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With the new paint job the Jeep needed a new cage.  One that is straight, stronger and a different look than before.  This will be the 3rd rollcage I've built for this Jeep.  One of these days I hope to get it right :)

12/17/05 - I didn't get quite as much done today as I wanted.  My neighbor came over with his van because the driver's door was falling off.  The bodywork where the hinges mount to had cracked and become very flexible.  He took the van home and took it apart.  When he came back I welded up the cracks and helped him reassemble everything.  Took a chunk of my day away, but gotta keep the neighbors happy :) 

What I did get done (with Mike's help) was the B-pillar/hoop and the brackets that hold it down.  I also got the A-pillars done, but not installed.  When I had the individual parts out of the Jeep to finish weld them, I also painted the hard to get to areas.

12/18/05 - I got a lot of the cage together today.  When I was finish welding the cage, while kinda standing in the Jeep, I squatted down to reposition and smacked my tail-bone on the cutting brakes.  I got lucky that it hit where it did, but that's pain I haven't felt in a long time.  In the evening the gas in the MIG welder ran out so I'll have to fill that tomorrow.

12/19/05 - The day started with the speaker in my cell phone went out again.  After dropping Lucas at Grandma's I ran up to Jack's to drop off the springs from coil-overs and the steering wheel disconnect paddle thing.  He's going to paint them Viper blue, like the rest of the Jeep.  That's when Jack told me I should have brought the paint he sent home with me.  I remember thinking that a day or so ago, but then forgot.  I drove home, got the paint and went back to Jack's.  When I finally did get to work on the Jeep it was a little after noon.  I got the inverted "V" welded in, and the sections that the shoulder harnesses attach to.  I also cleaned up the winch plate and removed the hi-lift brackets. Then I bent, cut and welded on the hoop that holds the new lights and Mike painted it all for me.  Later I installed the winch, fairlead and lights on the winch plate and installed the whole shebang on the Jeep.

When I was working on handles/braces for the cage, the chop saw quit working.  I spent a couple hours taking it apart, trying to figure out what the heck went wrong.  I found the wires at the trigger switch were melted and in rear bad shape.  I jumped a couple wires to see if the saw would work, but it didn't.  I installed a toggle switch anyways since I think the original one's days were numbered.  Then I took the brushes out.  I found one of the brushes had a collapsed spring.  Since I don't have another set of brushes handy, I re-stretched the spring and the saw sprang to life.  I'll get new brushes in the next couple days.

12/22/05 - I finally got back to work on the cage today.  I cut the handles/gussets that I tried to cut a few days ago.  The gusset at the a-pillar didn't fit or look right unless it had a bend, so it's at 30 degrees.  The gussets forward and aft of the b-pillar looked fine straight, so that's how they are.  I got everything welded on, then I sanded down all the rough areas, masked off the Jeep, and painted away.  While I was at it I painted the steering column.  After that I re-assembled everything I could to get ready for the New Years camping trip to Calico.