So is a '9000' class winch 'enough' for a 6500# Suburban

rayra

Expedition Leader
Is there a rule of thumb for winch capacity, besides 'more is better'?

Might go 9000/9500, might go 12000/12500. Trying to gather some real-world experience info re the two classes. The winch would be an accessory on a vehicle that wont intentionally be driven places it might get majorly stuck. It's more likely to be used in getting other people unstuck. Or in some disaster scenario, rather than in a lot of hard wheelin' use or frequently. I also get 'duty cycle', and don't mind things taking a little longer. I've got more time than money, anyway.

Anyone that's read my topics should already know I'm a cheap bastard and I've already got too many hobbies. Running around getting stuck and unstuck or breaking my vehicle is not (deliberately) one of them. So no 'buy once, cry once' advice need apply. Sorry, Warn guys.

eta
I've got plenty of offroad experience with mini-trucks and my 4800# pickup, using recovery and snatch straps, shackles, gloves, throwing a blanket or jackets on the midpoint. And frame-mounted hooks, with #8 bolts. I'm 55, been offroading and getting stuff stuck and unstuck since my teens. And I'm pretty handy mechanically and with physics. I get the physical forces at work. Just never owned a winch or had much time working with one. So not really sure of how hard a lighter duty winch can be used / abused in extremis.
 
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Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
Historically the rule of thumb for winch sizing has been 1.5 to 2x the vehicle weight.

I have noticed that; the heavier the vehicle (usually) the worse the stuck.

...additionally I would recommend getting a rated snatch block , several rated shackles and a good stretchy snatch strap or kinetic rope (the snatch strap/rope is normally way quicker and handier to use than the winch)... a heavy log chain helps rigging non linear pulls along with a tree strap (the snatch strap can work) to protect trees.
Safety equipment should include a minimum of heavy, loose leather gloves, to protect hands/fingers...and at least a floor mat over the center of the line while winching in case the winch line comes apart and whips..

Personally, for the last couple of vehicles I have gone with better high traction (mud) tires and air lockers to help keep from getting stuck; 'though I still carry snatch straps and shackles in all my vehicles.

All this assumes that your vehicle has heavy, rated, frame mounted, winch points (front and rear) to tie to.

Enjoy!
 
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rayra

Expedition Leader
All good useful information for folks in general. I've got plenty of offroad experience with mini-trucks and my 4800# pickup, using recovery and snatch straps, shackles, gloves, throwing a blanket or jackets on the midpoint. And frame-mounted hooks, with #8 bolts. I'm 55, been offroading and getting stuff stuck and unstuck since my teens. And I'm pretty handy mechanically and with physics. I get the physical forces at work. Just never owned a winch or had much time working with one. So not really sure of how hard a lighter duty winch can be used / abused in extremis.
All things considered I expect it would be better to get the 12k. Was wondering if I could 'get by' with the next lower class of winch. Especially with snatch blocks etc.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
If you decide to go with the 9K range, Ramsey used to make an 8500 with a hidden mount kit for GMC vehicles, so would save the cost of a winch bumper. Puts the winch behind the front valance, as I recall. Been a long time since I looked at those, don't know if they are still available.
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
Yes, you can get by. When you come upon a situation you can’t winch out of you are no more screwed than you would have been without a winch, yet you still benefited from all the uses leading up to that point in time.
 

Louisd75

Adventurer
Consider that a winch is rated for maximum capacity and will reduce depending on the number of layers on the drum. A 9,000 lbs winch might be 60% of that with 3 layers still on the drum. Therefore for a 6,500 lbs vehicle one practical advantage to a 12,000 lbs winch might be that you don't have to unspool it completely.
This is an important thing to keep in mind. It's also a good argument against putting as much winchline on the drum as it will hold. I've found that 80' is a good length on the drum, anything longer and I'll break out the extensions.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Thinking similar, I have a 30k pound rated smittybuilt recovery strap, which could be used to extend or anchor. Likewise a matching-rating tree strap. I'd definitely get a snatch block for either offset recovery of others or doubling back to myself to get to the higher-capacity wrap layer. I just don't want to cheap out getting the 9000 class and burn it up the first time I really need it for myself.

On the hidden mount I like the idea, @CrazyDrei linked one the other day for GMT800s. LIke the idea. Can mount the solenoid box elsewhere and make it work. But I've already run 1/0 cables to near my rear bumper, with future hitch-mounted carrier / winch solution in mind.
That too was part of my 9000-class quandary, as the carriers I've found so far are only rated for that class. More shopping to do. Costs are adding up fast, but still cheaper than a winch bumper :)

/I've got too many hobbies and too many demands on my wallet


eta although I wouldn't be adverse to a hidden mounted winch in the front, and Warn's minimalist hitch mount stored in the rear. I mean if I'm really stuck and alone, I've got all the time in the world to dismount the winch from the front and rig it in the rear. With the wiring and plugs already in place, it's just getting under the front to disconnect 10 bolts and bolt everything up at the rear. I dunno. Too many options sometimes and trying to hold them open is complicating things.

eh, I spent a lot of years driving one-leggers off-road, speed, momentum, deliberately grinding over obstacles or potential high center situations. I'm an old man now, much more sedate in my off-road driving methods and risk taking. I'm most likely going to get all the winch setup done and never need it for myself. I'm mostly trying to cover a low-probability risk/need of crossing the San Andreas after it lets go, ~10mi north of my house. It's between us and bugging the hell out of Los Angeles.
 
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Wilbah

Adventurer
I have gone through your same thought process as I would prefer not to have the weight of a winch always mounted.

IIRC the 11K Warn Zeon winches are the same footprint as what fits in their carrier. So maybe just get a more robust carrier to have portability. My guess is if your stuck it will be impossible (or very near) to get under the front to undo the winch and move it to the rear.
 
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jadmt

Well-known member
This is an important thing to keep in mind. It's also a good argument against putting as much winchline on the drum as it will hold. I've found that 80' is a good length on the drum, anything longer and I'll break out the extensions.
ditto on the line length. on my jeep I have actually dropped down from 80' to 50' (when I first started wheeling I had 100') as I have used winches a lot over the last 10 years or so and for my type of stuff I found I was never needing any more than that.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
But I've already run 1/0 cables to near my rear bumper, with future hitch-mounted carrier / winch solution in mind.
That too was part of my 9000-class quandary, as the carriers I've found so far are only rated for that class.


FWIW, Warn used to make (maybe still does) a frame-mounted front receiver for GM trucks. I have one for my '98 K1500, NIB, never mounted it. It's cheap if it will work for you. I recently had to replace the front bumper on my '08 Tundra and I went with a winch bumper from ICI Magnum. They offer the option of a receiver plate that bolts into the opening normally used for a fairlead. That leaves the interior cavity of the bumper available for things like OBA compressors and air tanks, second battery, water tank, etc. I don't know the rating on the hitch, but I got it mostly to mount Yakima rack stuff so that I could carry loads of long lumber, molding, pipe, etc.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
I have gone through your same thought process as I would prefer not to have the weight of a winch always mounted.

IIRC the 11K Warn Zeon winches are the same footprint as what fits in their carrier. So maybe just get a more robust carrier to have portability. My guess is if your stuck it will be impossible (or very near) to get under the front to undo the winch and move it to the rear.
That is probably most often true. But most of my issues in SoCal are jammed in a rut or high center. I'm almost never in any mud. Sunk too many trucks to the frame in mud bogs as a yout, got that out of my system. I'll do just about anything to avoid it now.

My other issue with a permanently mounted winch is vandalism / theft. I'm in L.A., i've already experienced vehicle break-ins and vandalism, more than once. It's why I dont leave radio antennae mounted all the time, either. And why I made my rooftop solar as low-profile / unnoticeable as possible. And built my carpeted storage drawer platform, look in the window, the vehicle is empty, you don't see the 13cu' of gear I've got hidden in the drawers. Just an empty floor.
So the winch in a carrier or the hidden winch both have great appeal.

something like this, but a winch buried in that isn't getting uninstalled without a fight.

eta
roughcountry doesn't list for the Suburbans, but same gen standard Gmt800 pickup has one listed. I don't know of any substantive differences in the front frame / bumper area of the two. And looking at the pics seems VERY similar to me. I'd have to crawl around under the sub when the rain quits this week and look for issues. $200 and if you can get in there at all you can probably get it out in a pinch. Same frame end hooks, look like same frame end bolt patterns IIRC.






eta

if one were to use a synthetic rope and the sort of flat plates that are used instead of roller fairleads, it could be much less noticeable and even have the license plate mounting in front of it. black rope black plate, black hook, you'd have to look right at it to notice it.

A budget 12k harbor freight winch, this mount, a few assorted plugs for the removeable wiring, total about $600

A removable hitch mounted plate, $100, winch $300, a front-mounted receiver hitch, $150, and the plugs for front and back setups.

About the same cost either way, but the latter lets me move the winch to either end, and leave it off altogether when I'm not planning to leave the road.
 
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Wilbah

Adventurer
That is probably most often true. But most of my issues in SoCal are jammed in a rut or high center. I'm almost never in any mud. Sunk too many trucks to the frame in mud bogs as a yout, got that out of my system. I'll do just about anything to avoid it now.

My other issue with a permanently mounted winch is vandalism / theft. I'm in L.A., i've already experienced vehicle break-ins and vandalism, more than once. It's why I dont leave radio antennae mounted all the time, either. And why I made my rooftop solar as low-profile / unnoticeable as possible. And built my carpeted storage drawer platform, look in the window, the vehicle is empty, you don't see the 13cu' of gear I've got hidden in the drawers. Just an empty floor.
So the winch in a carrier or the hidden winch both have great appeal.

something like this, but a winch buried in that isn't getting uninstalled without a fight.

eta
roughcountry doesn't list for the Suburbans, but same gen standard Gmt800 pickup has one listed. I don't know of any substantive differences in the front frame / bumper area of the two. And looking at the pics seems VERY similar to me. I'd have to crawl around under the sub when the rain quits this week and look for issues. $200 and if you can get in there at all you can probably get it out in a pinch. Same frame end hooks, look like same frame end bolt patterns IIRC.






eta

if one were to use a synthetic rope and the sort of flat plates that are used instead of roller fairleads, it could be much less noticeable and even have the license plate mounting in front of it. black rope black plate, black hook, you'd have to look right at it to notice it.

A budget 12k harbor freight winch, this mount, a few assorted plugs for the removeable wiring, total about $600

A removable hitch mounted plate, $100, winch $300, a front-mounted receiver hitch, $150, and the plugs for front and back setups.

About the same cost either way, but the latter lets me move the winch to either end, and leave it off altogether when I'm not planning to leave the road.
I like the thought process. I know what I contemplate getting stuck, I'd probably be better off most times having a winch in the rear to back me up than I would in the front. I like the flexibility of a receiver hitch version.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
I've already got teh power cables run into the back cargo floor behind the driver rear wheel tub. I have an Anderson SB175 coupling thru the cargo area sidewall, and my power distribution box jacks into it. My design intent was to run a second cable extension back thru the floor in the same place and into the face of the rear bumper, alongside where I've already perforated it and relocated my trailer 7pin to. I have a rotary switch in the power box that I'd used to kill the external plug when not in use. Today, I'd just have a ~3' lead on the winch (or maybe a little longer) so the rear mounted winch would just get routed thru the hatch and into the top of the power box and plugged in.

so this combo of hitch mount hardware -



and some nice fine strand flexible welding cable rewiring for the winch power cables to have enough length. And mounted plugs front and rear that are switched dead when not winching.


eta pics of the power setup I have in back now and the bumper 7-pin mod

just left of the lic. plate, the relocated 7pin. Cut its mounting plate off the rear hitch bar.




The cables strung along and mounted to the frame rails in pvc armored conduit from teh aux battery under the hood, and across the 'ceiling' forward of the spare to the driver side floor.




And the power box jacked in

http://www.rayra.net/imageshare/Suburban/powermodule183.jpg[img]

I already positioned the floor penetrations and cut down the subwoofer box so there is room for another pair of cables and bulkhead fittings to fit thru the floor next to the first pair, which will pass thru to an external plug in the bumper face next to the 7-pin. The big white rotary switch in the box would cut power to that rear plug. I've since added / integrated rooftop solar and put the charge controller inside the lid of that box, too.

So basically I just need to add external plug extensions on the cabling, front and rear. buy the Curt front receiver hitch. But the hitch mounting plate for a winch. Flipping a coin about it having handles. And then a winch, with appropriate wiring mods. And maybe some receiver extension mods for clearances. Won't know until I try to put it all together.

I'm reading a lot of 'comparison test' articles and youtube vids and I haven't yet found anything to rule out a Badlands. It seems like 90% the winch for 30% the price of a Warn. yeah they're 'cheap', yeah they're 'harbor freight'. But I'm still looking for mechanical reasons NOT to.
Too, at that bottom end of the price range, the difference between the 9000 and 12000 is very little.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Curt front hitch is rated 9000# straight line pull. <---- weakest link

A cradle rated 13000#, $54

The Curt #31010 has no weight rating and says it's meant for use on lower capacity hitches.

My factory class III rear hitch is rated 500 tongue, 12k GVWR.

Smitty universal snatch block, 17,600# rating, $28


This guy has an interesting and informative video on pulling apart and pre-servicing a Badland 12000, pulls the planetary completely apart and fully lubes everything, which seems like a great idea to me. Model's a little older, but I expect construction to be very similar and his info useful.

I've got (3) 9500# rated shackles. and the aforementioned straps. Factory forged hooks on the front frame ends. And had some forged hooks bolted to the rear frame ends when I have the hitch off. I'll have to drill some holes in hitch and frame plates to put 2nd bolts in those hooks to mount them with the hitch installed. So I'll be good to run out, thru a snatch block and hook back to the vehicle frame-mounted hooks.

And with a snatch setup I can get around that 9000# front hitch weak link a bit.

I had a tow strap (non-stretching) but it got too beat up over the years, and punctured on an undercarriage bolt head once, I'd knotted that off in a loop about 4' from one end of the strap. But finally decided to s-can that strap when I got the fresh new recovery strap. Might get another tow to use as a cable extension or to anchor the vehicle to a tree or a 3rd vehicle, if I'm winching someone else.

Got plenty of gloves. Want / need a throw storage bag that doubles as a throw bag. I can sew all the covers or bags I need.

I'd want to weld up a stowage position receiver that would bolt to the top of my storage platform inside, forward of my MFC / MWC storage bin / mount, but would probably just keep the winch mounted outside, instead of wrasslin' it about inside the vehicle on an excursion when there will be a lot of gear back there and it's a sleeping platform too.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
I know the multi-mount system is tempting, but one of the only times I have came VERY close to seriously being injured was with one of those units.

The short version. Moving them back and forth on dry flat ground is one thing. Trying to move the winch to the other end when the vehicle is half hanging off the side of the road when you REALLY need it in the snow and ice is another. Murphy always makes sure that the 'other' end would always be better. I was trying to lift the winch nearly over my head while balancing on snow and ice. I lost my footing and the winch came within an inch of causing me serious bodily harm as it all came crashing down. Getting seriously hurt while you are already stuck could be the end of things.

I also don't like that most single receiver winch mounts are not going to be suitable for off angle winching. When I get stuck, I would say over 50% of my pulls are off angle because of the vehicle position or anchor selection.

Good luck with your project. Stay safe.
 
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