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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok. I just want to start by saying maybe it's just where I am geographically, but I have never seen it in my life where grown ass working adults are scared of three thousand dollars. Never, if I were flashing three grand cash in Vegas...I would have a stripper on my lap and a steak on my god damn table. These people are either lazy dumb or both. Here's my little descent into the realm of madness

I got the means to do so, so I figure right now my priority is to get the FJ up to standard with 'the ability to self recover'. I use my brain while driving, I like my truck so I would never go 45 through knee deep mud, hang it up on a log none of that stupidity. If I think it'll have trouble I just go around or figure something out. That being said, I have gotten it stuck before (when it had street tires) in a way that just befuddled me. Turns out it was a clay trap I was trying to inch over and it caught the wheels up with subtle humps of clay that stopped it and wouldn't let it go. I"ll have non of that post TEOTWAWKI, I can't call Hank every time. SO, I went to 4WD parts near me. They can help.

Bull. The second time I went it was worse than the first time. It went (sadly) just like this:


The guy seems like he's stoned out of his mind, really doesn't seem to care that I'm spending money with him and is really reluctant to even give me prices on things. I tell him what I want, a hidden OEM bumper mount and a 8500lb winch. he counters that 'whoa dude...that looks seriously hard' and tells me he's not even allowed to order the part for me. WHAT? Customer is wrong, cash in hand? So I say fine but I still want a winch, got to have it. So he halfheartedly takes the easy route, the whole time I got wads of cash in hand mind you, he doesn't even flinch. Stands m there a good long time, answering the phone (even goes so far as to tell a guy 'well we want your money we'd love to do it! I'm thinking yeah, like you want mine that's not saying much) So, after searching and searching his computer there he finally tells me ok, the bumper is 1700 bucks, the winch will be like 600, and the install will be like...like 300 I guess. (he guesses?) At that point the first thing that pops into my head looking at the bumper: Jesus nearly 200lbs by itself? With winch like 250?! Hey buddy, isn't that going to weigh the front end down? I ask. I should not have asked. he goes yeah, that's why you buy the front end leveling kit and the heavy duty springs for it. I just jeer at him and shake my head. "So it needs more than just that." I ask. He nods like he was going to just keep that little tidbit out. "How much more?" I hit him with. "Oh maybe another thousand." he puts quite casually. I just stare for a second. "3700 bucks for a winch? One winch." I reply chidingly, a sarcasm he failed to detect. "For one yeah." the idiot confirms. I just took his card and walked, tossed it out when I got in the car. Damn dude, I might not teach astrophysics but I didn't fall off a god damn boat.

So, make a long story short, I went to all the other places I know of for truck accessories. Towpro didn't even bother to call me back for a quote. Maxis will take jeeps all day long, FJ? NO dice, I get the impression they are scared to work on it for fear of screwing it up at which point they would be very correct I'd be pissed about it. They even have a picture of an FJ on the front wall of the building. Sheesh.

Well what's a boy to do? Me and Hank decide we'll work something out by our damn selves and save big $$

That's where shit got real.

So I track down a cool little gadget- a trailer hitch winch mount. Ok, I say to myself. This could work for only 500. It's a cradle that fits on the back bumper and I'll just have it to slap on and pull the truck out backwards. I can't use to climb stuff but at least I'll have a way to pull her out of she gets stuck. Then I see the reviews on the amazon AD- "This hunk of crap is heavy as all hell and it broke the second time it was used. I would not take another if you gave it to me" was the first review. Second review- "Catastrophic failure on the bench right out of the box. Missing parts. Manufacturer will not honor warranty, avoid this product at all costs"

:???: what? so I read down. Long list of all bad reviews. sigh.

So I decide to put together my own. The adapter plate costs 78 no biggie. I can run the wiring myself and Hank can build a wire extension, no problem. Then I get searching through 8500lb winches. Holy shit.

EVERY brand has bad reviews. Very bad. Even warn, which the guy at 4WD was trying to sell me. "Failed in three weeks, five uses, unrepairable" things like that. Well shit! I am not buying a five hundred dollar part if it's just going to break and be a pretty bumper ornament. Plus I see that you can't winch at an angle, can't let it bunch up, most winches don't come with very long leads, they are HEAVY, and just a litany of bad problems. A utility worker I jabbered with told me the winches he uses on his work truck are rated like 15,000lb and cost upward of 1500 bucks. Jesus, is that what I have to do?

So, I'm like what the hell do I do. Then I see these tracks you can just lay down under the wheels and drive over them. "Oh." I said. Those seem doable, I can just have them in the back. Even the high end ones are like 200 bucks a set. Then I could take that cash I save and maybe get another, better roof rack? rooftop tent? Air compressor?

Are the recovery tracks a viable option, people? Let me know what you think on this. I need to act.
 

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I have been 4-wheeling for several years and nothing will equal having a winch. Sometimes you just don't know what you are getting into until it is to late, like here I let my son drive and it looked like a little puddle to cross. I really can't think of many situations where tire ramps would have helped. With a winch we were always able to get out or move things out of the way. Actually 8500lb winch on an FJ Cruiser seems a little small. That 8000 lb is only on the very last winding of the rope coil. Most off roaders shoot for about twice the vehicle weight. By far the most popular winches you see is Ramsey and Warn. Also it is important to have a large battery as these things pull the current. The thing that kill most winches is people will use them as a pull cable instead of a winch.
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Equation for getting your vehicle unstuck is Loaded Weight * Mire Resistance (0-300%) + (Loaded Weight * Grade (correlating factor). Running the numbers you can require over 20,000lbs of force to get your vehicle unstuck in very difficult scenarios. I carry a snatch block, shackle, tree savers, snatch straps and this would be considered the very minimum. Don't skimp on recovery gear.

In a case like the above you either have a winch and recovery gear or you would have to have special tires and a tremendous amount of HP that could spin the tires fast enough to throwh the mud out of the cleats maybe 400hp + so a winch is still much cheaper than just about any other solution unless you have a few other vehicles around to pull you out.
 

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I have many years of wheeling under my belt too. Go ahead and pick up a snatch block and a couple of 3/4" d-rings also. Be sure to have frame mounted recovery point available front and rear also.
 

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I do some driving through the swamps here in Florida but nothing crazy. I was considering getting the recovery kit for a high lift jack. It would suck having to ratchet the fj out of a hole but it also doesn't require a bigger/ double battery setup and it is just an add on to something you should have if our off roading.
Just a thought
James
 

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For the right now, I would just get a good cable ratcheting come along, with a lot of gear, snatch blocks, tree savers, all that stuff. The gear can be used later if you decide to buy a winch. The come along has a million uses, and needs no battery or wiring. And with the ratchet device, you can take small bites.
As for winching, I know very little about your recent injury, but Im sure you will want the longest remote swith they have. Goodluck.
And yes, its very important to note that you sometimes have to "spin the tires to get a better bite".
 

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And you story reminds me of the time i was at a Napa parts store, returning a clutch plate that looked like the rivets werent pressed, or something, becouse right at half of the friction surface shattered off on both sides.
The clerk told me i must have installed it wrong. That he had never seen anything like that before, and did I have any mechanical skills? I was 17 he was probably 50 ish.
Then a guy my age comes from the back room, looks at the clutch and says "wow, thats the third one this week that flew apart!"
Thats the exact moment I last walked into a Napa store. 23 years ago. Still wanna punch him in his face.
 

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I do some driving through the swamps here in Florida but nothing crazy. I was considering getting the recovery kit for a high lift jack. It would suck having to ratchet the fj out of a hole but it also doesn't require a bigger/ double battery setup and it is just an add on to something you should have if our off roading.
Just a thought
James
Most high lift jacks are rated at 4600 lbs it is possible I guess to use one for that purpose the mfg at least use that as a selling point, but I have never seen anyone use one for that even though most off road vehicles have one. Some times on a 5000 lb truck I had to use a 9000lb winch with a snatch block to double the force.
But here is a very good reason that every prepper should think about having a high lift jack.

Looking at the specs. on the first responders jack it is the same as the regular hi lift but with the special base and instead of $79 it cost $239.55 at amazon. That may be my next project now to make me a responder base.
Thanks for the Ideal.
 

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Damn, I have used those jacks for-ever, and always had the problem of the jack moving around. I will also have to make a project out of it. Sweet.
 
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