Q I recently acquired a Warn 5,000-pound winch, which does not work. I plan on fixing it and mounting it on my truck, an '82 Chevy 1-ton with 36-inch H1 wheels and tires. Once I bring this dead electric puller back to life, how can I help it survive while towing my seriously heavy Chevy from the muck? I was thinking that some sort of pulley would help.
A Before you spend a dime on that winch, let us warn you (Get it? Warn you. Warn, like the winch. OK, sorry). Warn recommends that you use a winch with a rating 11/2 times the weight of your vehicle. I had the same truck as yours, and I know it weighed 6,600 pounds with 37-inch tires on it. That 5,000-pound winch of yours is about 4,900 pounds under Warn's recommended rating. The 5,000-pound winch is barely enough for something small like a Willys Jeep CJ or a Suzuki Samurai.
Either fix it and use it around the shop in the bed of the truck for pulling stuff like quads or boats aboard, or sell it and save up for something in the range of 9,500 to 12,000 pounds. Yes, a snatch block will increase the capacity of the line pull, but it also reduces the line speed and adds complexity and danger to the extraction with multiple winch lines.
Q I have a question on wheel spacers. I run 11/2-inch spacers on my '06 Tundra. Do they reduce the towing/load capacity of the truck?
A Since wheel spacers push the mounting surface of the wheels out farther, unless you are adding the same amount of backspacing to the wheels to keep the tires at the same position outside of the framerails, I would say that, yes, they effectively reduce your towing and load capacity. If you figure that you are adding leverage to the wheel bearings, then you are in effect making them work harder to carry the same amount of weight. Exactly how much wheel spacers reduce the load and whether that is any concern is a question for a certified axle engineer. If you use wheel spacers that are not extremely wide, keep them properly torqued and check on them regularly, and they can be very reliable.
Truck Trailer Tires
Q I have a question regarding tires. I have a '99 4Runner with a 2-inch lift and the factory electric rear locker. I run 265/75/16 Terra Troopers, which is the largest size they have in that tire. It has been an excellent off-road tire in the snow, rain, mud, and any other two-track trails I can throw at it. On-road they are OK, but they do what I want them to do on the trail. I love the tire, but I am hoping for a little larger size next time, like maybe a 285/75/16, but they don't offer it.
I was reading your Sept. '10 issue and looked at your "Tow Behind Tires" article, and to my surprise you have the BFGoodrich tires mounted on your trailer with the same exact tread as is on my Terra Troopers. The only difference I can find is the name on the face of the tire. I am told that because of the tariffs they are no longer importing this tire. Can I buy a BFGoodrich "trailer tire" and put it on my 4Runner for tail duty? I drive my 4Runner to every trailhead, so it must be a safe tire too.
A Yes, the BFGoodrich Commercial T/A tires we put on our trailer are a commercial truck tire, not a specific trailer tire. You can put these on your truck, and they do have an aggressive tread. I think I would recommend the BFG All-Terrain, Mud-Terrain, or Krawler if it were me since they offer a more aggressive tread.