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Installing a Winch on a Trail Boss

vezePilot

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I have started a project to install a winch on my Trail Boss. So far I have researched the issue, compared prices and capacities, and have ordered all the initial equipment required.

Here is a Front Receiver that I have decided on. edit: Now has been delivered. And is a Different model.

NO FRONT RECEIVER CURRENTLY FITS A TRAIL BOSS. THIS PROJECT IS ON HOLD UNTIL I FIND ONE THAT FITS.

Here is what it looks like once it is installed:
FrontRcvrPhoto.png


Here is a typical 9,000 lb Rated Receiver Mount for a winch:
WinchMount1.png

This one is the Lightest I could find, and I have had this for a few days, got it assembled. It has been discontinued at Harbor Freight. Others like this are much more expensive. It needs to be LIGHT, because the combined weight of the winch and the mount can easily exceed 90 lbs.

Here is the winch I decided on, after almost buying a Harbor Freight ZXR 9000. I like dealing with the Open Road folks:
OPR_Winch.png

The Harbor Freight winch had steel rope and Roller Fairlead (HEAVY!). I would have needed to spend more to replace those. This winch already has the MUCH LIGHTER synthetic rope and simple fairlead. So the combination of the Light-weight Receiver Mount and this Winch is about 80 lbs. That is about as light as I could find. The weight matters because I will need to carry the winch from the bed to the front receiver. And I'm 65 years old.

And here is the stuff needed to make a power cable long enough to reach the rear from the battery. A user explained that Yes, Indeed, he uses this wire set to run a winch and has recovered vehicles with it. This IS up to the task:
2GA_Wire.png
 

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vezePilot

vezePilot

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I have also ordered the Crimp Tool (~$25) needed to crimp those 2 gauge wire connectors; also a rope extension, snatch block, a winch ring and a soft shackle. I discovered that there are studs on my battery posts that are long enough to add the connectors and another Nut. These turned out to be number 6 metric (6mm?). I already have a long, 3 inch wide 9,000 lb WLL recovery strap and a few 9,000 lb rated shackles.

So all of this, including the power cable, a recovery rope, snatch block, soft shackle and everything to mount the winch is about $900. Still less than most other brand winch sets alone. I have been studying Matt's Recovery and Casey's Recovery videos on utube. They do NOT use Warn brand winches.
 
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PHXPHOTOG

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I have also ordered the Crimp Tool (~$25) needed to crimp those 2 gauge wire connectors; also a rope extension, snatch block, a winch ring and a soft shackle. I discovered that there are studs on my battery posts that are long enough to add the connectors and another Nut. These turned out to be number 6 metric (6mm?). I already have a long, 3 inch wide 9,000 lb WLL recovery strap and a few 9,000 lb rated shackles.

So all of this, including the power cable, a recovery rope, snatch block, soft shackle and everything to mount the winch is about $900. Still less than most other brand winch sets alone. I have been studying Matt's Recovery and Casey's Recovery videos on utube. They do NOT use Warn brand winches.
I love this project. Function before form, doubling the usefulness of your winch investment.
 

Wakinvol

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I have to agree. The functionality outweighs the cool factor but when you are stuck that's what matters. My only question would have to be, will the mounting piece be strong enough to hold up in a "bad" stuck.
 
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vezePilot

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I have to agree. The functionality outweighs the cool factor but when you are stuck that's what matters. My only question would have to be, will the mounting piece be strong enough to hold up in a "bad" stuck.
That's a good question. It may be that MUD provides the worst sorts of "stuck" according to Matt and Casey. Also some types of snow, where Freeze/Thaw cycles have made a thick Ice layer on top of deep snow, can also be challenging. In those cases, a 12,000 lb rig (winch, lines, straps, shackles, tree protector, snatch block, etc.) and room for a running "Snatch Rope" method would be the professional choice.

But in the cases that I have been involved in, and in the terrain that I enjoy, a 9,000 lb rated rig "should be" sufficient. When I had my 2WD 2011 Silverado stuck in 18 inches of snow on a tight, winding jeep trail ... a dinky little 2,500 lb rated ATV "winch-in-a-bag" got me out.

The HF receiver mount I have bought is rated at 9,000 lbs. Another good receiver mount is apparently the Tyrannosaurus Winch Mount (amazon) for only $65 and weighing only 25 lbs. It has a very much higher rating of up to 15,000 lbs.

edit: That time I was stuck in my 2011 in snow, I was there with just my dog for six hours. For several of the pulls with that ATV winch, I had the truck in either Drive or Reverse ... with NO ONE in the cab. Yikes!!! A 9,000 lb winch would have been a much better way to go ...
 

PHXPHOTOG

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That's a good question. It may be that MUD provides the worst sorts of "stuck" according to Matt and Casey. Also some types of snow, where Freeze/Thaw cycles have made a thick Ice layer on top of deep snow, can also be challenging. In those cases, a 12,000 lb rig (winch, lines, straps, shackles, tree protector, snatch block, etc.) and room for a running "Snatch Rope" method would be the professional choice.

But in the cases that I have been involved in, and in the terrain that I enjoy, a 9,000 lb rated rig "should be" sufficient. When I had my 2WD 2011 Silverado stuck in 18 inches of snow on a tight, winding jeep trail ... a dinky little 2,500 lb rated ATV "winch-in-a-bag" got me out.

The HF receiver mount I have bought is rated at 9,000 lbs. Another good receiver mount is apparently the Tyrannosaurus Winch Mount (amazon) for only $65 and weighing only 25 lbs. It has a very much higher rating of up to 15,000 lbs.

edit: That time I was stuck in my 2011 in snow, I was there with just my dog for six hours. For several of the pulls with that ATV winch, I had the truck in either Drive or Reverse ... with NO ONE in the cab. Yikes!!! A 9,000 lb winch would have been a much better way to go ...
I think you will be fine because it sounds like you know enough not to get stuck bad. Ninety percent of the time when someone is stuck bad it is because they didn't have enough sense to quit spinning the tires until they are frame deep. The rig your building will be more than enough to get you out of trouble.
 

PHXPHOTOG

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vezePilot, Just a suggestion, not sure if it will help or not. From the picture it looks likes you are going to cut a hole in the plastic bumper part to feed the receiver through it. Two weeks into ownership I tore up the passenger side of that plastic crawling through some rocks. I had to take a heat gun to it to push it back out best I could. Hit it with a heat gun and it turns to putty very quickly, be careful. Since the end of a receiver is flared bigger than the shaft I am wondering if a little heat would help you push it through the hole you cut and keep the cut shaft size instead of flared size. Just a thought.

Steve
 
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vezePilot

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That is a good suggestion, to use my heat gun and make a tighter, cleaner fit. I downloaded the instructions for installing the Front Receiver, even though it will be another 10 days or so before they ship it. The instructions indicate that the hole to cut in the Fascia should be 3 inches wide. This seems like more than a loose fit over the Lip on the end of a 2 inch receiver.

I would like a tight, clean fit. My wife is somewhat upset that I will need to cut into the fascia at all. She does not like the idea. But ... it is still easier and cheaper than buying a Bumper made for a winch and discarding the stock bumper altogether ...


FasciaHoleIllust.png
 

Midnight

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I know you're trying to save weight, but those winch mounts have a bad reputation for twisting and breaking winches. It would be wise to cut a 3/8" plate of steel and place it under your winch to keep it rigid. You will need longer bolts to make it happen. Torson forces will cause catastrophic failure in a hard pull if that mount is only 1/4" thick. Seen it happen on the trail, not gonna let it happen to me.
 
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vezePilot

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I saw your advice regarding this today in the Hidden Winch thread. Simply adding a plate with the bolt holes will be less expensive and less work than welding reinforcements along the bottom. Especially since I haven't yet put together enough reasons to buy a MIG welder of my own.

Thanks very much for this suggestion. I went out to my truck and checked on that Winch Mount plate thickness.
Rated for 9,000 lbs or not, it's only 1/8 of an inch thick. :(

Also as far as the weight issue: I have a neat little collapsible hand truck that I'm now keeping in my truck bed. This will make it a lot easier to pull the Winch/Mount around to the front. All I'll need to do is lift it into place.

Everything for this project except the Front Receiver is due to arrive here tomorrow. So I'll be able to mount the Winch, fabricate the Power Cable, run the Synthetic Rope out and do a first "practice recovery." :)
 
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So I have the OpenRoad 9500 winch bolted to the receiver mount. Have not yet done any of the wiring, and none of the other stuff I ordered has arrived yet. This may be all that I can get done today, and I'll be busy otherwise all day tomorrow.

The winch/mount are not as heavy as I thought they would be, and I can set them down onto one of my tubs for more convenience. Moving the set with my little hand truck works pretty well. I am really pleased with everything so far. Well, the Cheat Sheet (instructions) leaves a bit to be desired, but who uses those anyway?

OpenRoadWinch.jpeg
 

Trail Brian

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Love It !!!! I'm going the same route but also use full for dropping boats into non ramped beaches ....
 
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vezePilot

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Got a few things done today. Wired up the OpenRoad 9500 winch, fabricated the Power Cable, connected everything to the battery, ran out some rope and used the Wired Remote to test the setup and run the rope back in. Everything went well.

The Black & Red wires that came with the winch are the correct length to reach the battery when the winch is mounted on the front bumper. So I want to keep those just as the manufacturer made them. And then to use the Cable to the rear, I need to connect the Extension Cable to the stock Black & Red wires. So I made a new invention that has studs and washers and nuts to connect the terminal ends of all of the wires on a block of Oak wood. I call the new invention a "Terminal Block."

WinchAndCable.jpeg


PowerCable.jpeg


My wife said, "Well what if that wood block catches on fire?"
Answer: If that wood even starts smoking, I've made at least two mistakes. The second mistake is that I'm drawing too many Amps through the Winch.

The first mistake is I've gotten way too "stuck" and now have to draw too many Amps through the Winch.

I've got other photos of the details, maybe I'll add those later.
 
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vezePilot

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I solved Four (4) problems today that my testing yesterday included. I was not able to close the Engine Hood, nor open the passenger side doors yesterday. Also, routing the Red Positive wire through the Top of the Integrated Battery Cover was not convenient. And finally the two nuts for the Extension Cable at the battery were slippery and prone to being lost in the engine area.

Lightly Sanding the Nuts makes them less slippery to handle.

Routing the Red Positive wire into a Channel made for it to exit the battery cover is better.

Routing the Extension Cable Red & Black at the corner of the Hood, instead of out over the fender, makes it possible to close the hood fully.

And then routing the Extension Cable up over the roof allows opening the passenger side doors. Refer to the photos attached.

PositiveForWinch.jpeg


CableRouting.jpeg
 
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