You can use ugly square tube instead
This sure is one of the best ways to mount a winch to an XJ.
You can do it with square tube as well. Vetteboy79 on Pirate did something similar to me, but used 2x6 tube.
Great work man! I agree with Climbit -Don't care for tube bumpers, but you really came up with a great design. That's some serious beef the way you ran the winch plate all the way across!
Have you considered filling in the outer two triangles under the headlights with plate too? Maybe add a couple dimples in there too? Plus once you get your line and fairlead installed, it will be the shiite! I might steal this idea and just fill in the front all the way across for my brother's XJ. I think shackle mounts on the outside would look a little nicer too even though you may lose a couple inches of clearance in that spot, but it could be finished off all the way across the front that way. Regardless of my opinion, I still really like what you did.
I havent really liked any tube bumpers I have seen that have been made for XJs, so I wanted to try and make it look less like a true tube bumper. I feel I pulled it off pretty good, but Im a bit biased.
I considered plating in those spots, but I kind of like the "tubeness" of that area. Im also considering putting some sort of driving light in there, but I really have no use for any more front facing lights.
For now it will stay the way it is.
So after my last wheeling trip, I discovered a big ol crack in the unibody right below the steering box where yours was. Now I'm throwing all kinds of stuff at it. JCR 4 bolt steering box kit, YJ box, aftermarket pump, and PSC assist ram. I was hoping to weld the JCR plates to the inner and outer framerail, but I have no idea how to get a winch in there without hacking off the bulkhead like you did haha. Not sure if I want to take off the whole front clip and move the radiator or not. I will be using this writeup for a reference though, thanks for taking all the good pics. Wish I had all the tools and steel stock that you did haha.
If you use your hydro assist that will take a ton of the pressure off the steering box and surrounding area. However, you can never have to strong a steering box area.
Does the JCR kit have frame sleeves? My inner and outer framerails were plated, but I didnt have sleeves, and you can see the pictures of the crushed framerail in this thread.
Tools and metal have been gathered over the last 6ish years. And having a friend who has some even better tools helps as well, especially when hes also good at bouncing ideas off of.
Glad the writeup got you thinking and maybe gave you some ideas.