Just bought a 91 FSB and im looking into a front 2 inch receiver hitch to mount a winch on a cradle and use. Between a 9500 and 12000# winch. Im wondering if anyone has any bad thoughts about this style of mount?
Use a locking hitch pin so it doesn't get stolen, or figure out a way to quick-disconnect the wires so you can remove it to store it. Maybe run a second set of bigass wires to the rear so you can move it all around.
As far as the front hitch itself goes, you'll probably have to make it yourself. Is this hitch going to be just for the which, or do you plan on being able to use it to tow or get towed, with? ie, will you be expecting it to be able to withstand having a chain or strap hooked to it so your buddy can pull you out?
Either way, OVERBUILD IT! Gusset the heck out of the supports around the hitch to make sure it can withstand the strain you'll be placing on it.
Have you considered doing a permanent mount behind the bumper? I can tell you first hand that its pretty simple to do. The only real modifications to the stock bumper is extending it out a few inches and some cutting and trimming for controls and the fairlead. The stock bumper is made of some very stout steel too. The benefits to this are 1. theft protection. Most people won't want to take off a bumper to get to the winch, and 2. you don't have to lug around and mount a separate winch like you're wanting to do, and 3. debris protection. The bumper will keep you from snagging your winch onto anything you'll run across, like rocks, trees, mud and so forth.
I like your direction. You really don't need a winch everyday and being able to remove it and store it safely is a good idea. Consider adding a flex pole to the front mount to remind you when it is hanging out the front.
I looked into a 2" receiver hitch for my '89....when I was looking, they weren't available. Making one is probably your only option.
A word of encouragement, 15 years ago I had a '77 Bronco that I had 2" receivers on front and back. Winch was on a cradle so I could easily move it front to rear. I used Belden quick disconnects as you described so I could move it front to rear in a couple minutes.
I also used relays to feed the stationery plug. Another recommendation....I also used a switch so I could shut them off. I didn't want some smartass to short them out or tap into them.
Another nice feature is to take a pair of jumper cables, cut off one end and rewire it with the same quick disconnect. It is amazingly convenient to be able to plug in cables without lifting the hood and be able to jump someone or be jumped from either end.
I had a short pair I kept in the Bronco and a 20' pair that I kept in my wrecker. I still have those cables and use them periodically.
Don't skimp on the cable, figure you amp requirement(s) and buy the correct gauge.
I have a Warn winch mounted in the receiver cradle, and have the quick connects at each end on my 96. I fabbed the 2" receiver behind the stock front bumper and have a fold down license plate holder with the hitch mounted behind it going thru the bumper, so when I dont use it, you can't even tell its there.
AFbronco235 thanks for the input. I weld for a living so the fab won't be hard just wanted a few opinions on the receiver but i think im going to follow your route and build something. Hell i might even go WFO and come up with some crazy one off mount lol
I'm pretty bad about documenting things as I go. Here's a quick rundown:
I "boxed" the crumple zones with, maybe, 4"x6"x1/4" thick angle from the front all the way back to the body mount. Since I don't have a front sway bar (I removed it), I also removed the bracket mounts from the frame.
In between the boxed frame rails, I ran a thick, maybe 3/8" plate, 6" wide or more between and welded to the boxed frame rails. I somehow made it about even with the bumper mount brackets and tried to strengthen them at the same time.
After that, I added 'recovery hooks' that almost line up with the bumper openings.
On top of that, I welded a 2" receiver tube that I bought at a local farm store.
If I could do it over, I'd skip the flat plate and use at 2x4 tube. My main goal was to be able to use the existing bumper holes so it wasn't super obvious that I'd done any work. That didn't work out 100%, as I had to grind out a bit of the center hole of the bumper and the plastic so that the hitch would go in without interference.
The fold down license plate holder was bought off ebay. Might even be a chevy part.
Also, with the big center plate in the way, getting the bumper on and off must be done 'blind' because you can't see the top nuts. Also, getting the hitch pin installed, and the retaining clip in is a major PITA unless you have small enough hands to fit through the stock openings.
So I guess if you want to be 'stealth' when you're not using the winch, copy what I did. If you want it to be easy to use, might want to try something else.
I have a couple more pictures on my supermotors account if you follow the link in the picture. I'm sure I have more on my computer, if I can find them.
Thanks BigBlue I would appreciate more pictures. The ideas are starting to develope. I am thinking I can make a plate with a hole in it fir the receiver tube. I can cut the hole in the license plate area of the bumper and bolt the plate to the back of the bumper. This will give me a platform to build from.
Just another idea... I found a receiver 2.5 ->2" conversion tube on the side of the road, and welded it to a piece of 4x4x3/8" angle iron and bolted it to the bumper of my explorer with 3/4" bolts. It pulled my 16ft jon boat hundreds of times.
I waded through the previous owner's (the original owner!) receipts, and couldn't find anything about the front receiver. There are zero markings on this thing. Both end pieces are bolted and welded to the main center section. Anyways, a few pics...
The one on my old '90 tucked up tight under the front bumper. Came with the rig and as cool as I thought it was... I never actually used it. My Dad drove long haul for a long time and handling a trailer comes second nature to me. That's why I considered the winch setup, just to put that cool add-on to use. Never did do it and I almost pulled it when I sold it to buy the '95 but the accordion frame thing got in the way and I let it go.
Don't think I ever got any decent pics of it though. This was the best I can find and you wouldn't see it cut into the plastic under the bumper if it wasn't for the weak little U-ring I grabbed from harbor freight one day... just to have something there I might be able use if I got stuck and needed a tug.