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Is it worth going the whole route of a new bumper for mounting a winch or should I go with a mounting plate initially? Mounting plate is about $180 for stock bumper and a setup like the Rugged Ridge XHD will run about $600+

I'm looking at a 10k winch with synthetic for my '11 JKU with 2-1/2" TF lift.
 

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I'm contemplating the same thing. Most aftermarket bumpers will add a lot of extra weight in addition to the winch weight.

I may just get the mount plate for stock and save some pounds.

Or maybe go for an aluminum bumper but they're pretty pricey.
 

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I did the besttop stubby with a 8K smitty winch with synn have since got rid of heavy bumper over #80lbs and will go to the winch plate and stock bumper and buy the stubby kit for about $60 and shave a bunch of weight and the synn rope on a winch is #30lbs lighter than wire rope just my 2 cents good luck.
 

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I ended up going stock bumper and rockhard4x4 plate. Originally this was just going to be a stop gap until I could afford to put on an AEV bumper. I liked it so much that when I got my new jeep I pulled the bumper off the old one before trading it. I figure my stock set up with Warn VR10000S and front skid ways less then many aftermarket bumpers by themselves.

Not saying some day I won't go with a different bumper but for sure it is on the back burner now and the bumper section used to be the first section I would go to when the quadratech or 4wd.com catalog showed up lol.

 

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I wish they had used a drawing. I can't see the bumper attachment on my JK without removing the skirt under there, and the online bumper parts diagrams are sketchy. That write-up makes it seem like the whole winch load is on just two 1/2" bolts. Is that right?
it is two bolts in the frame and the two factory tow hooks support the load. Hardrock says it has a minimum (not max) 12000lb capacity. I have personally had my 14 jkur buried in wet snow up to the doors and had my vr10000 totally bogged down under load and it is solid. My buddy has the same set up and same results. I was buried in the snow and he was pulling me backwards out of the snow and he had to be teethered off from behind and winch pulled until it would stall and plate rock solid.

 

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buried in heavy wet snow going up hill and nearly pulled a large tree over but winch plate did not budge even tho the 10K was straining for all it was worth.
 

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If you don't mind doing a little cutting and figuring, the harbor freight winch plate for $45 is a great deal. I went that route and used the extra money for a better winch. Lots of write ups on installing it.
 

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Does the rock hard mounting plate still allow the use of the tow hooks?

In case the winch fails and you need pulled out the traditional way?
 

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Does the rock hard mounting plate still allow the use of the tow hooks?

In case the winch fails and you need pulled out the traditional way?
yes I have used them plenty and still plenty of hook to grab.
 

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yes I have used them plenty and still plenty of hook to grab.
Perfect! Thanks for the info. I think I'm just going to modify the stock bumper with the VDP end caps then throw the rock hard on there with a 9000 lb winch and call it a day.

Can't imagine a way to make it lighter than that... I suppose synthetic rope would also save some lbs.
 

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Perfect! Thanks for the info. I think I'm just going to modify the stock bumper with the VDP end caps then throw the rock hard on there with a 9000 lb winch and call it a day.

Can't imagine a way to make it lighter than that... I suppose synthetic rope would also save some lbs.
synthetic rope with the hawse fairlead vs steel cable and roller fairlead save right at 25lbs. It took a little getting used to synthetic line as it seems like it is not going to be strong enough but both myself and my buddy have it with jku's and both have VR10000's and you can pull hard enough to stall the winch and the line is still holding. I unspooled mine to day and gave it a good cleaning and so far so good.
 
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