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Old 10-25-2010, 07:23 PM   #1
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Winch on front bumper or on receiver hitch for front and back?

I’m on the fence on if I should bolt a winch to the front bumper, limiting me to forward winch use or if I should install a front hitch and put the winch on a 2” receiver plate so I can move the winch from front to back as needed. It would loose the “cool look factor” with the winch on the adapter and not on the front bumper, but more useful I would think. Off roading will be mostly everglades, so mud/water etc. Last time I was out there (10 years ago) I had a stock CJ-7 with 31s and only problem I had was my axles bottoming out and would have to get pulled out. Now I have a LJ with 2” suspension and 3” body on 33s.

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Old 10-25-2010, 08:14 PM   #2
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You know, I have thought about this one quite a bit myself.
The receiver mount would be great - you can leave it in the garage when you're not needing it, which would save on weight running around town, and prevent tampering / theft concerns. It would also be protected from the elements when you know you won't be needing it.
My problem is I'm forgetful as all get out. I know I'd set it out, and then go 'wheeling without it. Therefore, mine's going up front.
There is also the 'cool look' factor. But, being able to winch from front or rear would be handy in many situations I'm sure.

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Old 10-25-2010, 08:19 PM   #3
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In all the years I've been winched or winched others, I never wished I had a winch on the rear of any of my Jeeps.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:22 PM   #4
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I am with Jerry. 99% of winching is from the front. If you need to winch backwards, have the guy behind you do it for you. And the amount of side loading(if you ever had to pull at an angle), might kill a receiver mount.

I say do it on the front. Besides, have you ever LIFTED a fully spooled winch with at least 100' of steel cable? I am betting you wouldn't move it very often.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:28 PM   #5
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^ this,

lugging it around over and over would get pretty tedious for me
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:53 PM   #6
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ya and a 100' is a good long way not to mention heavy, as well as the side load issue. Plus I have seen how to winch backwards with the front mounted winch.
what do ya think about front bumper mount and a second one under the body upside down between the rear axle and tranny. I think there might be room being I have a LJ, mind you I have only thought of it and checked it out with a flashlight tonight!
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:07 PM   #7
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The sideload and straight-pull issue is significant when talking about installing a winch into a receiver hitch. A typical Jeep size winch can exert 8,000 to 9,500 lbs. of force. A Jeep size 2" receiver hitch is rated to tow a trailer that weighs up to 3,500 lbs.

No way could a receiver hitch rated to 3,500 lbs. be expected to withstand the side load or straight load a Jeep size winch can place on it. That combination would be fine for street use where the typical use might be retrieving a vehicle stuck in a snow bank etc. but not when a Jeep is really (!) stuck or perhaps even down in a ravine after having rolled when offroading.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:56 PM   #8
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I like the idea of having a choice of front or rear via receiver hitch. Can anyone post a link for front bumper with 2" receiver?
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:58 AM   #9
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I've had a front-and-back hitch-for-the-winch setup for years and enjoy the versatility. I bought the hitches long ago and don't remember the maker of the front hitch but the rear one still has its "DrawTite" label on it. I'm sure such hitches can be found through a Google search. Quadratec has one for the front end of a Wrangler for about $160, and several selections for the rear end at higher and lower amounts.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:04 AM   #10
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Keep in mind that most receiver hitches made for a Wrangler typically have a max rating of around 3500 lbs. Placing a typical Jeep-size winch winch rated from 8,000 lbs. to 10,000 lbs. of capacity in a receiver hitch and actually placing anywhere near that much load on it is likely to lead to disastrous results.

That type of setup would be fine for use in easy on-road applications such as extracting a vehicle that slid off the road into a snow bank which is not usually a demanding task. But for a serious offroad recovery that makes use of our winch's greater load capacities, I personally wouldn't trust a receiver hitch.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I like the idea of having a choice of front or rear via receiver hitch. Can anyone post a link for front bumper with 2" receiver?
Tons of them, just Google "jeep front bumper receiver hitch"
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:14 AM   #12
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In theory a front/rear setup sounds great. The issue I see is 99.9% of the time you're going to be pulling from the front - but without it being permanently attached, on that .01% trip I would forget and leave the winch at home.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Keep in mind that most receiver hitches made for a Wrangler typically have a max rating of around 3500 lbs. Placing a typical Jeep-size winch winch rated from 8,000 lbs. to 10,000 lbs. of capacity in a receiver hitch and actually placing anywhere near that much load on it is likely to lead to disastrous results.

That type of setup would be fine for use in easy on-road applications such as extracting a vehicle that slid off the road into a snow bank which is not usually a demanding task. But for a serious offroad recovery that makes use of our winch's greater load capacities, I personally wouldn't trust a receiver hitch.
That's true, Jerry. No equipment should be used past its design limits.

My winch is used strictly in the mud, and so far the versatility and strength have worked out very well for me. The rear-placement option is important for me, since I use the Jeep for hunting and I do that alone, so I need to be self-reliant. My Warn 8000 and the front/rear winch points help me do that.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeee2002 View Post
being able to winch from front or rear would be handy in many situations I'm sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyCop View Post
I like the idea of having a choice of front or rear via receiver hitch.
If you really think you might someday need to winch yourself backwards, you can do that with a front-mounted winch.

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Old 06-29-2015, 11:27 AM   #15
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I've never winched anything, but it seems to me the only thing more difficult than finding an anchor point in front of you would be to find two anchor points behind you and one in front, all in the right place.

Click the image below for some info I found for a front receiver top mount bar that fits the OE TJ front bumper.



Here is where you can buy it.
https://www.etrailer.com/fmr-1998_Jeep_Wrangler.htm
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:00 PM   #16
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Consider what you plan to do with the winch. If you want it to drag the Jeep places where it can't go on its own, mount the winch on the front. If you want it to get you out of a mess you drove into, mount it on the back so you can exercise some discretion and take another route or even get home instead of sitting in that mud bog or on those boulders when the winch is not enough at the next bad spot. Yes, side loads can be an issue with a rear mount, but that is what snatch blocks are for. Mount a snatch block to a tree, boulder, etc. so that the pull on the winch is more in line, not sideways.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:14 AM   #17
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Yesterday, I ordered the front bumper hitch.

In my case, I do no rock crawling, have little risk of a need for a winch for recovery and already have a rear hitch receiver on the TJ. We also have a rear receiver on a 3/4 ton work truck which may see more winching than the TJ.

Maybe this was already mentioned, but can't a portable winch be carried to an anchor point and operated from there for otherwise impossible pulls?

Using a double receiver or ball hitch with receiver, wouldn't it be useful to winch something onto a trailer. Finally, I have a garage to keep the winch stored in when not in use.

For us, the $130 front hitch provides tremendous flexibility compared to laying out big bucks for a dedicated winch and winch bumper weighing down the front end all the time.

But when I get some real money, I'm gonna get a purposeful looking rig bristling with rock crawling and overlander farkles.

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