New winch bumper quesitons

JMacs

Observer
Hey all. I’m buying my first winch and am have some questions for the seasoned veterans out there. And maybe I am overthinking some of this a bit, but that’s what I do. Quick spoiler, the questions are about the bumpers, not the winch.

I like the semi-hidden winch mount bumpers. There are three that I have found. CBI, SOS, and Warn. The plan is putting a Smittybilt winch on it with synthetic rope.

First question: The CBI and the SOS mounting point for the hawse fairlead is not perpendicular to the ground. (The SOS more so than the CBI.) So unless the truck is nose up in the air, the rope is going to rub across the fairlead at an angle the entire time. I know a rope across my hands doesn’t take long to give a nasty bit of rope burn. Is this a real concern? Or am I overthinking this?

Next questions are about the bumpers themselves.

What kind of experience has everyone had with these? Some of my thoughts as I look at each. (pictures taken from their websites. Not trying for any copy-write infringement here.)

SOS ($870). Good looking bumper. Reasonable size access holes to get to the winch and engage / disengage it. Looks like the biggest angle between the fairlead opening and pulling the rope straight out.

SOS streamline.jpg

CBI ($950). Again, good looking bumper. Like the integrated mount for the lights. But how do you get to the winch to engage / disengage it? The complete lack of any documentation on-line concerns me a bit.

CBI convert series.jpg

Warn ($850). Not the best looking. Fair amount of confidence with the Warn name standing behind it. Straight pull for the cable. Again, how do you get to the winch to engage / disengage it?

Warn semi-hidden.jpeg
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
They're pretty much always going to rub. Few pulls are straight and level ahead. And even then, you get a couple layers down on the drum and your line angle is going to rub anyway.
 

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JMacs

Observer
verdeard0g, playing devil's advocate. Most of the standard bumpers I've seen don't allow that either. Or maybe it is just the pictures on line, .... Are you watching just to make sure the rope doesn't spool up on one side?
 

verdesard0g

Search and Rescue first responder
Not just that but also (probably more often the case) to make sure it wraps evenly with no voids between wraps where the rope can fall between
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
You absolutely need to be able to see and touch the rope on the spool. Most hidden winch mounts do not allow that.
With synthetic line you don't really have to worry about this much at all. It is nice to be able to see the drum to make sure you aren't bunched on one side when pulling at an angle, but spooling is not that critical.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
I would be aware that the lower leading edge of the the winch mount can see much more impact abuse off road.
The thimble ends can also cause a lot of leverage if you happen to hit them first....or when backing off a ledge.

20190927_114349.jpg
 

Howard70

Adventurer
If I was buying a new bumper to house a winch (I've used 5 on 4 trucks over the years) I'd rank design considerations like this:

1. Minimum effects on approach angle.
2. Perpendicular fairlead (hawser or roller).
3. Access to engagement lever (engaged / neutral) of winch.
4. Access to line on drum.
5. Weight of the bumper.
6. Aesthetics.

We recently did a pretty heavy pull to get our truck out of a muddy rut across a track. I was amazed at the amount of wear the synthetic line experienced pulling across the hawser fairlead, but we drive a heavy (13,500 lb on that day) truck. Makes me want to reduce the angle of the line across the fairlead as much as possible. Because I can't predict what that angle will be, a perpendicular fairlead seems the best compromise to me.

Howard

edited to specify synthetic line
 
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JMacs

Observer
So outside of the SOS, how do you get access to the engagement lever? Opening the hood seems a little bit of a pain. Is there something I’m not seeing on the others?
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
If I was buying a new bumper to house a winch (I've used 5 on 4 trucks over the years) I'd rank design considerations like this:

1. Minimum effects on approach angle.
2. Perpendicular fairlead (hawser or roller).
3. Access to engagement lever (engaged / neutral) of winch.
4. Access to line on drum.
5. Weight of the bumper.
6. Aesthetics.

We recently did a pretty heavy pull to get our truck out of a muddy rut across a track. I was amazed at the amount of wear the synthetic line experienced pulling across the hawser fairlead, but we drive a heavy (13,500 lb on that day) truck. Makes me want to reduce the angle of the line across the fairlead as much as possible. Because I can't predict what that angle will be, a perpendicular fairlead seems the best compromise to me.

Howard

edited to specify synthetic line
You also have to be careful when fitting a fairlead plate that it matches well with the cutout in the bumper / winch mount. Any misalignments may leave the synthetic dragging across a sharper edge of the whole cut in the mount plate, than the smoother rounded opening in the hawse plate.
 

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