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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
@WHEEZER994 gave me a heads up on this and I wanted to share it with the community. It looks like a really nice option for those of us who track the car but also drive it on the street. They say it was developed for the RS Academy cars.

This is definitely in my plans along with a HANS device for next year.

FOCUS BOLT-IN 4 POINT ROLL BAR (WR-BOLTINCAGE-RS) 2012-17
 

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Bolt in roll bars frighten me a bit....

....but I'm used to a caged race car at this point.
Haven't you had a couple cars flip over on you? I could see why you would be frightened.

I figure is better than nothing in many cases and definitely better than those "harness bars" which have a small print that says not intended for harness mount use.
 

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Haven't you had a couple cars flip over on you? I could see why you would be frightened.

I figure is better than nothing in many cases and definitely better than those "harness bars" which have a small print that says not intended for harness mount use.
No? Always kept the shiny side up....
 

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Care to elaborate?


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How often do you track? enough to justify a $1000 cage? likely no.

Do you track hard enough to worry about rolling over your daily driver? likely no, or at least I would hope no. they cars will not roll over easy, and a track is really the last place for a car to roll. (lot of factors Mazda Raceway maybe, PIR not a chance.)

Do you daily the car? assuming yes. do you wear a helmet? Assuming you are doing something stupid enough to need a cage and roll your car during your daily or back road driving? you would be worse off with a cage in the car... why, because cages REQUIRE a helmet. if you smack your head on one of those bar you will be worse off than not having it.

lastly HAVE YOU SEE THE A-PILLAR IN THESE CARS???? they are HUGE!!!!! the likely hood of you needing a cage isn't very high in less you are running way over this cars capabilities.

The rare case you might need it. if you have a 2.3 with huge turbo and making 550-600 wHP (with all other supporting mods to the rest of the chassis) and you are out pushing the car as hard as it will go and beyond your limits and you roll... and I mean roll hard enough at this point to need a cage, the car rolling over once or twice even doesn't need a cage. A car that has the ability to roll over 4-6 times, yeah then yes.


Just my thought. I have seen lots of pictures of these cars on their tops and not one looked like it needed a cage.

If you track the car and do not ever drive it without a helmet.... I would recommend a cage! daily driving a caged car is stupid of you and anyone of the passengers in the car.

oh and don't even tell me you can put padding on the bars to make them safe... "safer" yes but not safe. Padding is to lower the blow to the helmet but the caged car would still require a helmet.
 

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You hit sfi padding without a helmet it will **** you up as bad as the cage itself....
luckily no 1st hand experience ;)

I have done a lot of research on the subject. The internet is full of conversations just like this one. Jeep forums are full of them. I hard a idea of caging my jeep... never did it, for all the reasons I stated above but in a different environment of course
 

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Hell, I've started putting my helmet/hans on before getting in the car now because I got tired of smacking my head off the cage getting in and out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
How often do you track? enough to justify a $1000 cage? likely no.

Do you track hard enough to worry about rolling over your daily driver? likely no, or at least I would hope no. they cars will not roll over easy, and a track is really the last place for a car to roll. (lot of factors Mazda Raceway maybe, PIR not a chance.)

I track the car a couple days a month during the Spring/Summer/Fall (15 days this season) and at tracks with speeds of up to 120 MPH. Of course my car isn't going to roll over like an SUV due to turning too sharply; however, when you get off into the dirt, anything can happen and it's certainly possible for a tire/wheel to dig in and cause the car to flip. Now would I be better off with a separate purpose built, fully-caged race car, absolutely, and now that I've gotten into this so much I'll likely move to that in another year or two, but for now I'm really enjoying the ST and it's worked out great as a DD/Track Car. Also, my short 1.5 mile commute allows me to compromise DD comfort for a bit more track capability than others might tolerate.

Do you daily the car? assuming yes. do you wear a helmet? Assuming you are doing something stupid enough to need a cage and roll your car during your daily or back road driving? you would be worse off with a cage in the car... why, because cages REQUIRE a helmet. if you smack your head on one of those bar you will be worse off than not having it.

I do daily the car, which is why a bolt in roll BAR is an attractive option as it can be relatively easily removed when not needed. As for hitting your head, I fully agree that a helmet is best, but just as @03threefiftyz alluded to, the part you normally hit your head on is the halo that would follow the top of the door frame in a car with a full CAGE. My neck would be in some serious trouble if my head managed to go around to either side of the head rest and smack the bars behind the seat.

lastly HAVE YOU SEE THE A-PILLAR IN THESE CARS???? they are HUGE!!!!! the likely hood of you needing a cage isn't very high in less you are running way over this cars capabilities.
The A and more likely related to a roll bar B pillar in the car do look beefy and I hope you're right that they will hold up well in the event of a rollover. Even with the roll bar I'm still relying on the A-pillar to hold up the front part of the car, but the B-pillar/roll bar area is more critical as the roof is only an inch or two from the top of my helmet, especially since I'm running Schroth Quick Fit Pro harnesses. The harness bar aspect will also improve the angle of the Quick Fit harnesses making them a little safer.

The rare case you might need it. if you have a 2.3 with huge turbo and making 550-600 wHP (with all other supporting mods to the rest of the chassis) and you are out pushing the car as hard as it will go and beyond your limits and you roll... and I mean roll hard enough at this point to need a cage, the car rolling over once or twice even doesn't need a cage. A car that has the ability to roll over 4-6 times, yeah then yes.
The car totally stock is plenty capable of both straight line and especially cornering speeds where there is rollover danger (again from going off track).

Just my thought. I have seen lots of pictures of these cars on their tops and not one looked like it needed a cage.

I'm glad to hear that and hope I never have to test out the roof of the car with or without a bar, but for me $1k is cheap to improve safety even a little bit.

If you track the car and do not ever drive it without a helmet.... I would recommend a cage! daily driving a caged car is stupid of you and anyone of the passengers in the car.

oh and don't even tell me you can put padding on the bars to make them safe... "safer" yes but not safe. Padding is to lower the blow to the helmet but the caged car would still require a helmet.
luckily no 1st hand experience ;)

I have done a lot of research on the subject. The internet is full of conversations just like this one. Jeep forums are full of them. I hard a idea of caging my jeep... never did it, for all the reasons I stated above but in a different environment of course
Again, a real cage is very different than just a roll bar, especially one that can fairly easily be removed.

Hell, I've started putting my helmet/hans on before getting in the car now because I got tired of smacking my head off the cage getting in and out.
 

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I would suggest putting your money into big brakes so you can stop before you go off the track ;) hopefully you aren't going off that track at those speeds.

all valid points, I don't know what it would take to unbolt the cage and remove it but I am willing to bet its not as simple as you might think.
 

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I would suggest putting your money into big brakes so you can stop before you go off the track ;) hopefully you aren't going off that track at those speeds.

all valid points, I don't know what it would take to unbolt the cage and remove it but I am willing to bet its not as simple as you might think.
Looking at the pictures it doesnt look awful to remove. It is 4 parts; the main support, two connecting bars, and then what is essentially a rear traction bar connecting the rear strut towers.. Could probably get the main support and two connecting bars out in ten minutes and just leave the traction bar alone.
 

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By way of background I have driven in PRO rallies for many years, and have many friends who do track days, SCCA racing and the like. I have seen many wrecks and for a time I was a licensed SCCA tech inspector responsible for issuing logbooks. I have friends who do emergency services and race car extraction for a living.

A bolt-in over-the-head 4-pt roll bar IMHO is a waste of money.

A rollover that is severe enough to deform the roof line sufficiently to require the roll bar to prevent further deformation has, in most cases, just pushed the main hoop mounts through the floor. The roof still collapses, and if the crossbar tugs on the driver's shoulder straps, additional back injuries can result. The NHTA side impact testing has resulted in modern cars having pretty stout B-pillars, so the 4 pt. roll bar isn't going to help much there either.

Further, without a full cage, the driver is not protected from intrusion injuries from T-boning nor rollovers that collapse the A pillar. Once the A pillar is crushed (pretend your Focus looks like a TR-7...), you will be extracted out the rear of the car if upside down, or the roof will be cut off if rightside up. If there's a roll bar with a cross brace in the way, that just slows down the extraction.

Lastly, I have never seen the B-pillar air bags deployed on our cars, but if the main hoop interferes with that deployment...

Your sanctioning body may require a 4-pt bolt in roll bar for the type of competition you intend to enter, but please don't expect hardly any safety improvement from installing one.

Sorry to be a downer on this!

All the best,
Mark
 
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How often do you track? enough to justify a $1000 cage? likely no.

Do you track hard enough to worry about rolling over your daily driver? likely no, or at least I would hope no. they cars will not roll over easy, and a track is really the last place for a car to roll. (lot of factors Mazda Raceway maybe, PIR not a chance.)

Do you daily the car? assuming yes. do you wear a helmet? Assuming you are doing something stupid enough to need a cage and roll your car during your daily or back road driving? you would be worse off with a cage in the car... why, because cages REQUIRE a helmet. if you smack your head on one of those bar you will be worse off than not having it.

lastly HAVE YOU SEE THE A-PILLAR IN THESE CARS???? they are HUGE!!!!! the likely hood of you needing a cage isn't very high in less you are running way over this cars capabilities.

The rare case you might need it. if you have a 2.3 with huge turbo and making 550-600 wHP (with all other supporting mods to the rest of the chassis) and you are out pushing the car as hard as it will go and beyond your limits and you roll... and I mean roll hard enough at this point to need a cage, the car rolling over once or twice even doesn't need a cage. A car that has the ability to roll over 4-6 times, yeah then yes.


Just my thought. I have seen lots of pictures of these cars on their tops and not one looked like it needed a cage.

If you track the car and do not ever drive it without a helmet.... I would recommend a cage! daily driving a caged car is stupid of you and anyone of the passengers in the car.

oh and don't even tell me you can put padding on the bars to make them safe... "safer" yes but not safe. Padding is to lower the blow to the helmet but the caged car would still require a helmet.
I do track my car A LOT. And I don't DD it anymore. It is the best solution no? But it certainly won't hurt IMO. It's nice to have options. It's nice to see solutions added to this platform rather than snorkels and other even more useless items .


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No? Always kept the shiny side up....
I thought I knew who you were.

There is a guy I know of that runs with NASA mid atlantic who runs a 350z. He had a real nice black one with a red cage, but had a mishap and totaled it. He then got a salvage 350z and converted it to track duty. On top of that his Dad has a Focus ST that he also drives at times. I am pretty sure they are from MD.

He must be your twin from another dimension.

Keep driving with the shiny side up.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would suggest putting your money into big brakes so you can stop before you go off the track ;) hopefully you aren't going off that track at those speeds.

all valid points, I don't know what it would take to unbolt the cage and remove it but I am willing to bet its not as simple as you might think.
I guess I need to update my signature. I do already have the Wilwood FNSL6 13.1" kit with Volvo S80 rotors and VT Stage 2 brake ducts up front and the frankebrake rear setup. I'm sure it takes some work to put the bar in and out, but I have access to a lift at Techshop which would make it easier. Keep in mind, I also swap wheels/tires, brake rotors/pads, install harnesses, ... at every track day.

By way of background I have driven in PRO rallies for many years, and have many friends who do track days, SCCA racing and the like. I have seen many wrecks and for a time I was a licensed SCCA tech inspector responsible for issuing logbooks. I have friends who do emergency services and race car extraction for a living.

A bolt-in over-the-head 4-pt roll bar IMHO is a waste of money.

A rollover that is severe enough to deform the roof line sufficiently to require the roll bar to prevent further deformation has, in most cases, just pushed the main hoop mounts through the floor. The roof still collapses, and if the crossbar tugs on the driver's shoulder straps, additional back injuries can result. The NHTA side impact testing has resulted in modern cars having pretty stout B-pillars, so the 4 pt. roll bar isn't going to help much there either.

Further, without a full cage, the driver is not protected from intrusion injuries from T-boning nor rollovers that collapse the A pillar. Once the A pillar is crushed (pretend your Focus looks like a TR-7...), you will be extracted out the rear of the car if upside down, or the roof will be cut off if rightside up. If there's a roll bar with a cross brace in the way, that just slows down the extraction.

Lastly, I have never seen the B-pillar air bags deployed on our cars, but if the main hoop interferes with that deployment...

Your sanctioning body may require a 4-pt bolt in roll bar for the type of competition you intend to enter, but please don't expect hardly any safety improvement from installing one.

Sorry to be a downer on this!

All the best,
Mark
I appreciate the feedback and you bring up some valid points. Ultimately, seems like worst case, it's an expensive harness bar (but better than the low Agency Power one that is still $500+) combined with a rear suspension brace and at best provides those benefits with some additional roll protection. I've reviewed some crash test videos and it doesn't seem like the side curtain airbags come out very far (can't tell if the front and rear both come out of one spot in the B Pillar or are separate though).

The Watson Racing shop is very well respected in the Mustang community and when I sent an email with a few questions, responded quickly and even invited me down to check out the product and their shop in person. I hope to check it out next week sometime and see what they have to say. I'd also consider having them see what additional support/bracing could be added under the floor to improve the strength and reduce the chance of punch through.
 

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I thought I knew who you were.

There is a guy I know of that runs with NASA mid atlantic who runs a 350z. He had a real nice black one with a red cage, but had a mishap and totaled it. He then got a salvage 350z and converted it to track duty. On top of that his Dad has a Focus ST that he also drives at times. I am pretty sure they are from MD.

He must be your twin from another dimension.

Keep driving with the shiny side up.
Nope. I own the z and the st....and never had a father in my life haha.
 
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