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Old 01-22-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
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Family Cage Swap Complete (with pictures)

After almost 8 hours of driving to get the cage and another 9 hours of remove/torching/sawing/grinding/impacting/picture taking, my sport bar to family bar swap is complete.

I replaced all of the hardware with Grade 8 bolts, washers and nuts.

First, some "sportster" pictures from where I got the old sport bar out. If it wasn't so unsafe to drive this way, I would have rocked the bar-less look for a while. Jeep felt VERY unstable just while driving it on the street like this. Every time I took a turn, I could feel the body shift.




Check out the floor rust! I ended up grinding all of this down, re-spraying black and rustoleom liner. Also had to grind out some of the existing holes as I either broke off or ground down the bolts that were in place if I couldn't get them out.



New hardware. Should I paint these bolts? Or will the grade 8 stuff hold up against rust?





...and the final look with the family cage installed.



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Old 01-22-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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Looks good. You might also want to consider some shorter shackles.. or at least run a bolt in the top hole to help add some side to side strength.

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Old 01-22-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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4JeepN - Not a bad idea. I'll go find a bolt now.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:28 AM   #4
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Is the family cage an after-market product or something from another model?

I am surprised the body flexes that much without the roll bar. The new bar looks good. Maybe you can find some covers to dress up the raw bolts?
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:41 PM   #5
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Pukeolicious - The family bar came out of a 93 Wrangler. I believe all of the 92 to 95 bars are the family style. I'm going to have my buddy with the big welder put some additional supports into the bar as well.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #6
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Shackles reinforced:



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Old 01-22-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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Dennis,

The roll bar looks nice. I would remove those bolts and put "anti seize" on them. Then, tighten them down and spray primer and then paint on top of the bolt heads. You should be good to go after that.

Your jeep looks great. Have fun.

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Old 01-22-2012, 07:51 PM   #8
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The roll bar looks great, but I would redo the shackle bolts by cutting a spacer to put inbetween the bars of it and then bolt it down tight. kinda like the rugged ridge ones.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
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maybe swap in some urethane bushings aswell
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:58 PM   #10
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Looks like mine(93 YJ) so I assume I have the "family" bars? Do you have a pic of the sport bars?
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:30 PM   #11
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Oh nevermind...Good thing for google! Kinda happy I have a "family" bar.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:51 AM   #12
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maybe swap in some urethane bushings aswell
Good point. Just ordered a set for front and rear. I'm noticing open spots on both ends.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:30 AM   #13
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Looks great, I already have my family cage just waiting on it to dry up a little and not rain for a few days to take the top back off and do the swap. I am also going to have some extra supports welded in, across the windshield and back behind rear seat up high so you wont hit your head. Yes prime and paint the bolt heads and nuts to help prevent rust. Gr 8 bolts are stronger, just not immune to rust.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #14
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I've never welded before and don't have the tools for it. Would I be in over my head trying to swap the roll bars?
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:51 PM   #15
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Swapping the roll bar to the family cage is a bolt in. It uses the same holes as the one you take out. Just beware the factory used torx bolts on everything. They can be a pain to get out. Be prepared to use a couple of the bits in trying to remove them, you may even have to take an angle grinder and cut/grind them out. I have even seen folks weld a nut to them and take it out with a wrench. Penatrating spray will be your friend, and lots of it.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #16
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Very good advice, 06blackmax. That's pretty much the procedure I followed, save a few of the holes needing to be relocated because the family bracket was just slightly off in the same places on both sides near the floor.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Good point. Just ordered a set for front and rear. I'm noticing open spots on both ends.
Have your cutoff wheel, sawzall, butane torch, and chisel ready! At least if yours go the way mine did.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:21 PM   #18
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Swapping the roll bar to the family cage is a bolt in. It uses the same holes as the one you take out. Just beware the factory used torx bolts on everything. They can be a pain to get out. Be prepared to use a couple of the bits in trying to remove them, you may even have to take an angle grinder and cut/grind them out. I have even seen folks weld a nut to them and take it out with a wrench. Penatrating spray will be your friend, and lots of it.
X2 on that. On one of mine, I used an angle grinder to flatten opposite sides of the bolt head, so a pipe wrench could bite and turn it.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:22 PM   #19
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zoomwide - I actually went and bought an oxy-ace setup specifically because I have a 20 year old Jeep now.

I ended up grinding off the heads and putting a nut and washer on the back sides (where I could get to them) and threading the bolt on, forcing the remaining rusted screws all the way through onto the new tightened nuts with the impact wrench. That worked a little too good, as seen by all of the rust it knocked through..
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:22 PM   #20
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I did this swap and caught like he'll to get the sport bar out, and when it came time to take the family bar out of the rustier doner jeep I just cut them all off. If you are doing this and don't want to cut the bolts go to lowes and buy all the kolbalt t45 bits they have, and keep your receipt. You can return all the broken ones when the job is done.

I had a lot of fun driving around for a few days with no bar and windshield down, but you do get some funny looks from people ha ha.

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