I recently added an electric winch to my car hauler. I am wondering what is the best place to attach the winch hook to the car. I would like to avoid using the cable and hook directly, as this is going to be hard on the paint. My thought is to use an axle strap like the one pictured below and loop it through the frame like I do with the tie down straps.
Thoughts or better ideas?
That's what I would use. I use them to also tie down the car too with the ratchet straps. They work great and are pretty gentle on most paints (although a soft towel could be used behind it if your really worried).
There are also a web sling, it is a little longer, but the same idea:
That's what I use Dan.
That web sling could also be very handy for lifting things.Bud.
Attached to what and where?
attach to the spring where it is attached to the frame. Do not attach to the axle or risk bending the axle or detaching the radius ball.
With a rolling load you can attach it just about anywhere without damage, it is almost impossible to pull the wishbone out without bending the spring and frame as the wishbone pulls down. I always winch on the axle between the spindle and spring perch, I have never bent anything.
Drive it on your trailer.
Richard, when you have no which yes. But when you have it, why not be safer and use it. It really is the safest way to do it.
For those that want to save money, a manual winch (a boat winch), works great too. I had one all set up and given to me with the trailer I bought. It has a piece of 2 1/2" tubing welded to the center of the tongue, just in front of the decking. A 2" square tube is inserted and pinned---just like a receiver hitch. The winch is bolted to a plate welded to the top of the 2" tube.
It works really good for what it is, I once winched a dead Ford Taurus with half flat tires and wheels that were hard to turn because of rust on the brakes onto the trailer without to much effort on my part other than cranking the handle---which does take a while mind you.
And as mentioned, a rolling load requires not a lot of force. The boat which I have is rated for 1500 lbs. I have just however purchased a 5000 lb electric winch from Harbor Freight I am setting up for use. They have very good ratings on them by others, This one will be removable like my manual winch too.
I have about the same thing on my open trailer to winch dead ones on the trailer.
Was thinking about installing the same in my enclosed trailer. Harbor Freight has an electric winch with a wireless remote 2500# capacity for $59.99. Regular $259.99
If you can not attach to the frame then attach to the axle just outside the spring perch.
I strap the winch right in the middle of the axle. Like Rick Goelz does, if it pulls the wishbone out of the socket so be it. I'd rather know I have a weak socket there than driving down the road. The amount of pull on a rolling car isn't that great to cause damage if everything is up to snuff. Just my 2 cents...
I have that Harbor Freight winch in my closed trailer and it works just fine. I have a solar panel on the roof of the trailer to keep the battery charged. The solar panel cost less than $25 and keeps the battery fully charged and ready to use. Of course I live in Florida so I have more sun than most!
How do u have it mounted?
I was thinking what Don Booth said. As long as you are not pulling crazy hard with a car somehow stuck, the axle won't bend or break the wishbone unless you have something ready to fail already.
Richard, I have a V nose trailer so I mounted it pretty far up front so it would be out of the way. I lined up the rear set of the mounting holes over one of the cross members for the trailer and took a piece of angle iron and ran it across that cross member to spread out the pressure on the cross member. For the front mounting holes I took a piece of 3/8" thick plate that I had and used that to spread the pressure over the wooden floor of my trailer. I believe the plate was 18" long and 6" wide. No reason for that other than it was what I had laying around. There is really very little resistance when you are winching in a rolling Model T so I really think what I did was over kill. I would take a picture for you but the trailer is in Florida and right now I am up in NY for Thanksgiving with the family. If I am remembering correctly, I had to run the mounting bolts up from the bottom and cut them down to size so they were flush with the nuts when I tightened them down. It was a two man job.
Richard mentioned driving the car onto the trailer. I used to do that, but now winch it on/off and feel much safer. Two reasons:
1. Driving onto the trailer is a fairly slow, careful process. That means "slipping the clutch". A good way to overheat the transmission drum and maybe crack it.
2. If the engine should stall while driving up the ramp, the car will want to roll backwards. Aux brakes often don't stop well in reverse, so you run the risk of rolling back down the ramp. If the steering jackknifes while rolling backwards, you could run the front wheels off the ramp(s). Might get pretty messy.
By the way, I also have the Harbor Freight winch with wireless remote. I visualized sitting in the car to guide the front wheels up the ramps, all the while holding the button on the remote to keep the winch moving. Didn't work out. The remote has very limited range and reception is intermittent.
Interesting, I have a H.F. winch with wireless remote and sitting in a car and driving it on is exactly what I do. The other day I was playing with it and wanted to check the range on the remote -- I was about 50 paces away and it was still working. I hope they're all coded different because if you're in the same parking lot as someone else with the same remote and they can control your winch, that could make for an interesting problem!
this is how I do it
Where I have it wrapped all the tugging is on the frame not the axle which could pull the ball out of your oil pan if something were to block a wheel
G.R. has given us a picture of what I was trying to post above. That is a very strong area and What I was thinking about would be if a wheel hit something which caused the car to stop rolling and then you would bend the axle or pull out the ball. This is also a good place to connect the car if you need to tow it.
Attaching an axle strap as pictured in the first post or a tow sling to the front axle off center to one side or another is a safe method of winching a FREE WHEELING Model T that is not stuck .....
The OEM axle is forged from one solid piece of vanadium steel - Henry Ford intended for the Model T to be driven on rutted roads, across fields, etc .....
It was anticipated that at times you would need a pull out of a rough spot .....
My Harbor Freight remote works well at a distance that is beyond the length of the cable. Check the battery in the remote unit. I had a problem with mine cutting in and out and replacing the battery solved the problem. You need a strong fresh battery to get it to work optimally.
Thanks for the suggestion, Val. Unfortunately, I had already tried a new battery and it didn't help.
I just assumed that my unit was typical. Thus I never complained to Harbor Freight. Knowing now that the remote works well for other people I wish I had taken mine back for replacement when it was new.
The wireless feature is what drove me to the bigger winch with a cabled remote. Plus you never know when you want some extra pulling power. I could see the remote system crapping out when you least expect it. Murphy is a very good friend of mine in my household.
I have found with my ultrasonic cleaner from Harbor freight they do honor that long term warranty that you can buy on electrical items.on something like a winch or a tool you need,it will pay for it's self if replacement is needed. And you simply pay for the warranty again on the replacement item and go again..
Don't loose the remote on the Harbor Freight winch as there is no manual override and it might leave you stuck somewhere.
I've got one mounted on my flat bed trailer with long U bolts through the wood and around the tongue frame members. Better is in enclosed tool box mounted on tongue and we run the winch out for my 42 GPW jeep. use the strap around the front bumper and connect the winch. Get in the jeep and hit the remote and steer it on. My wife drives it off, but driving it on is uncomfortable for her.
When we get the Modelt T completed, we'll do the same. Winch it on and drive it off.
I carry a manual come a long just in case.
I opt for the 12K HF winch at $299 w/ coupon found in the back of most magazines guys read.
Take up speed is just right & there is a drum tensioner
to assist in limiting cable tangling.
The HF wireless remote works beyond 50 feet.
I unplug the sending unit from the control box to prevent
a possible stray signal from activating the winch motor.
I have a 12VDC deep cycle marine battery adjacent to
the winch inside my trailer - I trickle charge it from the 7 way
12VDC tow vehicle power supply.
I keep the supplied wired remote handy in case the wireless remote battery dies.
I was waiting to respond again until I finished my winch install, which I did today. I decided on a 5000lb Harbor Freight winch. The winch itself is nice, but it takes a lot of planning to lay it all out for a clean install. The higher rated winches come with a pre-mounted box on top of the winch for the solenoid which I probably would have went for just to avoid finding a place for it out of the elements. I opted to put mine in the toolbox inside of a project box.
One thing I did to limit unintended operation was to install a rocker switch on the hot lead from the remote. You could do the same thing for the wireless controller if you worried about it picking up some kind of stray signal.
Overall very happy with the results and have some piece of mind in case I ever have a breakdown. Thanks for the rigging suggestions as well. I got a 6' sling which should work great for most applications.
Here it's is with my boat trailer on the deck for winter storage.
That looks great !
The pre-mounted box sucks because if the cable doesn't spool just right it knocks off the box.
That's good to know, now I don't feel so bad!
If they had just mounted that box another inch higher....
My only other beef with my 12,000lb unit is the way they start the cable in the spool -- it doesn't start tight against the shoulder on the first course, so it's very easy if you let out a lot and are winding it back up for it to pull under the lower layer and start trouble when you go to let it out again.
Other than that, it's an excellent value. Up steep ramps I've loaded some heavy cars that didn't roll well and had low tires.
I use two axle straps located outside each spring perch with a short length of chain attached to each strap. That way, the winch cable is centered with the axle and you are pulling from both sides.