VSA Motorsports Elise/Exige Roll Cages in Stock - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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VSA Motorsports Elise/Exige Roll Cages in Stock

We have completed prototyping of our bolt in 6 point roll cage. We designed this cage around the SCCA rule set, and it should be eligible to compete in most club race series. There are a couple of grey areas in the SCCA rules that due to the space limitations of the elise needed some variation. Specifically the exclusion of door bars. We decided long ago that door bars in an Elise makes entry and exit too difficult which could prove dangerous in the event of an emergency exit. The stock door extrusions are left intact and tie directly to the main hoop of the cage. In the future we plan to have this cage homologated by SCCA and the door bar issue will be explored further at that point. As for now this cage fits all of the Lotus Cup USA specs.


Made from .095" and .120" wall DOM steel tubing along with laser cut 3/16" mounting pads and brackets. All dash mounting, door striker mounting and engine mount locations are included. A single skin fiberglass roof is available with mounting brackets that would need to be fitted and welded to the cage. This cage is fully fixtured and can be reproduced as needed.

As you can see in the pics, this cage is the least intrusive of any cage currently on the market. Once installed, all of the plastic trim panels can be mounted with only slight modification. This provides a very clean end result.

Price is $2699.99 plus freight and will be shipped in 2 pieces ready for fitment and final welding.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Here are a few more pics of the cage installed and the fixture.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 07:12 PM
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I like it. How much does it usually cost for installation?
Would there be any professional installer in Houston Texas?
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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We charge 30 hours for our complete track build tear down including installing the cage.

I dont know of any shops in Houston. But finding one I would think, shouldn't be difficult

Disclaimer time:

VSA Motorsports recommends that all installs be performed by a professional. This is not a job for the home garage mechanic. You or your installer should be familiar with cage installations which requires basic fabrication skills including welding.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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The last car we built using our new cage.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 08:16 PM
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Roll cage

Seeing this cage installed I believe it is not only the best cage out there for our cars but the only one in stock.
You have to see this cage to appreciate the quality and craftsmanship.

2010 Lotus Evora GTN
VSA Build, Track only
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 06:44 PM
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That seems like a pretty smart design.

Jason

06' Fed Elise

My frame, rear subframe, steering rack, A-arms, front crash structure, suspension uprights, and fuel tank are stock.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 07:01 PM
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I like it.. It doesn't really affect the interior space and the price seems reasonable. Is the front cross bar hidden behind the dashboard?


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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I like it.. It doesn't really affect the interior space and the price seems reasonable. Is the front cross bar hidden behind the dashboard?


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You got it. We designed the cage to make the most of the limited space available. The kneebar runs behind the dash and ties into the steering column.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 12:24 PM
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Excellent work. If I need to get caged this seems like a no brainer


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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VSA Cage Kneebar

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Exiged! We have 2 variations at this point. 1 for short-normal heights and the other for about 6' and taller. Basically we adjust the position of the harness bar and main hoop supports to allow the top of the seat to rock back past the fuel tank enclosure. My partner Allen is 6'4" and fits perfectly in the cars setup for the big guys.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 12:43 PM
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No problem!


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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 12:53 PM
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Very nice - as an installation suggestion, I'd personally bond and bolt the cage to the chassis with a good structural adhesive. I used the Hysol 4800 on my cage done a few years back and it has held up fine.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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The mounting feet are bolted through the aluminum extrusions using M8 italian jet nuts welded to 1/8" steel nut plates and class 12.9 M8 bolts. We considered bonding the feet as well (our Evora cages are bonded per FIA regulations) but decided against it. The combination of good 12.9 hardware along with the nut plates to spread any load is more than adequate. The cage is bonded to the windshield frame and rear bulkhead using 3M betaseal. Beta seal is the same adhesive used to bond an elise crash structure to the chassis.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 02:00 PM
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I don't see how the shear load can be spread across the thin aluminum extrusions with nut plates and high strength bolts. Can you impart a clamp load directly across one wall of the aluminium extrusion, or does the bolt pass all the way through the extrusion so that the entire shear load is carried by the hole(s) in the aluminum? And is there any tenisile strength at the immediate junction between the cage base plate and the wall of the extrusion?

My theory was that by bonding to the aluminum, at the cage base plat-extrusion wall, I was creating a bond directly to the outside wall of the extrusion with a much higher shear and tensile strength at the aluminum/steel junction than possible with a through bolt, or even a few through bolts.

A close-up of the cage we did some time ago, and a larger view:
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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The outer plane of the extrusion has additional support bonded in from the factory, making the aluminum .225" thick. In order for this junction to fail either the bolt would have to shear, the nut would have to pull through the aluminum or the the whole extrusion would have to collapse or tear. 12.9 hardware is rated at 1200 Mpa or 174,045 PSI tensile strength. Along with the clamping force applied by properly torqued, high strength fasteners, joint failure is not likely except maybe in the most extreme of cases. On the upper thinner section of extrusion, all of the same would apply, except the 1"x2.5"x1/8" nutplate would have to physically tear through the extrusion.

Not to say that bonding the cage is bad or detrimental to the strength, however I feel much more comfortable with properly installed high strength hardware vs rivets and epoxy. When it comes right down to it, no one has done any crash testing on any of the available cage designs. Without a massive budget to perform these tests anyone doing this type of fabrication must use their knowledge, experience and the information available to them in order to have a final product that performs as expected. I for one am confident that our design will hold up in the event that it is put to the test.

Take a look at the Nitron Project N2 blog. This car is pure lotus race car porn. The pictures and descriptions show the level of engineering and development going into this car and the rest of Nitrons products. The front feet mounting of their one off, FIA certified cage are very similar to our cage, except it is missing 1 mounting plane and 3 bolts.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 11:28 AM
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I was not suggesting not using hardware, I was suggesting bonding ALSO.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 07:06 PM
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I'd like to think I know a good thing when I see it... Ordered the second they became available

8 Balls to be sure!

Came packaged extremely well. Fantastic TIG welding...

Thanks to my partners and friends at VSA!
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VSAMotorsports View Post
We have completed prototyping of our bolt in 6 point roll cage. We designed this cage around the SCCA rule set, and it should be eligible to compete in most club race series. There are a couple of grey areas in the SCCA rules that due to the space limitations of the elise needed some variation. Specifically the exclusion of door bars. We decided long ago that door bars in an Elise makes entry and exit too difficult which could prove dangerous in the event of an emergency exit. The stock door extrusions are left intact and tie directly to the main hoop of the cage. In the future we plan to have this cage homologated by SCCA and the door bar issue will be explored further at that point. As for now this cage fits all of the Lotus Cup USA specs.
I'm not completely sure, but that door bar needs to be at waist level to be most effective. Even the Federal Lotuses, don't have the door bars in them and passed Federal standards because the side structure of the tub itself is already at waist height. I'm sure that if you point that out, you will get credit for it and not an exemption from the rule.
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