up just fine to my abuse. If not, I’ll save my pennies and pay someone else to put one later down the road. For now I’m happy this portion is done as it sucked up some serious time!