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Old 05-01-2003, 03:43 AM   #1
Sean
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Default The cage is in the Impreza...new Tim O'Neil/Brent Hatch design. Thoughts?

So Tim O'Neil and Brent Hatch got together one evening in 1991 and came up with a cage design. That particular cage design, to the best of my knowledge, was never officially introduced or installed into any of Tim's cars because it was complete overkill at the time.

So Tim O'Neil and Brent Hatch got together one evening a few weeks ago and Tim looked at my Impreza with a half finished cage. Tim decided my Impreza needed a special cage. Tim decided that I was going to be a lab rat and test this particular cage design. It took an extra two weeks for my cage to get done because things kept getting changed, but we're all completely dumbfounded at how rock solid this design is. Tim and Brent have basically said that, if the car goes over, just roll it back onto its wheels and keep going. A little Bondo and you're ready to race again.

For those that don't know, Brent Hatch of Hatch Manufacturing in Groton, VT has been doing cages and custom tube frame chassis design for years. He's done virtually all of Tim's competition and school cars as well as quite a few locals (Last Ditch Racing, Rovah on the board, etc.).

So, here are the 85% done pics...the interior hasn't been put back in yet, the navigator pod (footrest, computer mounts, etc.) still needs to go in and the front strut towers need to be tied together. 10 points so far...12 points once the strut towers are tied together.

Full gallery here:

http://www.trunkmonkey.com/20030428-01-Hatch-Album.html













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Old 05-01-2003, 06:43 AM   #2
Corey
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Nice! Very Nice!

Sean,

Can you list some of the features/changes that make this cage design "special"? I'm not real familiar with cages, and while it looks kick-ass... I can't pick up on what is different from a normal cage.

Thanks,

Corey #89 STS
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Old 05-01-2003, 07:38 AM   #3
grimlock
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The continuous hoop just behind the seats looks pretty cool. How close to the car metal were they able to get it? I can't really tell from the pics.
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Old 05-01-2003, 09:30 AM   #4
fengshui-fu
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You know, when your rally car gets retired, you could drop this cage in a childrens' playground and they would have a blast

VERY VERY COOL design, and when it comes to safety and car integrity, there is no such thing as overkill.

chris
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Old 05-01-2003, 10:32 AM   #5
Sean
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Quote:
Originally posted by Corey
Can you list some of the features/changes that make this cage design "special"?
First, the extra crossbars behind the seats at both shoulder level and floorpan level.

Second, the lower dual door bars. Tim really likes this design and it makes getting in and out of the car much easier.

Third, instead of the diagonal bars just beside your head being tied into the top there is a continuous hoop that makes an extra roof support that loops all the way around to the other side. So, where the bar on this cage ends just in front of the pillar, mine ties to the roof supports as a continuous hoop and goes all the way around.

Compare this (Brent's cage in our other car):



To this:



Fourth, all dash trim fit back in with minimal cutting.

Fifth, front and rear strut tops tied together and made integral to cage (front strut bar not installed yet...that's getting finished in a week or two).

Edit: Sixth, all of the little triangle braces welded to all of the cage corners. This may or may not be the norm...I don't remember seeing these before but I wasn't exactly looking for them.

Other than that, I'm not sure of the other exact stuff that they came up with. We're building a Web site for Brent so, when it goes live, I'm sure we'll have a complete technical teardown of the cage online.

Quote:
Originally posted by grimlock
How close to the car metal were they able to get it?
In some spots it's almost touching...we're going to have one heck of a time trying to get the headliner and trim back in. The Dremel tool will be out friend.

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Last edited by Sean; 05-01-2003 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 05-01-2003, 01:00 PM   #6
Jaxx
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sooo how much more does it weigh?
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Old 05-01-2003, 01:33 PM   #7
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A "special" cage for "special" kids.

Though... the Sparco harness didn't quite fit the way I thought it would:





/Andrew
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Old 05-01-2003, 01:43 PM   #8
Sean
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jaxx
sooo how much more does it weigh?
No idea. Once its 100% done we'll figure out how many feet he used and do the math.

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Old 05-02-2003, 02:40 AM   #9
Kostamojen
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Stock L shift knob?
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Old 05-02-2003, 08:20 AM   #10
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holy moses!
thats one beefy cage.

although I have a question, with so much work into the rest of the cage, why the wimpy door bars?
With a rally car being sideways frequently, and trees just feet away, thats one area that I personally would want a whole lot of protection. Seems to be more important than even in road racing. Nascar style bars on both sides!
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Old 05-02-2003, 09:05 AM   #11
Kha0S
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Quote:
Originally posted by elgorey

although I have a question, with so much work into the rest of the cage, why the wimpy door bars?
With a rally car being sideways frequently, and trees just feet away, thats one area that I personally would want a whole lot of protection. Seems to be more important than even in road racing. Nascar style bars on both sides!
Rapid ingress/egress requirements from the vehicle and requirements mandating an intact interior in production classes makes NASCAR-style bars an impossibility.

When in a sideways impact in a rally car, it's usually against a tree or boulder... an interesting feature of trees and boulders is that they're generally wider toward the bottom, and thinner as you go up. As such, strong bars placed low on the frame of the car will protect from virtually all side-impacts with natural scenery.

Wheel-to-wheel race cages are much beefier in the sides because they need to withstand impacts directly that are focused mid-door.

There might be other, more historical reasons why rally cages generally have less door protection, but I don't know offhand.

/Andrew
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Old 05-02-2003, 11:25 AM   #12
Sean
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Quote:
Originally posted by elgorey
although I have a question, with so much work into the rest of the cage, why the wimpy door bars?
What Kha0S said above...also, Tim O'Neil told Brent that he absolutely loves this doorbar design, fully trusts it and will probably be incorporating it on future competition and school cars for Team O'Neil Rally School. If Tim gives it the nod, I'd be inclined to trust it as well.

Oh, for a minute there, I thought you were going to say why put so much work into the rest of the cage for such a crappy car.

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Old 05-02-2003, 11:30 AM   #13
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One of the focal points of new WRC cage design (new focus esp.) is side impact protection. Still probably the biggest concern in rally car cage design. The new Ford has moved the driver and co-driver furthur from the doors, they're all X'd and the doors themselves are energy absorbing. Of course they also have alot of cha-CHING and don't have to worry about keeping the interior intact

PS Nice cage
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Old 05-02-2003, 12:59 PM   #14
paultg
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It's funny, at first glance I was also wondering where all the door protection was and thought the cage wasn't complete.

After reviewing the pictures more guys would it be safe to say your seats actually mount next too the B-pillar (between both doors, directly in front of the hoops)?

If that were the case your sitting pretty far back, so the b-pillar and the side bars that rise up protect you very well. The low door bar seen in the pictures would be protecting your legs, which will be low in the event of an accident.

Like in this pic looking through the rear door (correct-?):

Your protected by all those bars at the corners and the b-pillar.

Is that correct or am I missing something?

Paul g.
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:10 PM   #15
Sean
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Quote:
Originally posted by paultg
Your protected by all those bars at the corners and the b-pillar.
Absolutely correct. The seats are mounted so the pillar protects the torso, the diagonal bar protects the edge of the seat and our thighs and the parallel bars at the bottom protect our legs and feet. The parallel bars hook into the main hoop and internals of the dashboard, then protrude out through the firewall to the front strut towers.

Seat protection illustrated hnyeah:





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Old 05-02-2003, 01:52 PM   #16
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How are you going to get the back part of the back seat in?
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:58 PM   #17
Kha0S
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Quote:
Originally posted by rallynutdon
How are you going to get the back part of the back seat in?
We're going to collapse space-time around the seat cushion, so, when we go to put it back, we merely have to slip it in, fully intact. Then, when we unfold the space-time continuum, it will bend/mold the back seat pad into the shape we need, all tucked in nicely behind the cage!

Just remember...


Boy: Do not try and fit the headliner back into the roof. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.

RallyNeo: What truth?

Boy: There is no headliner.

RallyNeo: There is no headliner?

Boy: Then you'll see that it is not the headliner that bends, only yourself.


/Andrew
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Old 05-02-2003, 02:38 PM   #18
Sean
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Quote:
Originally posted by rallynutdon
How are you going to get the back part of the back seat in?
Yeah, what Kha0S said! But seriously...we'll probably end up removing all the little metal frame bits, cutting the seat to fit, then reinserting the metal frame bits until we can get it to clip in place. The bottom piece should slide right in.

Now, the headliner on the other hand, I have no idea. We'll probably have to use spacetime theory although Kris (webkris) claims that we'll be able to crease the headliner, bow it and slide it in.

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Old 05-02-2003, 03:08 PM   #19
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looks to be tight for the driver (head room) once he has his helmet on.

Again, nice cage.
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Old 05-02-2003, 06:59 PM   #20
webkris
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heh - Now I'm making outrageous claims; as to the installation of the headliner.
I think it will take cutting it in half - rather then just creasing it.

Brent mentioned the idea when I asked how we would get the headliner back in. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I'm sure (as with most of the interior) it will involve a dremel, torch, and 1.21 Gigawatts into the flux capacitor.

I'm impressed that we got the seats in that baby.
Step 1: make the seats 4" larger
Step 2: make the interior 4" smaller.
Step 3: give Andrew and I a degree in spacial relations.

- Kris

p.s. I LOVE the doorbars (they are the same in z'Neon) I can JUMP into my car.
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Old 05-03-2003, 10:11 AM   #21
FlooredSubaru
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it sure is a pretty cage.

looks like you could roll it and still be ok enough to kick the car. :-)

When is your first rally going to be?

Erik S.
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Old 05-03-2003, 10:31 AM   #22
Sean
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Quote:
Originally posted by FlooredSubaru
When is your first rally going to be?
Since this is a daily driver and it's taken a lot longer than anticipated to get things together we've pushed the start of our rally season off from Spring until Fall. So, right now, the car is ready to TSD, hillclimb, rallycross and autocross (we already did a full season of ice racing and placed 4th in class) but we still need suspension and other miscellaneous bits before ClubRally.

Regarding our schedule, we'll be doing the New England hillclimb series as well as some miscellaneous SCCA rallycrosses, TSDs and CMC autocrosses. For rally, we'd like to do Targa Newfoundland in September, Great North Woods Rally in November and Maine Forest Winter in December. We'll wrap up with the BMWCCA ice racing series in January.

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