TJ Winch Mounting Plate Flat or Raised? - JeepForum.com
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Unread 12-22-2008, 09:12 PM   #1
cvd
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TJ Winch Mounting Plate Flat or Raised?

Based on pictures, it looks like some plates are simply a flat piece of steel with holes in the right places (Smitybilt, Rugged Ridge, or MileMarker), while others look like they elevate the winch (Tomken, Warn or Body Armor). Seems to me the lower the winch, the better. Any reason for the differing designs?

A better question is is there anything lacking in the Smitybilt unit? It sure is cheaper.

Cliff

Smitybilt ($70) - http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.as...0&partID=40357

Rugged Ridge ($72) - http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.as...0&partID=40350

MileMarker ($85) - http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.as...=0&partID=9245

Tomken ($190) - http://www.quadratec.com/products/12113_04.htm

Body Armor ($206) - http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.as...0&partID=14699

Warn ($213) - http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.as...=0&partID=6128

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Unread 12-22-2008, 11:21 PM   #2
StvDiego
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The main difference is the "elevated" plates account for the winch mount bolts that go through the bottom of the plate, the flat plates use spacers to raise the plate.

Either way you need room under the plate for the bolt heads from attaching the winch to the plate.

As for other differences...

Some are better quality steel, are powder coated as opposed to painted, some have varying hole designs, some have fairlead mounts some don't...

I've used and thoroughly abused a generic/TJ raised mount with a Mile Marker winch on my TJ for a couple of years with no issues other than needing a touch of rattle can now and then. Look for one with a fairlead mount built in, almost all do.

I also trimmed the plastic swaybar cover to fit around it and reinstalled it
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Unread 12-23-2008, 12:19 AM   #3
fish4life
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StvDiego View Post
The main difference is the "elevated" plates account for the winch mount bolts that go through the bottom of the plate, the flat plates use spacers to raise the plate.

Either way you need room under the plate for the bolt heads from attaching the winch to the plate.
It depends on what kind of bumper you are mounting this on. Assuming it is a stock bumper, which most winch plates are used with, there is no need for any kind of spacer or gap between the winch and the plate. Standard winch mounting pattern is 4 bolts on 10"x4.5" i think. This clears the stock bumper width enough so that when the winch plate is mounted flush on top of it the bolts can still be tightened from the bottom just fine.

You can see here my M8000 winch is mounted on a Harbor Freight winch plate that sits flush on the bumper. The winch was mounted on the plate and then the whole assembly was mounted onto the bumper. The bolts cleared the bumper just fine. Thinking about it, i think they could even be done up had the plate been mounted first, followed by the winch.




Last edited by fish4life; 12-23-2008 at 12:32 AM..
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Unread 12-23-2008, 12:22 AM   #4
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As for the plate, i'd pick the cheapest one that is thick and fits. My Harbor Freight one is good and has been used in several decent pulls, one involving a jeep that slid into a lake from a 10 foot cliff and it is in no way "deformed" anywhere. It's held up just fine

The harbour freight one was a steal at like $37.99, not sure if they still have them or not. I heard they got rid of them all.

EDIT: The Smittybuilt advertised there says it is 3/8" thick. I HIGHLY doubt that is correct. The standard thickness of these is 3/16 of an inch. If you can get a 1/4" in the same price range it would be good, but 3/16 is adequate

Again, if it's a stock bumper, just go with the cheapest 3/16" plate that fits and call it a day
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Unread 12-23-2008, 12:37 AM   #5
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I had the local steel shop cut a piece of 5/16 plate the length of the framerails and the width of the winch. I took it home measured and marked the holes and drilled them out. Total cost $20... it's stronger then any mount you can buy. Plus, it's mounted flat to the framerails, no need to raise it for clearance.
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Unread 12-23-2008, 12:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mascun View Post
I had the local steel shop cut a piece of 5/16 plate the length of the framerails and the width of the winch. I took it home measured and marked the holes and drilled them out. Total cost $20... it's stronger then any mount you can buy. Plus, it's mounted flat to the framerails, no need to raise it for clearance.
If it's just a flat piece of metal, then where'd you mount the fairlead?
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Unread 12-23-2008, 12:51 AM   #7
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to 2 pieces of 1/4"
I'll take pics if you want
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Unread 12-23-2008, 01:01 AM   #8
fish4life
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mascun View Post
to 2 pieces of 1/4"
I'll take pics if you want
and how'd you mount these two pieces of 1/4" to the winch mount? Did you weld them on?
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Unread 12-23-2008, 01:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish4life View Post
and how'd you mount these two pieces of 1/4" to the winch mount? Did you weld them on?
well, mine is a lil different. my front bumper is a piece of 4" C channel so i welded the fairlead mount to it. But, the 5/16 plate could just as easily have been bent at a 90 and holes drilled into that for the fairlead. Don't know about by you, but, my local steel shop charges $2 per cut and $3 per bend....So price of 5/16 at correct width 1 cut, plus 1 bend.
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Unread 12-23-2008, 07:46 AM   #10
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Smitty winch, Rough Country plate, Smitty bumper. Experienced the winch bolt clearance issue with flat plates and aftermarket bumpers during install. No worries, just drilled some holes in the bumper and bored them out with a uni-bit until they were big enough for the winch bolts to drop into. Easier to get a raised plate depending on which bumper you have. My Smitty bumper was cheap, easy to drill through, and I was drilling holes in it anyway for my off road lights.
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Unread 12-23-2008, 08:05 AM   #11
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Harbor Freight, $40!

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=90476
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Unread 12-23-2008, 08:49 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to use the stock bumper. Sounds like a simple (cheap) flat mounting plate should be fine.

Regarding the Harbor Freight "universal" plate - do the holes line up for use with the stock TJ bumper?

Cliff
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Unread 12-23-2008, 09:49 AM   #13
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I don't think I saw anyone else mention this - but I had the HF plate on my rig for a while until I picked up the Warn TJ plate from a local Jeeper. The flat plate ones are designed to mount in front of the swaybar - the Warn is elevated to sit on top of it. The winch sits slighly higher - and a few inches further back toward the grill with the Warn. The HF plate brings the winch out toward the front and it even sticks out a few inches past the bumper. You can see this in the pics earlier in this thread. Obviously the Warn piece is much more expensive - but look at it and you can see why in my opinion.
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Unread 12-23-2008, 10:00 AM   #14
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I've got an extra Harbor Freight winch plate sitting around. It's a universal type, brand new.
Was going to sell on ebay, but if you want it let me know. Also have the black steel hawse fairlead.
Was thinking $10+ship for everything. PM if you want me to send pics. Thanks.
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Unread 12-23-2008, 11:31 AM   #15
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Bumper (in general) has nothing to do with it. A winch plate should not rely on the stock bumper at all. The bumper isn't strong enough for much.
Flat plates must be in front of the sway bar, so they'll stick out the front more. Look at fish4life's pic.
The raised plates get over the sway bar, so the winch can tuck in tight to the grill. Look at http://www.jeepforum.com/gallery/sho...5&ppuser=71619
Air flow to the radiator is not an issue either way, (except maybe with one of those monster compressor winches.)
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