ARB bull bar and Ramsey RE12000 fitment

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Oct 2, 2004
Okanagan Valley, BC
ARB bull bar and Ramsey RE12000 fitment... DONE!

Well, I enquired a while ago if anyone here has ever fitted RE series Ramsey winch into an 80 series ARB bull bar. No-one had, and some people were interested to see how things would turn out if I were to try. Here is my account of installing this winch to an ARB.

Over spring break I bought an ARB and spent some time trying to marry the winch to the bumper without scratching either of them. As you know, ARB designs their bumpers to accept planetary winches and since both ARB and Ramsey do not make a frame to hold this particular winch, fitment involved some cutting and welding.

First, a little about RE series (worm gear) winches. Although they are incredibly strong, their downfall is their unusual mounting design due to the spur gears and worm gear assembly hanging low and off to the side. Also, the drum is not centered on the winch; its not symmetrical. This means the winch has to be off to one side to keep the drum and fairlead centered on the bumper. This is opposed to planetary winches where the gears are in the drum, which allow the winch to be shorter and to have some symmetry. Although the entire front of the RE winch is flush, the back is not and nor is the bottom (where the gears are).

Here’s how things unfolded:

I installed the bumper without winch and took some clearance measurements. This obviously helped me decide some things before mocking up a 135lb winch. The mounting challenges result from how the ARB bumper angles in at the sides of the fairlead, which requires the winch to be set backwards (towards the grille). Additionally, the bottom of the ARB angles upwards towards the front, and since the winch is quite long and the bottom of the electric motor would contact the bumper (where the box fits over the frame) there are 2 options.

The first is to move the winch upwards so the winch can then “slide up” the sloped bumper and away from the valence and grille. However, this would affect 2 things: 1st, the winch drum would be quite high in relation to the fairlead. Tremendous pressure would be put onto the upper roller on a hard pull. 2nd, the winch drum would be getting pretty darn close to the grill, causing me to get a bit nervous about destroying the front of my truck if the cable were to be spooled a little heavy to one side. There are a couple other reasons, but it would require 1000 words to explain it and it’s already confusing enough. Take my word for it, there’s a better way to skin this cat.

The second and most viable option was to set back the winch 1-7/8”. This would prevent the bottom of the electric motor to contact the bumper, the drum would line up with the fairlead because the winch could be shifted towards the passenger side, and the drum would be set down away from the valence. While the cable is unlikely to cause a problem, I mitigated the chance of damage by welding a piece of 1-1/4” x 3/16 flatbar to the rear support, where the drum is. This guards the valence from the cable, but of course a turning winch would easily bend this metal back if I had a lot of extra cable wound on one side of the drum.

Front brackets/spacers were made from 4” x 5” x 3/16” box. They were cut down and welded it so they measured 4”long x 1-7/8” deep. I drilled the holes in the box so I could mount it to the winch. Then, with the winch suspended from the top of the ARB Bar, I used welding vise grips to pull the bracket/spacer tight against the bumper. Now I drilled the holes on the other side of the brackets using the existing holes in the ARB. I then bolted the front of the winch to the bumper. Now that the winch was in position, I could fabricate the bracket that would support the back of the winch. I used 2” angle iron to go across the back and I welded it to some vertical supports, which are then bolted to the vertical supports of the ARB. I had to cut back a little bit of the triangular support on the top of the bumper so the solenoid cover would fit properly. Lastly, I had to drill a 1-1/4” hole on the passenger side upright so I could fit my remote into the solenoid cover. Oh, and I really wasn’t happy with how the license plate is supposed to mount. I went to Home Depot and bought 4 rubber, threaded bushings about ¾” long. My plate is secure, straight, it’s not scratching up my powdercoat, and it gives me the clearance I need for the bracket bolts underneath it.

The end result is I’ve got a bullet-proof winch that I really like mounted to an ARB. Mounting an M12,000 would be faster and easier, but I’m partial to the RE series winch. I’ve got no regrets with the time I spent doing this, and I’d recommend this install if you are into worm gear winches. The mechanics of this winch are the same as the commercial Ramsey’s, save the electric motor. They’re slow, but brutally strong, and extremely reliable.

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A few more pics
And a few more
Snug, it is. There are eight 3/8" holes tapped into the winch. Grade 5 is plenty.

Nice job on the install and writeup. It's good to see that you have a helper giving you a hand.:princess: Do you have any problems with vibrations where there is the 1/16 space between the winch and frame? If you stuck a small piece of rubber bike tube in there you wouldn't have any issues. Just a thought.;p
Very nice work. Used to have a planetary Superwinch in an ARB, had similar issues, you solved yours nicely!

There are no vibes because there is no contact. The rubber hose would be a good idea, though, if I needed it.

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