We have been on 3 wheeling trips with PJ (our long term Suzuki Vitara) so far and haven’t gotten stuck… yet. However it is only a matter of time before it will happen or something breaks and we need to be extracted. Check out the winch we bought and Part 1 of building a custom winch mount and bumper!
After way too much research I think I found the perfect combination of cost vs options in a winch.
There seems to be two camps here (yes this is an exaggeration):
The ‘If you don’t buy a WARN, you will get stuck in the middle of a forest and get eaten by a bear or die a slow starvation/frostbite death’ camp
The ‘I bought a Harbor Freight / Ebay / China winch and it works fine’ camp
I lean more towards the second camp. First off I openly admit I am cheap (I refer to myself as a ‘valueist’). Second off, after much research I realized that almost all brands of cheap winches come from China. Likely the same 2 or 3 factories. If you look closely at the pictures of enough winches, you eventually notice that the cheap ones are almost all nearly identical.
The winch I ended up purchasing
I ended up buying was from a vendor ZESUPER on Amazon. There aren’t a whole lot of reviews yet and I only found one guy on Youtube that posted video of this specific winch (linked below). I decided to take a leap and order it anyways.
Unboxing the ZESUPER Winch
I’ve gotta say though, I am impressed so far with the packaging and quality of the winch and its accessories. As of the writing of this I haven’t plugged it in yet so I can’t speak to its operation. If it doesn’t work out of the box I am still within my 30 day Prime return window.
The Amazon ad actually sandbags this winch a little bit. In the pictures it only shows one remote and no winch cover. The cover is important when you have synthetic rope since it will degrade when exposed to weather and UV light (just like any synthetic rope would).
Nothing is off limits on this rig so I am not making compromises. I don’t have a lot of money in this rig and am going to make these mods as functional as possible. I want it to look good, but I am not going to compromise ground clearance or approach angle to save a cheap plastic grille.
There aren’t a lot of options for these little trucks for front bumpers. Of the handful of companies that do make bumpers, I would never buy one because as mentioned above I am cheap and would rather make it anyways.
Cutting the Frame for the winch Mount
I am going to be connecting the front frame rails together with a piece of 2x3x1/8″ square tubing then plating the top of it with 1/4″ steel. It will have lots of gussets going down the frame since it is only ~1/8″ thick.
Thanks for reading. I hope you got some ideas for your project. The more projects I do, the more I realize that it is just plastic and metal. I know some of you all have fancy $$$ vehicles but if you are willing to invest time in modifications beyond what is available as a bolt on, you can create some functional AND good looking mods (at least I think they are).
Now YOU, go outside and work on something in the garage! We have at least another month of quarantine so don’t act like you have something else to do…