WK Hidden Winch mount comparison - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-20-2021, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
Jaegermeiste
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WK Hidden Winch mount comparison

Currently wondering about the strengths/weaknesses of the following:
https://www.rocky-road.com/wk-winch-mount.html
https://www.hkoffroad.com/products/w...en-winch-mount
https://goliathoffroad.com/index.php...product_id=101
http://thesteelarmadillo.com/cart.ph...product_id=105

A few thoughts thus far:
- I like the ability to add the light bar/etc to the Rocky Road hidden winch, although apparently there's a bad fit for the 05-07 WKs.
- I like that the Steel Armadillo kit is basically a box (for strength), but I dislike the upside down winch as well as the $$ relative to the rest.
- The Goliath kit seems based on the CAD 4x4 drawings and is currently missing a solution for the hood latch mounts (the twin vertical tubes behind the grill). However, as I have the Goliath prerunner skid, they'd be officially compatible, whereas some other designs have a stiffening fin underneath that would interfere with the inside recovery tab mounting bolts.

Anyone have experience with any of these, good or bad? Recommendations for a vendor I missed? Honestly I'm just happy to find 4 competing vendors for the same basic product for a WK (has this ever happened?)!

Finally, is the 150/160 Amp stock alternator strong enough for winching (assuming something common like a Warn M8000), or do I need to try and cram a 250+ amp alternator onto the front of my 5.7 Hemi?

Thanks in advance for your sage advice and anecdotes.

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post #2 of 14 Old 06-20-2021, 11:25 PM
2005JGC
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I have the Rocky Road plate. I would HIGHLY suggest for the most straight forward install that you buy a winch from them. I picked up a newer version of the smittybilt 9500 winch. The winch controller on my winch plugs into the end of the control box, unlike their latch support/control box mount that is designed for it to mount in the top that is facing the front of the jeep. I had to completely fabricate a new latch support to accommodate this difference.

Being a fabrication noob, I anticipated a much prettier product. Welds penetrated but were not very good looking. I've never really purchased a low production fabricated part before. I guess I have been spending too long with late model Toyota guys... the ones willing to add a 0 to that price tag but expect it to look perfect for instagram. Goofs...

Anyway, I do have a light bar mounted to the bottom of the plate. It needs to be installed FIRST, then the winch as the winch covers up the mount holes.

I like how over engineered the HKoffroad with mounts running further back the frame rails and d ring mounts. Having said that, it is over engineered, I've doubled my 9500lb winch back on the jeep for approximately 18,000lb pulling force and there is nothing on the front end that is showing any flex, failure or giving.

For fitment, it depends on what winch line you are going with. Synthetic or cable. for cable, I found it was just easier (and I liked that it stuck out less) to cut a rectangle out of the bumper for the roller fairlead. It's a big, less than beautiful hole, covered up pretty good with a license plate fairlead mount. With a hawse fairlead for a synthetic rope, you could space out the fairlead pretty easy to sit flush on the bumper.
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-21-2021, 09:29 AM
nwoods
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I don't have an opinion on the individual products, and I support all 4 of these vendors with my purchases, but one factor you might consider is delivery time. If its not in stock, when will they fab the next batch? Are you willing to wait for that or is availability more critical to you?

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-21-2021, 10:07 AM
Vertisce21
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I actually intend to purchase the Rocky Road one because they are local to me. The Steel Armadillo one looks the most sturdy but I fear it may have compatibility issues with many higher end winches because of the top part being covered by a steel plate. That HK one looks pretty tempting though. Fairly priced and can even be made with built in shackle tabs. While there are plenty of other shackle mouting options, that one just seems really convenient.
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-21-2021, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
Jaegermeiste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwoods View Post
I don't have an opinion on the individual products, and I support all 4 of these vendors with my purchases, but one factor you might consider is delivery time. If its not in stock, when will they fab the next batch? Are you willing to wait for that or is availability more critical to you?
I've resigned myself to the fact that for most of these things, any lead time shorter than forever is a win. I'm generally assuming 12-16 weeks is reasonable for low-volume fabrication items, though.
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-21-2021, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
Jaegermeiste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertisce21 View Post
I actually intend to purchase the Rocky Road one because they are local to me. The Steel Armadillo one looks the most sturdy but I fear it may have compatibility issues with many higher end winches because of the top part being covered by a steel plate. That HK one looks pretty tempting though. Fairly priced and can even be made with built in shackle tabs. While there are plenty of other shackle mouting options, that one just seems really convenient.
I'm leaning toward Rocky Road because I have some of their other products, and I like the 'system' they have. I'm a bit peeved that they've ignored my (relatively simple) emailed questions thus far though.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-21-2021, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
Jaegermeiste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2005JGC View Post
I have the Rocky Road plate. I would HIGHLY suggest for the most straight forward install that you buy a winch from them. I picked up a newer version of the smittybilt 9500 winch. The winch controller on my winch plugs into the end of the control box, unlike their latch support/control box mount that is designed for it to mount in the top that is facing the front of the jeep. I had to completely fabricate a new latch support to accommodate this difference.

Being a fabrication noob, I anticipated a much prettier product. Welds penetrated but were not very good looking. I've never really purchased a low production fabricated part before. I guess I have been spending too long with late model Toyota guys... the ones willing to add a 0 to that price tag but expect it to look perfect for instagram. Goofs...

Anyway, I do have a light bar mounted to the bottom of the plate. It needs to be installed FIRST, then the winch as the winch covers up the mount holes.

I like how over engineered the HKoffroad with mounts running further back the frame rails and d ring mounts. Having said that, it is over engineered, I've doubled my 9500lb winch back on the jeep for approximately 18,000lb pulling force and there is nothing on the front end that is showing any flex, failure or giving.

For fitment, it depends on what winch line you are going with. Synthetic or cable. for cable, I found it was just easier (and I liked that it stuck out less) to cut a rectangle out of the bumper for the roller fairlead. It's a big, less than beautiful hole, covered up pretty good with a license plate fairlead mount. With a hawse fairlead for a synthetic rope, you could space out the fairlead pretty easy to sit flush on the bumper.
Good to keep in mind. I'm thinking synthetic. Their winch prices aren't the greatest, and I may two putt the install simply for cost amortization purposes (get the mount installed first, get winch later)
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-21-2021, 06:37 PM
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I will add because I think its only fair for future people looking. Ignore if you don't want to hear my .02 on RRO. Also, as a reminder, I have the RRO winch plate.

When I was looking for upper control arms, I was super turned off when I was told by a platform "expert" that the upper ball joints are non replicable. I mentioned that I was trying to see if I should thrown some new stock ball joints in for a trip coming up or get some arms ordered and that's when I was told, "that's the bummer thing, you cannot replace the stock ball joints." Except you can, and I was actually replacing some Moog ball joints currently in the control arms.

There website also SUPER bothers me. Much of the information they have posted about their upper control arms is straight up lying. It really rubs me wrong when I see a "jba or rro control arms?" question on a facebook group and they are quoting a bunch of bull crap from the RRO website. Then I see on an about us page talking about the owner and I couldn't help but laugh when I read a line about "treating people how you want to be treated." Despite having a bunch of lies smearing a competitor for a bunch of made up crap.

RRO has always been behind and never had anything on the shelf, as was the case with the upper control arms I didn't buy because of the wait and my winch plate. Manufacturing costs and labor difficulties many parts fabricators/manufacturers are dealing with haven't helped them and they are SUPER behind and not great about keeping people in the know on their orders. This is one of the reasons I went with JBA for the control arms, they were in stock, and they weren't sellin me some BS about non-replaceable ball joints.

JBA doesn't say anything about their competitor straight up lying about them, I can only assume its because Marlin is a good dude and has no problem selling arms based on the reputation without introducing a bunch of stupid drama to the equation. So I like to drop my .02 in where it is applicable to attempt to offset the lies.
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-22-2021, 01:07 PM
Vertisce21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaegermeiste View Post
I'm leaning toward Rocky Road because I have some of their other products, and I like the 'system' they have. I'm a bit peeved that they've ignored my (relatively simple) emailed questions thus far though.
Honestly, Rocky Road Outfitters was the mouting system I was going to go with until you clued me into the HK Offroad one. Honestly, I think the HK Offroad is superior.

There are also a few downsides to using synthetic line over steel. Obviously stregnth being one of them but synthetic is strong enough to do the job. What synthetic sometimes isn't strong enough against is heat. I have seen a few lines that were melted and flattened as a result of being heated up while the winch was in use. Whether this was a result of user error or the winch or just something that's bound to happen, I am not sure. I just know it makes me a little leary of using synthetic over steel. However, when synthetic line snaps...it doesn't become a fast moving projectile from two ends hell bent on killing things in it's way.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-22-2021, 01:34 PM
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I hadn't actually read the RRO product page for their control arms, it reads like a long winded rant by someone who's been day drinking. I'm quite happy with my obnoxiously red UCAs, even if RRO alleges that they are not the strongest on the market.

When I get a winch plate, I'll be getting it from HK Offroad. Bash (the owner) is a great guy. The products they make are solid. I've bought their shackle tabs, their tire carrier, and have some sliders in the works.
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-22-2021, 02:39 PM
Vertisce21
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Originally Posted by kbwk View Post
I hadn't actually read the RRO product page for their control arms, it reads like a long winded rant by someone who's been day drinking. I'm quite happy with my obnoxiously red UCAs, even if RRO alleges that they are not the strongest on the market.

When I get a winch plate, I'll be getting it from HK Offroad. Bash (the owner) is a great guy. The products they make are solid. I've bought their shackle tabs, their tire carrier, and have some sliders in the works.
I will admit that RRO has a tendancy to preach on their product pages as if they know better than everybody else about what is needed for my WK. It's obviously just bluster to increase sales but they do make good products. That said...I have no HK products but they do look solid and I fully intend to buy their tire carrier.
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-22-2021, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
Jaegermeiste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertisce21 View Post
I will admit that RRO has a tendancy to preach on their product pages as if they know better than everybody else about what is needed for my WK. It's obviously just bluster to increase sales but they do make good products. That said...I have no HK products but they do look solid and I fully intend to buy their tire carrier.
Yeah, despite all the bluster on the web page I have found the Rocky Road UCAs to be awesome, and despite a manufacturing issue that set the install back quite a bit, I'm really quite happy with my Rocky Road SuperSliders.

I'm leaning toward the Rocky Road winch mount because I like the construction, I like the ability to add on to it (whether it fits properly or not), and it doesn't block the recovery hook bolt holes (like the HK does), which I need for my Goliath prerunner plate.
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-23-2021, 10:29 AM
Vertisce21
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Originally Posted by Jaegermeiste View Post
Yeah, despite all the bluster on the web page I have found the Rocky Road UCAs to be awesome, and despite a manufacturing issue that set the install back quite a bit, I'm really quite happy with my Rocky Road SuperSliders.

I'm leaning toward the Rocky Road winch mount because I like the construction, I like the ability to add on to it (whether it fits properly or not), and it doesn't block the recovery hook bolt holes (like the HK does), which I need for my Goliath prerunner plate.
I did notice that the HK mount will block any option to install recovery hooks on the underside of the frame rails but it also comes with an option to have recovery hooks built into the winch plate. Welded directly on which I would imagine would be a bit stronger than a bolt on option in the way it's designed.
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-30-2021, 08:39 AM
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I guess the HK is out for me as I just put in the steel armadillo clevis brackets. I considered the rocky road with a light bar as the one I’d most likely go with. I’m still sorting out moving the inter cooler on my diesel.
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