Building Project TwoFace Ranger’s S&W Pre-Bent Roll Cage Kit

After a grueling summer of waiting, Project TwoFace has finally made it home. This project already had the engine between the framerails and the rear differential under the bed, but the actual fabrication of installing a roll cage, plus a slick wiring job, is really all it lacked. At first this seemed like a job that we could complete with an entry-level welder and skills to match, but life had other plans and it was easier to let a fabrication shop do it. This made us trust the fab shop’s work, but we know these guys are really good at what they do.

Pre-Bent Roll Cage, ford ranger, project twoface

We delivered TwoFace and a pallet full of pre-bent bars that were specifically designed for our Ford Ranger, thanks to S&W Race Cars. S&W supplied us with the easy-to-use pre-bent roll cage kit that allows you to notch, clean, and finish weld without any benders. The wait time at chassis shops held us up a little longer than we anticipated, however, now that the Ranger is back, we have the next three frigid months to dial everything in and have it ready for opening day.

Who Is S&W Race Cars?

Due to the time delay, our product began to have some surface buildup. However, after some cleanup and a fresh paint job, our cage is looking fresh.

S&W Race Cars is a well-known manufacturer and supplier of high-performance racing components, chassis, and safety equipment. They specialize in designing and fabricating products for drag racing, street performance, and many other forms of motorsports. Founded in 1959 by Walter Sheaffer, S&W Race Cars has been a prominent name in the racing community for several decades.

Over the years, S&W Race Cars has gained recognition for its expertise and dedication to the motorsport industry, making it a trusted source for racing components and accessories. One particular product that S&W is  known for is pre-bent roll cage kits for specific applications. Although the common belief surrounding pre-bent cages is that the fitment can be less than perfect because the tubes are bent according to a master jig, as opposed to being bent to your chassis, specifically, that isn’t the case here. This cage fits the seams and rides the cab lines with perfection.

Our S&W Ford Ranger Kit

Thanks to S&W, we now have a 10-point NHRA- and IHRA-approved 8.50 roll cage. We lack the certification sticker (for now) but this cage is 1-5/8-inch by  .134-inch-wall EWS mild steel  tubing. Each tube had its place in the puzzle — all that was needed was cleaning the surfaces off, notching the ends, and fitting them into place before welding everything up.

Although having the bars go through the back glass wasn't what we initially wanted, there was no other way to have this cage be SFI-legal. We've got a date with the window shop coming up where they will be outfitting TwoFace with a slick-fitted lexan back glass to fit around it.


When considering a roll cage for your project, it’s essential to choose one that fits your specific vehicle model and meets safety standards. Or, have the vehicle taken to a trusted shop that knows the rules and regulations before they fabricate a complete unit. The two most popular materials for a drag racing roll cage are mild steel and chrome-moly. Which material you use will depend on what certification you’re looking for in your roll cage and how much money you want to spend on materials.

Drag racing organizations enforce strict safety regulations, necessitating a properly designed and installed roll cage to meet the safety standards. In the event of a rollover or accident, the roll cage prevents the roof from collapsing — a critical safety feature. Moreover, a well-designed roll cage contributes to the overall stiffness of the vehicle, enhancing handling characteristics during acceleration and deceleration.

An advantage of a pre-bent roll cage lies in its custom fit for your vehicle. Ensuring proper installation is crucial for safety and performance. S&W Race Cars also offers professional installation options, emphasizing the importance of correct installation to meet safety standards. It is advisable to check the specific rules of the drag racing organization you intend to participate in, as requirements may vary. Additionally, seeking advice from experienced drag racers or professionals can offer valuable insights into the specific drag racing needs. However, most drag-related fabrication shops know what you need.

Advantages To Pre-Bent

A pre-bent roll cage comes with numerous advantages. Particularly those crafted by reputable manufacturers like S&W Performance, they often adhere to specific safety regulations we will face. This ensures unquestioned legality in events, offering a valuable compliance aspect. The installation process benefits from the pre-bent design tailored for specific vehicle models, saving considerable time and effort. With pre-calculated bends and angles, the welding process becomes more installation and less fabrication. The use of high-quality materials and precise manufacturing techniques by reputable manufacturers ensures durability and reliability, as opposed to a local shop using materials of questionable origin.

Pre-Bent Roll Cage, ford ranger, project twoface, s&W race cars

On top of the pre-bent cage, there was some additional love added so we could run a collapsable steering shaft and everything works perfectly.

Additionally, a professionally installed roll cage contributes to the resale value of a modified vehicle, for those interested. As upgrades go, a roll cage can be a costly endeavor.

S&W roll cages are designed and manufactured to fit the given application and ensures optimal safety and structural integrity by aligning precisely with the vehicle’s interior contours. These tubes ride right at the edges of the cab, making it look like it was meant to be there. Moreover, the robust structural integrity of roll cages contributes significantly to overall chassis rigidity.  With the cage installed, now we will not only be legal and safe, but will also take advantage of the additional chassis rigidity offered by the S&W 10-point roll cage.

With the truck back home, the last-minute touch-ups are in order. As of right now, the truck needs a windshield, back glass, a proportioning valve in the braking system, and a fresh oil change, and it is ready for abuse. We cannot thank S&W enough for helping us out on Project TwoFace. Be sure and check out their website for information on products for your vehicle. This won’t be a record-breaking speed machine, but it will be quick enough to be dangerous. Stay tuned as more coverage from the little truck is coming. See you in the winner’s circle!

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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