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Metal Twister Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:56 am

Getting close to mounting an 8k winch into the Thing. Based on a many 4x4 trips over the years and needing a winch from time to time im quite sure one in the Thing will be well worth the effort to mount one. Wondering if attaching it to the bumper mounts would be sufficient or if attaching it to the beam bolts might be better? Guess both might be an option as well? There is a Body lift to contend with but that shouldn't be to much of an issue. Im planning on mounting it under the hood in the spare tire well. Much like Sam W did on his. Any input on winch mounting experiences or issues on 181's would be appreciated. Any thoughts on Do's and Don'ts would be appreciated.

sam_w Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:11 am

I added a Harbor Freight 5000 lb winch to my Thing.
I now realise that I could have gone to a 12,000 lb but think 5000 lb is enough.
I used the space in the front, and made a fairlead by the front number plate.
Cutting the mounting plate was slow, but I think it is good.

The mounting plate attached to the bumper brackets, and there is a reinforcement underneath.

I now need a plow anchor to pull myself out of soft sand!











Metal Twister Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:27 am

Im going to use the winch off the FSJ as its being retired from service. Should fit in there nicely...




sam_w Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:45 am

Harbor Freight has a heavy mounting plate that flits well.

Metal Twister Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:35 pm

Thanks Sam... Im thinking about sandwiching the floor of the spare tire well with two plates. Then welding the under side plate to the inside edges of the bumper mounts. Then making a couple of supporting brackets bolted to the front beam mount up to the under plate and welded on to the plate. That would tie everything together nicely and still be removable if needed. Think i have a good vision in my head as to what needs to happen... :shock:

Captain Spalding Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:32 pm

It probably works out for a lot of folks the same way it worked out for me: by the time I could afford the luxury of a winch I had enough experience that I haven't gotten stuck since. I've only used my winch to pull other people out. ;-D

There are a couple of threads around here that discuss how to tie the front bumper to the beam for the purpose of mounting a tow bar. A skid plate was used. It seems to me that would be the easiest way to go and would add the benefit of the skid plate. Use it to tie the bumper to the bottom of the body where the winch plate bolts through and then on to the beam.

Just out of curiosity, how do you intend to power the winch? I think the tiny stock battery would be worn down pretty quickly. Maybe a dual battery setup?

When I see the solution on Sam's car for mounting the fairlead I wonder if it would be possible to use a hawse fairlead through the front of the bumper.

One final note - I'm a big fan of worm drive winches. They'll pull all day without burning out.

Metal Twister Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:22 am

Most likly will run 2 AGM batteries either odyssey's or yellow top optima's. And will most likley relocate them under the front seats as it is pretty much wasted space specially with the added 3" of the body lift. Worm gear winches are wonderful, but to be honest not cost effective for this application on this project.

I have a good feel for the terrane that the Thing will be used in, Or better said, where I will attempt to use it. I would feel much better knowing there is a winch one board being i already have it and its not being used on the jeep any longer. Maybe eventually i will be blessed with an LSD? Til then ive got to play it as smart as possible out there? Once the winch is installed it most likley wont be coming out. LOL

The plan is to remove the winch this weekend from the jeep so i can put it in place and see exactly what needs to happen with mounting it. Then put a list together of parts needed. Then start collecting stuff.
I also need to spend the rest of the weekend on the Superduty as it has sprung a substancial diesel leak. Think the o rings in the filter system went south on me.

Your right... Im sure everything will eventually get tied together and the skid plate will be part of that assembly. Im just trying to get my head around everything that needs to happen so when i get started i will have the plan for the entire car build thought out. Thanks for the input.

I kinda like this guys front bumper and will most likly incorporate something like this as well.


sam_w Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:07 pm

i keep the motor running when I use the winch, so I don't feel the need for an extra battery.
I got the winch to pull myself out of problems, so plan on powering as well, and I do have a Quaile LSD.


Has anyone pulled themselves out of soft sand with a plow anchor?

Metal Twister Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:31 pm

sam_w wrote: i keep the motor running when I use the winch, so I don't feel the need for an extra battery.
I got the winch to pull myself out of problems, so plan on powering as well, and I do have a Quaile LSD.


Has anyone pulled themselves out of soft sand with a plow anchor?

Never a plow anchor but a couple of times the spare tire was burried as deep as the Jeep and i successfully freed myself. After those experiences the spare is all I need to have. No need to drag around extra weight that isnt going to be used that often. Not to speak of the room it takes up. Im planning on board air which is light and compact enough to justify having it. That way I can air down when needed. One of the keys to sand is airing down to to least 10 lbs or so and more if required.

So how much of a difference does that LSD make off road? Well worth the $1200.00 dollars or so im guessing?

sam_w Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:15 pm

yes, in mud, you don't get stuck with one wheel spinning. BTW all NATO Things have ZF LSD's

Metal Twister Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:40 pm

sam_w wrote: yes, in mud, you don't get stuck with one wheel spinning. BTW all NATO Things have ZF LSD's

This a new topic to me "NATO THINGS" guess I had better start doing some searching. Never knew they used things. Many of then state side?

sam_w Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:49 pm

The typ 181 was originally created as a military vehicle for the Bundeswehr.

vwwestyman Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:53 pm

Here's what I built to be able to attach things to the front bumper. This post is where I started building it, scroll down for a couple improvements.

Part of why I added the hitch was I imagined one day I will get around to buying a winch and I'd get one that could insert into a hitch mount for flexibility/transfer-ability to more than one vehicle.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8573181#8573181

Metal Twister Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:54 pm

vwwestyman wrote: Here's what I built to be able to attach things to the front bumper. This post is where I started building it, scroll down for a couple improvements.

Part of why I added the hitch was I imagined one day I will get around to buying a winch and I'd get one that could insert into a hitch mount for flexibility/transfer-ability to more than one vehicle.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8573181#8573181

Looks great... I saw this winch plate at HF and for $58.00 i dont think you could make it for that?


vwwestyman Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:08 pm

Oh nice! I didn't think of a plate to bolt a winch to, I had just seen one made to mount on a hitch receiver.

A winch is somewhere on my wish list (winch list?) but because i have to admit it is more for show/cool factor than necessity, it is down the list a ways. So I haven't really researched it yet.

Metal Twister Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:16 pm

Oh I get it. Im just the oppisite though... I need it to function well and looks are way down the list of concerns. Not to say i dont want it to look good as well. Heck im hiding my winch out of sight never to be seen again... LOL.

vwwestyman Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Metal Twister wrote: Oh I get it. Im just the oppisite though... I need it to function well and looks are way down the list of concerns. Not to say i dont want it to look good as well. Heck im hiding my winch out of sight never to be seen again... LOL.

Well I guess on occasion if I chose to go off-roading it could be needed. And I would love to be able to do this more often, especially in the Thing. But what I really have to be honest about is that my chances to actually do that are very rare so that is what tips the scale to "not that necessary."

Last summer I really wished I had a winch in my Bus when I decided to drive it at the off-road park. Would have been fine except it had rained most of the day, and the park is next to an Army Corp lake, so the lowlands of the park are silt and it was very muddy and sticky!

That was a super-dumb move.

Captain Spalding Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:00 pm

A few random thoughts:

Whether the winch is worth it or not is really a question of how much trouble you plan on getting yourself into. If the answer is "not that much" there are cheaper good alternatives. First, a couple of strips of indoor-outdoor carpet are helpful, used in front of the back wheels like a sand ladder. Shovel out a ramp in front of the rear wheels and lay the carpet strips down. Then use a come-a-long and a synthetic winch rope to tie off to an anchor/tree/other vehicle, use the come-a-long to winch your back wheels onto the carpet strips, and then drive yourself out of your predicament.

The great thing about the receiver mounted winch platform is that it can be used at the front or rear if both your bumpers have receivers. The downsides are that they affect your approach/departure angles, and you may find yourself stuck in a way that makes the winch difficult to mount. Also, you don't want to drive around with the winch hanging off the bumper, so you have to store it in the vehicle. That's a pretty heavy missile to have bouncing around.

Not enough praise can be heaped on the humble recovery strap for simplicity and convenience. Of course its usefulness depends on the help of a good Samaritan.

vwwestyman Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:10 pm

You could certainly buy one of those locking pins to help secure the winch/platform.

I suppose it wouldn't be a guarantee, but I kinda figure that the locks keep the honest people honest, and the not-honest people are going to steal my stuff anyway, unless there is something to slow them down and move on to easier targets.

My Golf and two Buses all have rear hitches. I haven't gotten to building the rear hitch for the Thing yet. I also intend to build front hitches for the Buses, but again haven't had the time do to it yet.

Hence, if I get a winch, it'll be a hitch-mounted variety.

Captain Spalding Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:49 pm

vwwestyman wrote: You could certainly buy one of those locking pins to help secure the winch/platform.
I'm not so much worried about the winch being stolen. I just wouldn't want to be bombing around on dunes or a fire road with that thing hanging off the front or back. And if you take it off, what do you do with it, see? Maybe if you plan to build a rear hitch anyway you could build one with two receivers: one facing backwards, for times when the winch is in use, and one pointing upwards, so you'd have a place to store it when not in use.



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