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Team idris

Winches

I thought a winch page might be handy. I have some work to do on it though, as I now have 2 hydrauilic winches fitted.

The rear mounted electric Winch
 
Everyone will tell you that you cannot 'self right' a rolled vehicle with an engine driven winch. So an electric winch was fitted first. Ours used to exit the back and was run off the standard vehicle battery. It was more of a; 'getting out of trouble winch' rather than a 'dragging one and half tonnes forward through a mud hole'.
 
To get a 'use and forget' system, whereby the rope self reeves evenly onto the winch drum without jamming at one end, the 3.5 tonne was mounted as far forward as possible. This put it just behind the drivers seat, on top of the very strong centre cross member. The member is also re-enforced to prevent chassis cracking.  

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In the old photo above and below you can see the cable is free running for around four feet before exiting through rollers just above the rear cross member.
 
The front winch can only be controlled by a lever in the cab via mechanical spool valve. But the rear was on a remote wire which was found to be too short, so a radio remote on a key fob was added. We found I can drive and operate the front winch while terry (as winch man) operates the rear winch. Normally you wouldn't be driving and using both winches, but there are some serious challenge sections out there :o)

rear30thjuly2007.jpg

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The picture above shows the changes to the rear winch battery/batteries. (You can click on the photo's to make them bigger). Running the winch off the starting battery was found to be a bad idea. We stalled the engine and could not re-start, which is bad when you are at the top of a steep slope!
 
So I bought a second battery of the gel/glass-fibre traction type. The alternator now feeds both batteries through sixteen millimetre area multi strand copper cables and a boat split charge diode. The winch has its own cut out and a 'mega' fuse. There are two 'anderson' plugs so the batteries can be linked or 'jump lead' in an emergency with minimal effort.

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What did I say near the top?
" 'getting out of trouble winch' rather than a 'dragging one and half tonnes forward through a mud hole' "
That might have been the plan, but it took a very short time to burn it out ! So a new 5000kg electric winch was fitted, from David 'Goodwinch'. We ran this for a few years and didn't see it stall out, but it was a bit slow going backward. When a cheap hydraulic came available I grabbed it and moved the electric to the 'top line' position. We still use the electric for self-righting and it's been good for special sections like 'place the drum on the cross without touching it by hand' sort of thing. It now has a proper Lodar remote control. The hydraulic rear exits the back of the truck in the same way as before, but centralised, with better rollers and hawse points on the rear corners so it can pull forward as well as backward and sideways.

The Front Hydraulic Winch
 
If you want to winch a lot its a choice between direct mechanical from the engine, or compressed air, or hydraulic, or electric. Mechanical is risky as you cannot tell when its overloaded (well, only by the rope snapping, unless it has some fancy overload gear). Air is the best as it stalls out and stops using power, but there is no room on a small vehicle for a compressor, so that leaves hydraulic and electric. 
 
Electric is very simple. The vehicle is covered in 12volt systems, some of which are high current, so the electric winch pops right on. But we found the limit of electric motors in Robot Wars. Under sevear loads the motor heats up and up until somthing goes pop. Worse still, it takes ages to get that heat back out! (time to make your mark on the world with a cheap water cooled motor armature).
 
If you have a hydraulic systems built into your machine (because you are putting the winch on  tractor) then a hydraulic winch is a real easy install, but land rovers only have the power steering pump? Its low power, so the only option is to fit a large pump. The front of the crank shaft is favorite on many industrial machines. So Enter a Serious amount of work and careful engineering! 

beastfront30thjuly2007.jpg

Above is the hydraulic winch fited. We still run the 1972 Range Rover under carriage, so the engine very far forward. By the time the drive boss is in, plus rubber coupling and dog box, the pump is right behind the front bumper. This forces the winch position up onto a bridge. The risk is a greater forward rotation on the vehicle under heavy load. The advantage is less chance of imersing the winch in water, plus you dont have to bend down to operate the winch gears.   
 
Below is the plate the pump fits on.

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Above is the hydraulic pump platform. This red plate goes between the sump and engine block to form a mounting platform for the hydraulic pump and its dog clutch housing. The smaller hole in the plate is for the front pulleys. This plate sticks out the front of the engine quite a way, so two braces run from its end to the cylinder heads.

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Below is an engineering drawing of the drive boss which bolts to the rover V8 crank shaft. It is readable if you click on it!
 
Six holes bolt through the pulley holes, the other two holes are for the rubber coupling. If you want to use this drawing thats fine, but have a good measure of your V8 first.

crank_drive_boss.jpg

First brilliant mod to the hydraulic winch was the sliding hawse. This is so good that David (goodwinch) is manufacturing it! (I'm an Inventor now) The device lets you pull sideways without all the rope jamming up one side of the winch drum. Look out for it on his web site or in cool publications like Spetember 2010's edition of Total Off road Magazine  :o)
 
Second usefull modification has been remote control for the speed levers. Using two bycicle gear change levers, the winch can be put in low speed, high or free from the drivers seat. ( Thanks to HOFS for that one! )
 

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