No. They form part of the structural rigidity of the whole unit, tying the ends together and keeping the drum/motor/gearbox etc running true under load. Clean the rust off them and paint/powdercoat them or replace them.
Ok, thanks. I imagined that being bolted into the winch bar would be enough to keep everything in alignment, I guess there must be stresses under load that need a couple of tie bars to keep it straight.
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