A comprehensive installation & review of 4x4labs tire carrier with winch mount (80 Series)

Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
311
Location
Auburn Alabama
I called Luke up to order this bumper after I saw this thread: The Best Rear Bumper Out There!

I've been wanting to get a tire carrier for a while and when I saw they were capable of putting a rear recovery winch back there I was sold on their bumper vs the competition. I asked him to build it for the big body m12000 feet forward winch and had no issue doing this (I believe Luke also runs this same winch in rear configuration on his truck) Many people might ask - Why rear mount? There are many benefits to this that include incredible hard to steal, rear self recovery for reselecting lines or passing obstacles, and safer recovery. I practice significant caution when using a winch to recover vehicles and with the amount of stuff I put in the back of my rig - if anything comes flying back I don't have to worry about being decapitated.

Expense Sheet (~3k not including winch/synthetic rope/fairlead)
Warn M12000
2/0 SGX Power Sheathed Cable + Ground through @Fourrunner.
Tire Carrier Cost: Firm believer in you get what you pay for.

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Shipped to me ok - minor damage to powder coat but nothing that upset me too bad. Went home to install the bad boy

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Made the first cut - Use the $20 Home Depot Diablo Blade thats pretty long - It makes easy work of the cuts. Just a straight cut nothing fancy.

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Mounted the winch to the bumper - There is no way you can do this with the bumper on the truck. Feet forward make for difficult mounting. Very important and something you don't know you need to do until someone tells you to. The winch would not mount in its stock configuration. I actually needed to unseat the planetary gear house and clock it 90/120 degrees to get the free spool lever in an area that could be used. In its current position it is very easy to access from the bottom.

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(This thing with the winch on it is extremely heavy and very dangerous to mount unsupported - definitely use a strong jack on the winch side).

Then came the fun part of routing 2/0 SGX cable from the battery through the cab to the rear quarter panel - I used a step bit to drill a 1" hole and fed a grommet through after painting to protect the wires. The other wire is the remote wires.

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I'm going to post tons of photos in several post so this will be an excellent resource for anyone else considering the tire carrier + winch combo.

Post continued below:
 
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Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
311
Location
Auburn Alabama
Now to tackle the ground. I didn't want to run an additional 23' feet of ground so I settled for 27" of SGX cable terminated with a 1/2" eye and went to my peers house to get a bolt welded on. After cooling I hit it with primer and paint. Let it cure and sealed it up with some extra sealant I had laying around so I wouldn't have an issue with water intrusion.

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Connected the ground:

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Now I could spool the winch in and here comes the lamest dilemma I think I've ever faced. The winch rope rubs against the crossmember and fully wrapped rubs against the pinch seam. It took a while to get ahold of Luke to ask him about this issue. HD would answer the phone just fine but had no clue on what to do. Here is the solution I came up with:

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This part of the pinch seam would need to be removed in order to allow for all 100' of the rope to spool onto the winch. This was extremely difficult because I no longer had any helpers to help me remove the bumper to make this cut. I made do with what I had and used a super long drill bottom to edge out the border and removed the material using a punch. Its not pretty but it definitely will suffice.

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The last wrap the synthetic rope just barely glides across the bumper crossmember. I'll have to be weary to use a rope extension if I'm doing a long line pulls to prevent large angles from prematurely wearing the rope. I was skeptical but Luke reassured me that everyone running his bumper with the rear winch configuration rubs this square crossmember. It definitely scours the paint at load but didn't seam to eat into it too bad.

Photo of the free spool lever. I can reach it by crouching down and feeling for it.

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Continued onto the next post.
 
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Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
311
Location
Auburn Alabama
Finally some installed photos - Heres everything closed and on the back of the truck

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Swingouts open:

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Hatch & tailgate open:

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Close up on the rear fairlead:

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Close up on the custom skid plate for the winch and those beautiful welds ;)

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Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
311
Location
Auburn Alabama
Something I didn't consider is I will need to route the exhaust out the driver side of the truck. I need to find a decent exhaust shop in the area. The exhaust will be too low if I route the end can under the skid.

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(You'll also notice I ended up canceling the ladder portion of it. I may end up getting one down the line but for now I just didn't need one).

Minor Nuisances:
- Some of the harder to reach areas when powder coating have started rusting after 1 month of use. Lukes not known for his powder coating but it doesn't bother me too much.
- Petty but I really hate it when both silver and yellow zinc bolts are used. I can swap them out but they really should both come in the same color zinc.
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Conclusion:

Luke can build a hell of a bumper. I don't know any other US manufacture that would even consider taking on a project like this. I am thrilled and very happy with the end product. I still have to sort out some rear accessories and the exhaust but I wanted to update everyone here. I couldn't find a single person who was still running one of these and I'm really happy I pulled the trigger. Pre-tensioning the rope is easy with two people - One person in the cab and me in the back guiding the rope. It pre-tensions easier than I thought it would. This is an expensive winch and someone would have to work extremely diligently to remove this from the bumper. The bumper and tire carrier itself are very sturdy with no movement either way. HD did an excellent job setting up the swingouts before shipping it out. I would not hesitate to load this thing down and am stoked to give it some work to do.

Acknowledgement:

I can't thank @4x4labs enough for making this product. I also want to acknowledge the forum vendor @Fourrunner for making these cables for me on such short notice. He did an excellent job and I highly recommend him for all your cabling needs.

10/10 would buy the bumper/tire carrier/winch mount again.

James
 
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Bludozer

SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
1,205
Location
Central Virginia
I made a post about the powder coat a few days ago as well. I feel the same way in that overall I am a fan of the bumper but the powdercoat leads something to be desired. I had a few edges rubbed off which I posted but found even more 3-4 inch spots that came off after I got it off the pallet. A reality to be expected if you wheel, but to have it in this condition pre-install was a little disheartening. Unfortunate to see it is already rusting through a bit after a month of use. At some point I will probably pull mine and have it repowder coated with something more substantial.
 
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