Thought I should post this here as well...

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SouthAfricanDreamer
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Thought I should post this here as well...

Post by SouthAfricanDreamer » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:45 pm

Hi, 

I am new to the forum, here from South Africa. 

We do not have a very active Rail community, or any that I know of for that matter. This means that there are not very many rails for sale over here. This will force me to build my own. 

I do not have the money for a tube bender, and we don't have any people selling kits that I know of. I can however buy handrail tubing which should work. 

The tubing is 34mm (1.34") with a 2.5mm (0.1") wall thickness. The tubing is sold with pre-bent pieces probably 90°, 120°, 60°'etc. These bends will enable me to build a fairly decent frame if I combine them in the right ways. The problem with using these is the fact that I would need to join the frame on each side of the bend, on both sides of each bend. Not ideal I know, but will it work?

The nice thing of the joint on handrailing is that the joint is formed where the one tube is crimped to fit inside the other tube, before the joint is welded up for a permanent joint. 

Again, the question, will it work? Has anybody tried this? Will it provide enough strength for a roll cage in a Baja. 

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Re: Thought I should post this here as well...

Post by ChuckZilla » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:55 pm

You should really know exactly what the tubing is metal wise and find out it's hardness level. Try to contact the manufacturer to get info on it, they might not be very compliant on giving you info but it's worth a try. Get some of the material and work with it, weld it, heat it, stress it, put a 3 foot section of it in a truck hitch and stand on it and jump up and down it, find out what it's like.
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SouthAfricanDreamer
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Re: Thought I should post this here as well...

Post by SouthAfricanDreamer » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:34 am

I actually see the rail quite often. We use it as hand rails in a minerals processing plant. It is structural tubing in my opinion. The hand rails are designed to save lifes in the mining industry. I have seen incidents where the rails were hit with loads from a careless crane operator. The stuff is strong, that I don't have a problem with.

My question is more about the integrity of a cage where there are two welds along side each bend in the frame joining the straights to the bends.

A boilermaker I know got me onto the idea. He did it years ago. I am just not sure if our driving styles are similar. I want something I an drive off a cliff and still drive away.

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Re: Thought I should post this here as well...

Post by ChuckZilla » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:17 pm

So you are mainly concerned with the joining of the tubes around the pre bent sections I gather. My opinion is if you design a structure that distributes the loads throughout the chassis then it will be safe up to point. Another opinion I have is if you don't have the money for a tube bender then you don't have the money to build a sand car safe enough to drive off a cliff. I'm not trying to be abrasive, but I think you can see the sense I'm trying to make here. If it makes you feel any better, I have a tube bender but not enough money to build a sand car. :mrgreen: Go ahead and build your car with the tubing you speak of, but be alert to breakage and do many inspections of the chassis after each drive and as you find problems be proactive in preventing them from happening again, adding extra tubes where necessary. If your welding skills are marginal, practice, practice, practice.
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Re: Thought I should post this here as well...

Post by Booga-dune-poon » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:07 pm

Lots of compound angles to fit a roll cage inside a Baja.
To construct something that you can walk away from a big crash would require at least a 6 point cage.
Take a look at the following and imagine trying to come up with this many pre-bent handrails to equal all the angles.
The material loss would be cost prohibitive. I suggest trying to mail order a kit. Google search "VW Class 11 roll cage" for one in South Africa or someone who will ship there.

Image

Much easier to do and you would be rest assured that the tubing material was up for the task.

And when you get your Baja running, you can drive it to the worlds tallest sand dunes.

http://www.namibia-travel.net/travelgui ... svlei.html
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Re: Thought I should post this here as well...

Post by SouthAfricanDreamer » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:15 pm

Booga-dune-poon wrote:
And when you get your Baja running, you can drive it to the worlds tallest sand dunes.

http://www.namibia-travel.net/travelgui ... svlei.html
My idea exactly. We usually do the trips in quads bikes and 4x4's like my stock standard landrover defender. Problem is they don't provide as much fun as I would like... Plus I would like to play around in our local offroad rally circuits. This would most often be my use for the car, which means, IMO, bigger tires for the ground clearance.

I can most probably afford a bender, the problem is I can not justify the cost for just this build, especially if I can get another method of doing the build safely. I would definitely test the method of building properly before I decide to use it. My interrest in the idea comes from this boilermaker that claims to have done it. He used to be a coded welder, but lost his coding after he was in a serious accident that crushed his hand. Luckily it was not in the rail car that he built.

I will look into the cost of importing a kit or buying locally if I can find anybody. Again our local community is not very big or cohesive as car as I can tell at the moment.

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Re: Thought I should post this here as well...

Post by Glamisbound » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:31 pm

Over 10 years ago, before long travel cars became all the rage, it was quite common for people to purchase rail kits and assemble them themselves. The links bellow are reputable companies that have been around for a long time. There are many others. You can buy the kits for a lot less than a tube bender... Google "Sandrail chassis kits" or something similar...Good luck.


http://www.chircoestore.com/catalog/pro ... ts_id=1816

http://www.dansperformanceparts.com/bug ... frame1.htm
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Re: Thought I should post this here as well...

Post by SouthAfricanDreamer » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:34 pm

Thanx.

I have checked them out and it looks great. I will see what it is going to cost to import. I suspect it will be cheaper to have it built in south Africa though.

Thx again.

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