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Old 01-30-2009
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Rear Tow Hook(s) Delima

Before I get into the main bit of the post, let me preface this with the reason for my interest in adding hooks.

A couple of days ago, we had the mother of all ice storms. 50%+ of the town (as well as most surrounding towns) are without power & water. A HUGE amount of trees have been broken (many from the tops only, but many have been uprooted due to the ice buildup).

Luckily, we still have power (at least for now) and our house has no damage from trees. (Glad we had all of our big trees close to the house cut down last year.)

My neighbors weren't so lucky, one has two big maple trees (one on each side of his drive) that are all over the place. Big limbs broken & laying on his power lines, cable TV line is in a dozen pieces all over his yard, etc.
The neighbor next in line is in about the same shape, several large trees laying everywhere, lines down, etc.

The day after the ice stopped forming, someone related to the neighbor at the end came in with a nice new crewcab Chevy & decided he'd load up some of the limbs to make way for the electric co. & whoever else needed access to their yard.

He pulled off their drive (level with the ground) into the yard and backed down about the length of the truck & tried to pull back out & he spun & spun until he was buried almost to the diff.
He rocked back & forth a while & finally was able to back up. As soon as he tried to turn to get back onto the road (about 3 truck lengths away from where he was) he spun & spun & dug down in the yard/ice that his wheels were almost half buried.

After a while finally he gave up. About an hour later we hear what sounds like a Sherman tank driving up the road & it was a HUGE wrecker. I'm talking about a truck the size of a full sized fire truck!

They hooked up to his rear hitch & pulled him all the way back to the road (after about an hour).
Did I mention the guy's truck was a 2wd??
He never did load up any limbs.

This got me thinking.... If I were to do something stupid like drive onto a yard covered in 2" of ice & I got stuck, how the heck would I get out?!?!
I have a roll pan on the back & NOTHING to hook anything onto.
The front is stock other than extra fog lights... no hooks or shackles.

When I installed the roll pan, I had a local weld shop (no longer in business) build a brace bar that goes behind the roll pan.
I wanted a little protection in case I ever got hit from behind.

It's a 2" square tube, at least 1/4" thick walls. L Brackets are 3" x 3" and it's 1/4"+ steel & everything is welded all around to another 4"x10"+/- slab of 1/4"+ thick steel. It basically looks like a bolt on hitch, only no place for a receiver & it's above & behind the roll pan.

This is more than twice the size & thickness of the stock bumper brackets.
Each bracket was made so the 2x2 tube passes through & each end extends about 8" past the brackets (which line up with the frame).
I really wish I could find my original design, it would be much easier to show than to explain.

This brace sets behind the roll pan & it sets about 2" above the bottom of the license plate.

I used the stock bumper bolts & nuts to attach the brace to the stock bumper bolt locations. The brace bar is completely welded together (all sides, inside & out) but it's bolted to the frame with the 4 stock bolts.

I currently have my backup lights attached to my monster bar on either side of the license plate. With the exhaust right next to the lights, I only have a couple inches between the lights & the license plate.... so I'm probably going to have to mount the hooks on the outer part of the 2x2 brace.

In a perfect world, I would have had the forethought whenever I installed the roll pan & the bar to have added a 2" to 4" drop receiver so I could use a regular 2x2 slide in hitch or other accessory. Oh well.

So, I'm wondering if I were to grab a couple of these LINK



or similar tow hooks and have a couple 1/2" thick 3" x 5" tabs welded flat to the outer sections of my bar (with some extra bracing) & bolt the tow hooks upside down to the tab (one bolt will have to go through the hook, tab & 2x2 brace) so they'll actually stick down below the roll pan.....

....would my bar/brackets/mounts handle being pulled out of a sticky mess like my neighbor's friend??
I know whatever I connect to the upside-down hooks will fall off unless I add some kind of flexible retainer to the hooks.
I don't plan on hauling anything, it's just in case I need to be pulled out somewhere.

Would my brace/bar be more susceptible to bending if I were to have hooks on the outer ends rather than in the center?

Would I be better to try & find a pre-made bolt on hitch kit to attach to my bar that drops below my license plate?

As soon as the temp is above 20*, I'm going to check around behind the front bumper to see if there's any room for a couple hooks or shackles up there too.

Ideas??

I wish I had a welder & a pile of scrap metal!
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2009
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i know when i got pulled out they had the chain to my rear axle
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Old 01-31-2009
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ever thought about a hitch?????? maybe get one built so that it'll be hidden behind the lisence plate on the roll pan? all you gotta do is flip up the lisence plate that's hindged, put in an insert hook/shackle hitch into your hitch, BAM! done. nice clean sleek sneaky idea.
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Old 02-01-2009
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A new full custom hitch would be nice....if I had the cash.
I'm not a fan of the fold-up/down license plates though.

I'm thinking about grabbing one of these LINK receiver hitch tubes



and dropping it about 2"+ below my current bar/brace. That would put the top of the receiver about 1/2" below the bottom of my license plate.

Maybe a chunk of 2x2 box steel about a foot long welded parallel to my existing bar/brace with the hitch tube welded 90* to that.
Probably needs extra braces welded to the front, back & sides too.

It would be nice to drop in one of these HF hitch shackles or hooks to keep people from tailgating so close too.







Having never used a hitch for any towing or recovery myself.... has anybody used any of HF's hitches or hitch accy's?

How about chains?? What diameter or grade should I be looking for?
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Old 02-01-2009
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dont use chain
end of story

i'm guilty of using chain.. but it was when i was still stupid and uneducated
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Old 02-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buggman View Post
A new full custom hitch would be nice....if I had the cash.
I'm not a fan of the fold-up/down license plates though.

I'm thinking about grabbing one of these LINK receiver hitch tubes



and dropping it about 2"+ below my current bar/brace. That would put the top of the receiver about 1/2" below the bottom of my license plate.

Maybe a chunk of 2x2 box steel about a foot long welded parallel to my existing bar/brace with the hitch tube welded 90* to that.
Probably needs extra braces welded to the front, back & sides too.

It would be nice to drop in one of these HF hitch shackles or hooks to keep people from tailgating so close too.







Having never used a hitch for any towing or recovery myself.... has anybody used any of HF's hitches or hitch accy's?

How about chains?? What diameter or grade should I be looking for?
I have the HF hook, used it today to yank a jeep out actually, worked great.
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Old 02-01-2009
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No chain, really?

I thought a heavy "trucker" chain would be safer than a nylon/poly rope or strap.
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Old 02-01-2009
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Old 02-01-2009
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Wow.
Think I'll let the guy driving the tow truck use his straps if I get stuck.
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Old 02-01-2009
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harbor fright shackle hitch is WEAK....what is that? 1/2" shackle???

here's a real shackle hitch...7/8"....




I still say have that crossmember modified to accept a hitch w/ a hinged plate...rather than lookin' ugly as hell having a roll pan and a hitch hangin' below it.

NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER use chain.
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Old 02-01-2009
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The HF shackle you can't unscrew the shackle to put a strap in anyway.
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Old 02-01-2009
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i agree i have ONE 7/8" Shackle receiver and ONE 1" Shackle receiver
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99ranger4x4 View Post
dont use chain
end of story

i'm guilty of using chain.. but it was when i was still stupid and uneducated
A chain or a strap with hooks is FINE. Just DO NOT YANK ON IT!

Chains dont stretch they break. So when you yank you are putting alot of force on them they can break and send shrepnel. If you are using it to pull people out of the ditch or similar its fine.
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Old 02-01-2009
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if you bring either to the dunes i will hit you with them..
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Old 02-02-2009
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Quote:
Just DO NOT YANK ON IT
Well then what the hell is it for?
You say it is just to pull, but when you have to give it that extra little tug, it is going to fly off and hit you or someone innocent near by.
about 2 months ago some idiot up at the local mud flats did that exact same thing. He was pulling out a full size truck, he had to give it a little extra tug, the strap went slack, and it popped off. The end of the strap had a hook on it, and it hit the top of the cab right above the window. It pushed that in about 6 inches, then deflected and hit the driver in the back of the head. They had to air ambulace him out. I got an update through one of the local forums here. The guy is now perminatly brain damaged.

The amount of people who think they are hardcore wheelers scare the living **** out of me. They just have no idea. Educate yourself, I try to let them know, but darwins theory kicks in.
All because they were both idiots.
It is not worth it IMO, just go get a couple of clevis's and a proper strap.


Anyways, I would try to build a comstom hitch like he said

Quote:
still say have that crossmember modified to accept a hitch w/ a hinged plate...rather than lookin' ugly as hell having a roll pan and a hitch hangin' below it.

Last edited by chainfire; 02-02-2009 at 12:12 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-02-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneckstone View Post
if you bring either to the dunes i will hit you with them..
I'll bring my strap...its got hooks.

Ive pulled a couple people out as well as towed people with it. I have never needed to yank on it nor will I ever yank on it. I know its limits and im not stupid enough to exceed them.
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Old 02-02-2009
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I was thinking about getting a 20' chain rated for at least 5000lbs, but I'll keep on the look for some good shackle-less straps.

Either way, I wouldn't have anyone yanking or jerking it (go ahead and chuckle, I know you want to).

I drew up a little design for a hitch addition to my existing brace/bar that will peek out from under the license plate:









Color coded for illustration only & sorry but no overhead view

The images don't show the large mounting brackets that attach to the frame.
My crappy design isn't to scale, just an idea.

If I get a 12" or 18" long receiver tube, there should be plenty of extra tube that I can use to drop down from my existing bar.
I need the hitch to set about 4" past my 2" bar to be even with the license plate.

All the braces would be 1/4" to 1/2" thick (depending on what I can find for free).
2 side braces welded to the business side of the receiver.
2 rear braces welded to the old 2x2 bar, new 2" drop & to the receiver.
1 smaller front brace welded to the new 2" drop & to receiver.

I don't know how far back into the receiver any particular hitch acc'y will go, but I may be able to eliminate the rear diagonal braces (and cut the receiver tube shorter) in favor of a 1/4" to 1/2" thick solid plate connecting the 2x2 top bar, the 2" hitch drop & covering the back of the receiver tube.
Overkill?

I was going to chamfer all the edges of the metal prior to welding - in addition to going over all the mating surfaces with a grinder.
It's been a while since I've welded, but I seem to remember that chamfering gives more weld surface. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm not 100% set on this design, but it won't be that visible.

Hopefully the 2" drop I need to get below the license plate won't make it too weak.
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Old 02-02-2009
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bs. you dont want a chain. only 5k??? what??? what is that 5/16 chain?????? The only time i'd use a chain is when lacing around an axle tube or a-arm...and that's only if i can't get a tow strap strap through there and thats only if i can't get a recovery strap in there. bottom line.....chains are for SECURING things and being safety items should a trailer fall off a bll. that's it. you want a recovery strap for recovery EVEN if no yanking is needed. of course i like to do things the right way.








You're diagrams are great. I think that's a great way...modify that crossmember you've got back there to take a hitch...AND it'll protect that roll pan you've got when you've got a hitch in there. that's great. now go out there and do work! something like that at a fab shop shouldn't run that much money at all. Something to note: Is that crossmember 1/4" wall?? Every thing should be 1/4" wall and i'd do the gussets in 5/16" plate at least. I know you've noted on these items.
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Old 02-02-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malydeen View Post
I'll bring my strap...its got hooks.

Ive pulled a couple people out as well as towed people with it. I have never needed to yank on it nor will I ever yank on it. I know its limits and im not stupid enough to exceed them.
leave it home we wont even let you use it... thats a TOW strap not a RECOVERY strap Huge difference.. have people die that you know using that crap and see how you talk about it again


Unless if you are stuck on 100% flat sheet of ice with no resistance any pull you do will have a load on it thus the reason being stuck, yes you arnt "snatching" with it but its called the working load on the strap and that TOW strap can not handle it, it will put up with it for a while but its gonna be bad...
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Old 02-02-2009
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Chain has it's place, for winching and static loads. I've used chain to secure the Jeep to sharp things like guard rails, saves straps. Chain is also good for creating a winch point on people who do not have them. too many of those

You really do not want a strap stretching when securing for winches (tree savers are NOT the same as straps), just as you WANT the stretch when tugging.

Proper tools used properly.
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Old 02-02-2009
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well i, for one have learned much from this.
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Old 02-02-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneckstone View Post
leave it home we wont even let you use it... thats a TOW strap not a RECOVERY strap Huge difference.. have people die that you know using that crap and see how you talk about it again


Unless if you are stuck on 100% flat sheet of ice with no resistance any pull you do will have a load on it thus the reason being stuck, yes you arnt "snatching" with it but its called the working load on the strap and that TOW strap can not handle it, it will put up with it for a while but its gonna be bad...
If they were really that bad don't you think there would be a nice big warning right on the packaging? This is america after all, if it might possibly in some abstract chance be dangerous, theres a warning on it. Come on theres even one on the cup of hot chocolate im drinking right now.
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Old 02-02-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malydeen View Post
If they were really that bad don't you think there would be a nice big warning right on the packaging? This is america after all, if it might possibly in some abstract chance be dangerous, theres a warning on it. Come on theres even one on the cup of hot chocolate im drinking right now.
yes the "warning" is your load rating and working load rating... you should have figured that out..


you really need to take some time and read this

https://www.ranger-forums.com/forum2...ad.php?t=54546

if that doesnt explain it for you start googling the differences... once again its all cool till someone gets hurt.. you wont get people agreeing with you on the site about this issue...

Last edited by Redneckstone; 02-02-2009 at 02:02 PM.
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  #24  
Old 02-02-2009
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If you use chains, be prepared to do body work. Period.
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Old 02-02-2009
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Originally Posted by TrePaul86 View Post
If you use chains, be prepared to do body work. Period.
As well, bring a body bag along for the ride, I am sure you will need it.
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