Recovery Equipmonk -
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-21-2012, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Westchester
Posts: 45
Recovery Equipmonk

I'm looking into getting some recovery equipment for my XJ build, but I'm on a bit of a budget. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with using just a winch cradle as opposed to running a complete bumper set up.

Such as this:



And also, what winch would get me the most bang for my buck? I was looking into the Warn entry level systems.

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post #2 of 4 Old 03-21-2012, 11:05 AM
Web Wheeler
2000 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fairbanks
Posts: 1,166
receiver winch mounts rely on your receiver hitch to be able to handle the stress it'd be seeing with a winch.

If you're on enough of a budget that you can't buy a winch bumper (and you don't even need a $700 winch bumper for an XJ), perhaps you should stick with easy trails or go wheeling with friends, save your money, and get something useful down the road.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-21-2012, 12:17 PM
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2003 WJ 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Redmond
Posts: 8,535
There have been many threads and there's always disagreement. I maintain that it depends on your application. A mobile-mount winch has some drawbacks but also some benefits.

Benefits: not exposed to elements every day, not available to steal/Jeep has lower "theft profile", cheaper than steel bumpers, lighter than steel bumpers.

Drawbacks: possible loss of approach angle, awkward to carry/install, not as strong as a hard mount.

I say "possible" because this all depends on how your receiver mounts. Mine puts my winch mount 20" from the ground and right up against the bumper. I have never hit it on anything on the trail, only once I scraped it on a rock when I was posing for flex. As for the receiver being weak, I find it funny that the same die-hard Warn fanatics would call my Warn receiver hitch "weak". It's made with beefier, thicker material than my OEM Class IV hitch is. Companies like Fawkes Offroad are developing/producing even stronger front receivers with ratings of 14,000 lbs.

As for mounting, people are going to say "are you really going to mount that up when you are stuck?". No of course not! You put it on before you hit the trail and take it off when you get home.

Now if you were building something crazy for black diamond trails, a really hardcore off-road build, definitely go with a hard mount. But if you are building a rig for mild and moderate trails that doubles as a daily driver, there's nothing wrong with a mobile mount as a insurance.

Now for some specific recommendations - the winch mount you posted is specific to the Powerplant winch. Make sure that the cradle you choose has handles and a fairlead mount and uses 1/4" construction. Harbor Freight mount is way too thin. The Promark/TuffStuff/Generic/SmittyBilt unit has quality control issues, I received two defective ones. It seems hard to find a good quality winch mount. There seems to be good mounts available from Warn, Superwinch, and Curt. Don't skimp out here.

As for winches, you can't really go wrong with the M8000 or VR8000 from Warn, especially if you go mobile mount. The M8000 is strong, reliable, and light, especially if you put on synthetic rope.

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billzcat1 is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 03-21-2012, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Thanks billz, I think you pretty much gave me all the info I was looking for. This build is going to be a daily driver that I may take off road a few times a year and will probably never see anything more difficult than a moderate trail at the baby stages while my budget is low.

If it turns out the job market is good when I graduate school and can get a real daily driver, then this thing might turn into a more serious build with more serious modifications including a built-in winch bumper. I'm excited to get the build started, so look for it around May when I'm done with the semester and have some time to get some parts and work in.
ivtaku7 is offline  

bumper , recovery , winch

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