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 Winches and Winching Part 1

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Posts : 1285
Join date : 2010-12-30

PostSubject: Winches and Winching Part 1   Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:08 am

Winch Mounting

Mounting a winch is not difficult, so why do so many get it wrong and mount them incorrectly? Generally it’s because they lack the correct knowledge, and not the expertise. Begin by reading the manufacturer’s instructions as this will give a recommendation of what size and thickness of mounting plate to use for their specific product, use this as a minimum thickness, use thicker plate if possible, and cut this to fit the aperture you wish to mount the winch in.

Many people make this mistake, so why’s it wrong? Imagine a plate thickness of 6mm which is fairly typical and you weld it along one side directly to the chassis, and the weld is excellent, but only 4mm wide, you now have a massive load concentrated on a line just 4mm wide. In the best case scenario you will just tear a slot out of your chassis, in the worst case scenario it will allow the winch and its mounting plate to fly forwards off the vehicle and injure or kill someone, so what is the correct method of mounting a winch plate.

To begin we need to spread the load over a much larger area, it’s simply a case of adding a reinforcing plate to the chassis of a similar thickness to the mounting plate, then you can seam weld the mounting plate along BOTH edges and ends of the plate. This will spread the load across a much better area. My preferred method is a little different, instead of welding the mounting plate to the now reinforced chassis, I weld on some 50 X 50 X 6mm angle iron, and this is drilled with 4 X 14mm holes equally along its length. Corresponding holes are drilled into the mounting plate, these are drilled 10.2mm and tapped to M12, this allows the winch to be securely bolted to the mounting plate and the whole unit is slid onto the angle irons and attached by screwing 8 X 12mm bolts with threadlock from underneath. Once installed, i then threadlock the top of the threads sticking through the plate and fit nyloc nuts, these are normal 12mm nuts with a flange on the top, the flanges have a nylon insert in them which locks the nuts to stop them loosening with the vehicles vibration. This is much easier for maintaining the winch as the nuts can be undone, the bolts removed, and the whole plate and winch assembly can be easily slid off the angle irons to remove it.

Taking this extra time and effort is worth it, and irrespective of which type of winch you have installed, you can use the mounting plate, and weld support brackets to secure electric cables or hydraulic hoses so they don’t sag or droop and become susceptible to damage. Mounting brackets for electric cables can allow them to be routed under the bonnet if you have remotely mounted solenoids and prevent them coming into contact with moving, or hot parts, and additional protection can be added to prevent other forms of damage to them.

If you adopt this method of using angle iron attached to the reinforcing plates, always ensure they are fully seam welded with an appropriate size arc welding rod, or with a large enough MIG welder capable of penetrating that thickness of metal. Many people make the classic mistake of using underpowered MIG welders, and arc welding with too small a welding rod and insufficient power to correctly penetrate sufficiently for a good, clean weld. Remember most chassis rust from the inside out, and they may be much thinner than they were when the vehicle was new, so ALWAYS use a reinforcing plate.


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