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Discussion Starter #41
This bottle jack style bender is meant for black pipe, it will not do some of the things needed for roll cage work...been there, done that.

To make the shoe fit either 1-3/4" or 1-5/8" roll cage tubing, you will need to make a slipper shim to go in the bender shoe since the shoe is pipe size it is too big to correctly cradle roll cage tube and it tries to flatten out the tube when you bend it, making the bend area oval badly. Looks bad and likely won't pass a tech inspection due to stretching thinning the tube wall.

I used a couple small scrap lengths of tube to press a piece of .040", .060" or .090" thick aluminum sheet (I don't remember which for each tube size) under the tube and then proceeded to bend the scrap, pressure forming the aluminum sheet to the shoe and filling up the oversize so the sides of the shoe die will correctly cradle the side of the tube you are bending and not ovalize the tube.
Makes a shim that looks a lot like a shoe horn. Cradles the tubing in the bend shoe like a hotdog in a bun.

Even with this done, you are limited to about a 45-50° bend before the lack of support on the backside of the tube lets the tube start to deform and kink....it won't bend far enough to do the main hoop upper corners....but will do most other needed bends to rear bars, engine bay bars, door bars.
After one failed attempt to bend a main hoop, I just bought either S&W Racecars or Competition Engineering main hoops and then built from there. They price them reasonable enough.

There is a reason real tube benders cost what they do.
As of now we are leaving it patina looking. We are building this car on a very limited budget. It will be all owner built and very little if any store bought pieces.
 

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As of now we are leaving it patina looking. We are building this car on a very limited budget. It will be all owner built and very little if any store bought pieces.
Oh I hear you....I'm a po' boy too. I just wanted to be clear that the Harbor Freight pipe benders won't bend a roll bar tube tight enough to make the main hoop.....but it will bend everything else in a 6 or 8 point roll bar or 8+ point Sportsman cage. You can get just the main hoop from Competition Engineering/Jeg's for about $55 and then build from there with a bottle jack bender.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
406668
It doesn’t look like much but I did a lot of body work today and got the under side of the car about half coated with an oil based rust protectant (gloss black) it looks great. Nice and clean.
 
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