Need opinions/help from others who have done this.

Will be putting a cage of some type in my car, but I am concerned about a Halo bar and its proximity to my head in the Pantera. Car will be mainly street, so if I do get in an accident, its most likely I would not be wearing a Helmet.

For those of you who have but a full cage in your cars, what do you think about it? Are you concerned about hitting your head on the forward downtubes or halo bar?

Dave
Original Post
IMO if it's mainly a street car don't put a roll cage in it, the proximity of the bar will most likely result in a head injury in any accident. There has been a lot of discussion on both the Pantera and GT40's forums as to the risk of roll cages in a small restricted cockpit and most would agree it's not recommended.

If you really want something consider a 3 point roll hoop that sits behind the driver against the firewall, most vendors sell them with a removable third diagonal member that bolts into the passenger foot well when required. If left in it is restrictive to a passenger.

Julian
quote:
Originally posted by Joules:
IMO if it's mainly a street car don't put a roll cage in it, the proximity of the bar will most likely result in a head injury in any accident. There has been a lot of discussion on both the Pantera and GT40's forums as to the risk of roll cages in a small restricted cockpit and most would agree it's not recommended.

If you really want something consider a 3 point roll hoop that sits behind the driver against the firewall, most vendors sell them with a removable third diagonal member that bolts into the passenger foot well when required. If left in it is restrictive to a passenger.

Julian


I had Halls roll bar in the car for a few years. This thought of the bar causing more injury than not having one was my main concern.

Consider that it is only mounted to the inner rockers. It could be mounted to the roof structure as well, and better yet on the other side of the bulkhead, in the engine compartment.

What's wrong with having to put it in in two pieces with a bolting flange in the middle? It should be bolted to the roof structure there anyway. That detail could be integral?

In addition, diagonal braces from the inner rear fender tubs would make a lot of sense back there.

There are two places the roll bar should help you on in this car. 1) keep the roof off of your head in a roll over 2) keep the side of the car from collapsing on you in a side impact.

The cabin is too small to build in a cage.

In addition where you need to place the tubes in the portion of the car forward of the car make the strength of those tubes for what they are intended to do, nearly useless for that but possibly incredibly deadly in an impact.



I think stiffening the structure around the driver is the best combination available.

If you think you need more than that, you are racing and you should be racing a full tube chassis car, not a real GT like the Pantera is.



Don't forget to put the gas tank check valve into the tank if you have a US delivered car.

If you don't you WILL spill gas through it if you wind up on your roof.

The '85 cars had a simple modification made to that valve which says "spill proof" but the reality is it is like a PCV valve and only will reduce it. It's better than nothing though.

The proximity of the fuel tank to the cabin in a roll over is not good. With some kind of an impact it could turn into a flaming wreck.

If you can't get out of the car then you are going to get roasted.


A friend was so concerned with getting t-boned in his Pantera that he had a cage built into his car.

The side impact bars were hinged so they could open with the doors.

Nice thought but would they have been deadly in even a relatively small side impact?

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I chose not to build the cage all the way into the front; although I could latter.

I did want it to be removable. Too many photos to post here but here is some of the build photos:

http://www.rc-tech.net/pantera1/rollbar/roll.htm

http://www.rc-tech.net/pantera1/ladder/lad.htm

Notice the tubes put in the channels to bolt it in so it does not compress the channels. With the front mounts notice the structure built into the frame rails. Keep in mind in my situation I removed the AC and changed how all the wires are run so this makes it difficult for most others to do this.

Jerry at PIM welds heavy steal plates to the frame rails which is another option.

Running the bar through the back window complicates things with the window but it allows me to tie the roll bar to the roof hinge then back to the wheel wells which is also reinforced.

The back of the car is kind of like a card board box without a lid so this is very helpful to chassis stiffness.


Hope you don't mind HockeyDude if I join in with some related questions

Having a roll cage was fairly high on my wish list for rebuild so I am greatful for this discussion also. Photos and sketches would be appreaciated.

comp2, would you have some photos of how you dealt with the rear window?
I should be tackling this spring when the interior is done. I am going to make a rubber seal around the bar and have a window cut to fit. I have made a drawing of the rear window. I will laser cut a template to check fit. (I have a laser metal cutting shop).

We'll see how closely I follow the plan.

I am not going to put it in until I get it driving because it is so much easier to reach a few things.
Thanks Guys,

By some sort of cage I meant the car is going to get a rollbar at a minimum, probably 4 pts with two diagonal supports to the rear suspension points. I also agree door bars are useful, if mainly just for chassis stiffening.

I was going to take my car and chosen seat to the chassis shop who will be doing this work, and will probably make the final decision with the shop guru and I looking at the actual clearances, but I am leaning away from a Halo bar as much as I would like to have one.

Basically, I remember what Art's car looked like, and just trying to make sure I get the best combination, without inadvertently causing a major safety issue.

Please keep it coming, and no worries JFB, better to discuss all this now before metal starts getting cut.

Dave
quote:
Originally posted by HockeyDude:

Basically, I remember what Art's car looked like, and just trying to make sure I get the best combination, without inadvertently causing a major safety issue.

Dave


Dave, what context should we take here, you feel you need one becasue of Art's crash?

Speed was abig factor in the extent fo damage to Art's car. He didn't have a roll cage nor did he have a 4 point harness, the later of which probably saved his life as the impact foced him out of his seatbelt rolling toward the middle of the car. For that reason I no longer advocate installing a 4 point harness without some form of roll hoop. I think you have to play the odds a little and the odds of a rollover crash vs an impact are much lower, unless of course you are doing over 160 mph and lose control.

There was a recent GT40 crash that resulted in a passenger fatality and the driver having been in a coma for months, with I believe the injuries partly attributed to the roll cage.

Julian
Here's how we penetrated plexiglass to engine compartment. Roll cage attachment screws in from engine section.
quote:
Originally posted by JFB #05177:
Hope you don't mind HockeyDude if I join in with some related questions

Having a roll cage was fairly high on my wish list for rebuild so I am greatful for this discussion also. Photos and sketches would be appreaciated.

comp2, would you have some photos of how you dealt with the rear window?

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Hockeydude, whether a roll cage in your car will fit depends on your physical build. If for instance you're over 6 ft, then you likely will have head issues with the Hall bar (maybe your passenger, too). But if you're of more modest build, you could make it work.

First, Halls bar does not lay tightly against the inside of the roof- there is some wiggle-room that a good installer could use to advantage. Getting the headliner & trim in afterwards might be a job for a pro upholsterer.
Second, the driver's seat can be relocated sideways an inch or so right up against the console- possibly more if you use a custom seat or have a stock early (2-piece) seat reworked. I had our driver's seat modified by bending the seat's rear crossmember for more tailbone room, then repadded and reupholstered. I remember a midwest club-racer that managed to move his custom Sparco seat more than 1-1/2" toward the center of his Pantera with little trouble. He did it for a better driving position, but the effect still counts.
I want to add that if you use lowered floor pans like I did, there is somewhere in the area of 1-1/2 to 2 inches that the seat can be located to the center of the car.

That's about the maximum I personally go as a driver to the right.

Because of all the strange angles in the cabin, moving the seat that far to the right re orientates your foot and the accelerator pedal.

For me, that stresses my leg out a little.



Too many years riding horses modified my legs to be so bowlegged (in the wrong direction for the Pantera) that I can walk over fire hydrants without walking around them.

I am past thinking that I need to be surgically altered to fit into sports cars COMFORTABLY. I KNOW that I need to be.

These cars were all made for the likes of Jackie Stewart or other European Jockeys. It's some kind of a small man's revenge thing?

Not only is there less headroom with a cage but there is less hip room with even just the roll bar getting into and out of the car.


Something else I saw in my car but never in anyone elses, is the original accelerator was twisted to re-orientate the pedal to the outside of the car, relative to the new fancy black anodized, grooved pedal in there now.

I asked everyone I could about that pedal, and no one had ever seen it before?

Just saw that pedal the other day in my shop, looking for something in the "Pantera" drawer.

To me, it looks like it was made that way, and not modified. Let me ask again here, have any of you ever seen that before?

I would think most Pantera owners would never notice that unless they changed out the pedal to another one?

I can post a picture of it if anyone wants to discuss that as an item of interest?
Last edited by panteradoug
quote:
Originally posted by jb1490:
quote:
I can post a picture of it if anyone wants to discuss that as an item of interest?

Doug,

Post a pic please.

John


Starting a new post for the pedal
I have used Halls 4 point roll bar, dropped my floors and installed a Wilwood pedal setup.

Something unusual about the Hall roll bar is it seemed to fit my Embo Coach car perfectly. The mounting bases were specific to this chassis.

I have added some additional support tying it into the front frame rails, front door supports, the rear bulkhead and rear shock supports.

I also plated the rocker panels inside the car and added some box gussets inside the rear engine compartment behind the bulkhead.

The advantage is the chassis is rigid and very little flex. The dis advantage is weight ... I have not addressed the car with a hole saw and started assembly with any weight saving ...YET.

My plan is to use the car on both street and track.

With the floors dropped, the proper seats and some roll bar padding, and I;m only 5-9 I dont see the head injury an issue. But I;m not saying it don't exist ... but I also have seen worse in production and street cars with no cages.

I see 2 advantages over NO cage in a Pantera. First any added structure if the car rolls or a side impact is better then none. Second is the rigidity of the chassis is far superior for performance vs. a spongy car.
The disadvantage is the weight ... but weight is not always a disadvantage if distributed correctly ... I chose to move the battery and fuel tank forward ... I have the scales ready ... but have yet to assemble suspension, so at this point ... its all in theory ... we cant prove that it will all come together ... but my two conspirators and I with a few years of experience ... think we are on the right track.

My 2 cents

Ron
We used the SCCA 9.4 as a guide and NASA APP B 2.2 also ... the spec on the tube, my welding cert and the pieces i have installed will not have to be cut out and will suffice for Club Racing. To take it to the full compliance it would be too hard to get in and out as street car.

Ron
Not to hijack the thread but could you post a pic of your seats BLKPNTR? They look interesting
We made these seats to sit low on the car.
quote:
Originally posted by 4NHOTROD:
Not to hijack the thread but could you post a pic of your seats BLKPNTR? They look interesting

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If a guy wanted those GT40 style seats and not have the hassle of making them you can get them from GT40 vendors in either leather or Alcantara.

I have a leather Superformance set in my GT40, they are just coverd foam no shell and sit against the floor/bulkhead held in place by the passenger in the harness. I never thought of putting a set in a Pantera, but probably a good idea for some of the very tall owners.

Julian
Here are some drawings of the parts required to make the main rollbar hoop.
I bolted this down to the inside of the rocker panel, three M10 bolts per side & a 6mm thick load plate within the rocker panel.
Also it’s bolted to the top shoulder seat belt mount.
So it’s firmly fixed in place & greatly stiffens the chassis.
This rollbar fits in snugly & follows the internal contours.
I run a high back seat & it’s not possible to hit my head in the event of a rollover.
The cross tube follows the bottom of the rear window.
Both items need the tube lengths trimmed to fit.
For the rollbar hoop the ends of the legs are sliced at an angle as the inside of the rocker panels are at an angle.
Sorry, I don't have dimensions of the overall rollbar height or the mounts.
We trimmed the barwork to fit the inside of the car by putting the rollbar into the car, centralising & measuring/marking, then removing & cutting.
Bit of trial & error on the fitting side of things.

regards,
Tony.

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Well, got the car back from the chassis shop. Very happy with what was done.

Ended up going with a 6pt (ish) cage. With the drop floors in my car and the seats I chose, ended up having ample clearance with the roof and roof bar (I'm 6'0 for reference).

Piper Motorsports www.pipermotorsports.com did all the work. Extremely professional bunch of guys and awesome shop. We talked through the consultation with what I wanted, told them a bit about what other guys are doing with cages, and brought up the purple passion chassis stiffener. Just gave them the basic idea of what I wanted, and turned it over to the piper guys. Couldn't be happier with the results.

Pictures are at below the link. Have other pictures if there is interest.
< Pictures

Dave

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