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D and C Extreme’s XJ Cage Kit Install

Congratulations! You just received your D and C Extreme Jeep XJ Roll Cage Kit.  Here are some guidelines for you as are putting together and installing your new cage.

First and foremost make sure you have all the pieces.  You should have:

  • One main hoop (2 halves and internal sleeve)
  • Two front spreaders
  • Two rear spreaders
  • Windshield bar (straight bar, shorter)
  • Dash bar (straight bar, longer)
  • Seat belt bar (long bar with bends at it’s ends, not pictured here)
  • Rear hatch bar (looks like seat belt bar, just shorter)

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Step One: Install the Main Hoop.

The first step is to assemble the main hoop. Lay the two half’s on your shop floor insert the sleeve into the the tubing at the joint so that it is inserted the same depth in to each half  leaving a 1/16″ gap between the two half’s.  Weld the plug welds first then weld the butt weld.

Remove the bottom cushion of the rear seat.  It’s only one quick release lock on the passenger side at the hinge.  Even though you don’t have to, we recommend removing the entire rear seat to keep it from being damaged during the install.  To remove the back of the rear seat, simply remove the bolts the back hinges on.  The seat should lift out without any problems.

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Step Two: Install Front Spreaders

Next, slide the main hoop in from the back (feet first). Position it at the B-pillar just behind the seat belt holes. Make sure that the hoop is perfectly centered in the middle of the interior.

Now, place the front spreaders.  While doing this, make sure the horizontal part of the spreader is above the door sill/seal.  Then tack weld the spreader in place (make sure you cover your seats and floor with flame-retardant materials to keep them from being damaged.  Repeat this on the other side.

Next, install the dash and windshield bars.  This can be done easily with the help of a ratchet strap.  With the ratchet strap encircling the spreaders, tighten it to draw the spreaders together. This should also help hold the dash and windshield bars in place.

This is where we recommend the windshield bar is placed.  This allows plenty of headroom for the passengers, but also allows the sun visors to retract fully. Place the windshield bar such that the sun visors touch it when retracted.

Once that is done, tack weld the windshield bar in place.  Next measure between the windshield bar and the dash bar to insure they are equally spaced.  It is a very good idea to jump in and make sure the dash bar is not blocking the view to the dash, you can also make sure its not going to hit your hands as you turn the steering wheel. This the front section held together by friction, take measurements from the main hoop to the windshield bar, this will insure that it is evenly placed.

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Step Three: Weld in the front section.

Before tack welding the dash bar in place, get out of the vehicle and look at the bar from the front and back, to make sure its horizontal.  Once everything is checked, and then double checked, tack weld the dash bar in place. (The feet should be snug up against the front kick panels).

Now that the front section of the cage is together, weld it all in.  To get to the front of the dash bar, slide the entire cage structure back (towards the rear seat).

I also use cardboard squeezed between the spreaders and the headliner to make sure no sparks burn the fabric/plastic.  This works well along the dash as well! Once the welds are cool, slide the cage back forward.  Make sure your headlight switch is still accessible and able to be used.protected your carpet and interior by using any flame retarding materials.

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Step Four: Install the Rear Spreaders

The rear spreaders go in exactly like the front ones.  Just make sure that you have them exactly the same level as the front spreaders to keep an even/flowing look to the cage.  Once they are in, tack weld them in place and double check everything (visually) to make sure all pieces are in proper place.

Tack weld the rear spreaders on the main hoop to keep them in place.

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Step Five: Install Rear Hatch Bar

Weld the rear hatch bar to the rear spreaders, then weld the spreaders to the main hoop. While the rear spreaders are secured to the main hoop, position the rear hatch bar such that it hugs the plastic headliner moldings.  You want it to be at least 1/2″ from the molding (this give room for the feet plate).  Tack weld it in place and close the rear hatch to insure it doesn’t interfere with the hatch.

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Step Six: Install Seatbelt Bar

The seatbelt bar should be placed as close to the bends as you can .  This strengthens the bends as well as reinforces the entire main hoop structure.  Once the bar is tack welded in place, and its found to be level with the floors, weld it in place.

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Step Seven: Install Feet Plate

With the XJ cage together slide the feet plate under each foot and weld them on.  It is best to use multiple layers  flame-retardant material between the feet and the carpet.  This stops the heat from the welding to burn or melt the carpet.

Once that is complete, your done. Reinstall the rear seat and test!

Side Notes:

  • Make sure all flame retarding materials are kept in place until the cage is cool to the touch.  Proper installation will allow for full use of the rear seat, it may not fold down however.
  • All cages are built to be installed on top of the carpet.  If you are planning to take the carpet out, please indicate that when ordering.
  • Modification to the overhead center console is required with all installations (light to moderate trimming needed depending on what console the XJ is equipped with).
  • Some glovebox interference should be expected on pre-1998 models, 1998-2000 models have full use of glove box.
  • Welding should be performed by an experienced welder. While D and C Extreme XJ Cage kits are built to strengthen the stock unibody structure, extra gusseting is recommended for extreme wheeling.
  • Roll bar padding should be used where ever body contact is likely.
  • D and C Extreme makes no guarantees (implied or otherwise) regarding the performance of our cage kits. Drivers/owners are souly responsible for the safety of their passengers as well as the quality of the installed product.

Special thanks to Brian @ ProjectXJ for this cooperation and the use of his XJ for this install.

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