If there is one thing that sucks about four wheelin' it's spending hours and hours and HOURS trying to dig out a well stuck truck. I can remember times when my friends and I got one of our trucks stuck on Saturday, and spent the rest of the day digging and pulling, only to leave the truck over night, and returning on Sunday to finish the extraction. With age comes wisdom, so as the years tick by I've managed to cut back on sevarity of my sticks, compared to when I was a "pedal-to-the-metal" 17 year old. Now, with the addition of a winch to my vehicle, I reduced the time involved in vehicle recovering dramaticly.
Another thing the addition of which offeres is the opportunity to run some insane trails. I'm looking forward to going places that require a winch, such as trails that go up dry waterfalls. That's got to be scary as hell!
The winch I bought is a Ramsey ProPlus9000RX with an extra long 150ft cable on it. I ordered it from MEPCO for $680.00. Apparently they only stock the ProPlus9000R with the 95ft cable. Why didn't I get a Warn you might ask? Price. I don't think that there is really much of a difference in quality, but Ramsey winches are generally slightly less expensive. Both companies offer similar designs, both have similar amperage draws, and both have similar pull ratings on like models.
Unfortunatly, YEARS have passed between when I bought my winch, and the writing of this article, so I can't remember some details that I wanted to include here. One detail that has escaped is the cost of the Ramsey mounting kit I bought for my CJ. I am very pleased with the construction of the mounting kit. It's made from some seriously thick steel, probably because it's the same kit they use for a 20,000 winch, but I don't know that for a fact. When I received my Winch, which was shipped via UPS, it had nearly escaped the box. I don't know the exact weight of my winch, but it had clearly had it's way with the cardboard and styrofoam packaging it was shipped in. By the looks of the tape and labels all over the remains of the box, it had probably seen the back of a UPS truck at least two or three times. In any event, the winch was un harmed, and all the hardware was intact. Upon closer inspection, the winch was missing a small bolt on one side of the housing, that was supposed to be sharing the duty of holding selanode housing to the the gear side of the winch. It was a 1/4" allen head screw perhaps 1/2" long with a hexnut on the other side. Years ago when I first noticed this, I thought I'd just run down to the hardware store (only 4 blocks from my house) and get a replacement. That never happened. To this day, the bolt is M.I.A.
Installation was easy, except for one big problem. My Jeep has a custom suspenions setup, that uses some custom made brackets to off-set the front leaf springs about 2" outward on each side to make room for the wider Scout axles. The brackets I made to do this utilized existing large bolt holes on either side of the front end of the frame. Much to my shagrin, the winch mounting plate was designed to use that same set of holes that I had used. This meant I'd have to make new off-set brackets, or come up with another way to mount the winch. I opted to make new brackets that would allow me to share the holes for attaching the winch mounting plate per instructions, and mounting my off-set brackets. Once the new bracket were made, it was a bolt together deal.
Electrically speaking, I didn't have to do much here. My Optima battery has dual terminals. The top set of terminals wasn't being used, so I simply connected the winch leads to the top terminals, and all was good.
I have had no real problems with the winch, except for a little problem with the remote cord not making the best connection when I plug it in. If I wiggle the cable a little, its fine. I haven't looked into what the problem is yet.
I do have one regret.... the extra long cable. The extra long cable can build up unevenly on the drum and jam up too easily. I've never used more then 50ft of cable, so that leaves100ft still on the drum! It seems I almost always have to attach the cable to an anchor point off to one side or the other of the Jeep, so when I hit the "IN" button, the cable builds up to one side as it is coiled on the drum. Eventually it will hit either the roller fairleads or the winch housing. I plan on shortening the cable by 50ft or so. Actually, I might switch to that plastic winch rope. The plastic ropes lay flatter on the drum, so they don't build up as fast, and bind up less. Also, plastic ropes don't have the devestating effects of recoil that steel cable have, if they break.
Send me e-mail
Go back to front page.