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Unread 07-06-2009, 11:03 AM   #1
Gailon
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First Upgrade - Winch! Plate + Weight ?'s

Horray! So finally, after owning my Jeep for two years and graduating in 2 months with my PhD, my wife finally gave me permission to start upgrading my TJ! Woo hoo!

So I want to start with a winch. Besides the hidden hitch that was on it when I bought it, the '98 is stock.

The general concern/topic is adding things to the front end affecting the weight and being too much for the stock suspension. Seeing as it's taken me two years to get permission for ~$500 in winching add-ons, I don't want to ASSUME I can quickly upgrade the suspension!

I've had my eye on a XRC8. I was considering at one point the XRC8COMP, but from what I've found, it's actually not any lighter than the normal XRC8!

I'm fairly sure I'll be fine weight-addition wise on stock suspension with just the winch. However, I've been considering what to attach it with. At the moment I'm bouncing between the Smittybilt Winch Plate (cheap and compatible!) and the Tomken plate+brush guard.

I guess my question is, would the Tomken be a large difference in weight compared to the plain plate? Might it put me over the top? Is the extra brush guard even worth it considering weight, 2x price and does it even protect?

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Unread 07-06-2009, 11:20 AM   #2
little_Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gailon View Post
Horray! So finally, after owning my Jeep for two years and graduating in 2 months with my PhD, my wife finally gave me permission to start upgrading my TJ! Woo hoo!

So I want to start with a winch. Besides the hidden hitch that was on it when I bought it, the '98 is stock.

The general concern/topic is adding things to the front end affecting the weight and being too much for the stock suspension. Seeing as it's taken me two years to get permission for ~$500 in winching add-ons, I don't want to ASSUME I can quickly upgrade the suspension!

I've had my eye on a XRC8. I was considering at one point the XRC8COMP, but from what I've found, it's actually not any lighter than the normal XRC8!

I'm fairly sure I'll be fine weight-addition wise on stock suspension with just the winch. However, I've been considering what to attach it with. At the moment I'm bouncing between the Smittybilt Winch Plate (cheap and compatible!) and the Tomken plate+brush guard.

I guess my question is, would the Tomken be a large difference in weight compared to the plain plate? Might it put me over the top? Is the extra brush guard even worth it considering weight, 2x price and does it even protect?
What is purpose of winch? If for off road use, you probably will not want the additional weight, loss of ground clearence, loss of approach angle, etc. that you will get with the brush guard. Personally, I think winch plates are over rated and over priced as long as they are mounted directly to the frame of the vehicle and grade 8 bolts are used for mounting the plate to the vehicle as well as mounting the winch to the plate. Mounting a normal winch & mounting plate may cause your front end to droop a little, but this can be easily corrected with 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch spacers on top of springs.

Before you starting spending money, you may want to spend some time wheeling your rig, and/or talking with other Jeepers in your area as there is nothing worse than spending $$$ to find out you bought the wrong item.
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Unread 07-06-2009, 11:42 AM   #3
SHAKEnBLAKE
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^^ he makes a good point. If you're in a stock jeep you probably aren't going to be doing to much wheelin by yourself, right? For me, joining a club was the way to go, and I didn't buy a winch until quite a while later, and I haven't even used it...

I can't really answer your question about the ride height with the stock suspension, but I do have a winch plate for sale!! (See my classifieds)
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Unread 07-06-2009, 11:54 AM   #4
Gailon
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Good points! The most "off-roading" I've done has been around simple trails + streams with other jeeps from and around the paintball field, but they've all basically been stock TJ's, plus or minus a Rubi =) so we've kept to basic stuff on private property

I've considered clubs around but with my degree defense coming up, I'm 99% sure I'll be moving somewhere wherever I can find a job in this economy, hehe, so didn't want to join up and leave so soon!
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Unread 07-06-2009, 12:01 PM   #5
IslandTJ
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In determining your route of upgrades, consider your style of off-roading 1st. Find someone who wheels where you plan to wheel and see how their rig is built. There are prior posts suggesting joining a club or group, attend an outing and see how their rigs handle the terrain based on their modifications.

I'm not discouraging your option to purchase a winch, but there are always a few jeeps that will accompany a run without a winch - as long as there are multiple vehicles, there is always a resource for extraction.

If your are set on a winch, I also recommend you concurrently invest in armor for your fuel tank and engine. Additionally for recovery, clevis or d-rings, recovery points front and back, tree savers, chain, snatch block and strap.
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[Edit] "Now jeepin in Oregon" [/Edit]

Last edited by IslandTJ; 07-06-2009 at 03:00 PM..
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Unread 07-06-2009, 12:16 PM   #6
goofus
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Winch is a great decision before wasting money on other crap. The weight of a winch and mount plate will require a spacer up front on the coils. Take your pick, the Teraflex 1.75" (1.25" without the factory coil spring isolator) spacers have worked fine for me on two different TJs with stock coils. The times you'll need it are the times you'll never expect.

And agree with above, get a tree strap, 20 or 30 ft 3" tow strap, snatch block, pair of d-rings, and rear tow point (and know how to use it all). Who cares if you run factory tires and stock suspension, you'll be able to get out of trouble when *******es with no recovery options are stuck and begging you to throw them a strap.
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Unread 07-06-2009, 12:17 PM   #7
SHAKEnBLAKE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gailon View Post
Good points! The most "off-roading" I've done has been around simple trails + streams with other jeeps from and around the paintball field, but they've all basically been stock TJ's, plus or minus a Rubi =) so we've kept to basic stuff on private property

I've considered clubs around but with my degree defense coming up, I'm 99% sure I'll be moving somewhere wherever I can find a job in this economy, hehe, so didn't want to join up and leave so soon!
Even if you wheel with a group once, it's probably worth the 30 bucks or whatever to join, besides, you're going to be rich soon. If they're club is like mine, guests are always welcome; they won't mind!
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Unread 07-06-2009, 12:35 PM   #8
little_Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gailon View Post
Good points! The most "off-roading" I've done has been around simple trails + streams with other jeeps from and around the paintball field, but they've all basically been stock TJ's, plus or minus a Rubi =) so we've kept to basic stuff on private property

I've considered clubs around but with my degree defense coming up, I'm 99% sure I'll be moving somewhere wherever I can find a job in this economy, hehe, so didn't want to join up and leave so soon!
Most Clubs will allow you to join their rides and to attend their meetings. Some even require that you attend X # of meetings and X # of trail rides BEFORE you can become a member. Go, learn, have fun!! Hopefully, find a Club that is "family friendly" where you can get your Wife involved too.

BTW, speaking as a fellow 1998 TJ owner, everyone knows that the 1998 TJ was the best Jeep ever built (LOL.... flame war begin---LOL)
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Unread 07-06-2009, 02:16 PM   #9
ROUGHSHOD
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What's your PhD thesis?
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Unread 07-06-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
Unlimited04
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What's your PhD thesis?
you know what PhD stands for right?
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Piled high and Deep.
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Unread 07-08-2009, 03:43 PM   #11
Gailon
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Hehe I'm in a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. My thesis topic is centered on delivering transcription factor proteins for cell differentiation.

Anyway, OT Thanks for all the advice everyone...I think I'll delay the winch for a little bit...see if I can get my wife to let me save that upgrade for later and concentrate on a quality install of a CB radio then, since a lot of clubs ask you to wheel w/ a CB on their rides it seems!
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Unread 07-08-2009, 05:05 PM   #12
little_Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gailon View Post
Hehe I'm in a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. My thesis topic is centered on delivering transcription factor proteins for cell differentiation.

Anyway, OT Thanks for all the advice everyone...I think I'll delay the winch for a little bit...see if I can get my wife to let me save that upgrade for later and concentrate on a quality install of a CB radio then, since a lot of clubs ask you to wheel w/ a CB on their rides it seems!
Again, ask wheelers in your area what you need before you spend $$. In my area, we stay pretty close together so a $50.00 CB from Wally World works as good as any of them. Spend your money on Firestic II antenna and coax from Pilot Truck stop. In my opinion, handheld CB's are a total waste of money. I had one and I tossed it in the trash.

This is a sweet radio...

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ct_id=10603634

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