I decided to put a roll bar in my Blazer. It could add some support and protection. I also like the looks of it. I didnt want to go with a full cage due to weight, cost and the space they can eat up. I want my roll bar to be bolt in. Its tied underneith with 5 x 5 plates that are 1/4" thick. Im using 5 x 5 plate on top. The back bars are 4 x 4 and 1/4" as well. The bolts are GRADE 8 with nylock nuts and washers top and bottom.
I have $120bux in materials, this includes the 1 3/4" .134walled DOM, Plates & hardware.
Labor was $120bux for 6- 7hours worth of work for welding, cutting, fitting etc etc. I did this at a friends shop and helped out. He only charged $20bux an hour. The welds are all TIG welded to cut down on splatter.
I havent done the final bolt up. But I like the looks of it. Its not in the way or really takes up any extra space. Still good access for rear passengers. When/if I ever take the topper off. Itll really be nice having it in there.
Here is my Blazer in the shop getting ready for the cage
Here are the bars. For the $120bux for the bars, they prebent the main hoop and cut the plates for me and "fish mouth" cut the straight bars.
Inital setting of the main hoop
Tacking things in place
PUlled main hoop to weld on the feet (base)
Working on the down bars
Welding on the rear feet (base) to the down bars
Welding the down bar to the main hoop
Finally found some time to paint the roll bar.
Here is the paint im using
Here is the tarp and bars prepped for paint, wipped it down with acetone to get it clean
Shot of the welds
I actually hated to paint it. the bars looked so good. oh well. It was bare raw steel and had already started to get surface rust.
Here it is painted. I removed the tarp to gain better access around the bases
And there you have it.
A couple things Im sure someone will bring up;
1) why didnt you remove the topper?
Yes, it wouldve made life easier. the roll bar couldve been welded outside the truck and I couldve painted it outside the truck. A few reasons why I didnt pull the topper. Its 300lbs and I had no real way of getting it off. I didnt have anywhere to store it and didnt want it leave it off for security purposes. I couldnt leave my truck at the shop as we were doing this after hours on our time. I also am not sure if the topper has ever been off. Meaning the seals are "set" and presently it doesnt leak, why tempt fate? It was more of a challenge, but over all was an easier decision to just leave it on.
2) what kind of finish does that paint leave?
THe pics dont do it any favors. THe paint has a "thick" textured look to it. The best way to describe it is like this. Have you ever half ass cleaned a piece of metal and it still had grease, or something on it and when you went to paint it, it wrinkled up. This is like that type of texture. It doesnt look bad, but not super smooth either. But I knew it would have some texture to it and wasnt worried about it. I can always put roll bar padding over it. LoL.
3) Couldnt you just buy one, instead of making one?
No, there presently arent any manufactors that make roll bars for the K5 Blazer. Smittybuilt use to long ago. But it was really thick and heavy and was considered more show than anything.
4) Your first pic shows you painting the bars?
Yes, I thought id jump ahead and prepaint most of the bars to save time later on. This actually COST me time. The paint wasnt dry and we had to handle the bars ALOT and even cut the main hoop down to fit and the down bars. We ended up using Acetone and completely stripping the paint off prior to doing anything with them. Hind site.
5) In the "shot of the welds" pic, there looks like plates under the base?
Yes, there are 2, 1/4" plates welded to the main plate. The way the floor is in the Blazer, its stepped down, towards the outside, so there was no way to have one plate that would fit flush. I didnt want to stack washers to make it even, so we cut some plates and built up the area that needed. The roll bar now fits in this space like a pocket and wont move or shift.
So there you have it.
I have to give big credit to the Fab and Welding Skills of Steve White.
Thanks for stopping by.
Looks pretty good. Thanks for adding to me wanting to get a DRMO'd blazer again.
Im the photographer, not the welder. LoL..I think Steve is part philipino, or some heritage as such.
I got the mini water can thru Brigade Quartermaster I believe. It was either there or US Calvary. It cost just about the same as the full size. But the 2.5 is easier to manage and pour, etc. Ive got the 5 gal. one in TAN that ive kept back there, for long trips ill put it there and move the smaller one.
You can find them. just look around. I know some of the military CUCVs had roll bars. But I dont think they mounted or had their points in the same place. And those bars are really rare from what ive seen. If I remember correctly they were are 4 point, but the back part came down pretty drastically. I dont remember, Ive only seen one in real life and that was like 8 years ago.
Id luv to put a 6.5L Turbo diesel in this bad boy. but ill end up just replacing the 305 with a 350 GM crate motor later on in life.
That looks great. I bet you saved a lot of $ vs. having a speed shop do the whole job. Is that Line-X inside your Blazer? I have that in my p/u bed and think it's fantastic.
Yes, I saved a ton of money. If I dropped my truck off at a fab shop and left, they charge $150bux a point. 4 points equal $600bux. (A point being a place that connects to body/frame).
Yes, it is line Xd. It is great, but didnt hold up well to the welding that was done inside. Luckily the plates will cover the spot that got HOT from the welding. Ive got some touchup truck bedliner spray that ive used. It works for small areas. But over all im happy with the LINE X. I thought about the DIY herculiner, but I know how messy I am and didnt want to wear it. It was bad enuff painting the roll bar. Ive got paint on me in places that Im trying to figure out how it got there. LOL.
Nice roll bar.
Nice. I want to make a safety comment though. That roll bar can make your Blazer safer in the event of a slow rollover, but it can also make it much more dangerous in an accident.
Cages were designed to be used with helmets. This is the main reason Nascar and Pro Stock drivers wear helmets. Alot of people on the street have died in relatively minor accidents due to head trauma from their cages.
Yip, Ive been aware of them. But if you scroll to the very bottom, you get this
Presently there is noone making soft tops for these.
I understand that. I may end up putting padding all around it. It would help some. Personally I hope to never have to utilize the rollbar. lol. I got it mainly for looks, but wanted it to be built right as well. Plus if I ever get suspension seats and get 4-5 point harness, I can add a straight bar between the main hoop and have attachment point for seat belt. But im done for now. lol. This was a fun project, but took more TIME than I had thought it would.
When I first moved to FL in 95 I brought my 1984 K5. Black/silver all fully restored with a sweet 350 (only 5K on the clock), 3" lift. I was T-boned on U.S. 41 in Ft. Myers which caused me to hit a concrete power pole head on. That K5 saved my life but was totaled in the end. I can't remember themaker but I had a nice rag top for it that could be either removed or rolled up on three sides. Seeing your K5 brings back fond memories for me. I wish I had one again.
Yea, I really like mine. Ive had it for 6-7years now. Ive got ALOT of time & money into it.
1) Rebuilt the 10bolt Front and rear axles - chromoly shafts, 4:10 gears & locker in the rear
2) Dual battery setup w/Optimas
3) LIne Xd intererior
4) aftermarket gauges (tach, water temp, oil press. voltage & trans temp)
5) Blauplunkt CD player
6) Custom roll bar
7) Custom HD front winch bumper
8) Customer tirecarrier and gas can carrier bumper in the back
9) Redone seats (front)
10) Redone headliner
11) Painless wiring aux fuse panel
12) Front and rear off road lights
13) 9k winch
14) Mickey Thompson 33 x 12.5 x 15 tires
15) Motor mods - Hooker headers, true dual exhaust w/ catco cats and Flowmaster muffs. Holley 670cfm, Mallory distributer.
16) Rouch country 2" spring lift (no blocks)
17) HD front shackles and got greaseable shackle mounts front and rear.
Im sure im missing a ton of stuff, but hard to think about what all ive done to it over the last buncha years. lol
Along with all the maintance and upgrades and replacing seals/weatherstripping from being old. Ive got lot of money and time into it. lol. But its paid for, easy to work on, insurance is cheap and I hve fun with it.
Darn sorry, reading is fundamental I suppose
Best add on Ive done on my jeep is on-board air via a unused A/C pump into a 2.5gal tank. Look into it, fairly cheap if you get the tank off a semi in a bone yard and a pully and pump setup for the small block from the same.
Ive got a POWERTANK CO2 right now, but will be doing and OBA in the future. Ill just get an electric air compressor like VIA AIR. Its on the list of things to do. Ive tinked with hot water exchanger, but was too much of a mess and hard to regulate. Besides taking cold shower while camping is part of it. lol
I will be sending you some more PM's to pick your brain about this
LoL..no problem, whatever I can do to help. Gotta keep the K5s alive.
nice friggin welder!! I hate you