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Old 01-20-2016, 11:15 PM   #1
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How did you mount your winch bumper?

Im modifying a front E350 winch steel bumper but I'm not convinced the frame horns are strong enough for the job. They might be fine for a regular bumper but to winch 10-12,000lbs when stucked???

I'm curious if anyone has pictures showing how their winch bumper is mounted.

I'm thinking to use the horns but have another "C"channel push inside the frame or something similar...

Now, horns uncovered.



The new bumper.


Thanks!
David
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:36 PM   #2
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Thats a good looking bumper...who makes that one?
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:57 PM   #3
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Aluminess, which many of us have, just bolts to frame horns. I've never had an issue winching with it, and I've never heard of anyone having an issue with it.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:00 AM   #4
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I don't have a winch bumper on my van, but here's my opinion (for what it's worth...)

Those 8 bolts into the frame horns will be fine.

The shear strength of 8 - 1/2" (or whatever size bolts you plan to use) will be extremely high, so I wouldn't worry about the hardware. If anything, I'd worry about the hardware pulling itself through those holes... But that can be easily remedied by adding some thick fender washers on the back of the horns.

The reality of it is, even though your van might weigh 10K lbs and you might have a 12K lb winch... You will likely not get close to ever pulling those kinds of numbers unless you plan to do some seriously hardcore rock climbing.

Let's pretend you slide off a muddy road into the ditch and you have to winch across the road to get back up onto solid ground. That seems like a typical situation. Or if you get a bit sunk in some soft sand. Similar scenario. Your van will still have power to the wheels during winching... You may only need 3K or 4K lbs of force to get traction and get moving again.

A 10K pull would be the equivalent of lifting your entire rig straight in the air with the winch. I admit that adding an incline and muddy terrain (suction) can add to the force required quite dramatically, but I just don't see a full size loaded sportsmobile being put in that situation often. Maybe UJOR's V7 might see high tension pulls like that, but a 2WD or 4x4 SMB on 33's or 35's probably won't.

Most likely scenario would be to use a snatch block and pull yourself backwards out of whatever situation you're stuck in, and then find an easier way around the obstacle.

Just my .02
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:50 AM   #5
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I'm going to offer a countering opinion:

1) The frame horns are not strong enough IMO. They are really designed to keep the frame from punching through the bumper. With a good winch pull, it would probably tear the horns off (I've broken the welds on the rear frame horns).

2) The horizontal load from a winch pull can be 2-4 times the gross weight of the van, depending on the type and depth of soil it is stuck in.

My Buckstop is mounted with some 2" wide x 5/8" think steel bars which tie the winch base to the actual frame.

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Old 01-21-2016, 08:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
I'm going to offer a countering opinion:

1) The frame horns are not strong enough IMO. They are really designed to keep the frame from punching through the bumper. With a good winch pull, it would probably tear the horns off (I've broken the welds on the rear frame horns).
It very well might... I can't say for sure how those horns are attached to the frame. I didn't even really consider that you could pull the horns off the frame itself.

Quote:
2) The horizontal load from a winch pull can be 2-4 times the gross weight of the van, depending on the type and depth of soil it is stuck in.
True, but again, I highly doubt if SMB'ers will sink their van up to the frame in mud all around. I tend to think they're more cautious drivers than someone with a cheap bush buggy and that they would stop when 1 or two tires sink rather than mindless trying to push through the rest of the muck. That also brings me to the point of going backwards and trying a new route rather than winching through the rest of it forwards. A backwards tug through the same ruts you initially made will be MUCH easier than pulling forward and snowplowing the deeper mud ahead of you.

And I believe that chart doesn't account for any engine power to the wheels while winching. I admit that it is highly variable depending on a lot of different things, but it does relieve the amount of load needed to pull quite dramatically sometimes.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ert01 View Post
I highly doubt if SMB'ers will sink their van up to the frame in mud all around
Good thing mine's not an SMB
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:20 AM   #8
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mounting

I'm looking at the same thing, so I'll add my 2cents;

When you take a good look at the flat-flange style bumper mounting of our vans, it's pretty clear it was designed for one thing, front end collision. Not only is the mount not built with pullin gin mind, but the crumple zones formed into each frame head aren't going to help, either. The mounting scheme unfortunately puts those (8) 1/2" bolts in less preferred tensile stress, and not in shear. Bolts are roughly twice as strong in shear, as they are in tension.

Said another way, a bolt is much more prone to failure when being stretched, and less prone to failure when the joint design and force is trying to shear the faster (think stretching the bolt vs clipping it with a pair of wire cutters).


Most modern trucks have the same problem, and the ARB's and Warn's of the off road world sell braces that attach behind the bumper, to stiffen things up for winching, that you never see unless you crawl under. I'm real interested in seeing a picture of the braces Buckstop offers for the E series, and how it ties things together from strength.

I'm looking at the same thing, mounting a bumper, and beefing up the mounting for a winch.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:25 AM   #9
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I see you doubters theories, and they make intellectual sense...

But back to my point.. in the real world, has anyone with an Aluminess (or Reunel, which also bolts to frame horns) ever seen a bolt break when winching? Has anyone with an Aluminess ever had an issue with bolting to the frame horns? If so, then maybe there's an issue, but if not, aren't the thousands and thousands of successful winches proof enough?
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rallypanam View Post
Aluminess, which many of us have, just bolts to frame horns. I've never had an issue winching with it, and I've never heard of anyone having an issue with it.
Sportsmobile welds a 3/16" plate to the outside of the frame horns. I don't think they publish any specs on how much load can be supported with an Aluminess bumper.

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