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Old 08-22-2008, 02:20 PM   #1
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Roll Bar Question

First, let me say I know most of you are going to think I'm nuts for even thinking of this, but I have my reasons...

I was wondering if the roll-bar serves any structural support for the vehicle other than safety in the event of a roll.

I'm considering taking it out completely along with the soft top for several reasons. First, I have a Zeintop and have no plans what so ever of removing it. I plan on keeping it on year round. Next, I'm 6'4, so the roll bar wouldn't help me anyway if the car did roll. The other reasons are obvious, a little more storage space, easier access to the engine for air filter changes, etc (won't have to take off the hard top to do this) and a cleaner look inside the cabin.

Any thoughts?

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Old 08-22-2008, 03:01 PM   #2
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I would think it adds rigidity to the cars uni-body. Think of it as a big strut brace. Also if you take a hit in the side I'm sure it would absorb a great deal of the kinetic energy of the impact. What is top you installed, made of? Would you trust it in a roll over?
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:07 PM   #3
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The top is fiberglass, I wouldnt trust it in a rollover. I wouldnt trust most other "tin-can" cars either, nor would I trust the rollbar since my head is at the same height as it.

I'm more worried about the uni-body twisting (used to have this problem in my old mustang before I installed sub-frame connectors). You made a good point about side impact, to be honest I don't feel very safe in this car anyway.

...I guess it's like riding a motorcycle, you pray for good fortune.
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Old 08-22-2008, 03:20 PM   #4
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"...you pray for good fortune." I'm with ya on that one brother.
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Old 08-22-2008, 04:32 PM   #5
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I am quite certain it offers structural integrity to the uni-body. And, for what its worth, according to the insurance companies, there are actually very safe cars.

That said, I don't think I'd remove it.

Patrick
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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Yes, the rollbar is a structural element in the vehicles strength and rigidity. The car was designed with the rollbar elements in mind. In fact, other manufacturers have followed suite (BMW Z roadster for one)

There is the chance that, should you roll the car, you could actively "duck" and have your head below the rollbar height.

Second, consider the impact of a re-sale of the car. It would take a rare buyer to want a car with the rollbar removed, or worse, removed and replaced with questionable welding. Perhaps a Spec Boxster buyer who would put in a cage wouldn't mind?

The fiberglass top will likely shred, dent or, even worse, collapse on your head. Having the rollhoops present may prevent it from impacting even more on your knoggin
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:37 PM   #7
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Personally I wouldn't remove it, however if you drive any true speedster (especially a 50-60's car) you have 0 protection from the factory.

That being said, I love the feeling of safety snuggled in my caged 944. I still don't feel safe with a 3-point belt either.

It's up to you, but I don't think it will help to remove it. Maybe if you plan on keeping the hardtop on, you could have a custom bar made that would fit to the top. It could be made to give you more storage room and protect you better in case of an accident. That way you wouldn't loose rigidity or safety.
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:56 PM   #8
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The shoulder belts mount to the roll bar, another point that could take the stress is going to be hard to find.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:07 PM   #9
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Ouch, I forgot about the seatbelts...good point.

Anybody see any objection to taking out the soft top and leaving it in the garage? That will probably help me accompish my goals, while being completely reversable in the event that I sell the car.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:20 PM   #10
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No objection, in fact send it and all of its mechanical pieces to me!
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Old 08-23-2008, 07:00 AM   #11
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Funny you mentioned your prior Mustang......3 years ago I went down to Tenn. for a high speed autocross event with a friend who had an identical to mine '01 Mustang Cobra vert. We went down to the Tail of the Dragon for a couple of runs the night before the AutoX event. My friend got a little careless and went off the side of the mountain, hitting a tree while airborn and flipped the car sliding down the hillside 100 ft or so. He had a "light bar" in his Cobra (looks like a roll bar but not tied into the chassis, mainly decorative) and I witnessed it save he and his father's lives. It did indeed fold over but it still provided their melons safety room while the car was upside down. I'm betting your roll bar would help you a bit more than you think in the event of a rollover.
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Old 08-23-2008, 07:24 AM   #12
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I wouldn't remove it. You'll lose rigidity, safety, and seat belts. Even if you don't roll over, it will be very helpful if you get broadsided. The hardtop adds no structural support, so in a crash it will do you no good.
Even if you head is above the roll bar, if you flip your head will get pushed down toward the steering wheel wheel, so the bar will offer more protection than no bar. You can do what you want, but I wouldn't risk dying or serious injury just because you think the bar is useless.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coreseller
... My friend got a little careless... went off the side of the mountain, hitting a tree while airborn... flipped the car sliding down the hillside 100 ft or so.
A little careless...?? What's a lot careless...? LOL
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Old 08-23-2008, 11:32 AM   #14
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Why not just sell the car and buy a Cayman? It sounds as though that's what you are trying to turn the Box into anyway. Maybe it's a matter of dollars, but the difference can't be that much; plus you'd get a 3.4 in the trade.
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Old 08-23-2008, 12:34 PM   #15
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If your car rolls over (and I hope it does not) the roll bar will save your life even if your head sticks up above it. Surely you have seen enough crash test footage to realize that in a violent accident the human body is thrown around pretty violently even with seat belts and air bags. The roll bar is meant to keep the pavement from leveling the top of the car. Your head and thorax will move enough that you need not worry about being a few inches above it. Without the roll bar in a rollover the entire car will end up the height of the windshield wipers. Do not remove the rollbar. You would be an idiot if you did. (I am purposely being insulting because I do not want you to even think about doing it).

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Old 08-23-2008, 02:11 PM   #16
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Releese78,

As for removing your top and storing it, I'd suggest storing it the same way you store any car with a convertible top, with the top extended an taunt.
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:51 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the input, you all made some great points. I've decided to keep the roll bar. I'm not quite sure about the top yet though.

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