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Under Cover Fabworks UCF LJ cage

LBarr2002

LIFETIME
SUPPORTER
#1
I've been contemplating a cage for several years now. I've thought about doing one of the add on kits, a full cage kit, or a bolt in. With the Moab trip coming up, and having spent so much "project time" on the LS swap, I decided to go bolt in.

There are 3 main companies I found to choose from. Genright, Poison Spyder, and UCF. Genright was out of the question due to price and being on the wrong side of the country. Poison spyder was the cheapest option, but also on the wrong side of the country, and I don't like the rear portion of the cage.

On the UCF I didn't like the design over the driver with the single tube, but I gave Matt a call. He was willing to customize it to give me two bars from main hoop to windshield bar to allow mounting of radios between. We discussed what exactly my jeep was, all the options, and placed my order.

On March 6th, my wife and I took off at 4:00 am for the 700 mile round trip to save $400-$500 on shipping. It was a long day but we enjoyed it. We got home around 6:00 pm.

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Saturday we started pulling out the stock cage. Other than the seam sealer around the main hoop floor plates and the security torx bolts that hold the main hoop to the tub sides, that went fairly smoothly.

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LBarr2002

LIFETIME
SUPPORTER
#2
For the install, we had 4 people and just walked it in from the back. It was a very tight fit, fit very well. The original plan was to drop it in, mark the few extra holes that needed to be drilled, and pull it back out. But, it fit so tight we didn't want to fight getting it back out.

As we started bolting it down, there were a few holes that weren't lining up. I wasn't concerned at that point, but things kept getting worse.

This is the email I sent after getting it in:


I understand that with any product like this there are going to be some issues, but I am extremely disappointed at how far from "bolt in" this cage is. I also understand that there are variances and tolerances between jeeps, which could explain some of my issues, but others I just don't understand.

-Driver's side windshield bracket is way off. On the passenger side I was able to make it work by opening the holes. The inner hole in the driver side was also opened, but the outer driver side hole was completely wrong. (Picture attached).

-Dash bar prevents removal of the dash trim and cluster surround. We specifically discussed this and how I needed to be able to remove it to access my gauge cluster. I drilled holes in the trim above the panel screws and should be able to get it out.

-B piller horizontal bolts, 1 on each side, required clearancing of the holes.

-C pillars required strapping to a tree to get bolts in.

-A pillar back bolts go into a sloped portion of the tub inner structure and can't drill straight through as you described.

-Front seat belt reels turned 90 degrees. Seats would only go half way back. Built brackets to turn them back to factory orientation. (Picture attached)

-Rear seat belt reels wont fit with covers, and are also turned in more. Was able to get them to fit with the covers cut down, but it puts the belts at an odd angle where they don't function smoothly.

-Door surrounds do not fit without trimming around the grab handles.

After looking at all the options out there for cages, or having someone local build one custom, I went with yours due to being bolt in, fitting all tops, etc. After talking to you I was very confident the product I was buying and the options I selected were the best route for my needs. After spending 2 weekends to get everything sorted out, it looks great. It should do its job. But, I'm very disappointed in what it took to get there.
 

LBarr2002

LIFETIME
SUPPORTER
#3
Granted, many of these issues are minor, and most would not have bothered me individually, but it added up.

If you zoom in on the first, you can see that the windshield brackets had to be opened and moved, but the driver side outer one was way off. The jeep has been laid into a back on the passenger side and the windshield frame is dented. Nothing looks like it's out of alignment, but I would have chalked it up to that, but the 4th is just wrong.
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After getting a lot of the other issues worked out, I bolted the seat belts and driver's seat in thinking I was nearing the end. I have aftermarket suspension seats on the factory sliders. I couldn't get half the travel out of the seats because the seat hit the reels. At this point I pretty much lost it, but Tripp pulled up, calmed me down, and we came up with a plan.

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Tripp built a press break while I finished up some other stuff.

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We made a Z bracket that bolts to the bracket intended for the reel and one of the tub side bolts.

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Turned it back to the factory location and it fits perfectly.

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One of the last things was trying to get a top on it to drive to work Monday, and the door surround doesnt fit. This is really minor and 5 seconds with a saw took care of it.

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LBarr2002

LIFETIME
SUPPORTER
#4
His response was I'm surprised, we've never had complaints like this before, and has it been in a collision. In his jeep, the seat belt reel relocated only prevents the last click (I still think this should be noted), and an apology.

I don't expect anything else personally, but I hope he'll double check his jig, and reconsider placement/design of some items.

The little things were just so close. If the horizontal dash bar was half an inch higher the panel would clear. If the grab handles would have been tilted back a few degrees, the door surrounds would clear. If the rear seat belt reel brackets were an inch higher they would have bolted right in.

I'm just disappointed. I've had their skid system and gas tank skid for years. When I had the stock drivetrain, I had the lo pro mount. I was so impressed with those parts I've recommended them every chance I get. I'm disappointed that I can't do the same for the cage. For a dedicated trail rig if you're not worried about stock seat/belt mounting, full dash, complete compatibility with tops and door surrounds, it would be an awesome product. But with all the little issues that came up for a "stockish", complete interior jeep, I can't recommend this cage.
 

LBarr2002

LIFETIME
SUPPORTER
#5
Now, for the good. I absolutely love the style of the cage. It's well built. It looks great. I have more shoulder room, which I really needed. The added stiffness keeps all the shit from rattling at idle that used to happen.

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I'm adding some cheap roll bar padding for now, and will be doing some kind of panel in the middle for radios, etc.

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#6
larry can you post some pictures of how the foot plates look and how it intersects your dash? also, what did you do to the air vent ducts?
 
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