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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
So I really like the stock look of my TJ and I don't want a winch on the bumper! I know I know but still I don't want it on there. Is it a crazy idea to mount the winch somewhere under the car and use a pulley or two to direct the synthetic rope out to the bumper? Anyone hear of this or try it? I thought it would be extra cool because you could also route it out the back bumper if wanted!
 

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Either buy a bumper with a hidden winch or don't have a winch. Another option would be receiver mounted winch, again a PITA! It's fairly obvious that you don't need a winch...the headaches that would potentially create are not worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks man I appreciate you telling me what I already know and reminding me I don't need to spend money on a winch. If anyone has any words that have meaning please feel free. Convincing me to forget about doing something is like (insert witty pun here).
I have also read the forums on here pointing out the large bumpers and cutting the frame cross member, this thread is specifically asking if anyone has tried the above mentioned hidden under the car winch idea, yes it sounds hard to do and stupid but so are most of the things I think of.
 

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There is a cross member right behind the stock bumper location. This precludes the option of mounting the winch between the frame rails which is how it is done to mount a hidden winch on current model Jeeps and full size pick-ups. So you could relocate the cross member (which would weaken the front of the frame rails) or mount the winch on top.

I moved the control box of my winch to an under hood location which helps with this issue to some extent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Its not that I dislike the look I just prefer the sleeper look

You have to factor in respooling the line after, how are you going to do that if it is hidden under somewhere?

Might be better off to install lockers and go without a winch if you dislike the look that much.
Its not that I dislike the look of a winch I just prefer the stockish look of my Rubi. I didn't factor in re spooling as I have never owned a winch but you bring up a good point here. I like the idea of relocating the control box to under hood and maybe removing the cross member. I could weld a thick plate on the bottom of the frame there and likely hide a good amount of it in the stock bumper... I'm going to rethink this but I have read the minimum size winch I want is an 800#. Assuming I am just getting stuck in very light terrain (snow,sand,etc) would it be possible to use a lower rated winch to save on size? I figure I can always get a few pulleys if needed, another stupid idea?
 

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If you're trying to keep a stock look, using the winch in place of the crossmember is probably going to be the easiest/best route. Another thing to think about is doing synthetic rope, that way the fairlead wont be as bulky or noticeable. And I wouldn't run any less than a 8k winch
 

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99% of the time YOUR winch is used to recover OTHER people..... very rarly will the winch on your vehicle be positioned right to recover your own rig...

You thought it was flippant but the advice to skip the winch and use the money for other mods is spot on....


Yes you could use a smaller winch and a snatch block for minimal recoveries where you are only a short distance from solid ground and barely immobilized.... you could even get a lightweight 3-4k winch and mount it on a cradle... then install recievers front and rear....

This wouldn't get you out of gumbo mud over the hood or pull you up a vertical wall out of a ravine but it would get you free if you were high centered on a log or just spinning on wet moss covered rock
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
99% of the time YOUR winch is used to recover OTHER people..... very rarly will the winch on your vehicle be positioned right to recover your own rig...

You thought it was flippant but the advice to skip the winch and use the money for other mods is spot on....
I already have my jeep moded the way I want it and spent considerable time/money so the advice is nice but not what this thread was intended for. As far as why I thought it was flippant, it's annoying to ask a question and have someone tell you that its obvious I shouldn't even be asking the question.. Not an expert here just looking for some answers, not pictures of how stupid my question is. Thanks for the advice on winch sizes and it's helpful to know that the winch is primarily used to help other vehicles.
 

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The problem with asking strangers for advice is they aren't always going to tell you what you want to hear or sugar coat it. I am not one to sugar coat anything! If you don't like what or how I say it, it's not hurting my feelings. Maybe it was my upbringing or 12 years in the Military...no time for BS.
I personally like to help others in the Jeeping Community BUT I also have a life outside this forum. You asked and I bluntly said, it's a bad idea, er Terrible idea. Call it what you will...

Those of us that have a winch because we NEED and USE it understand it's a very dangerous tool for recovery! Google, winching failures or watch this: https://youtu.be/RdgdQ4PBC6o. That happened in a heartbeat!
If you look at how heavy duty a winch bumper is and compare that to anything under your Jeep, how does it compare? Then you have to route a huge power cable and protect it from shorting out and somehow protect the winch from debris and the Jeep from the winch! We have ALL spent money on bad mods, it sucks and I'm sure we all wish a friend had smacked us alongside the head and ask us, WTH are you thinks?!"

Do what you want, it's your rig but remember we warned you! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I see allot of winches on shinny around Boston that I can only assume never get used due to the pristine look of them. That will pretty much be my use case since I am not a huge wheeler like allot of you are. This is why I am exploring alternatives to the typical mounting options so when I do make it off trail I have another recovery option. I appreciate your advice and practical knowledge, I just don't like the sarcasm but I will take some shit it if it leads me to a solution! Thank you for your service Sinister6, god bless the troops!!
 

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Is it a crazy idea to mount the winch somewhere under the car and use a pulley...?...yes it sounds hard to do and stupid but so are most of the things I think of....I figure I can always get a few pulleys if needed, another stupid idea?...I see allot of winches on shinny around Boston that I can only assume never get used due to the pristine look of them. That will pretty much be my use case...
You asked if your idea was "crazy" or "stupid." I think all the posters were quite charitable.
 

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My best suggestion for a compromise is to get a winch that allows for remote placement of the solenoids. That will make the winch about as low profile as possible. A simple hawse and a TRE Safety Thimble on a synthetic rope also cleans up the look. Several times this year, people thought I didn't have a winch until I pointed at it.

Mine is a Warn XD9000 with the solenoids relocated under the hood. You would still need a winch mounting plate at the very least.
 

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If you're trying to keep a stock look, using the winch in place of the crossmember is probably going to be the easiest/best route. Another thing to think about is doing synthetic rope, that way the fairlead wont be as bulky or noticeable. And I wouldn't run any less than a 8k winch
There was someone on Jeep Forum years ago that cut out the front cross member and buried a winch in between the frame rails. He also chopped up the grill for some bizarre reason to make it fit. That alone would be an absolute deal breaker for me. Never mind really liking my Antirock. :)

The other option is to buy a JK!
 

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There was someone on Jeep Forum years ago that cut out the front cross member and buried a winch in between the frame rails. He also chopped up the grill for some bizarre reason to make it fit. That alone would be an absolute deal breaker for me. Never mind really liking my Antirock. :)

The other option is to buy a JK!


I wouldn't consider it if it involved cutting up the grill. But I'm sure it's possible to do with some winches. If you don't have an antirock
 

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Theoretically you could cut and extend the front frame horns to wedge a winch in there, and run the fairlead out the bottom under the bumper. In that case, though you would have to deal with keeping the steering gear in the proper location, and not having the winch interfere with it. You would have to also find a way to relocate/customize the sway bar to get it to fit on the updated front clip.

Alternatively, find/build a high profile winch bumper that will hide the winch a bit. And obviously; getting a winch like the Warn M or VR series with a relocatable solenoid box will lower the profile of the winch another ~4 inches.

Other than that, just deal with a winch on the front end. Remember; CJs used to come with the factory with optional winch packages. Adding a winch to your jeep can be one of the most authentic jeepy mods you could do :)
 

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Warn makes some pretty looking winches now adays if its the eyesore you're worried about.

If you don't want anything on there what so ever, but you think you may need a winch in some instance, you could opt for a drill winch.
 

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Warn makes some pretty looking winches now adays if its the eyesore you're worried about.

If you don't want anything on there what so ever, but you think you may need a winch in some instance, you could opt for a drill winch.
What capacity drill winch do you recommend for a 4500lb vehicle?
 
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