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Old December 14th, 2011, 08:20 AM   #1
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Question Aluminum Exo

I searched the forums and cant seem to find it any where, its probally out there but couldnt find it.

Throwing around the idea of building an exo out of aluminum, its for body protection only, not saftey.

I want to put some tubes around the windows, lights, and pillars mostly just to keep the body structure in good shape. I want to to be removeable some what and as light as possible just to keep the rig lighter them all steel cage.

I know that steel is best for saftey so i figured if I did the exo out of alum and a simple cage inside for saftey...im thinking I can save some weight this way.

What do you guys think?


This is one of the many things on the list of ideas for the truck, I dont know when I will get around to actually getting all the details done. im just gathering information and saving up
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Old December 14th, 2011, 09:43 AM   #2
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I'm not a big fan of exocages, but mainly because of weight. IMHO, you can build a strong & light exocage from aluminum, but you ain't gonna like the material cost.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 10:01 AM   #3
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I'm not a big fan of exocages, but mainly because of weight. IMHO, you can build a strong & light exocage from aluminum, but you ain't gonna like the material cost.
that is why its just a thought, I dont like exo's really either but i want to protect my windsheild and rear corners/glass so i was just thinking of a 3 hoops of sort one around the windsheild, the rear pillars and tie them to gether down the roof line.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 10:11 AM   #4
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i think the idea will work. I think the first step you should do is measure how much aluminum you will need, and see how much it is going to cost you. If its cheap enough, go for it.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #5
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No. At some point you will end up needing to rely on it for strenght and it will let you down.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 10:52 AM   #6
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I dont think the weight savings will be worth it. Just do it with steel.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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No. At some point you will end up needing to rely on it for strenght and it will let you down.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #8
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I don't see any thing you would benefit from doing it. If your going to do a internal cage then use some hrew .120 wall for some body protection if you really feel the need.
Personally they made tons of s10s of that era that aren't to badly priced.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 11:42 AM   #9
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I didnt think about the fact one day ill will probally want to relay on it for something and it wont hold up... only really though about rubbing it on things.....maybe its not a good idea with the cost and lack of strength, i was really only looking at weight.

Im not worried about sheet metal damage persay, if it happens it happens I really want to try to keep the glass in place and doors to open.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 12:02 PM   #10
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There is a reason no one has aluminum cages or exo cages.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #11
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There is a reason no one has aluminum cages or exo cages.
i thought maybe no one would wanted to do it cause it wasnt safe, and no one would want to do two cages like I thought of doing, one simple on for saftey one for body protection, saving weight by not making a crasy exo for both out of steel
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Old December 14th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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i thought maybe no one would wanted to do it cause it wasnt safe, and no one would want to do two cages like I thought of doing, one simple on for saftey one for body protection, saving weight by not making a crasy exo for both out of steel

It would be fine for tree branches etc. but if you flop or roll it most likely will get destroyed. Not only that there are many different grades of alum. it is a pain in the ass to work with and you need to know how to tig weld. I bent alum. tubing for a tower on a boat and bought the wrong shit. I got 6061 t6 (which is hardened) I had to anneal the material in order to bend it. it was a big pain in the butt. IF you decide to do this make sure you buy the right material.
But again, I donít think it is a wise decision, if weight is your main concern there are ways to do exo cages to protect the body and not get to much material and to not get to cautee (spelling) so to speak.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 02:11 PM   #13
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One of the biggest problems you run into with aluminum frames like that is they have a big tendancy to crack from vehicle flex over time.

Its an issue thats cropped up often in camper designs, and why some of the few truck campers that do run welded aluminum frames have a special in-bed mount, not a frame tie in, to minimize twist/flex.

I've seen fatigue cracking on lightweight aluminum trailers also.
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