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Good deal on a winch? Am I missing something?
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Zentaka
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject: Good deal on a winch? Am I missing something? Reply with quote

I'm seriously considering getting a winch for my van, and I'm looking at them on this site but they seem very cheap.

http://www.streetbeatcustoms.com/Custom/Winches-Winch-Kits/4500-LB-Electric-Winch-Kit/548713/

http://www.streetbeatcustoms.com/Custom/Winches-Winch-Kits/9500-LB-Electric-Winch-Kit/548714/

Should I pay the extra $200 for the 9500#?

It seems like 4500 wouldn't be enough for my van since it probably weighs almost that.

Should this be in a different forum? I didn't want to put it in the HBB offroad forum, as it's just a normal vanagon.

If neither of these will work, for some reason or other, does anyone have another winch they can recommend?

Thanks for your time and input,


-Zen
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

indeed #4500 is only enough to roll our van onto a flat trailer,
it won't get you unstuck if mired in mud or sand.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=437692

danfromsyr wrote:
GO Westy has one of the best prices on this great piece of recovery (and stuff moving) equipment.
http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=3908&category_id=388&
I bought one 2or3 yrs ago during thier president's day promotion saved %15 I think, it covered the shipping on this heavy unit plus a few $$.

I do also have a smaller 3/4ton griphoist that I use for moving all sorts of stuff around the yard and onto/off of trailers etc.. it never runs outta battery power, though I do run out of steam every now and again.. then it's a buddy's turn.
it easily stows under the back bench for when you need it, or hopefully don't.
there's a great thread out here also: Griphoist Vanagon Recovery

Regular price is $350 and that's pretty darned good for a Tirfor (Griphoist) of this size.
Manual Hand Winch (includes winch, handle and cable)

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by danfromsyr on Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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canasync
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go for the 9500. Mud can easily double the load on the winch when your stuck so you don't want to be left stranded over $200.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you will also need a winch mount for about $400 from Gary Lee
http://www.telusplanet.net/public/gary2a/rack/winch/winch.htm

and a second battery, with appropriate realy wiring, about $200. You do not want to winch with your ignition battery.
http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_1139_125/replacement_auxiliary_battery_kit.html
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canasync
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:
winch mount $400
second battery, with appropriate realy wiring, $200.


Getting unstuck with little effort.... Priceless
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Mark70baja
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long ago when I was in the market for a winch on our Jeep, the salesman from the company beginning with a "W" I was told to double our gross vehicle weight for starters. So a 4000 pound Jeep needs at least an 8000 lb winch.

Don't forget the added weight can get pretty substantial. Hanging a winch off the front of a Vanagon is gonna really do a job on your handling, braking, acceleration, etc. Requirements for heavier suspension and brakes parts such as springs, shocks, bushings, BRAKES, are almost a certainty.

Would like to see some write-ups on this job being done and tested.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you can get away with the 4500. I tried a couple small winches with my syncro. The first was only 2500 or 3000 lbs. It was very inexpensive and I burned it out trying to pull a van up a small step. The next one I got was a milemarker 3500 and it was better. 4500 would be nice, comparatively. It is nothing like a 9500 but if you are stuck by yourself and are patient you should be able to get unstuck. Especially if you have a 2wd, because you are not as likely to get very stuck. Always be very careful and patient, winching is dangerous. If the winch is getting hot, let it cool. It takes a little extra time, but I think the light weight, size and cost savings is worth it.

With the 4500 you can use a pulley to increase the pulling power to 6-7K lbs. The automatic braking won’t hold you though if you are on the side of a hill, so you need to have a good ebrake so you can stop and unspool the line. With a weaker winch, you have to unspool because only the first couple layers will have enough power. So it takes more time to get unstuck. For me, that is an acceptable compromise. I attached mine to a 2” post and was able to use it in the front or rear receiver, and I stored it in the van, which is nice. You can’t do that with a 100# winch, and mounting it becomes more challenging.

I liked the lightweight and portability of the small ones. A 9500 is going to be huge and weight 100+ lbs. That one picture of a manual winch is a nice unit, but is very expensive and only uses heavy cable I believe. They are also ridiculously expensive, so a 12V winch is a better option. The receiver winch mounts for a UTV are not very expensive. A 4500 lb winch is a lot better than no winch at all, and I would not want the size or weight and the price tag of a 9500 lb unit.

Whatever you do, replace the steel cable that comes with the winch. They are very dangerous, and if you are planning to get a 4500 and occasionally use a pulley the line will be underrated and WILL break. The synthetic lines don’t spring back when they snap, so they are much safer and they don’t cut your hands like the steel cables can as they age. I just bought a 75’ extension of 5/16” (10,000 lbs) for $100. You don’t need much line on the winch, just a couple extensions of various lengths.
This is the weakest line I would consider (breaking strength about 8000 lbs). http://www.amazon.com/Amsteel-Synthetic-Winch-Cable-Blue/dp/B0027UO6AG But for $20 more you can get 5/16" so might as well.

If I were looking for another small winch, I would look around for a quality brand, I think they will cost about what you are looking at. That one looks nice, but I would want to check the brand.

I just used a 4000lb come along to get my 2wd unstuck. https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/827210.jpg
They make an 8000 lb come along one that would be better. My 4000lb come along's cable is potentially dangerous if I ever have to use a pulley but an 8000 lbs one would be fine and is a cheap alternative to having no way to get unstuck.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:39 am    Post subject: Re: Good deal on a winch? Am I missing something? Reply with quote

I recently installed a front winch on my passenger syncro van. The best deal I got was on a Smittybilt 8,000 lb. which, after doing my research, was more than adequate for me.

Last fall I acquired a used tube bumper with a built-in winch tray so I was ready to go after sanding and painting it.

I bought some 4 guage positive and ground wires and copper connectors to replace the ones that came with the winch to reach the battery box. I drill a hole in the battery box and installed a heavy grommet to ferret the wires in.

I'm currently using the starter battery for winch operation but there isn't a danger of drain as long as the engine is idling during use. However, as a later project I may add a second battery since I, like most syncroists, have other stuff to add anyway.

Of course you could also just carry a come-along too, as suggested, and I have two of those too. But since I already had that tube bumper with tray I thought, hey, why not.

After talking with several others who already had winches, I also discovered no noticable affects on handling, braking, performance or mileage. I think the winch and etc. are simply not so heavy as to overwhlem the normal rig characteristics. In fact, after the weight of all the other stuff we normally pile in for a road trip the weight of the winch is minor.

My costs ran something like this: bumper with tray plus paint ($230), winch ($290), wires and connectors ($40), grommet ($2). Then I already had a bag of tow/tree hugger straps, shackles, etc.

One thing to point out ... if you know you'll be in an area without anything to hook a winch up to then carry a long iron bar and sledge hammer (an old surveyor's trick). More weight for sure but getting stuck in the desert, for example, renders the winch fairly useless unless another rig is with you.
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Homercules
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 3 systems for my truck.

1) a high lift jack with attachments for winching. Great for lifting the van, attaches to a receiver (with bracket) but painfully slow to use as a winch. Better to use it to lift the van and put something under the tire than try pulling with it. Rolling Eyes

2) A 9000 lb winch. Great to get unstuck no denying that Wink But it weighs 95lbs, needs a custom bumper to properly support it (another 75lbs), very large wires to a dedicated 2nd battery. And you need the second battery. I was winching one time and I hit some resistance it simultaneously stalled the truck and popped the battery. I was completely dead in the water. Fun. Overkill for the way I use my van.

3) I built a small system for the truck that I will put on the syncro. It consists of a 2500lb ATV winch that i slightly modified and mounted on a flipped drop hitch. I put on a synthetic line, aluminum fairlead and a heavy duty forklift plug for power. with an extra 100' of synthetic line and 2 snatch blocks I can pull the van or truck easily. It weighs only 25lbs and doesn't need a second battery. It is very fiddley with the extra line and snatch blocks. But will get you unstuck if patient.

Only picture I have of it.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I mostly use it on the truck to winch the axles down.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really appreciate when people post links to support their opinions, and links to the products they are talking about.. and I LOVE it when people post pics

Here is an article by Bill Burke about winches
http://www.bb4wa.com/articles/Accessories-winch.html
"Purchase a winch that is rated at least 1 and 1/2 times the GROSS (not meaning your vehicle is gross, although some trail machines are!) VEHICLE WEIGHT (GVW). Take the rig to a truck scale and for about $5.00, weigh it. Have the dog, your buddies, the cooler, the kids, all the junk--er equipment--you carry (tent, bags, starter, axle shafts, air filter, extra oil, tools...you get my drift) and a full tank of gas. Multiply that weight by 1.5 and you have the minimum rating for the winch, usually around 8000 or 9000 pounds for most Jeeps and Land Rovers. "

and one that includes his opinion on come alongs
http://www.bb4wa.com/articles/Accessories.html
"I don't like using come-a-longs. They are usually underrated (2000#) with limited amount of cable, and they are dangerous when pushed to the limit. The Hi-Lift Jack is rated at 7000# and can be used to lift the vehicle as well as hand winch it out.
"
and here is his article index
http://www.bb4wa.com/articles/articles.html

I carry this winch
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

purchased for $350 from GoWesty, it weighs 60lbs including the cable, and stores under my syncro westy bench seat.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do an internet search of Rand winches. It seems the opinion is they are made in china cr#p. Maybe that's a little biased because the 4x4 crowd tends to be, well, lets say opinionated.

My uninformed opinion is you usually get what you pay for. Do you really want to wonder if it will work as stated when you're stuck in the middle of nowhere?
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also carry a set of heavy plastic traction mats and a portable battery jump if the starter battery implodes in my rigs.

In my discussions with others who have 'gone before', a typical winch is seldom used unless one really does a lot of gnarly off-roading. That is, and as already mentioned on this thread, there are many ways to get unstuck depending on circumstances.

Regarding winch power, it's extremely rare for a need to hoist your rig up in a tree or as dead weight up a cliff. Almost all recoveries involve rolling weight on wheels which is much lighter.

At Syncrofest they winched a loaded westy syncro up from its side using an 8000 lb. job ... again not as demanding as hoisting total dead weight.

I know about that 1.5x weight formula but am not so sure it applies to most of us unless one is trying to run the uber challenging Rubicon trail or sailing off the top of a mesa.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1

I spent good money on my big winch (SuperWinch 9000) because I knew I would be using it heavily and it has been very reliable. My little ATV winch...not sure but I'll bet it was made in China. I don't stress it and I don't use it often. It'll do the job in a pinch though.

You have to decide based on how you plan to use it. But if you do get a large winch I would highly recommend that you get a good one. And remember that a large winch is a full "system". I have seen bumpers ripped off trucks, altenator's and battery's fail not to mention failed lines, clevises... I personally won't submit my van to that kind of abuse.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One advantage of a grip hoist is that it can be rigged to pull from any angle, front back or side. Permanently mounted winches often can't get the job done because they can't work well at the required pull angle. Years ago I had a #4000 lb winch that hooked to a trailer ball and I had trailer balls mounted off both corners of the front bumper and center on the rear. This got me out of places that would have created a pile of spaghetti out of a rigidly mounted 8000lb winch.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point.

I forgot to mention that my receiver mount winch has a clevis attachment front and on the back so I can snatch to it or connect it to my side bars for side pulling. I have cables with forklift plugs so I can use it anywhere.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Homercules wrote:
Good point. I forgot to mention that my receiver mount winch has a clevis attachment front and on the back so I can snatch to it or connect it to my side bars for side pulling. I have cables with forklift plugs so I can use it anywhere.


I also have similar gear plus snatch block so I can pull from any direction using a front mounted winch although in extreme cases it does require some forethought and trigonometry calculations.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some fun pictures. In the worst spots I was never in a frame of mind to take pictures. Just make sure you have enough rope or straps to reach far enough.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also a Griphoist works on a friends VW/Jeep w/o you having to break camp at all.

I'd say NEVER use a come along.
and I'm less than a fan of Farm Jacks.. (hilift)

having used all of the above in Logging and farm applications, they all have their place.. and it's not on the road/trail IMHO..

the GoWesty ARB Griphoist can't be beat for size, capability and safety and $$$

my small sized girl can fairly easily carry it, it' adds little weight and alot of versatility to the package.. and like I said can be loaned to the VW in trouble as necessary.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had abit of a discussion on our Syncro forum about winches when I wanted to fit one to my Doka a couple of years ago. The usual technical advice was given from people who have never had one fitted to a van before so I ignored that and were I fitted one was great apart from one thing, weight.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Its a 12500 one I think and with standard springs the weight is so far out at the front when you go over a hump in the road it would create a leaver effect and boyng the front up and down. I have loads of video showing it slamming the front of the van into the ground because of the out there weight at the front. I took it off, and it sat for a few months in my hallway....

I then bought my Westy and kept looking at this winch as I walked passed it and my partner, though understanding was understandably getting annoyed at having to vacuum around this orange hunk of metal. I went to a fella who works a his Dads engineering firm and I asked him to commission me a mount that didnt have the winch hang right out at the front, so after an hour or so under the van we both came up with the idea that is on the Westy now.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I have got to say it is great, the weight of it sits right near the front axle so the weight is right back, and I replaced the weighty wire with plasma rope. I got to use it quite abit a couple of weeks ago here, http://campervanculture.com/2011/07/syncropendence-an-annual-syncro-gathering/

More can be seen on the install on the bottom of this page onward for those who are interested, http://www.brick-yard.co.uk/forum/my-new-westy-syncro-project_topic44698_page8.html?KW=westy+syncro

jed
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Zentaka
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your very candid and informative replies!

I have got to say when I started reading the replies (I've been out all day [on vacation]) I wasn't too fond of the idea of the hand-crank GoWesty winch, but after reading some very good points concerning the weight of the winch on the front of the van and the possibility of having to pull it out backwards, I am becoming a bit more accepting of that possibility.

I am looking at this one:
http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=3908&category_id=388&
at GoWesty, but...

This is where living in Hawai'i becomes a bit of a nightmare...

They want $193.50 to ship it.

Ouch.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get it shipped for a more reasonable price? I'm aware that it's extremely heavy but i can't seem to bring myself to shell out $200 for shipping.

Thank you all so much for everything,

-Zen
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