2-Way Portable Winch Idea

dave_p

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I'm waiting on delivery of my first jeep and came up with this idea -- is there any reason this wouldn't work?

Rear Winching Solution: get a winch and a hitch mount for it

Front Winching Solution:
1. weld the wide half (receiving part) of a hitch extender to a winch mounting plate, and install it in my front steel rubicon bumper
2. widen the bumper's fairlead hole to 2" square in the middle to let the hitch mount pass through
3. when I need to winch from the front, just take off the cover plates on the bumper and pass the hitch mount right through the front

So the benefits would be:
- no need to drive around with the winch all the time, save on weight in front and possibly avoid some front sag
- winch in both directions and only buy one winch
- share the winch with anyone who has a trailer hitch receiver
- the front plastic cover pate on the Rubicon bumper will cover up that ugly square hole

Cons would include storing the winch inside the jeep when offroading.
Structurally I can't see why this wouldn't work if the weld is good, since the mounting plate and bumper are already designed to transfer the load to the frame, and the direction of force is the same.

But a lot of people on this forum know more than I do. What do you think?





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Dan M.

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If you watch Matt's offroad recovery youtube Channel he has something similar on his Cherokee. I am by no means an engineer, but it seems like something like that could work. Only downside is when you are at the mall, nobody will know you're a serious offroader as the winch won't be mounted.
 

Catiajockey

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There are plenty of bumpers on the market that have front receivers built in. These are mostly for full size trucks though. There are even winch plates designed for your very purpose. Curt does make a front receiver for Jeep JL intended for flat towing purposes.

I have considered the very same idea and here are my concerns:
Building a permanently mounted electrical connection both front and rear. This is just an issue of trying to build a plug for the winch with a direct to battery power.

I have considered the curt front receiver, however it sits below the bumper, this is liable to be problematic to reach in a stuck condition.

I have been trying to work out this problem too as I would like to be able to self recover but I am trying to keep the Jeep as light as possible too. Cantilevering a winch (even a synthetic rope one) out beyond the front axle has got to exacerbate all the eventual death wobble we will get.
 
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dave_p

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Thanks guys -- sounds like it's worth exploring then. re electrical you can't hard wire since the winch needs to be temporary, so yeah I suppose you want to run wire from the battery and expose a lead or wire together a plug/outlet? that would be cool and cannot be that hard.
I would guess you could run it directly off jumper cables for a quick and dirty solution, but I want to do something better.

I'm pretty focused on using the rubicon steel bumper because I just bought it and it's the only part of my new jeep I have to look at.
 

Mr Lee

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There is companies that sell quick connect power and ground connections that can be run through the grill. Tow and service trucks use them for jump starting equipment. You would want a interrupter for the rear outlet, it is a lot of cable to be unprotected.
I have considered this option as I need a pull backwards as much as forward but have decided against it for a couple reasons. I think the winch would be too heavy to be man handling around. It would also have to be strapped down securely when inside the Jeep.
I could deal with this except I don't think the mounting solution would be strong enough. It would be fine when pulling in a straight line but I rarely do that. I am always pulling at a angle, sometimes 45 degrees or more. I don't think the receiver portion would handle that. It is just a 2 inch square coupling trying to deal with a 8000 pound winch snatch blocked to pull 16000.
 

cosine

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@dave_p my brother had this set up on his tj. the receiver hitch was bolted on top of the bumper into the frame. the winch was mounted in a cradle. as for the wiring, did the quick disconnect. never did the rear setup.

for the pros. didnt have to run with the winch on the jeep all the time. also it was quick and easy.

the cons. its heavy and gets tiring taking it on and off for each trail run and other usage. this set up does not like hard side pulls.
 

JimLee

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Had a setup on my old poorunner that used this Warn multi mount plate, receivers front and back. Thought I had the world beat, never once used it on the back bumper in 10+ years of wheeling that thing.
 
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dave_p

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You guys are making sense. One of my goals in this is the clean front bumper profile I'd get, but after some research I might be able to get that by relocating the control box of a warn winch.

I want to start out with an understated look, so people don't expect sasquatch to climb out of the drivers side every time I park...you know...at the mall.

So if rear pulls are rare (and can be accomplished with snatch blocks), and angles are not friendly to this setup, maybe I go the normal front mount route.

Do you ever throw in a hand-winch for that odd situation, or am I over-thinking it? I am targeting day trips on intermediate trails with 35's and the kids along - nothing extreme yet. Most likely use case is being stuck in the Northern California clay mud. I just thought if I slid forwards off a trail I'd need the winch in the back, but I have no experience.
 

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