Zorba, Male Belly Dancer


Henna Design Zorba's Jeep Henna Design
Winching FAIL and control box relocation.


Tried to use my winch to move an empty swim spa by about 20 feet. Like my wife said, "Epic FAIL"!

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Line to spa. Combination of a tow strap, a tree saver, and a Harbor Freight tyedown strap (!!) employed around the thing.

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Strap low against the bottom structure.

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This fence post was my undoing...

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Line to Jeep.

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Line to spa...

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Try #2

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Try #3! All it did was bend the shit out of the fencepost...

Even though this failed, it was a good learning experience as I used EVERYTHING in my recovery kit. The tow strap, the tree saver, two soft shackles, two clevises, my snatch block, my TRE Coozie, and even my e-tool to dig around the fence post to remove it from the ground.

This should have worked famously, it didn't because the fence post wasn't even CLOSE to strong enough. I'm guesstimating the spa weighs in the 500 to 600 lb range empty. 3 guys put it in where it is, they used rollers to roll it across the lawn, and once it was on the plastic substrate, they slid it around like it weighed nothing. I figured I could move it by hand the same way, but not even my burly son-in-law and I could get it to budge - hence the winching attempt. Its like it has glued itself to the plastic panels its sitting on - after 3 tries and 3 different positions of the fence post, the spa hadn't budged an inch, but the fence post was badly bent!

After some discussion on the Jeep forum, one of the gurus had this wisdom:

If you have more of the T posts, set two next to each other with about 18" exposed. Move back 3 feet and set another one. Tie a strong line off to the top of the pair down to ground level on the next one. It should be exactly opposite the bending force, so about a 45 degree angle to the pair of lines going through the snatch block. Repeat that with one more post and that should give you enough of an anchor to do what you need.

Makes sense. Son in law has a different plan we'll try tomorrow, but if that doesn't work, there may be some more T-posts in my future...

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George, Omar, an M1 Garand, and their driver!


Update on winch control box:

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Older picture of the winch with control box over drum...

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My expensive TRE winch line was getting shredded by the bolts! See text.

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Relocated the sumbitch over the motor, where it came from! See text.

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Added nylock nuts to bolts while I was there.

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Plus renewed the screws holding the plastic top on.

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Cover still fits fine - starting to fade to nobody's surprise...

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Work being done in backyard, contractor's track loader in front of Jeep.

It came to my attention right away that there was a problem spooling out line in freespool. Turns out the bottom of the bolts for the winch's solenoid box were just too long - an apparently known problem. The guy I bought the winch from was all proud that he had purchased a new bracket and relocated the box over the drum instead of over the motor where it was originally. The fact that only one bolt holds the bracket in place on the winch's body compounded the problem as the control box could pivot up and down and get too close to the line. I don't know what kind of bracket was originally used to hold the control box over the motor, but this one could be reversed and work there just fine. No more worries about my line!

Update to the update on winch control box:

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"Searchers 4WD" solenoid mount (left), along with the WARN bracket

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Water Jet cut holes needed boring out to ⅜".

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Much sturdier way to mount the solenoids.

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Not exactly a precise fit. See text. Note PLENTY of room above the rope!

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Overall view.

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Winch cover #2 is faded, but seems to be holding up fine otherwise. Note the
coffee brown fade of the "ZeSuper" hawse and even the TRE thimble is fading.

When I found out about this improved mount on the Jeep forum, I bought one immediately. Available in steel or aluminum, it just makes a whole lot more sense than the wonky OEM bracket that wiggles around. "Universal parts aren't." Apparently, this bracket will fit several different winches, WARN and otherwise, so the fit wasn't precise and the water jetted holes needed drilling out for this application at least. Still, for what it cost ($29), I can't complain. It puts the control box back over the spool again, but plenty high enough that the rope cannot contact the bolts on the bottomside which is why I moved it to a side mount in the first place.

I bought the aluminum version as the winch itself is aluminum - minimizes galvanic corrosion. The best type of finish on a (relatively) large expanse of aluminum like this is none at all. It will probably gain some patina over a period of years, but pinpoint corrosion isn't likely to happen, plus its under cover most of the time anyway.


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Mag Lite mounted to passenger side of the shift surround.

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Flimsy surround reinforced with a bit of flat steel on the inside.

Read on for the next part!

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