Installed at the end of the 2003 season by Paul and Joss at Der Botcheinvolks the cage is constructed as a 6 point full hoop from certified CDS tubing.
here you can see the main hoop over the top of the walkthru and the hoop running around the roof line behind the peak. it also shows the two triangulations down either side of the walkthru. The downtubes all foot onto 6-inch square plate to prevent the cage punching through the floor in event of crunching it.
here you can see the door bars where they exit through the bulkhead to meet the main hoop downtube. The door bars are plated to the top of the wheel arch and also meet at the base of the A post bars. You can also see the ankle height bar that runs along and behind the handbrake handle and the bar that follows the line of the under dash tray.
In frontal impacts, split-screen vans are no better than damp cardboard having little to no structural steel forward of the front wheels to protect you. With the three front horizontal bars - Roof Hoop, Knee and Ankle - all tied together to dissipate the force around the vehicle all should be much safer.
Here you can see where the rear triangulation comes down each side of the walkthrough. The down tubes foot onto a 6 x 12-inch steel plate with a short length of tube welded to the plate. Sitting horizontally between the two feet of the down tubes this spreads the sideways stress between the tubes and prevents any possibility of the tubes moving sideways on the plate under heavy impact.
The cage is now part painted in the same factory colour as the bus interior, Blau Weiss, and is upholstered in peppercloth and grey vinyl to match the interior panels and in perforated headliner cloth to blend in where the tubes run around the roof.
The effect is that even from just a few feet away the cage is invisible from outside of the vehicle and even on close inspection looks as much like a factory install as possible.
Driving the bus it's easy to forget that there's a cage in it. It feels stiffer and more solid and perhaps a little quieter but that's all. Entry and exit from the cab is very easy due to the clever positioning of the door bars. It's just a variation of the standard 'hup and slide' entry into any Split bus.
here's the cage painted with the headliner cloth almost finished.
Huge thanks go to Botch and Joss at Der Botcheinvolks for all the hard work put in and the care and patience to do a fantastic job.