With a background in military systems safety engineering, I have a couple of basic rules when it comes to safety. The first is that I don't ride amusement park rides with a trailer hitch and the second is that I don't ride UTVs that I'm not sure can protect me and my passenger(s) during a rollover. With that, immediately after we took delivery of our new Polaris RZR XP Turbo, we got to work on improving the safety of the machine.
Replacement of the factory roll cage with a proper welded cage not only offer additional safety, but it also protects the machine in the event of a rollover. Now, we're big time DIY guys around here, but there are some things that are just done right. CageWRX knock down cage kits are one of those things. We got in touch with Chad@CageWRX and it wasn't long before we had a Race Cage kit and the accompanying Roof Kit on their way.
Both kits arrived very well packaged. The weight of the cage kit box was the first indication that this cage was going to be robust. Upon opening the box and removing the paper used to keep everything in place, it was clear that everything had arrived in great shape. Each tube is labeled (presumably using the laser that cut it) and is notched where others intersect. Smaller tubes were wrapped together.
After ensuring that all of the necessary pieces were present, we got to work with initial assembly. It should be noted in that in excitement, we forgot to prep the tubes for welding prior to clicking them together for photos, so we'll go back and do that before tacking them up. The good news is that the kit fits so well, this will only take a few minutes.
Prepare for Welding
1. The first step is to remove/disassembly the factory cage. Because we'll be keeping ours, we broke it down into pieces so that it would store away nicely. Begin by removing the RZRs roof line visor using a T40 driver. With those screws out of the way, you can get a 15mm socket onto the 4 bolts securing the crossbar to the left and right members.
2. Next, remove the left and right cage main tubes by first removing the two 15mm bolts on each side securing them to the roll hoop. With those removed, use the same 15mm socket to free each tube from the front chassis clamps. If you're planning on selling or reusing your factory kit, we recommend loosely threading each bolt back into the threaded hole that it came from after removing it!
3. Now, to go ahead and remove the two rear braces, you'll first need to remove the factory shock reservoirs from them. In the case of the RZR XP Turbo, a 5mm allen wrench will disassemble the two halves of the mounting clamp. Set those aside and proceed with removing the rear support bars using the same method as the left and right main tubes.
4. Finally, just the main roll hoop remains. Before it can be removed, you'll need to remove the bolt securing the seat belt on each side to the hoop.
5. Remove the four bolts securing the left and right roll hoop chassis clamps to the RZR chassis carefully, as the roll hoop is the heaviest part of the cage assembly. If yours is like ours, even after removing the bolts, the hoop will take a little bit of persuasion before it pops loose and can be removed. Note that removing these bolts also leaves the rear part of the door support temporarily loose, so your doors may droop down or not shut properly. We'll sort this out out in the next step.
6. Alright, with the factory cage removed, we're ready to begin assembling the CageWRX kit. The first step is to install the chassis clamps into each of the six factory mounting locations. We chose to start with the center clamps, so that the doors would be supported again right away. The rear clamp has a rounded top and the front clamp has a hole through the top for running wires. Go ahead and install all six! You'll reuse your factory Polaris hardware, so go ahead and install each clamp. The bolt holes in the clamps and chassis do have a little bit of tolerance, so make sure that each clamp is installed straight, as you'll be welding them in these positions.
This completes the 'preparation' phase of the project. In the next article, we'll go over installation of each tube and the order and methods that we used to begin the welding process.