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Old 03-12-2013, 08:25 PM   #11
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

You can winch from the frame no problem. There are slots in the frame for frame "keys" also know as mini-J hooks, R-Hooks, and T-Hooks. The frames on the Fords are so stout there really isn't much risk of bending them, other then doing side pulls off the extreme ends.

Another option for those who don't have frame keys is simply putting a strap around the axle (even just one side on a 2WD) choker-style.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:36 PM   #12
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
You can winch from the frame no problem. There are slots in the frame for frame "keys" also know as mini-J hooks, R-Hooks, and T-Hooks. The frames on the Fords are so stout there really isn't much risk of bending them, other then doing side pulls off the extreme ends.
Hmmmm, in my post that started the thread I indicated Nelson truck in Seattle said frame rails on the van are not tied together well enough for that. And the post one more back (rob_gendreau) thinks likewise. This thread has some great ideas, but this issue worries me a bit. I guess when in doubt build it stronger that you (think) you need, i.e. do something that ties the frame rails together?

Oh, one last thought. Even a parts guy at a Ford dealer thought the E-350 could just use Ford tow hooks that are available for Ford pickups, but was surprised when he looked it up that those could not be used on the van. Whether that meant they wouldn't fit or something more basic about the frame, I do not know.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:10 AM   #13
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

[quote]Another option for those who don't have frame keys is simply putting a strap around the axle (even just one side on a 2WD) choker-style.[quote]

In the late 70's, (high school) several of us Miller pony swiggin' knuckleheads got my buddy's pickup totally stuck, up to the top of the front fenderwells, hopeless for anybody else's 1/2 ton to pull. That was on Friday night. Reluctant to own up to parent-types, we let the truck sit in the mud for 3 subfreezing nights. On Monday, we all cornered our farmer-bud Gaylon and he agreed to bring out the dual-wheeled IH 1086. Dropped a Grade 8 log chain on to the rear axle, with about 15 ft of slack. Gaylon dumped the clutch, a little fart of black smoke shot out the 1086 pipe, the slack came out, the frozen mud held the truck, and ol' Gaylon pulled that rear axle right on out into the open, leaving a totally destroyed truck bed in its wake. Just a caution...
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:37 AM   #14
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

Yea, I've seen numerous examples of ripping axles off trying to get trucks unstuck. If you crawl underneath and take a look, you will see that the axles are not actually connected to the van (or truck) by much. Especially it your suspension is a leaf-spring set-up.

Pulling by the axle is NOT recommended.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:10 PM   #15
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

Even worse is taking off with slack in the tow line. Almost guaranteed to break something.

A stationary vehicle has an immense amount of inertia.

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Old 03-17-2013, 04:14 PM   #16
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

As a data point, I had a front hitch installed -- as a mounting point for a removable shackle.

Haven't had to use it yet.

If I were to do it again, I might have mine mounted a few inches higher up, and cut a little access window in the plastic of my bumper.





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Old 03-17-2013, 07:01 PM   #17
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoVans
Yea, I've seen numerous examples of ripping axles off trying to get trucks unstuck. If you crawl underneath and take a look, you will see that the axles are not actually connected to the van (or truck) by much. Especially it your suspension is a leaf-spring set-up.

Pulling by the axle is NOT recommended.

This is not the axle's fault. This is improper winching and rigging, plain and simple.

Turns out I have a little experience in this area:
http://www.bobstowingcorvallis.com/photos
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:05 PM   #18
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffff
If I were to do it again, I might have mine mounted a few inches higher up, and cut a little access window in the plastic of my bumper.
Is that why you suggest Drawtite on your website? Was yours custom made by Olympic 4x4 or what brand did they install (I live near them).
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:03 AM   #19
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotearms
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffff
If I were to do it again, I might have mine mounted a few inches higher up, and cut a little access window in the plastic of my bumper.
Is that why you suggest Drawtite on your website? Was yours custom made by Olympic 4x4 or what brand did they install (I live near them).
Not really a suggestion; just an option I saw when reading up on the topic after the fact. I didn't even know front hitches existed before I went into Olympic 4x4 looking for front tow hook/shackle options! Olympic suggested the front hitch. I'm going to guess the front hitch Olympic 4x4 installed was at least somewhat custom in that it's welded to my front leaf spring mounts. I assume the off-the-shelf front hitches are designed for a stock 2WD Ford E-series front end, and might not bolt onto the frame of a custom 4x4 like my SMB.

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Old 03-18-2013, 02:30 PM   #20
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

Curt and Drawtite both make bolt-on front hitches with load ratings of 9000 lbs. for pulling. Curt also clearly states limits on the angle of pull (45 degrees to the side and 15 up/down) in their install manual. This makes me nervous, since that is less than the 1.5 factor one is supposed to use for winches, recovery straps and snatch straps. Now my rear Ford factory Class V hitch is 18,000 lbs, which is the rating for all Class IV/V hitches, so getting pulled out of any trouble from behind is no worry. Would love to find such a hitch for the front, otherwise there could be times when it just might be a guess whether anything is going to break! I even wonder if some or all of the massive front bumpers around for the van come close to a class V hitch (especially aluminum ones) since most of us are in need of 10,000 x 1.5 = 15,000 lbs pulling capacity on either end!
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Solar: 540 W of Kyrocera w/ Blue Sky 3024iL, 3x100 AmpHr AGM's
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Propane: stove top, furnace Travel: http://www.lugnutlife.wordpress.com
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