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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, just looking for advice/experience/opinions on what thickness plate steel should be used for a winch bar? I have considered 6, 8 and 10mm at this stage, the winch is a low mount 9500lbs and will be mounted horizontally on a winch plate that will be welded to a bracket each end. Vehicle is a gq wagon.

I ruled out 6mm originally for the brackets and winch plate but having read Millwelds website and noticed that they use 6mm for winch plates and sides I pretty much had to reconsider it as it costs less and weighs less. What are peoples thoughts?

Winch Bars

Brett.
 

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I think this is fairly obvious but the strength will have more to do with the quality of the steel, way it is assembled and bolted to the chassis rather than outright thickness of the metal.

ARB and TJM bars do not require massively thick metal for their winch plates - both only use the thicker steel for the chassis mounting brackets and its definitely nowhere near 10mm or eve 6mm for that matter. All their winch mounts I have seen tend to be thinner cut/folded/welded steel in very rigid shapes. And their bars don't really have any known problems.

Patrol with a 6cyl is already a lead nosed whale. Why add more weight than is required that far in front of the axle.
 

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AS3678-C350LO

Size Id work out the required cross sectional area at the smallest expected point at the above grade, increase 3 times for safe limits then multiply by 1.68 for fatigue loading.
 

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I think this is fairly obvious but the strength will have more to do with the quality of the steel, way it is assembled and bolted to the chassis rather than outright thickness of the metal.

ARB and TJM bars do not require massively thick metal for their winch plates - both only use the thicker steel for the chassis mounting brackets and its definitely nowhere near 10mm or eve 6mm for that matter. All their winch mounts I have seen tend to be thinner cut/folded/welded steel in very rigid shapes. And their bars don't really have any known problems.

Patrol with a 6cyl is already a lead nosed whale. Why add more weight than is required that far in front of the axle.
the arb bar is only 3mm thick, and it is by no means strong
with a highmount winch in it, on side of the mounting face for the winch had pulled forwards 20mm, and had several cracks in it

the side wings bend and flex with a slight nudge, thankfully they spring back if its only gentle

and the mounting bracket on one side of mine has a big dent in it


i now have some 6mm plate behind the standard 3mm, seems to be plenty strong now
if i was building a bar i'd probably go with either 6mm or 8mm plate, but the way its braced and attached is just as important as material thickness if not more important
 

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I've used 6mm plate for the mounts and cradle , and sch40 40NB pipe for the wings and hoop's over the headlights . there's plenty of bends in it to increase the strength . but it is heavy .

it dosn't take much to hold the heavy constant forces from winching . it hitting stuff that destroys bars .
 

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I've used 6mm plate for the mounts and cradle , and sch40 40NB pipe for the wings and hoop's over the headlights . there's plenty of bends in it to increase the strength . but it is heavy .

it dosn't take much to hold the heavy constant forces from winching . it hitting stuff that destroys bars .

How heavy is heavy? do you have an approx wieght in Kg ?
And while on that topic what does an ARB bar weigh ?
Cheers,
 

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I'm sorry fella, but the title of the tread suggests to me that you probably shouldn't be making one.

It's not so much about thickness as it is about material grades, load paths, mounting points, putting things in shear as apposed to tension etc, etc....

Interesting how someone bagged the ARB bar for flexing and not being thick. From my point of view it was working well. Would you rather hit something with a bar that won't give and wreck your chassis/hurt occupants? Would you rather a bar deform slightly around mounting points (when clearly being abused) or just let go without warning?

Finally, check out the legalities too. If you hurt someone with your bar then it will be a major issue if it shouldn't have been there or had a recovery point sticking out the front etc.

Just my thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
This is my first draft design of the winch cradle, it's all 8mm plate at the moment. I'll probably revise the design and have the two vertical supports and the winch plate 8mm and then bash plate and bottom plate out of 5 or 6mm to save 'some' weight.

The design is pretty generic, I tried to make the winch as close and low to the chassis as possible without cutting the grill or making the car look like a mess. I also overlapped the winch plate/bash plates to add to more strength with welds down both sides of each support.

When I get the design a bit more fine tuned I'll probably add a bit of plate to the top of the mounting point to make a channel section, it'll also then have three faces bolted to the chassis adding strength to the piss weak Nissan rails. Having the channel section should make the bar easier to put on as it should slide onto the rails. The top will also be partially enclosed to prevent a bit twist if the winch were pulling to a side.

My main concern at the moment is weight saving, would 8mm be overkill for this design? the rails are only 3 or 4mm in thickness from memory, so bulking up the cradle just seems a little futile.
 

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I'm sorry fella, but the title of the tread suggests to me that you probably shouldn't be making one.

It's not so much about thickness as it is about material grades, load paths, mounting points, putting things in shear as apposed to tension etc, etc....
fair point but seriously i think you may be reading a bit far into it... shear and mounting points are a good point and honestly anyone is gonna figure that out fairly quickly.

doesn't mean he shouldn't have a go. the bar is hardly going to fling off the car and into the tree he is winching off...

my limited advice is that just do what you think is right, if you're unsure if it needs reinforcing just do it anyway. allthough like spiderM said mounting is a big thing. as long as your happy with how it is mounted and you have half a brain you should be right.

my 2 cents!
 

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Does anyone actually know if its legal to make your own bars? alot of people seem to say just be careful because it may be illegal.
 
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