The ultimate off-road tool for your
rig. As a general rule of thumb most winch manufacturers
recommend you multiply your vehicle weight by 1.5 to determine the
winch capacity you will need. Since my Zuk is pretty
light and one of my goals was to keep it that way, I opted for a
smaller winch than the usual 8000 lb model most people purchase.
After some research I narrowed my choices down to the Warn 6000 SDP
or the Ramsey REP 5000. Both of these winches are short drum
models, so they are roughly 4 inches shorter than the standard drum
winches and are approximately 20lbs lighter. The determining
factor was the amount of cable supplied with the winches, the Warn
comes with 50ft of 5/16" cable, the Ramsey 80ft of 1/4"
cable. The more cable the better here in Arizona since good
anchor points are scarce.
When I tubed the front end I made
sure to leave a space for a 8000lb winch. When I swapped my
Samurai axles out for Toyota axles I had an interference between the
drag link and tie rod which required me to move the steering box
forward. This ate into the space I had allocated for a winch.
We mounted the winch by welding a
piece of 3/16" thick steel angle between the two frame rails
and front bumper. I cut a notch on the side by the steering
box so I could remove the steering box without removing the winch
plate. After welding the new mount plate in we drilled two
holes thru the angle and two thru the front bumper. The holes
in thru the bumper were sleeved to keep the bumper from crushing in.
I attached the winch using some of the supplied hardware and two
longer bolts for the front mounting holes. Wiring was easy, I
used the two extra posts on my Exide battery for the ground and
Lastly we cut some pieces of steel
angle and welded them to the front of the bumper to mount the
fairlead. Once we got the fairlead up there I realized it was
too big. I e-mailed Ramsey and they promised to send a box so
I could send the fairlead back to exchange it for the proper one but
I haven't heard anything from them in over 3 weeks. OK, so I have a
winch, lets run some hard trails and find an excuse to test it out!.
No dice and believe me I have tried. I thought for sure I
could use it on Intimidator. Nope. How about on Highway to Hell?
Nope, Armageddon? Nope. We are going to run
Anaconda this weekend, there's a really good chance I'll have to use
it to get thru the trail so I'll post an update on how it works if I
get the opportunity to use it.
Update - The little Ramsey winch did
a good job of getting my old Zuk out of trouble. The only
downside was the speed of the winch; it was just too darn
slow. Especially when spooling the empty cable back in.
There were times I wished for a hand crank to speed up the process.
Looking back I would have definitely sprung for a faster winch with
something along the lines of the Warn M8000 being the slowest I