Choosing The Right NHRA Cage For Your Drag Car

**Choosing the Right Cage**
We get asked this a lot so we figured we could touch on this topic a little bit. And give our views on each. Hopefully providing you guys with some info on cage kits!
When choosing the best cage to fit your needs. A few things need to be taken into consideration.
1. What stage your car is in currently
2. Your goals with the car
3. Budget
We will start with the basic Roll bar which we do not have pictured. This is typically an 8 point cage, which has 8 points of attachment to the chassis. This is required from 11.49-9.99. We try and steer most away from this unless they absolutely will not be faster than 9.99. As a roll bar can only be made of 1 3/4 tubing. Which most don't want to put in their car if they have the goal to go faster. As it adds unnecessary weight.
The next step up from that is a 8.50 cage, Which is needed from 9.99 to 8.50. This is what 75% of customers need and want. It is the most basic full cage. It has 10 points of attachment, Unless it is a full frame vehicle and then it requires outriggers off the cage to support the cage. But this does not require the D bars that go behind the driver seat.
Now this is where we start merging the line between 8.50 and 25.5. This is where the goals portion comes into play. Many have the ambition to run faster than 8.50 in the quarter mile but don't want the driver structure for street driving or just for the clean looks.
This is where our idea for an 8.50 with a floor structure came from. The propose for this was to give the customer a base to build off of. Creating a strong floor and then still cert to 8.50. Along with having the ability to upgrade to a 25.x later on. Acting almost like a very strong set of subframe connectors, but not limiting the cage the way subframe connectors do.
Once the 8.50 mark is crossed, we recommend a 25.5 cage. Which is known to some as a 7.50 cert cage at 3600 lbs. Which will in fact take you to 7.50 seconds in the 1/4 mile. If you notice the 2nd picture below, it shows a basic 25.5 for a SN95. Notice how it doesn't have the blue 1 1/4 diagonal bars in the floor. Those are not needed if the full factory floor is still in the car. Removing the need for those. MRC in house builds and our cage kits are all built with 25.3 specs in mind. For example, our door bars are build with the 25.3 sizing. That way it makes upgrading easy later on if a 25.3 is needed.
As you saw in the last paragraph, the next step is a 25.3 or 6.50 cert cage. This improves on the 25.5 and requires more bars. Most noticeably is the roof structure. This cert requires a X in the roof with 6 more gussets. The gussets don't stop at the roof either. The secondary door bars get 4 gussets also. 25.3 is also a only round tube chassis. Unlike the 25.5 which can include some square tubing. We try and steer most this way if they are considering a 25.5. There is a substantial amount of work in the roof and gussets. So anytime this work can be done before the cage is lifted into its spot in the car, the cheaper it will be for the customer. Saving time later on down the road also. If an upgrade is needed.
The next step is the 25.2. Which is nearly identical to the 25.3 other than the fact of weight. A 25.3 is good for 3600 lbs total weight, 25.2 is good to 3200 lbs.
The final is the 25.1 Chassis, This is the end all be all, good for anything faster than 7.49 at 2800 lbs. To the surprise of many, it uses smaller tubing than all the other certifications. But can be made the lightest and is the go to for most grudge or no time cars. Where weight does not matter.
Now this all comes with a grain of salt, as all the certifications other than the 8.50 have 4 different configurations that you can choose from. Based on where your helmet is in relation to the main hoop and how your personal car is laid out. This is why we recommend a SFI book when building one of our cage kits or building one yourself.
Hopefully this shed some light on which cage to choose from when the time comes. Whether it be one of our in house builds, Cage kits, or a DIY project. This is why folks like us are here. to steer you in the correct direction.

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