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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 1 Nov 2001
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Which winch

I'm seeking some advice on fitting a winch.
I have a LR 110 Tdi which I'm preparing for expeditions.
And here starts my problem.
Which brand (superwinch, warn, ramsey,..),
how strong should I go for, should it be a front mounted or removeable one, or should I forget the whole thing & stick with my highlift!?
Any comment & advice is highly appreciated.
Gregory

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  #2  
Old 2 Nov 2001
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Hai,

I once owned a jeep and I had a Ramsey winch. It was fine, but I had to make a few minor ajustments to get it up to my standaards. I detached the relais-housing from the winch and placed it in a dry spot (I did a lot of river-crossing). Also I put the remote-connector on a easy to reach spot (when the car is up to it's hood in the mud, it's no fun looking for the connector)

The second modification is complicated to explain, but it had to do with the cable attachment on the drum. I made (extualy had it made) a new side to the drum and the cable came out of that side. Well, dificult to explain as I said, but the idea is that the cable is solidly attached to the drum and does wind on much neather (witch prolongs cable-life a lot).
It never left me standing.

However a friend of mine had a Warn, and it was at one part (I think) better. The drum-bearings. Warn uses real needle-bearings, wich run very smooth, while Ramsey uses nylon-bushes. It works, but it's much less smooth. (ever try to roll out 30 meter of steel-cable?, trust me, you will feel the diferance... a lot)

Hope this helps.
Maarten
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  #3  
Old 3 Nov 2001
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I believe for expeditions not just mud plugging, your getter off with a hand winch as you can get yourself out from any direction with out the engine or a flat battery. If your planning trips to desert locations you wont be doing all that much if any winching, so why have that big expensive heavy lump sitting on the front of your vehcile, when you can have a cheaper lighter hand winch that is a lot slower and which requires a lot more effort to use, but can used anywhere any time, when needed for the occasional recovery.

col campbell
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  #4  
Old 3 Nov 2001
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Whether you would benefit from a winch or not depends upon what type of driving you intend doing.

I have a Warn XD9000 mounted on the front of my Patrol. I drive in the dunes a lot in the United Arab Emirates and with a group of vehicles, having a winch is an invaluable tool. It saves a lot of time and effort and in desert heat helps prevent exhaustion and dehydration by sparing you some of the physical effort involved in recovering a vehicle.

However, if your driving doesn't take you into the dunes too much, or you are travelling in the desert alone (not a good idea to go dune driving alone!), a winch may not be of that much use to you. Granted, you can winch yourself out of a nasty position using a buried spare tyre, but an air-jack and some sand ladders will be just as quick and probably less effort.

In gloopy mud, where there are trees and the like, a winch (complete with a tree protection strap) is a real must-have if you are alone.

If you do decide to fit one, make sure you have a beefy alternator and consider a second battery. In the desert, you can get away with keeping your engine ticking over whilst winching to preserve battery charge if necessary, but if you are considering the expense of a winch, the alternator and second battery would be a realtively small additional cost.

Good luck,


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  #5  
Old 4 Nov 2001
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A winch is a very useful thing to have, but it weighs a lot - I physically cannot pick one up. Before going any further I suggest you decide whether you can afford all that extra weight.

If you decide to go ahead I recommend getting a BRB Roo Bar and X9 winch from Dave Bowyer, plus his course on how to use the thing safely.

Having recovered two vehicles in North Africa using winches I wouldn't go there without one.
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  #6  
Old 5 Nov 2001
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I have recently returned from my own London to Cape Town trip. We took a Tirfor winch which we never had to use for ourselves, warning: using one of these is bloody hard work!
We also travelled at times with two other vehicles that had vehicle mounted winches - a G10 and a Warn 8274 - one of these became quite gungho, as he thought that if he got stuck he could winch himself out of trouble. He ended up causing a fair bit of damage to his vehicle. I had to tow him out of trouble and back to get repairs

Make sure you consider the considerable amount of extra weight on the front of the vehicle and damage to your financial health!!


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  #7  
Old 5 Nov 2001
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I've been carring around a Superwinch Husky for the two years since I bought the vehicle. Although it's pulled me out of the goo a few times now I've grown to resent it; at 3.8 kN rated line pull it's only good for about 20 seconds before the Battery drops to 11 volts! I'm running an 80 amp alt, but that's not enough; current drain at max load is over 300 amps!!! To recover a car it's plenty strong enough, but a fully loaded overland vehicle rapidly gets past 3.5 tonnes. Since reading the Enable Africa features diary, specifically http://www.enableafrica.net/features/feature_51.htm a brilliant read in which their LR101 recovers a Mog. I dream of installing a mile marker; less weight, more line pull, smaller and more discreet. More importantly no drain on the battery and no need to uprate the alt. Have a look at http://www.4x4winches.com/ to find out more. Having said that if anyone wants to buy my Husky let me know, it'll help towards the Mile Marker.
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  #8  
Old 5 Nov 2001
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Hi all,
I've just returned from an exciting trip to Libya, so I now have a bit more experience under the belt to offer my comment.

With a dozen vehicles in the convoy and four days of travel across the Ubari Sand Sea (ca 800 km)I can say my Milemarker winch was a bit ... useless (sob!). The most often used recovery tool was a strong arm to do some inspired pushing. Sometimes we used a strap, and if anything else failed, a pair of sand ladders. Never did I have an opportunity to demonstrate the pulling power of the winch because connecting the remote control, deploying the cable, pulling out the stuck vehicle, rewinding the cable and removing the remote control would take twice as much time than and a bit of digging and pushing. Conclusion: having a winch fitted on my LR Discovery was as reassuring as redundant.
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  #9  
Old 8 Nov 2001
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You got some good advise there, however I disagree with some of the opinions.

I have a Warn 8000i in front of my Jeep. I mostly travel in the Egyptian western Desert dunes and I find the winch very useful, efficient, and most important of all, energy saving.


You can easily hookup the winch to another vehicle and pull. The time it takes to get the control out and hook the cable is no longer than man-handling the stuck vehicle or getting out and hooking a strap. It’s much easier and faster than the traditional routine: pushing, rocking, digging and using the sand mats. If you’re gonna get out the snatch strap and hook up 2 vehicles, you might as well use the winch cable.

A dual battery system is a good idea whether you have a winch or not. I have 2 batteries installed in my Jeep with an Isolator/combiner and I’m very happy with the system

To answer your original question:

Get one of the new generations of high speed winches since they are much faster, lighter and more efficient than the old generation. My personal preference is Warn but the other major brands are pretty good too.

It should have the pulling power of at least 1.5 the weight of your vehicle.

I would go for a permanently front mounted winch. Removable winch mounts are not that strong and tend to bend the cross member or hitch they are attached to. Attach the winch to at least a 6mm steel plate with a front and rear lip for strength. Use a longer front lip and mount the fairlead to it. Attach the whole assembly to both front frame side rails with at least 2 US grade 8, or 10.5 metric, bolts on each frame rail. This is very important. The good news is that there are mounting kits ready to install any winch to your vehicle.

A higher output alternator and dual batteries with a battery isolator/combiner are a good addition but if you don’t have those then just rev the engine to 3000 RPM while winching and don’t turn off the vehicle immediately after winching, give it a few minutes to recharge the battery.

It’s also a good idea to get one of those winch accessories kits that all the major manufacturers sell. They include:
. Snatch block: A pulley that doubles the cable. Shortens the maximum cable length by halph but doubles the winch power.
. 2 shackles: to attach the cable to some of the weird hooks out there
. Tree Saver: Let’s you attach your winch to a tree or any bog object with out killing it.

Nevertheless always take the hi-lift with you.

If you need more info on the subject let me know.

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  #10  
Old 8 Nov 2001
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AB is absolutely right. The winch saves a hell of a lot of physical effort and also a lot of time. We make use of it on almost every trip to the dunes we make.

A permanently mounted one is a better idea that a removable one. It is stronger, has better pulling weight and the vehicle mount is more robust.

Good luck,



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  #11  
Old 8 Nov 2001
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Thank you very much for sharing your opinions & experiances with me!!!
I really appreciate it.
I have already 2 batteries & a split charge/combine switch fitted & I think I'll go for front mounted winch.
But any more comments are very welcome!!!
And my Landy-project is far from being finished so more questions coming up...
Thank you once more to all of you &
Take care,
Gregor


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  #12  
Old 9 Nov 2001
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Go to Halfords and buy a Choke cable (less than a fiver).

Connect it so that the user end (the bit you pull out and twist to hold it out) is near your cut out switch or on the front of the vehicle somewhere where it won't draw attention to itself. Connect the business end to your accelerator mechanism (allow enough slack for the engine to bounce around without breaking the cable).

Now you have a hand throttle to crank the revs up when you use the winch. Much better than carrying something to wedge the accelerator pedal down.

Unfortunately you can't do this with "drive by wire" engines like the TD5. Any ideas anybody?
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