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Old 10-15-2008, 11:08 AM   #1
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Winches and Rated Line Pull

I should preface this with stating I've never owned or used a winch. However, circumstances are such that I need to decide on one in the nearer future for our SMB (RB, diesel).

It seems like most people that have winches on their SMBs have ones that are rated at 12,000 lbs for the line pull. Everything I've read says you should get a winch that has a line pull of at least 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle (here is one of many sources of information - http://www.winchdepot.com/winchadvisor.aspx). So, assuming you have a 9,000 to 10,000 lb van, that would mean the line pull rating should be at least 13,500 - 15,000 lbs. Has anyone experienced any problems with a 12,000 lb winch on their SMB? If buying again, would you stick with a 12,000 lb winch or move up to something stronger?

I would like to get the Warn PowerPlant HD that is rated at 12,000 lbs, but I don't want to find out this is too underpowered.

As always, thanks for the advice/help.

Geoff
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:12 AM   #2
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I agree with the 1.5 times. I was wondering why SMB uses such a small winch. I used the 12,000 Warn on my landcruiser that weighed in at less. I thought for sure when i popped open my aluminess from bumper i would see a m15000....
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:40 PM   #3
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You can double with a snatch block so 9500 can be almost 20K, however a 12 can be 24 in the same way. You also halve your length that way.

However, keep in mind that 15K winches need to be mounted feet first which means in addition to the weight of the bigger winch, you need an equally big plate. Jeff (myriadmyriad) went down that road and has cashed in his 15K and bumper for a smaller winch. Admittedly a setup I tried to buy.

Second, no one has ever mentioned the weight rating of an Aluminess- at the frame nor at the winch mount point.

I've never heard of anyone ripping off a bumper, but I've also never heard of anyone getting near capacity with their winch on one of these vehicles. The rating is a worst case scenerio- full weight, buried to bumpers in thick mud, engine dead.

In real life the odds that you'll be in that situation in this van is slim to none. The reality is you will probably use your winch more for pulling other people up to their windows out, in which case you only need enough for a full size truck.

At the current time I'm going with a 9500, at least 2 snatch blocks, and patience (which most hobby offroaders have little of). Don't get me wrong- my Jeep TJ has a 12K winch which is more than 4x the curb weight, but the likelyhood of me being somewhere to rescue a full size bronco or trying to winch myself straigh up a cliff are a lot higher in that vehicle.

In my van a winch is for "a little over my head" combined with "alone" which is a situation I don't want to be in in the first place, so any winch is better than none.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:58 PM   #4
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Yes, doubling your line and using a snatch block is your best friend.

I talked to Dave from Aluminess about anyone ever damaging or ripping off their bumpers under winching conditions. He replied with big fat no.. and in fact mentioned that they do mud testing at the rallys where they show people how to use their winch.

He also informed me that the M15000 and M12000 use the same casing so the size is the same, its just the gearing that changes internally.

Our winch is used the same way on our SMB. Cheap insurance IMHO. Most cases will probably used on others vs. us. Last year i used my winch 4 times on my landcruiser and 3 of those were pulling out someone else.

I really need to get a winch on our TJ too... Jage, can't believe you have a 12,000 winch on that rig.. wow. Thats cool... did you have to add a coil spacer to even out the rig?
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:17 PM   #5
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Geoff
In my build, I had also asked for the Warn Power Plant HD, thinking it would kill two birds with one stone. When SMB tried to install it they found it physically would not fit inside the ’08 Aluminess Bumper. Not only would it stick up above the bumper (I would have lived with that) but it flat out would not fit. (Something to consider if you are going to change the bumper as well. Maybe other bumper manufacturers can accommodate it.) So I have the standard Warn 12k winch with steel wire. I had reason to use the winch this summer to pull myself out of a creek bed. It worked great, plenty of power but, I was not stuck in the mud, just a deep hole so the winch probly wasn't stressed very hard. I think I might reconsider going to synthetic line now rather than steel. It would reduce the load on the front end and also make it easier to handle in the field.
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Jage, thanks so much for the great explanation, that makes complete sense to me. I never did hear about problems with an SMB and a 12,000 lb winch, but I wanted to make sure before proceeding.

Charlie, that is strange that the PowerPlant HD would not fit in the 2008 bumper. I just had Warn Industries send me the dimensions for the PowerPlant HD winch. I have the PDF if anyone wants it, I just can't upload it on this site.

The dimensions of the M12000 are: 24.37" L. x 8.45" D. x 11" H. This is from the Warn website (M12000 Page). I'm assuming this is the one you have.

The dimensions of the PowerPlant HD are: 24.31 L. x 6.8" D. x 13.48" H. That is unless I'm reading it incorrectly.

So it seems comparable and in fact smaller in length and depth to the M12000.

The dimen
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:13 PM   #7
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Email the PDF to me and I'll ftp and post it.

Winching one time with the steel wire is enough to convince about anyone to go with the rope- the expense is a different matter.

As far as leaving the bumper open Aluminess created a top that would fit over the Powerplant for the '07 and earlier- it was basically a cut hole in a normal top, but better than nothing.

I don't know about the '08 bumpers. If anybody talks to Dave I'd like to hear what he says.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:21 AM   #8
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Power Plant Dimensions in PDF
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:27 AM   #9
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Dave (Aluminess) used to make an enclosed top for the PowerPlant winch. I believe he told me that he's not making them any more. Just cutting a hole in the cover and lets the winch stick thru. But, I'm sure he could be talked into making the enclosed cover if someone wants one. Money talks.
If anyone wants a picture of the enclosed cover I can take one a post it.
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:39 PM   #10
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12000 power plant

Ok, You guys have done a great job with the winch issues. Thanks for helping everyone with the problems and solutions for our bumpers etc. Here are a few comments regarding bumpers and winches. Some have already been covered.
1. you will most likely use your winch to help someone else.
2. The 12,000 , 15,000 and 16,500 Warn winch are the same size but the 15 & 16.5 have a different solenoid pack which makes installation more complex. They require a special bracket and making longer cables from the solenoid pack to the winch motor. If you are willing to work through the hassle we have installed both in our bumper. For my time energy and money it is not worth it when the 12,000 with the snatch block will double your power.
3. The new 2008 E350 grill hangs out over the bumper and the power plant rises above the door. I do not own a 2008 so I can not measure if the winch can be moved forward to miss the grill. I'll have an 08 van here the 20th to measure. Looking at photos, it appears the grill is in the way. Dave @ aluminess
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