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Thread: Winching 101

  1. #1
    Lifetime Member Getting Dirty Sal-XK's Avatar
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    Winching 101

    Winches are like anything else we buy, we have to decide what were going to do with it. Are you going to be in competition were things like line pull speed and heat are an issue. Will your winch need to make several consecutive hard pulls without time to cool down.

    Contributers
    Matt
    Cico 7
    HueyPilotVN
    ER NURSE
    ped4599
    WanderingTs
    Sal-XK

    Motors


    Permanent Magnet Motors creates more heat pulls less amps on battery but is cheaper.

    Series wound motors which are more powerful, less heat can pull longer faster but cost a lot more.


    Gears


    Planetary Gears - Planetary gears are the most common and provide both strength and smooth operation with good resistance to torque loads. The planetary gear systems have efficiency 65% and have a tendency to free spool when loaded, therefore a braking mechanism is needed.

    Worm Gear - The worm gear has a transfer efficiency of 35-40%. This causes the winch to be self-braking even under heavy loads, but this means the unit will need a clutch mechanism for free spooling. Worm gears offer the most reduction, very high reliability, built-in braking mechanism, and generally a slower winching speed. Worm drives are generally stronger and simpler than other gear systems such as the planetary due to the lack of the need for a braking system as well as the extreme gear reductions possible. The primary drawback of a worm gear system is the noticeable reduction in overall line speed, especially in a 'no load' cable reel-up situation. Here, the planetary has an advantage.

    Spur Gear - The spur gear systems have efficiency of 75% and like the planetary gear system, they have a tendency to free spool when loaded, therefore a braking mechanism is needed. Only the WARN M8274 has a spur gear due to its different design characteristics.

    Options


    AIR: some winches come with on board air compressors. Some of these can run air tools for fixing your rig on the trail.

    Winch Line: You have two options here go with the traditional steel cable or the synthetic line. Keep in mind though the synthetic line is not recommended for all winches. It's recommended for a polished drum to mount it on. Obviously the rope is lighter and easier to work with. It is easier to damage thought keep that in mind and it is a lot more expensive the steel.




    So figure your use and shop for the options you need. This is a good site to do some late night reading http://www.offroaders.com/tech/winches/Winch-Tech.htm

    Repairs


    Another thing to consider is part replacement and cost. I was offered a deal on a broken Chicago electric 9,000 LBS winch but I couldn't find a replacement motor for one. Waren on the other hand you can buy replacement motors and parts pretty cheap. Keep that in mind as well while choosing a winch. I would consider the off brands or cheaper ones disposable. You can save a lot of money but you can't get parts for them so when they break just throw them away.

    So pretty much before you purchase a winch try to find replacement parts online and see if how much they cost or even if they are available.


    Winch Tools


    Snatch Block This is a very important tool to have with a winch. For one it doubles the pulling power of your winch giving your 9k LBS winch 18kLBS of pulling power. It also allows you to pull at multiple angles giving you options on how to pull your self or your buddy out of his predicament.


    Tree strap exactly how it sounds it a short thick strap to hook up to objects. It is required in some parks if your winching and it will save the tree your hooking up to as well. Make sure you get one long enough for use in your area, if you have huge trees where you wheel get a tree strap that will fit around them.


    Clevis Shackle One of the best tools you can have in your Jeep. It's the safest and fastest way to connect chains a straps or anything you're rigging up to get unstuck.


    Snatch Strap Don't confuse these with tow straps. There meant for different applications and uses. A tow strap is made for towing only and not meant to handle the shock of snatching. Snatch straps are designed specifically to snatch a vehicle. They can handle the shock or running starts.


    Gloves Get a good set of gloves for winching leather work gloves probably protect the best but any pair of gloves is better then none. You steel cable can have burs on it and slice your hands.


    Tire Plug Kit If you're wheeling you will eventually do two things, get stuck or blow a tire. Get a plug kit there small and cheap.


    Winch Anchor one of these depending on where you wheel and whats available to hook to. Here is a picture of the SmittyBuilt Wasp
    Last edited by Sal-XK; 04-12-2011 at 07:31 PM.

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    Lifetime Member Getting Dirty Sal-XK's Avatar
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    Winching Techniques


    1. First thing I want you to do is put a towel floor mat something over your winch cable while pulling. This will help if the line breaks helping the whip back. This one annoys me how many off roaders don't do it and don't even know about this.


    2. Dead man anchor: when your stuck with nothing to strap to. You can bury your spare tire or something like wood pole anything in the ground to use as an anchor. The soil\ground and weight of your vehicle will determine how deep your anchor will have to be buried. Just remember as you back fill the hole every 6" or so compact the material by jumping or stomping what ever you can.

    3. Snatch Blocks: You can use more then one to increase your pulling power for those really tuff pulls.
    shows a typical Double Line:


    A Double Line as used for self recovery using an anchor point such as a tree.

    Indirect Double Line Pull

    Indirect pulling may be required because of obstacles. The pulley block is attached to the load and the wire rope is attached to an anchor point offset from the direction in which the load is to be moved. Note that this procedure is not recommended unless necessary as the winch pulling power and line speed will decrease as the angle between the wire rope increases.


    Single Line Pull



    Warn basic winching guide
    Last edited by Sal-XK; 04-12-2011 at 07:01 PM.

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    Lifetime Member Getting Dirty Sal-XK's Avatar
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    Winching mount options


    1. Winch cradled for tow hitches.



    FRONT



    REAR


    2. Bumper Mount


    3. Hidden Winch
    Last edited by Sal-XK; 04-12-2011 at 07:15 PM.

  4. #4
    Lifetime Member Getting Dirty Sal-XK's Avatar
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    Thanks to Matt for this information..

    Thanks to Wanderingts for the great questions..

    I am in NO WAY an expert... i don't think there's such thing as a matter of fact. Experience is key when it comes to offroading and there is also a lot of opinion & preference involved. I try to keep my answers general since every time i've been stuck, it's been a different method to get me out... so you can't just say "when you're stuck in mud its always best to __________"... because it varies.


    1) If someone else is winching you out, where are the best places to attach to a Commander?

    For the rear, I always use the hitch via a hitch pin. However, aftermarket points are on my "list" of things to buy... but its generally best to pull from the center line of the vehicle. They sell a nice D-Ring receiver for the hitch; i personally feel that's the best.

    For the front, if you don't have the stock tow hooks I would recommend buying some D-Ring shackle mounts. Forgot who makes them but i'm sure they're in Sal's link


    2) Is there a way to tell prior to smelling wires burning that your winch is getting too hot? How hot is ok?

    You can usually notice a degradation in performance. Also, pay attention to the sound of the winch. You can usually hear when it's struggling. How hot is OK? That's a loaded question. I'd go the other way and say to try everything possible to keep it cool.


    3) I hear people talk about doubling your winches pulling power by using a snatch block. How easy is it to double your pulling power but then go beyond the mounting strength of your winch mount causing damage?

    This is a bit tricky, it depends greatly on the mount style.

    Let's put it this way... if you're stuck to the point that you bend your winch mount, you have MUCH bigger problems than replacing a mount.

    Also, the purpose of the snatch block isn't just to double the pulling power of the winch, it's to allow the winch to do half of the work that would be needed for a straight pull. This goes back to the previous question... it's a method to keep the winch cool. For example say you're stuck and it will require 10,000 lb of force to get you out and you have a 12,000 lb winch. You're fine right? Sure... but you're going to be working that winch near it's limit. If you hook up that snatch block, you'll get 10,000 lb of force via 5,000 lb on the winch; so the winch will operate much smoother and cooler (but will need to pull 2x the distance, which is the trade-off).


    4) How much of an angle, if any, can you winch without harming your cable, mount, winch, etc?

    There's no set number. Good practice is to always minimize the angle as much as possible.


    5) In what situations should you winch versus a snatch strap?

    If it'd be a quick pull to yank you out, snatch strap will be quicker and easier. If you're stuck pretty good though there's no reason to beat the hell out of the "pull" vehicle by trying to yank you out repeatedly. It's a judgment call.

    I've also found that if you're in deep, clay like mud it's usually best to go straight to a winch. Having someone trying to pull you out while you hammer the gas tends to dig you down deeper, whereas hooking up that winch with ~10k lb constantly pulling you forward while you control the throttle works out much better. Remember, there aren't many offroad vehicles that are going to give you the constant pull force that a winch can... either they just don't have the power or they won't have the traction.

  5. #5
    Lifetime Member Getting Dirty Sal-XK's Avatar
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    Ok this is what ended up with guys. I will leave this thread open for a while to get feed back and more information from you guys so post up.

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    Lifetime Member Getting Dirty valpacer's Avatar
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    Absolutely a must read thread here Sal, good work. Iva actually linked this thread to some guys down here to read.

    My only comment is on the current trend of cheap winches, ropes and blocks. Short story.

    We spent over 5 hrs last weekend winching a dead XJ (broke the front locker, and locked the drivetrain up solid, until the winch overcame the centre pin the wheels freed up about 10m into the pull) up Big Red at Glasshouse mountains. One of the trucks has a no name 9.5k winch on his XJ, and only the factory battery. Not only did his winch make more noise than a broken patrol gearbox, the factory alternator and battery couldnt keep up after only 3 mins of winching. At the time his was the only truck ahead of the stranded one. We took my Grand and another XJ around the chicken track (which is now almost as hard as the main track!) and set up in place at the top of Big Red (around 55m to the stranded truck below) Using multiple snatch blocks, the other XJ as a land anchor we inched the XJ up to the top with many changes of location and angles etc.

    My Warn Magnum 9k (yep just an entry level warn) didnt stop all night. It got hot enough that you only just couldnt touch it but that was it. The club has a 45m rope extension (genuine Dyneema), i carry a 20m and my winch has 32m usable rope (All Dyneema). All this gear worked flawlessly.

    The day after someone was stuck up the road and I got a call to go and give a hand. Different area, almost same situation. Except that 2 chinese winches had blown solenoid packs (1 has also blown a battery in a patrol!) and 1 unknown ebay rope and so called heavy duty snatch block failed. According to the guys it had not even touched the ground under tension. The snatch block centre bearing ground into itself and locked up tight. Another 2 hour winch to get a fat arse landcruiser up the hill, and again the winch just kept going and all my gear worked perfect.

    There are some things that at the end of the day you just have to pay the right money for, and do the right maintenance too.

    Happy winching.

    Dave.
    2007 WH Grand Cherokee CRD QDII - 3" Exhaust, GDE Flash Tune, CRDSTU Hybrid Lift & bash Plates, 4xGuard Rock Rails & Rear Sliders, Saguaro F&R Bars, Warn 9.5CTI-s, AEV Saverge Rims, 35" KM2's, Snorkel, Custom Rear Drawers, ARB Dual Compressor + On Board Air, BullyDog Monitor, Dual Optimas Front and Dual Rear Aux Batteries YouTube Vids

  7. #7
    Lifetime Member Getting Dirty valpacer's Avatar
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    On another note too, the above diagram of the indirect line pull is a very important one. By putting the snatch block on the truck being recovered, you can actually still steer that truck quite easily and make things much safer (ie choosing lines etc) than if you jjust ran between the two vehicles, and usually gives you a much better choice of placement for the recovery vehicle..

    Dave
    2007 WH Grand Cherokee CRD QDII - 3" Exhaust, GDE Flash Tune, CRDSTU Hybrid Lift & bash Plates, 4xGuard Rock Rails & Rear Sliders, Saguaro F&R Bars, Warn 9.5CTI-s, AEV Saverge Rims, 35" KM2's, Snorkel, Custom Rear Drawers, ARB Dual Compressor + On Board Air, BullyDog Monitor, Dual Optimas Front and Dual Rear Aux Batteries YouTube Vids

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    Lifetime Member Getting Dirty Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valpacer View Post
    There are some things that at the end of the day you just have to pay the right money for, and do the right maintenance too.
    Words of wisdom right there my friend!!

  9. #9
    Lifetime Member Getting Dirty Sal-XK's Avatar
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    I agree with that and warren would be my choice. But which one to get? For my needs the basic entry level one will do for valpacer you could justify spending more for a bigger faster model.

  10. #10
    Lifetime Member Getting Dirty valpacer's Avatar
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    I actually have a larger Warn coming in the next container, with the contactor pack instead of solenoids. A little bit faster but a lot better for fighting water ingress and maintenance time.

    Dave
    2007 WH Grand Cherokee CRD QDII - 3" Exhaust, GDE Flash Tune, CRDSTU Hybrid Lift & bash Plates, 4xGuard Rock Rails & Rear Sliders, Saguaro F&R Bars, Warn 9.5CTI-s, AEV Saverge Rims, 35" KM2's, Snorkel, Custom Rear Drawers, ARB Dual Compressor + On Board Air, BullyDog Monitor, Dual Optimas Front and Dual Rear Aux Batteries YouTube Vids

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