A roll cage is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can outfit your 4x4 with. It’s not just for looks—it can save your life and your rig in a rollover. Aside from the safety aspect, there is also some performance to it; a roll cage will help stiffen the body and provide a mounting area for other items like seats, 5-point harness, CB radio, off-road lights, etc.
Being that most of us have altered our 4x4’s center of gravity by adding a suspension lift and bigger tires, having a solid cage is a good idea.
When we acquired our Toyota Land Cruiser the stock roll bar had been taken out and was long gone. Even though our FJ40 has a hard top, we still wanted the extra protection of a roll cage. The OE fiberglass top and metal/glass sides are no match for the 3,600 lbs of the vehicle. Plus, it’s nice to be able and go topless in the summer.
FINDING THE RIGHT CAGE
We wanted to work with someone that understood Toyota Land Cruisers—especially the early FJ40. After searching long and hard, we finally decided on a roll cage for our Toyota Land Cruiser: 4+Plus Products roll cage from Man-A-Fre.
Man-A-Fre is the oldest Toyota Land Cruiser parts distributor in the world. We had the opportunity to work with them earlier on our project with the front bumper install (http://www.off-road.com/trucks4x4/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=542645). We were so pleased with the product and service that we decided to consult the Toyota Land Cruiser experts about our roll cage.
We contacted Man-A-Fre and found out that they didn’t just sell an off the shelf cage, it would be made to order. Steve Hayes, Sales & Marketing Manager at Man-A-Fre gave us some pointers on what options were available for the roll cage. Basically there are two different models, the Safari and the Family Cage. The Safari protects the two front passengers, and then slopes to the back behind the front seat—giving it a competition rock crawler look.
4+Plus Family Cage from Man-A-Fre
The Family Cage has a similar front section but extends all the way to the back—giving full protection to both the front and back seat passengers. Not as aggressive as the Safari, but very functional and pleasing to the eye. Both series have options for dash bar, corner gussets and seat cradle.
Since we will be using our Land Cruiser to transport precious cargo on the trail, (new baby on the way) we decided to go with the Family Cage. We placed the order, and about 2 months later a custom roll cage was ready for pick-up.
We drove up to Simi Valley, CA to Man-A-Fre headquarters where Al Hughbanks, Owner met with us and personally helped load our new 4+Plus Products Family Cage. It was an amazing piece of raw metal with sexy curves and wicked welds.
The cage is designed to fit snuggly inside the Toyota Land Cruiser. It comes fully welded, so all you have to do is mount it, drill some holes in the floor and fasten the hardware. A very straightforward application without the headache of cutting and bending pipes.
The 2-inch diameter steel tubing wraps and bends the entire length of the tub. The .120" thick wall on the DOM tube will provide strong protection on impact if we ever end up on our lid. To make sure the cage stays securely attached to the vehicle, 6 floor mounting points are strategically placed against the firewall, behind the front passenger seats and at the back wheel well.
Some nice features of the 4+Plus Products roll cage are the precision welds and corrugated plates found on back section of the cage. The mounting plates over the wheel well area follow the tub lines and are designed to not distort the tub lines. They also came in handy when lining up the cage to drill holes in the floor.
The best part of this roll cage is that it is designed so that the OE hard top can be put back on the vehicle without having any problems. The roll cage follows the roofline closely. Having the option to fit our hard top back on will come in handy for winter off-roading and trips to the Eastern Sierra.
The entire experience with Man-A-Fre and their product has once again proven to be worth the money and the wait. These guys really are the Toyota Land Cruiser experts.
We are very happy with the way the FJ40 turned out and how well the cage fit. The craftsmanship is excellent; made in the USA.
We still need to figure out what finish we’re going to use on the raw metal; either rattle can (spray paint) or send it out for powder coat. Since we still have plans to add more items like a back seat CB Radio, GPS and off-road light rack—additional tabs and welding needs to be done. The roll cage will stay raw until all those details are finalized.
If you have a Toyota Land Cruiser and are looking to outfit it for the trails, look no further than Man-A-Fre. They have all the right parts and can even build it for you under one roof.