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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2002, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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The ZEN of making a winch mount

* * * See post from Farmjeep for pictures * * *

Every week or so there is a post about a winch mount. The usual discussion is about who sells what. Some day Im going to write a post about the Zen of Jeep building, and try to encourage more making and less buying. In the mean time, heres the winch mount chapter.

The attached pictures are of a mount I made about fifteen years ago for a Ramsey 246L 8000# PTO winch. It took an afternoon with a torch, Lincoln AC buzz box and 4 grinder. Of course, I had spent several days off and on mentally planning the design.

This mount replaced the one that came with the Jeep factory winch kit. I replaced it because this winch has a longer drum than the factory winch. Also the factory kit was a pretty bad design structurally. My recollection is that the materials for this cost about $15.00.

The basic design is two 1/4 vertical plates on the outside of the frame rails, a flat horizontal plate joining them, and a vertical plate behind the winch. This is all welded together, along with a couple of triangular gussets to resist side loads. Then there is a 2 X 2 X 3/8 angle bolted across the front.

This is excptionally strong because of the way the loads are carried and transferred from the winch to the frame. The pull is first applied to the 2 X 2 angle where the winch end caps are bolted to it. This transfer is in compression.

The angle carries the load to the side plates. The angle is in beam load, which is why I made it so stout. The force is transferred to the end plates by a friction joint with two 3/8 grade 8 bolts at each side. The load on the end plates is in line with the long dimension of the plate, where they are exceedingly strong.

The mount is bolted to the frame with a couple of 3/4 bolts at each side. In the course of the current project I am going to weld tubes into the holes through the frame so that the bolts can be tightened more without crushing the frame tubes.

The plate in back is there solely to locate the drum end caps. It contributes nothing significant to the pull strength of the assembly because the load is in beam, where the plate has very little strength. It does, however, augment the side-load strength and resist the torque of the drive gear.

Also note the plate bolted under the fairlead to protect it. Had I been paying more attention I would have made that integral with the base plate.

In use this mount is plenty strong to pop 5/16 cable, which it has done several times when Ive gotten careless. My guess is that the frame rails might bend before the winch frame. However I have no desire to test this theory.

It is also the base for the snowplow lift frame. In addition it provides nicely protected nooks for the turn signals on either side of the fairlead.

The factory mount had a similar base plate, which was bent down at the sides to bolt to the frame, and up in back to bolt to the back of the winch. The pull strength came from a piece of angle that crossed the front of the drum and then turned down and was bolted to the base plate with two 3/8 bolts on each side. The load had about five inches of leverage acting against the bolts two inches apart on the base plate.

Under load one could see the winch being pulled forward and the base plate being distorted by those bolts. The base plate and the plates on the bottom of the angle were permanently bent in that area so that the angle sprang forward when it was unbolted from the winch.

I have wondered why the factory mount was made that way. The only answer I have is that it took a little less steel and a little less welding to make. My guess is that it was adapted from a design for a lighter-duty.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2002, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The ZEN of making a winch mount

Here's a picture from the opposite angle.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2002, 04:26 PM
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Re: The ZEN of making a winch mount

I think that frame has seen better days. I also like the rusty shock, bet that thing squeaks when it travels.

The winch mount does look nice and I agree that people should build more than buy. I have to build, theres not enough money to buy all the stuff I need for the jeep. That and I like to do things differently most of the time and end up with a custom setup.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2002, 05:21 PM
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Re: The ZEN of making a winch mount

There is no mystique involved with building ANYTHING for a Jeep, but you missed the point. First of all, a channel mount from someone like Warn is cheap, and it is proven. They are in the business of stuff like that, so the quality when you come to something that can have dire consequences under catastrophic failure is very important. I call it common sense and cheap insurance buying something like a winch mount. Sure building stuff is fun and cheap, and I've done quite a bit of it, but I strongly disagree with taking this subject so lightly, failure of a winch mount can have FATAL consequences. And plus, where else can you get those 2 little Ws embossed in the metal in the front angle?! If you are not totally sure of your fabricating and welding skill, this is one of the places NOT to practice!
post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2002, 06:06 PM
 
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Re: The ZEN of making a winch mount

I have to agree with CJJC here, I'm all for building what I can and am comfortable with, but on something with life or death type ramifications, or if I question my ability or design in the slightest, I fork out the $$$. I just think of it as cheap life insurance. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2002, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The ZEN of making a winch mount

While you're thinking of insurance, keep in mind that professionals gave us the Hindenburg, the Titanic, the Pinto, the Firestone 500, the Challenger.... Professionals also designed the mount that came with my winch kit, and it was junk. Professionals can screw up. Sometimes they screw up because of time and cost considerations that don't affect us as amateurs.

Sure, a guy can get in over his head in a hurry if he's not paying attention. I want to get people to think about what they're doing and the ramifications of it. That's why I put in that long discourse about load carrying and transfer. If people put that kind of analysis into what they do, a lot of projects will come out better. And safer.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2002, 08:54 AM
 
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Re: The ZEN of making a winch mount

Yes Jim, Professionals do screw up (that's what we call being human) I'm just saying that if you question your ability or design that it might be better to leave it to the professionals.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2002, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The ZEN of making a winch mount

Well, of course. I don't recommend that somebody go out and buy a bunch of expensive tools and try something like this without knowing which clamp holds the welding rod. He should find somebody who does know how to make it go and work together.

I have had quite a few people help me out over the years; an ironworker, a couple of machinists, a couple of electrical engineers, an electrician, several old timer auto mechanics, a welder, and so on. Most people are glad to share knowledge with an attentive, appreciative apprentice.

Learning how to make things for yourself is a very rewarding process. But, as you point out, the learning has to be in place before you tackle some projects. There's no argument there.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2002, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The ZEN of making a winch mount

Dean, thanks for setting up those pictures. Can I edit my original post to take the pictures out, without messing up your post?

And how do you do that? I've seen it discussed before, but it didn't sink in.
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