Up front, I needed to remove a portion of the firewall insulating material, but to entirely move it out of the way would have required partial disassembly of my dash. Instead, I pushed everything back, and covered it in several layers of aluminum foil. This will protect the interior from the heat and ultraviolet / infrared radiation that will be created when we MIG weld in the anchor plates.
The front plate was a bit tricky, as my placement near the interface where firewall meets foot well has a seam. Sure enough, we blew through the seam with the MIG. As a result, we ended up stitching up the seam amid the smoking, burning seam sealer. Now it's time to do some welding. First we welded in all of the anchor plates. They were MIG welded in completely along the perimeter of each plate. After the plates cooled, we took a sanding disc to each one to clean off any residual slag or burned-up seam sealer. Once the hoop is measured and cut, it will be TIG welded to these new surfaces.
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After measuring the main hoop, I held the hoop so that it was in parallel with the trailing edge of the side window. The height of the hoop was approximately three-quarters inch shorter than the inside dimension of the roof. This gave me room for the installation of the new head liner.

Notice the clean look of TIG. This tube is beveled on the opposite side in order to fit on the outer bend of the plate. Notice the solidified seam sealer that has leaked out from under the plate. Even after extensive cleaning, I still couldn't get all of it out.

Here we are welding in the rear bars. We started by tacking them into place with the TIG.

Our installation method was to first secure in the main hoop, then tack in the rear supports, the cross bar, and then the side bars, followed with the finish welds. The side bars were the most challenging. Once the hoop and rear supports were installed, we installed the seats, closed the doors, and positioned the side bars. We then finished off adjusting the fish mouths on both ends of the tube, and marked the proper position onto the main hoop. Once tacked into position, we could breathe a little easier.

The TIG welding in the foot box was very challenging as we wanted a full-perimeter weld in around the tube. The hard part for me was the massaging of the notching that I had to do in order to get the tube to properly fit the floor contour. Note how we use the aluminum foil as heat shielding in each area.

This is Dan Pendell, a master weldor who is certified six ways to Sunday. Dan astounded me with his welding prowess. Here he is, masterfully filling in the welds while laying upside down, modulating the foot control with his knees. He's been known to TIG a line of aluminum to the inside a beer can without blowing through.

Dan works for Michigan State University as the weldor for the Cyclotron Research Laboratory. He normally does specialized welding on cryogenics systems, but he also posesses a degree in mechanical engineering, and is a welding instructor at Lansing Community College.
The finished roll bar. Now that it's securely attached, it's time to paint it!.

 

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