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BigJimnyMeet (North) 2024 (12 Jan 2024)


BigJimnyMeet 2024

14th July 2024
Parkwood Nr. Leeds

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Winches and Bumpers, decisions decisions

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20 May 2009 11:16 #714 by kirkynut
I have been thinking long and hard lately (hence the length of this post)about fitting a winch to my Jimny. My partner Lindz is going mad, along with our Off Roading friends, as the dreaded "W" word seems to be all that I say!!!

I noticed Ooky123 has posted on difflock about this so I thought I'd share my thoughts and findings with you here - I'm not on difflock and it's only Jimny related.

I am saving for a house, so spending on things like this is something I shouldn't really be doing, but won't be able to do once we have one. Nonetheless I need to be conscious about the budget.

When considering how to mount a winch, for me a winch bumper is the only way to go. If I only ever planned to go gentle Greenlaning and never get stuck in anything really bad, just ground the radius arms out occasionally and need a gentle tug, a mounting within the original bumper would be best.

However, we got proper stuck recently in the only big muddy hole in the Lake District and had to be winched out by our friend's SJ (thanks again James and Claire - and don't worry, my winch chatter will soon end). Some high up good recovery points would have been so much easier and a winch of our own even more so. Also, the bumper was dragged through the mire causing me concern. It flexed and was ok, but only just.

As our vehicle may end up in the punishing conditions of our Club site in the future, a winch bumper is the only way. Having seen what you do Ooky123, I'd say the same for you!

My other problem is that the vehicle has to be left on the road overnight when I stay at Lindz house, but garaged when at home. There are a fair number of tealeaves around our way, so security is an issue.

I thought about an Anderson Connector and keep taking the winch off with it being easily connected back up with the connector and this may be something I do. The other thing is those security bolt caps but then if I want to take it off I have to drill them off.

There is also the theft of the winch rope / cable from the winch to consider. Plasma is not cheap, so this would have to removed when not off roading and half hour spent putting it all back on when going off roading, perhaps not so much of an issue when enclosed in the standard bumper, but I have ruled the use of that out. De-mountable entered my head briefly but there's not much room in the rear of a Jimny when it's not in use and they ruin your approach angle causing you to get stuck and you can't get to the mounting place when you are stuck.

So these thought bring me on to bumper choice, now that I have decided to get a winch bumper. The cheapest winch bumper in the UK according to my research is KAP at £307.50 inc VAT + P+P. These include a belly bash plate to protect your steering gear etc too. The only thing I don't like about them is that they don't come all the way round to meet the standard wheel arch extensions. Darren has good reason for leaving them like this though as it makes the replacement of a wing easier if you dent one.

Darren at KAP has also just brought out a new winch bumper which is nicer to look at, still has the belly bash plate and now has driving lights built into it. I can't find the price he gave me but I think it was something like £300.00 + vat + £20.00 P+P but you'd have to call him to get a price.

Then there's Rhino Ray's at £485.00 and this has the bull bar bit over the top to the edges which I fancy will protect the lights and bumper a bit more and looks nice and a bit like an ARB I think, but the price is cheaper than an ARB at £595 all in from TBT4x4.com. There are others on the market, but for variuos reasons, I would not consider them.

Then it's winch choice. This is the bit that I'm driving people mad about. You clearly get what you pay for. There are three main issues as I understand it. The power of the winch, the speed it winches in at with no load / with a load and what type of brake it has. These all lead to the price of the item.

In respect of power, if recovering from anything more than slightly stuck on your radius arms, my limited experience but the experience of those I have spoken to, a 6000IB winch is fine for a Jimny but going less would be false economy.

An external brake is needed if you want to use Plasma winch rope, but this rope is not cheap at £160.00 for something worth having. There is cheaper stuff but I'm led to steer clear of it. Plamsa Rope is easier to handle and safer but when given the respect it deserves and when all safety advice is heeded, wire rope can be used safely.

Winches with external brakes I have found to generally come in the higher powered varieties and the upper price bracket - about £600.00 with a plasma rope and ally hawse fairlead. Winch Solutions can supply a Champion 6000IB winch with internal brake for £207 delivered inc VAT. It might not be suitable for Plasma due to the internal drum brake causing too much heat on the drum for it.

So your winch choice depends on what rope you intend to use also. My findings are that GOODWINCH's offer to replace the roller fairlead and wire rope with an ally hawse fairlead and plasma rope for £125 is best value. Theirs has a good solenoid and are waterproof and top quality. They make other look false economy. I would choose these if regularly using the winch.

If you are happy to stick with wire, Champion are the cheapest known brand I can find from Winch Solutions but they are not particularly quick with high gearing of 294:1 compared to some at 176:1 or 196:1. These Champion's seem to have an in drum brake but a 10,000IB winch can be got via Winch Solution's ebay shop for £235.00 delivered inc VAT.

As far as I can see there are no "Quick" winches in the budget bracket I'm looking at, so I'll just have to be patient as it winches the cable in after winching and be careful with wire rope.

My decision as it stands at present, liable to change when the wind changes, is to get a KAP original bumper and a Champion 10000IB winch which will not be suitable for plasma, so I'll stick with the cable. Then if the cable get's nicked it's only £30.00 to replace, not £160.00, the winch comes with a cover to keep it and the cable out of the elements / sight and if I use the vehicle down the club, I'll not smash up the front bumper.

Then there's a second battery and split charge system and cut off switches to think about but I'll save them for another time as this is a very long post now.

Why is choosing a winch so complicated???

Martin, I see you have a winch and I think you still use wire rope, what are your thoughts on it all???

Kirkynut

The underdog often starts the fight, and occasionally the upper dog deserves to win - Edgar Watson Howe.

My Jimny Thread Here: www.bigjimny.com/index.php/forum/8-my-ji...on-continues?start=0

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20 May 2009 16:36 #719 by mlines
Blimey, thats a long post and it looks like you have thought it all out.

Mine is a modified KAP bumper (built in the early days when they didn't have a winch version apparantly). The winch sits inside the winch bumper and cannot be removed from the outside of the car, you have to remove the radiator and drop the winch out through the engine compartment. This makes the winch itself secure.

Mine is a 9000Lb winch. The trick to remember with winches is that the pulling power is only full spec. when using the first layer of cable (ie. most of the cable is still ON the drum). As each layer spools out the pull gets a lot less and most pulls need you to spool out to the second layer just to get enough cable to pull with. However if you use a swingaway shackle and double up the line then the pull doubles (ie. 18,000lb on my winch) BUT the speed of the winch halves.

You need to consider what you are using the winch for. If it is for self recovery then it is going to be used to PULL. Therefore the brake is not used and you can happily use Plasma. If it is used on competitive challenge events then you are likely to be lowering your car over a cliff or lowering your partner over a cliff, this heavily uses the brake and with a drum brake the heat will build up and damage the Plasma. So for the average user, a drum brake is fine. Its when you are holding the weight of a car on the drum that problems occur.

Again, with speed its a matter of what are you using it for? For self-recovery you should not be in a hurry (its dangerous!) so a slow winch is fine. If you are entering challenge events then every second counts. Having said that get the fastest one you can afford as some winches are slow to the point of being a pain.

I only have steel cable because I cannot afford Plasma. The steel cable is nasty stuff, it quickly sprouts "sprigs" of wire that seriously hurt if you do not wear gloves. If it breaks it is extremely dangerous as it whips around. I am upgrading to Plasma as soon as the bank manager permits (possibly this summer :) ). I dont think its too much of an issue to wind plasma on whenever needed as it does not need to be neatly layered like steel does, I believe it is best to wind it on untidly

Choose the best solenoid setup you can. If you are using it for self recovery it will sit on the front of your car in mud,water and rain for months until you suddenly need it, when it will prove to have failed!

Although you will not need a split charge system (I have one fitted as it happens) you will find the standard, tiny, Jimny battery useless.

Hope this helps

martin

Martin

2003 M13 early KAP build.
3" Trailmaster lift with 1.5 Spacers on front
Customised winch bumper and roll cage
235/85R16 Maxxis Bighorns on 16" Rims, 4:1 Rocklobster, Rear ARB locker and on-board air
Corrected arms all-round, rear disks, Recaro seats and harnesses

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20 May 2009 17:26 #720 by kirkynut
Cheers for that Martin, you have cleared up a few points from my mind and some misunderstandings I had.

I wonder if the later KAP bumpers allow the winch to be dropped in or pulled out without the removal of the rad? Have you seen any that were designed primarily as winch bumpers?

I hadn't thought about the brake only creating heat when holding the weight of the vehicle and we would normally only be pulling, not lowering, so this shouldn't be a problem. I will therefore look at getting plasma in time, probably on the Champion 10000LB winch I have mentioned. The 12000LB ones are not much dearer but size and weight will probably become an issue and it's overkill with a 10000LB I think.

I agree with the slower winching being safer. I have used a winch with steel cable before when I was on the local Lifeboat Crew as it was used to winch the boat up and down the slipway. I have experienced the nasty sprigs you mention and it is painful, even through gloves. I don't plan to dunk mine in salt water regularly though. I have to consider that my partner Lindz will be handling it too and she has no experience with winches, so plasma and slower might be better all round.

I shall be buying a second battery - a NUMAX like Xeng sell and plan to mount it on the opposite side to the main battery, although I seem to remember reading, perhaps one of your articles, to say that this can be problematic due to lack of space and the brake lines there. The alternative is the boot, but that is small enough as it is and I have all the interior in and use it. Running a live cable the length of the vehicle doesn't fill me with joy either.

I have just seen the X Charge system for £39.99 but had planned on a National Lunar system at £80.00. You get what you pay for I think.

With respect to solenoids, I had been told about this issue too but hadn't cast much thought to it. I understand that there are different quality cut off switches about too. What solenoid set up are you using Martin?

Thanks for the advice, there is sooo much to consider it's unreal!

To think that to throw a winch on the front will cost best part of a grand, you need to spend your money wisely and your advice is gratefully received.

Kirkynut

The underdog often starts the fight, and occasionally the upper dog deserves to win - Edgar Watson Howe.

My Jimny Thread Here: www.bigjimny.com/index.php/forum/8-my-ji...on-continues?start=0

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20 May 2009 18:20 #721 by mlines
The X-charge system is nothing more than a good quality split charge relay - available cheaper from ebay. This one is similar but I didn't pay anything like that price!

cgi.ebay.co.uk/300-AMP-12V-24-VOLTS-SPLI...3A0|293%3A1|294%3A30


To confused things further my KAP bumper was hand modified by Offroad Armory so I dont know what the current KAP offering is. You should note that with "in bumper" mounted winches there is not enough room to mount the solenoid pack, if you look at Tonk's pictures upload this evening you will see he managed to get the solenoid pack mounted ok. However, I could not do this and had to buy some remote solenoid cables (more cost!)

My winch battery is in the boot, there are some documents on this site with pictures.

I use "Albright" clone solenoids, again these can come in really cheap, medium and genuine Albright prices!I have the medium priced clones (hoping that they will be ok!)

Martin

2003 M13 early KAP build.
3" Trailmaster lift with 1.5 Spacers on front
Customised winch bumper and roll cage
235/85R16 Maxxis Bighorns on 16" Rims, 4:1 Rocklobster, Rear ARB locker and on-board air
Corrected arms all-round, rear disks, Recaro seats and harnesses

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20 May 2009 19:47 #722 by TONK
Hi, can not help you with the winch bumper but Offroad armourys at the show looked very neat. On the winch side i can put my 2 pence worth in, in the past i have built and competed in many winch challenge events, using different kinds of winchs from warn 8274, to cheaper ones. I have found that david Bowyers Tds winch to be of great value, ideal for plasma rope, great pulling power. Got stuck on Sunday in a large bog, winch pulled me out no problem, its a fast winch to, cost was £389 including snatch block, battery cables, wireless remote and hand held remote + roller fair lead (not using this) making a stainless steel lead for my plasma rope. Using standard battery and as of yet had no problems.

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21 May 2009 08:09 #723 by ooky_123
Thats for the writeup ... it read very much like a memory dump of what went through my mind.

Replacing the bumpers is not an option for us as Kerry (and to be honest, I also) donot like them, and, while they have a practical use, see no real need for them given the style of our offroading.

I have no issues with steel cables, although I do have the scars to proove it !!.. My father-in-law does a lot of work for the Forestry and local councils and to him, there is no substiture for steel cable ( plus he and I would get it cheap, if not free! )

As I will only ever use a winch for self recovery, and to be totally honest, I tend to ground out the diffs more than anything else, I have decided to go for a Tirfor manual winch and 20Meters of steel cable.

I have found a supplier of a turfor style winch for £200 with cable included. I know some builders who use the model in question and they rate it for recovering site machinery and stump pulling. Ok its manual, but its a free workout!!!!.

HandyStraps have supplied me with a number of 2 tonne rated slings ( 1 meter - 4 Meter ) lifting straps with a 7:1 safety factor and these should be suitable for my needs.

I have taken to mounting twin 1.5-tonne Stainless D Shackles to the front towing eyes and using a 2 meter sling fixed to each side. This gives me enough slack to put a Bow shackle in the middle and split the recovery loads between both front towpoints, effectivly halfing the stresses and giving me an equally loaded pull from any angle whilst not having to replace the standard recovery points.(again, taking into considderation, any recovery of us is usually a gentle tug rather than the snap of a kinetic rope in a challenge scenario)

Rear is a 3 Tonne lift rated steel forged "D" Shackle that is captive over the ball of our towbar.
We also have a stainless "D" Shackle on the one rear mounted recovery point with a small "Throw" Rope (20 meters, usually secured to the shackle and fed into the car or wedged beding the rear wheel) rated at 1.5 tonnes for quick recovery from water crossings. This we have found is sufficient for a pull from distance

Former owner of Little "Ooky", who has now started a new life in Shetland

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08 Jun 2009 15:36 #780 by Big Jim
Hi what did you do in the end and have you got any pictures of it all fitted ?

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11 Jun 2009 16:30 #787 by kirkynut
Well then!!!

After all that thought and wondering - what I ended up doing was NOTHING!!!

The reason ... We are saving for a house and have found out how much deposit you now need to not have to pay nearly 7% interest on a mortgage! Something I can not bring myself to do, especially as they want to lock you into it for 5 years!!!

That shock of reality has halted any plans I had of further modifying the Jimny and it's all money into the Savings account.

Not what I wanted at all.

I had plans for a nice cage and winch bumper at the front and heavy duty bumper at the back and to go over to our club and show the Landover 90's how to do it.

We still have out 410 for the club though and so I have put the larger tyres I have bought for when we use the Jimny greenlaning on the SJ and somehow they are not rubbing.

Sunday will be the day of judgement for them though!!!

Thanks for all the advice I was given though. If the purse strings losen up, I'll be straight out to buy a winch and bumper!!!

Kirkynut

The underdog often starts the fight, and occasionally the upper dog deserves to win - Edgar Watson Howe.

My Jimny Thread Here: www.bigjimny.com/index.php/forum/8-my-ji...on-continues?start=0

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