Trailer Winch

I absolutely adore my 6# flywheel, but it does make getting the car over the hump onto the trailer a challenge. The last couple times I had to make┬ácourse corrections part way up, I could smell that the clutch wasn’t happy. Since Harbor Freight had a sale going for their 2500# winch, I figured, for $50 and a bit of blood and sweat, why not?

This is my highly technical concept diagram on how I wanted to mount it. Given how short the legs are, I opted to keep both legs straight because…I had scrap pieces that were the right length ­čśë

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Here’s my starting point. I snagged a 6″ receiver tube, and since I didn’t have any 2″ tubing long enough, cut up a Harbor Freight 1 ball hitch:

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The black-on-black makes it difficult to see, but here is the trailer-side mount, along with the 2″ hitch welded up to the winch mounting plate:

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The trailer-side mount welded in place:

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It fits with the fuel jug, but it wouldn’t take much wiggle for it to rub, so I’ll likely end up hooking the…hook… to the back side of the receiver tube.

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I decided to run the winch off of the truck instead of having another battery on the trailer. It’s sort of a 6 of one, a half dozen of the other situation, but I mostly didn’t want to have another battery to buy, maintain, and maybe get stolen. Because of that, I needed a couple of small mods on the truck side. In the engine bay, the main things needed are a Circuit Breaker (just in case) to protect the truck-side wiring:

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About 50′ of 4 ga battery wire, and a pair of very large Quick-Disconnectors for the rear of the truck. This shows both the truck and trailer sides hooked up while I was hunting around for somewhere to put them, and discovered a very convenient M6 bolt hole on a metal bracket that secures the bottom of the rear bumper in place. It couldn’t be more perfect. The shiny bit on the right is one of the valves for the rear helper air-springs:

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After running most of the wiring for the truck (save the jumper from the battery to the circuit breaker, to keep the harness ‘cold’ so I could safely work on the wiring) it was time to work on the trailer side.

The winch comes with some pretty uninspired 10gauge wiring, so job one was replacing all of that. I’m also crimping *and* soldering all of the wire terminals. You can see the difference in size between the 4ga wire I’m running, and the stuff it comes with here.

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With all of the wiring in place, I could build the jumper between the circuit breaker and battery:

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And finally it was time to plug everything in and run a couple system checks. First off, everything was in fact dead with the circuit breaker tripped, which is a good sign. Next, plugging the winch into the truck didn’t let any smoke out. And last, I gave it a pull off of the 12,000 lb D-ring on the back of the trailer to make sure my welding is as extra medium as I thought it was. I still don’t have a ton of trigger time on it, and this is really the first thing I’ve fabbed up that could potentially kill or maim if it comes unmoored. So…I wanted to make DAMN sure the whole thing wouldn’t end up flying across the workshop. And it didn’t, so…win one for the good guys! Or…at least, for me.

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Chasing the Dragon Hill Climb is this weekend, so it’ll get some use loading the trailer at home and after (hopefully….) the event. Also: SO EXITED! ­čśÇ

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LED Tachometer Mount

The main reason I got the bling-o-meter is as a rudimentary yard stick for reviewing video of speed in a certain part of the track (or at least, RPM). More lights = more fast. Easy.

The problem is that it’s┬ánearly invisible in the video, because the steering wheel is between the tach and the camera. So how to fix it?

I noticed in the video that if it were directly behind the steering wheel on the column, it would show up perfectly, so I fabbed up a quick mount to get an idea of where it should go.

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I briefly considered welding to the column housing, but after consulting with a friend who generally knows much better than I (Thanks Dave!) decided that there’s too many important unknowns that could be cooked inside the column housing (plastic bushings, grease seals, etc) to risk welding directly to it. He floated the perfect solution (as usual). Inexpensive and effective: a 2-piece shaft collar.

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A little time on the wire wheel cleaned off the oxide coating on the un-threaded half, a little welding, and a coat of paint, and it should work great:

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A little time spent on the little things that would bother me if they were staring me in the face before each run:

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And now I should be able to get some use out of it. A little before & after:

Trailer Spare Tire Mount

I plan in the future to put a Weight Distributing hitch on the tow pig. The trailer has the appropriate equipment for it, but the spare tire sat directly in front of one of the trailer mounts, and also in the way when securing the front tie-downs for the car.

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After a few measurements, it was clear that it would fit inside the C-Channel that makes up the frame. So I drilled 4 holes for the mount, climbed underneath the trailer on the wet driveway, and hooked up the mount. EASY! ….except that the tire interfered with the frame enough that the wheel studs didn’t even touch the rear-face of the wheel. So, back to the drawing board. A couple mock ups later with some angle iron, and it became clear that the upper and lower lips of the c-channel is bent pretty severely outwards, so welding in angle iron to those lips would lead to some seriously cattywampus fitup, so that was out. Some more chin scratching and ┬ámeasuring, and I figured out that┬áa couple of leftover pieces of 2×2 box section from the trailer ramp┬ástorage project would sit against the flat face of the C-Channel perfectly, and give me a great place to drill holes for the mount. After some cleanup work with the angle grinder, and backing the trailer partially into the workshop so the welder would reach, the box section got stitched into place:

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A little work with the drill and some paint:

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A few M10 nuts & bolts:

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And she’s on!

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