Next we had to locate the rear bar by installing the feet that have been designed for easy removal. You can see how difficult getting into the passenger side rear corner would be if you had to try and place the welded cage as a single unit. We removed the vapor collector (white container) and placed it to the side while we drilled the mounting holes for the foot.
To get to the underside of the body corner you must remove the gas filler tube cover. There is one bolt we left out when re-assembling the cover, it is seen in the red circle in the photo to the left. It got in the way, but it wasn’t a critical fastener. To the right you see the holes drilled for the drivers side foot. The holes that need to be drilled are well documented in the instructions that come with the kit. You also receive a steel template so that measuring mistakes are kept to a minimum. We finished up the other welding just as we did on the front using ratchet straps and tacking it. Then we lifted the complete cage out of the vehicle for final welding and painting. The ability to shift the front-to-rear stringers in the rear section of the cage allowed us to move the upper sidebar a little higher. This put it just above the side window when the top is on. This will the tube to contact the material in the top instead of the window plastic. besides drilling a few holes (4 for each leg of the cage), the only other modification you need to be concerned with is notching out a small section of the inner cover for the gas tank filler neck. This is where the passenger rear corner tube comes down to the foot we installed earlier. Some metal shears and a small spritz of matching paint make short work of it. Don’t just remove the cover and throw it away… this is a safety feature and should be retained to some protection for the rubber filler neck from sliding tool boxes. Remember… Safety First! Remember when we mentioned fitting the targa back on? the photo to the right shows some of the ‘massaging’ that had to be done to our targa when we realized we had measured incorrectly before welding. Don’t let this happen to you, trail fit the targa before making that final weld! Here are a few shots of the finished installation. You can see how everything tucks neatly under the stock top without taking away too much room inside. Notice the sun visors in the photo to the left… they are still mounted in the stock location using stock hardware. The bar fits right above them without getting in the way. You will have to keep the hoop that holds up the back of the soft top. The cage was designed for strength more than how it conforms to the inside of the material. You can see how the cage is designed to fit next to the dashboard without restricting access to the windshield clamp of the fold down kit. By placing the tube on the outside of the dash board instead of in front of it, you have full access to you whole dashboard. No more relocating switches… You can also see how the tube misses the side air vent once we replaced them. Once the top is in place you hardly notice the cage. If you look closely you will see the tube that follows the ‘A’ pillar (the side of the windshield), but not much more.
THEN, you drop the top and hit the trail. People will notice the difference immediately. And you will feel a bit more secure when you fold down the windshield. If you ever had dreams of building a true off-highway vehicle, then those dreams probably included having some kind of a cage system. Might as well do it right and add the Trail Tough Family Style Cage.
Watch for the trail review in an upcoming issue! Source: