First, the winch:
I have a 2500lb champion winch on my Argo. Its always been “weak” and I’ve never figured out why.
For troubleshooting, I slaved in the 3000lb winch from the MUTT and it worked fine. Pulled the argo almost all the way off the ground up a tree. So that told me there was nothing wrong with my wiring install.
So I started pulling the winch apart. First was the gearbox and everything looked clean and in good shape. Then I pulled the motor apart. Everything looked clean and fine in there too. Then, while putting the magnet case back over the armature, I noticed the magnets were offset in the case. I had witness marked everything, so I knew I was putting it back on as it came off and the magnets didn’t cover the pole pieces of the armature. The way it was, about a full 1/3 was uncovered. Well, the motor is not going to produce the torque its capable of like that. I flip the case around and now it covers the armature as it should.
Out into the yard, I hook up to an 8 foot log, 14” diameter and try to pull it up a sandy slope. The day before, this log would stall out the winch after a few inches. Now, it doesn’t even slow down, even with the log cutting a deep trench all the way up the slope. So I’ll call that fixed.
Then, I need a feild anchor. Its all woods here, but the ground is pretty much straight up sand. And no matter what, it seems I always get stuck either where theres no trees, or nothing to anchor to in front of the Argo (nothing around, or off to the side or too far away for the cable to reach) at all.
I look at a couple things. They all pretty much involve digging and burying something to act as an anchor. Well, I’m not up for digging every time I need to winch. Then I run across a “pull pal”:
Its a metal anchor, basically a shovel blade with a bar you attach your winch to and as you pull, the blade tries to bury itself deeper and deeper. The prices are just foolish though. They start at 375 USD (+ shipping) and top out as much as 675 usd.
Thats a little too crazy for my old Argo.
So a couple hours with some scrap metal and:
There we go. Net cost: 0 bucks. Well, maybe a couple bucks to cover welding wire, gas, and a few buts and bolts. The rest all comes out of scrap bits. Tried it out on a pure sand hill and it digs itself deep and pulls the Argo (right around 1000 lbs) right up the grade.
It pulls right out of the sand when the load is removed, but that got me thinking what do I do if it buries itself in clay or some other hard to move material. I start thinking to myself that once I’m unstuck, I can just use the winch to pull the blade back out of the ground the way it went in. But I’d need something already attached to the blade when it buried itself or I’d still have to dig. So:
There we go. Now, its just a matter of positioning the Argo and yanking the anchor back out of the ground.
The anchor breaks down into parts, so carrying it on the Argo will be a piece of cake. Just break it down and clip it to the roll cage somewhere out of the way.