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Rollbar questions for Gen 1 Brat (and removable bracket pics)


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17 replies to this topic

#1 bendecker

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 06:40 PM

So a buddy of mine who welds professionally is going to make me a rollbar for the cost of materials.

From pics I've seen of other people's bars (never seen one in real life, 'cause SoCal is not exactly the Brat capital of the world), it looks like they attached to the same uplifted square where the seat belts bolt in to. But... that makes no sense because the metal is really thin there and that's where the seat belts go.

So, anyone have a closeup of exactly how/where a factory bar is attached and/or any suggestions about good placement and reinforcement? Perhaps there is an "L" piece that goes against the frame and then makes a strong mounting place closer to the rear window?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

-Ben

Edited by bendecker, 29 March 2010 - 08:23 PM.


#2 subiemech85

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:54 PM

look in this album http://www.pixbox.se/alb1172517

they are NOT my pictures

#3 Jonv23

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 08:12 AM

The roll bar does bolt where you are saying, and then the seat belt bolts to the roll bar I guess you could say. The extension ends bolt right to the top of the wheel wells, (not real strong there either). You have to remember the roll bar is more for looks than function. (unless your function is to hold your off road lights)

#4 asis

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 08:56 AM

I can get some pics of the high bar I have, it doesn't have the extensions to the wheel wells but as JonV said, and I agree, it is only eye candy or a "light bar" :)
I had thought of adding the extensions but all it would do is take up room and add weight and not really any support IMO.

Where the outer seat belts bolt there is a "raised pad...?" and the bar has a plate about 3" x 6" with holes for mounting, one of those holes do line up with the seat belt hole. The plate extends past the pad and has 1/2" or so thick, "feet" welded on the underside that fit in between the ribs of the bed.
There are upper supports on the bar I have also that meet up with the sides of the body right behind the sliding window. Neither of my two brats have mounting holes or....? for the upper brackets so I do not know if they were added or what. I am thinking of using some type of riv-nut or the like there if I keep them since the only other thing that looks likely would be sheet metal screws and I think that would do more damage than it would add any support.

Hope that makes some sense...if not, it should when I get the pics :-\

#5 VaporTrail

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 11:10 AM

actually, where the seatbelts bolt in, is re-inforced some, and the factory roll bar kits came with large thick washers to put below the bed as well. just like aftermarket seatbelts do.

the proper mounting location for the rear legs should be to have a bolt go through the rear shock mount support, as that is structurally re-inforced too.

#6 asis

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 01:00 PM

This is the only one I have seen so, like I said, Idk if it factory or not. I think with the one seat belt bolt, which has a nut welded underneath, and 3 others with reinforcement underneath, it should hold a couple of lights and look spiffy, but I am not counting on it for any kind of support or structural improvement :-\

http://cdn-2-service...0968203f09c3f_1

http://cdn-2-service...fb0d5f65738ee_1

http://cdn-2-service...162c62592e93c_1

http://cdn-2-service...b60476600cb9b_1

#7 bendecker

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 06:09 PM

Great info and thanks for the pics! The more I look under there, the more I'm thinking Mike's (the welder) idea of making a beefy "L" bracket is the way to go. We're thinking 1 3/4" tubing as well.

I'll post some pics of what we come up with (might be a while).

Just got the seats back in with their newly modified bottom bracket that now works as a bolt-ins (so I can take it out along with the seat). Seatbelts are back in too. Still need to restore the bottom headrest bracket/nuts that were cut off when the seats were removed and find/make a replacement for the plastic piece that keeps the one headrest snug as it slides up and down the support.

Thanks, again,

-Ben

#8 asis

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 07:57 PM

Well hey, I am in process of doing my bed too so PLEASE repay the favor with some pics.

I too want to be able to remove the seat bracket so....maybe we can toss ideas back n forth...???

I did a bunch of grinding and such on my bed today, priming and even some color I had around....will get some pics up later....

asis

#9 bendecker

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:20 PM

So here is the way we did my bracket:

Posted Image



Posted Image



Posted Image


I only had my welder-friend's time for so long and, in our hurry, we made one really stupid mistake: the front should have been 1/2" higher than it is. It just barely squeezes in with the seats on. I'm not happy with that one part, but I'll come up with a good, permanent solution in the near future. For now, I have a piece of 1/2 inch oak cut and fitted under it (not pictured). I might weld in a piece of U channel, or just cut a piece of aluminum the right size to fit the full length, left to right? I also might just move the seats 1/2" closer to the center and weld in new nuts. Mulling, mulling, mulling...

There are 4 beefy bolts holding the whole thing down. And, the angle iron is from an old bed frame -- 1" X 1". It worked great except for the height screw-up in the front. 1 X 1.5" would be perfect!

Underneath is scrap 3/16" metal drilled through the center. We bolted the bracket down and then Mike welded it in place. Note that he did not weld all the way around. He said you don't want to do that with metal as thin as the bed because it increases the chance of cracking. And, if it does crack overtime, you don't want it to crack all the way around.

Once I am happy with the whole setup, I'm going to get the bracket powder coated and, perhaps the headrest sliders too.

Next, the brackets for the headrest at the bottom. Then, some type of bedliner.

-Ben

Edited by bendecker, 29 March 2010 - 08:22 PM.


#10 asis

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:23 PM

Rite on!
That should look pretty clean once you get all coated.
I will have to look again but I thought I had something in the way under the bed to be able to bolt the rear bracket that way.
I did notice the tight fit of the handle bars when I set mine in there. I still have the most of the legs left on my bracket and it was still a snug fit so I will keep that in mind for measuring twice, cut once ;)

I was thinking about using angle like that but for the rear bracket, have mounts welded to the bed for the rear channel that could slide under and then lock in with bolts in the forward bracket to lock it in. So in sense the bracket would install much like the seats do on the bracket...:confused:

Thx for the shots, and welding looks good too. What kinda welder?

Keep us updated eh :)

Edited by asis, 29 March 2010 - 11:27 PM.


#11 asis

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:43 PM

What kind of bedliner are you thinking about?
I was tossing that idea around too but don't really want to pay to have it sprayed in by a shop.
I have a buddy who used some line-x type stuff that he rolled on his Land Cruiser. I know its been out in the weather for a good 4 years now any way. I need to ask him how its holding up.

#12 bendecker

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 08:49 AM

The welder is a 220 volt mig.

For the liner, I'm thinking of using more Herculiner. I already used it on the tailgate and it turned out really good. The Brat is only going to see human feet in the back (as in not used as any semblance of a work truck) and I'll likely put carpet in on top of the liner as well, so I think it should hold up fine. Plus, it's readily available around here for touch-ups if it has any issues.

-Ben

Edited by bendecker, 30 March 2010 - 08:51 AM.


#13 asis

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:02 AM

I remembered the name of the stuff my buddy used after I posted, same as you mentioned, Herculiner :)

Good to hear, thx for the info.

#14 bendecker

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:58 AM

I finished up the removable headrest bottom bracket yesterday. I cut off the old ones years ago (and later lost track of them) when I used the brat mainly for hauling. So, this is the replacement that I came up with.

One thing that always bugged me about the old ones was the way they stuck out into the bed. So, for the remake, I made them flat and put a removable piece of aluminum between the vertical piece and where they bolt in.

I bondo'd around the welds to make a smoother transition and once the bed liner is in and the cross-bars are painted, I think they'll look really good.

Posted Image


Posted Image

Posted Image

#15 asis

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:39 PM

Yep! Looks like a nice alteration ;)

I still need to compensate for the difference in length of my brackets to my mounts. Prolly leave my mounts and adapt the brackets even tho I don't expect to ever haul anything that they will be in the way of, Basically they will be a permanent fixture.

Solid and functional, nice work :) Perty is just an added bonus! :banana:

#16 asis

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 07:42 PM

What roll bar do you have?

#17 bendecker

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 10:17 PM

Don't have one yet. I'm looking into making one from scratch, but am undecided on design and when it will actually get done (other priorities, unfortunately...)

#18 asis

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 11:07 PM

You might be ahead of the game then.
If I might suggest an important consideration in your design thoughts, go with a rull roll bar, or include some sort of mount to the rear of the cab.
I cut the side brackets off of mine because even if I could have or did screw them to the sides, they would have eventually pulled out.
I think I can get something substantial to mount to through the rear of the cab and that is where it needs braced.
I cut some 2x4 chunks with v cutouts to brace against the cab and that shores it up quite nicely...so just have to fab something to that effect now. Still thinking of starting from scratch also with 1 3/4 "

lemmeno what u thinking....:grin:




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