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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all CR-V Owners!!!

I have a small request for anyone who knows anything about winches, custom mounting and welding.
Recently I was on a beach enjoying my CR-V, when I seen a civic in distress! Naturally I went to see if I could help.
Now having towed over 100 cars off the sand this summer alone I was confident I could help them out of this bind they were in. I hooked up my tow rope and proceeded to pull them from the sand. Unfortunately at that moment my clutch decided to give out. I needed rescuing.

The point to all of this?

I am someone who is always going to stop and offer help anyway (even though it cost me hundreds of £££s in the end) so I'd like to fit a winch to my CR-V so that I can still do recoveries and save my poor clutch at the same time.

The two ideas that I have are as follows:
1. A hidden winch system, as I am not replacing my bumper with a winch bumper I had though of somehow mounting a winch behind the original bumper. It was mentioned to me about welding supports to the chassis rails.
I'm not exactly sure how to do that or what materials would be needed to tow 2 tonnes without snapping.
Where do my chassis rails end and what materials are best for this project?

2. A removable winch system. Same idea as number one but instead of the winch sitting behind the bumper, it would sit in front through the gap at the bottom grille. I would mount a receiver hitch to the car using same method as idea one and just slide winch on when needed.
The pros vs cons of each idea.
Pro: idea 1; less weight on the car as it's closer to the axle. Less material needed. Don't need to carry winch in boot/trunk. Less to go wrong with welds etc.
Con: idea 1; elements all the time., can only recover to the front.

Pro: idea 2; protect from elements. Can mount on rear hitch if fitted too and recover either way.
Con: idea 2; more welds can snap, must take up boot/trunk space when not in use. More weight.

I guess my overall question (finally says you) is which idea is better and ultimately how do I attach it?
Can someone show me a picture of where the chassis rails end and where to attach it to?
Best materials to use that won't add so much weight my suspension will collapse?

I have a RD1 (year 2000) CR-V.

I do plan in the future to add a nudge A bar to the car but this will not be anything to do with the winch set up.
Winch will either feed through the gap in the bar or attach to hitch through the gap. Or any other way that someone might know how to do it. Nudge bar will be more for lights and protection.

I appreciate any and all helpful ideas anyone can provide me.
I have had the car 2 years now and it's never let me down (clutch aside). I love my CR-V and love helping people with it.
I am however not fully mechanical minded. I learn fast enough when shown how to do stuff, so pictures or diagrams go a very long way with me. Even a drawing...
I can post pictures and updates if I get this on the go and keep the forum in the loop.

Ok I think I've rambled enough. Please let me know if you need any more info on my idea.
Thanks
Woody
 

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Discussion Starter #2
IMG_0194.jpg
Hello all again.
A quick question related to my post above.
Is this bar attached to the chassis rails? Is it strong enough for a winch mount?
By the way this is NOT my car. Picture found online.
 

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If it were my CR-V, the last thing I would mount to it is a winch. We have to remember that the CR-V is basically a tall Civic station wagon with unibody construction, not a body-on-frame setup like a proper truck. The only place a winch might work is to have something bolted to the sub frame underneath and as you've pointed out, finding out where to attach it is the issue, and it would have to be mounted down low I would imagine. As you know, the bumper, bumper supports, bulkhead (aka radiator support), etc. are not strong enough to be pulling another 2,500 lb. (or heavier) vehicle out of trouble. I'd just hate to see the front end of a CR-V pulled off from an improperly attached winch. Plus, if it were feasible, someone would already have made a kit for it. (I have never looked, however.)

The only thing I am thinking at the moment is that it might be safer to mount something to the rear, in place of any trailer hitch that is mounted back there. (I don't recall what mounting points my '97 has, but the '09 already has bolt holes for a hitch mount in the rear.) But even there, the CR-V would be safely used only for smaller vehicles. Does anyone make a winch that attaches to a 2-inch hitch receiver? That would actually be one of the safer ways to do it, I would think.

Whatever you do, be sure to post pics of the results! I always like to stay on the cautious side of things, but knowing the ingenuity of many other CR-V owners, it is always interesting to see what they come up with!
 

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If I were to mount a winch to help people out, I'd do it this way.
First I'd mount a good receiver trailer hitch on the back. The tie-ins for these are the strongest you're going to find on a CR-V, IMO.
I'd then I'd mount my winch on a receiver plug. This way I could remove the winch to keep it out of the elements when not in use and when in use, it's mounted to the chassis (such as it is) by the most secure means available without welding.
The biggest challenge here is mounting the winch to the plug-in piece. I'd imagine any good welding shop should be able to come up with a solution for that without too much added cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the reply.
I know it's not a conventional thing to mount a winch to a CR-V but I have seen it done, well pictures of it. I have tried and tried to contact those that have it done to ask how but no replies yet.
I'm not looking to turn it into a heavy duty rescue truck that's a go anywhere saviour. The beach near me is soft sand (very easy to drive in for CR-V and other 4wd/AWD cars but the majority of beach goers here drive small hatchback corsa or mini etc. Light cars that just don't get the traction for soft sand. So this winch won't be pulling out anything more than 1.2 tonnes max! Apart from myself if I am ever unfortunate enough to need self recovery.

No the supports for radiator etc are nowhere near strong enough but the chassis rails have to be! I was hoping that the bar on the front of the CR-V in that photo would be useful to me but I'm not 100% sure.

As for the height of the winch. I don't mind if it's low, bumper height is fine as the bumper clears the sand anyway so no real difference there. It won't sit low enough to take away ground clearance.
If it's removable then approach angles aren't affected and if it's hidden behind then nothing outside is affected either way.

It certainly is feasable but because Northern Ireland is not a huge car mod country then no one has set up a business doing it here. Not enough money in it. And to buy abroad and ship in costs more than the car! Better to build it myself then.

Ideally I'd like it to be removable so I can fit it to front and rear. Gives me more options to recover people.
Btw the winch will be a last resort. I have sand ladders and shovels for the car I use first. I dig the car out, put sand ladders below driving wheels and then I'd winch. Alot less stress on the winch that way and therefore less strain on the car.

Woody
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hello. Thanks for the reply.
like the idea of the hitch method. But again its attaching one to the front too. Rear is easy. I have the rear one sorted. But on the front too would give me more recovery options.
Mounting the baseplate to the plug in hitch isn't too hard. I've seen it done for trucks towing 7-8 tonnes. It's the mounting to the chassis that's the issue.
I'm happy to have welding, and then if I wanted extra security I'd bolt it on too.

Unfortunately welding shops here are expensive. I checked. For me to do it myself I'd need to practise welding alot, so I am looking for someone who can help me out but if I really need to then I can take it to my mechanic. He's not extortionate pricing but it's more than I'd like to pay.

I'm gonna post some picture I found of a CR-V with the winch on the front as a guide to what I'm after.

Woody
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So this is what I'm looking for but with it maybe an inch or two higher and a little bit bigger winch.
This car was sold in a town about 40 miles from me and I tried contacting the owner/seller but they wouldn't respond.
This mounting goes below the bumper and takes away from his ground clearance. I plan to cut small holes in the bottom underside of the bumper and have the winch coming out through the bottom grille there below the plate.
I hope this makes sense and someone can help me out.
Thanks
Woody
 

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Instead of a winch have you considered getting those plastic rescue mats that go down under the tires? They are typically used for snow and mud, but I bet they would work well on sand. A couple sets of those are sure to be a lot cheaper and a lot lighter. You could even get one of those small collapsible shovels in case they dig themselves too deep before you get there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello
Yes I have already got those items and mentioned them above.

"Btw the winch will be a last resort. I have sand ladders and shovels for the car I use first. I dig the car out, put sand ladders below driving wheels and then I'd winch. Alot less stress on the winch that way and therefore less strain on the car."

The winch is the last piece I want for recovery.
Shovel comes out first, sand ladders second and winch last.

Woody
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello CR-Vers.

So an update.

I have spoken with a guy who makes winch mounts and he told me that it's not really doable without taking away some ground clearance. Which I am against!
I showed him the picture above and he said they must have taken ground clearance away by an inch or two. It's the only way he can think of how they mounted it.
The space behind the bumper for a winch isn't big enough so that's not an option either.
He did mention these front loops that are used for a nudge bar but wasn't confident on putting too much stress on them.

Images are upside down sorry.
But he couldn't see anywhere to really mount it as shown in second picture (exhaust gets in the way really)

So it's a shame but the reality is that without a lift kit, I won't be getting a winch for the V! I will have to rely on good old sand ladders and shovels.

Thanks for reading and please if anyone does manage to get a new idea then feel free to message me about it.
Woody
 

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