View Full Version : roll cage for e30 convertible?

11-15-2005, 03:09 PM
so i'm out test driving cars today and it turns out that the salesman has the same e30 that i do ('87 325i convertible), except his is a hard top. he mentioned that he was pretty sure that someone made a "bolt on" (his words) roll cage for the convertible that allowed you to do track events. anyone know if this is true and, if so, who makes it?


11-15-2005, 04:13 PM
Even if you have a roll bar/cage, BMWCCA won't allow you to track a convertible -- if you roll in a sand/gravel trap, the bars sink in and your head is now supporting the weight of the car.

That said, I'm not aware of a bolt-in for the cabrio -- without the roof and b-pillar to add support, it would take extremely heavy construction to take the load.

Bolt-in's are of dubious value anyway, since they often require heavy duty weld-in reinforcement at the attachment points to make sure that they won't punch through the floorpan & they rarely fit right since it's a one-size-fits-all concept with cars that rarely are exactly the same example to example.

My suggestion would be to buy a cheapo e30 track rat (~$750-1,500), leave the engine & suspension stock/street-able, strip out the interior and have a custom cage built for ~$1200. Or find a used-up early E36 325i/is and do the same.

David Hicks
11-15-2005, 06:21 PM
FWIW, BMW CCA is one of very few clubs that don't allow 'verts with roll bars on the track. PCA and Mazda Club both allow them.

11-15-2005, 07:36 PM
FWIW, BMW CCA is one of very few clubs that don't allow 'verts with roll bars on the track. PCA and Mazda Club both allow them.
I believe BMWCCA allows convertibles with "proper" roll bars. Individual chapters make their own decision as to acceptance for their events. National Capital made the decision years ago not to allow convertibles because (1) who will be at every one of our track events who is qualified to pass on the roll bar installation? (2) the danger mentioned above about a roll bar sinking in a gravel trap (3) the possibility that the student with a convertible can't find an instructor willing to ride along.

NASA and possibly Car Guys will allow convertibles.

11-16-2005, 11:26 AM
National requires roll bars to meet SCCA standards (wall thickness and angle of supports) or have engineering sign off (so there are very clear things to check and compare if legal).

Big thing I saw was that they had a 2 inch over the head rule, but the line went from roll bar to front fender. Makes for a very tall roll bar.

Check with I/O Port for bolt in bars and cages.

And bolt in roll bars perform fine (and are SCCA legal). They use large plates at the bar to car attachment point, with a plate underneath, both spread the loads. And SCCA standards for roll bars (and cages) do NOT take into account any roof/pillar support. They are the same for closed and open cars. It is entirely weight based.