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Winch location/height on an 80

Gav Peter

Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2010
Country Flag
I am in the throes of designing my front bumper & winch...

So far, I have inverted the 'hydrofoil' bumper to give me a flat surface which is level with the bottom of the chassis rails - the hydrofoil is now serving as an excellent steering guard by the way so watch this space Les!!! :cool:

With the winch on the plate, there's a lot of space above it so I have added some 45mm wooden packers to lift it (as a mock up!!!) & there's still another inch above the winch.

Hence my question - is it best to position the winch high, low or somewhere in between??

For the design of the bumper, I plan to make sleeves to slide over the chassis rails which will pick up all nine fixing points. The winch plate will the be welded between these two sleeves with bit of 'gussetry' to suit & then make a box to encapsulate the winch.

Anyhoo, hope someone can assist in how thick my wooden packers should be :p

Isn't it best to get it up over the mud and water? I.e. the higher the better.
Electric or hydraulic?
Could be the case uHu... Clearance seems to be the watchword generally. I just wondered about winching practicalities y'know... My truck has a 4" lift & is rolling on 35's so I do have quite good clearance as things stand. The fear was almost to mount it too high :shock: Maybe not an issue...

Its an electric winch - one of those Goodwinch jobs.

I've been out on the front messing with it for the last while & current thinking (which changes with the breeze BTW...) is to go with the level set by the bottom of the chassis rail. I think it'll give me a bit more freedom to be creative with the bumper to make it less of a box shape...

But n'owts cast in stone if better knowledge comes along than I have access to at present...
It should be mounted so the "pull" is in line with the chassis. If it is below the chassis line then it will pull you down, above then it will pull you up. Either will add more stress on the mounts.

You see... I knew someone would be along to talk sense to me ;)

Cheers Paul

So long as the pull line is somewhere between the top & bottom of the chassis rails, that would be ok you think? I mean, its being tailor made to the winch so I could position it so the lines is bang on centre... Just pondering how critical it is...

Va bene
The simplest and strongest option is between the chassis rails with no spacing. Get a big piece of 8 or 10mm plate and bolt it to the underside of the chassis rails :D Your winch will get full of muck wherever you put it so more important really is to make sure you have a good view of the winch drum in use and be able to fetch it off for servicing without too much trouble seeing as it's electric :roll:
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Oh dear, still not a fully subscribed member of the electric winch supporters club then Jon... No doubt I'll find out in the fullness of time :cool:

When I bought the winch from David, he sent me one of his universal mounting trays which I was going to use but its only 6mm thk... Its folded along each long edge but you'd opt for sommat a bit heavier eh Jon? I probably will to be fair, then I can base the bumper design around it...

Here's what happened this morning...

We start with this:


The hydrofoil bumper ;-)

And after a wee bit of cutting, grinding, drilling, folding & then some more cutting, grinding, drilling, folding & the... Oh stop it - they know already... ;-)

We get to the mock up:




Plainly the final solution will look nothing like this but its helping me get things visualised for my design & I'm having fun too :) The side plates are there to disguise the open ends of the chassis rails - I'd previously hacked them off the original folded sheet whilst trying an alternative position for the winch, i.e. mounted at an angle leaning back towards the engine, & modified them slightly to fit as shown...

The pull line is right between the chassis rails so its happy days on that front.

What does your TJM bumper have on it for access to the winch Jon?

I have never seen one of the 6mm winch mounts get bent, so should be ok.

My winch is a Froggs Island winch bumper, just remove the spot lights, undo the 4 bolts underneath and lift out. Then undo the 4 wires.

That's reassuring Paul. However, the plate from Goodwinch will require modifying so I might just make my own... I'll have to see which/what works in best...

Let me know if it gets sold on cheap ;) I could always use one for a rear winch mount in a year or two.

Bendy stuff that 6mm :mrgreen:


Feet first on a 6mm bumper that's boxed in I'd be ok with but feet down no thanks not even on the 9.5k winch never mind the 12k. It might not fail outright but what kind of load is all that bending putting on the winch casing and bolts?

Access on the T3 is a big hole in front of the winch :lol: There is a decent sized slot in the top as well. There were some pics on my body lift thread.
I went with feet down and 8mm this time. Mind you, the 8mm base plate was pretty buttressed underneath. It's all about being is strong as the weakest point I guess. The ends of the chassis rail on my 90 aren't that thick. So I could make the winch carrier out of 1/2" boiler plate, but at the end of the day it's what you fasten it to. 6mm does seem to be standard fare for commercial plates. I took Jon's advice and went thicker in the end. But I think that 10mm is really overkill. I know this is about 80s not 90s but I went for the same principle of trying to keep the pull along the chassis.

Gavlad said:
So far, I have inverted the 'hydrofoil' bumper to give me a flat surface which is level with the bottom of the chassis rails - the hydrofoil is now serving as an excellent steering guard by the way so watch this space Les!!! :cool:

I'm watching buddy. Looking good so far :cool:
here is a few pics of the one i made,the bullbar is a rangerover one converted



I was convinced I knew where I was going with my front bumper...

and then I spot this turkey on IH8MUD...


Oo yah oo yah oo yah... Gnarly dude :twisted:

I am going full on 'Mad Max' with this one fellas :lol: :lol: That evil bumper doesn't even need a hoop!!!