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Old 08-10-2021, 08:21 AM #1
5th4runner 5th4runner is offline
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Help With Front Hitch Winch and Hi-Lift Jack Setup

Have an '02 4runner with the bumper shown in the pic and trying to maximize capability and minimize the pain. The vehicle is not lifted.
1. I have a winch and am going to mount it to a removable hitch so it can be used in back, and want to be able to use it in front as well. Don't mind if the winch sticks out in front because it wouldn't normally be mounted anyway.
2. Another useful item would be anchors on the front when using a pulley. Had an anchor fail recently and the hook would have wound up in orbit but it ran out of cable first. The standard trailer chain loops just don't cut it.
3. There is no place to lift the vehicle with a high lift jack anywhere except a strap on the wheels. It would be nice to have a lifting point on each side in front.
4. It would be nice to keep the current covers over the fog lights and lower lights, but I definitely don't want to replace the whole bumper.

OK so I have the capability to cut, heat and bend, as well as weld steel or aluminum. The local scrap yard has a lot of new and used metal of all types and shapes. Once it is all jigged up I can match drill holes for the frame. My initial thought would be to cut the middle section out of the lower part of the bumper (they call it a valance??), leaving the part that fits the lights. Then it would be simple to replace the middle portion with the needed hardware.

Just trying to avoid having to replace the entire bumper, matching the lights and wrap-arounds and etc. Don't want the expense of buying a whole ready-to-weld bumper along with shipping when I can get scrap metal for almost nothing.

Can this be done, or most of it?
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Old 08-10-2021, 09:43 AM #2
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Help With Front Hitch Winch and Hi-Lift Jack Setup

Its been done a couple times. There are a few threads on this forum about it.

Next Venture Motorsports makes a high clearance front hitch for the fat lip bumper:

High Clearance Front Hitch for 3rd Gen 4Runner (99-02)

The Warn 33025 is mostly bolt-on, but I think youd need the non-fat lip bumper (or maybe some more trimming and a hitch extension or something?):

JZiggy's "Grown Up" 4Runner Build
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Old 08-10-2021, 10:08 AM #3
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Mounting a front hitch can be done without mangling the front bumper too much. Some trimming of the frame endcaps and plastic parts of the front bumper will need to be done. Seems like your very capable of doing.

I've been eyeing how @JZiggy did his on here.
Very clean and stealthy.
There are others on here that did something like this. Problem is I don't know if the hitch is available now as these truck ages and demand for the hitch drops.
With your skills I pretty much sure you could fab one up and post a pic of it.
Maybe make more of there and sell them to other members on here.

Last edited by HiLife; 08-10-2021 at 10:12 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 08-10-2021, 11:49 AM #4
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Help With Front Hitch Winch and Hi-Lift Jack Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiLife View Post
sell them to other members on here.
Yeah @5th4runner if you could compete on price and keep a factory/stealthy look without sacrificing ground clearance, Id probably get in line
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Old 08-11-2021, 06:24 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiLife View Post
Mounting a front hitch can be done without mangling the front bumper too much. Some trimming of the frame endcaps and plastic parts of the front bumper will need to be done. Seems like your very capable of doing.

I've been eyeing how @JZiggy did his on here.
Very clean and stealthy.
There are others on here that did something like this. Problem is I don't know if the hitch is available now as these truck ages and demand for the hitch drops.
With your skills I pretty much sure you could fab one up and post a pic of it.
Maybe make more of there and sell them to other members on here.
It is interesting that JZiggy fit an OEM '96-98 bumper into his rig. I like that look better than the fat lip.
The other option is to merely push a hitch receiver through the plastic grille like the high clearance hitch linked by cl4Rk above, with all the hardware behind the grille. That option is not as good looking, but it is a lot simpler.

Was crawling around under mine yesterday and discovered a couple useful things. First, there are two pairs of big thru-holes back on the main frame. The top of that frame is just above the level of the front skid plate. It would be trivial to bolt a couple bars to the top of that to get some serious load capacity, and run them forward towards the grille.
Second, there are a couple places just behind the grille on either side where a cross beam could be attached.
Thus it is just a matter of welding a receiver hitch to a cross beam, then supporting the cross beam from the sides and from the bars coming from the frame. A 3X3 hole thru the grille would accommodate the hitch, and hard points for the winch hook could be welded to the cross beam on either side, protruding between holes in the grill. It is difficult to describe, maybe will sketch something up and post it later.
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Last edited by 5th4runner; 08-11-2021 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 08-11-2021, 09:17 AM #6
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Don't forget that you'll need a way/access to put a receiver pin into the receiver for your removable winch mount
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Old 08-17-2021, 04:51 AM #7
5th4runner 5th4runner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
Don't forget that you'll need a way/access to put a receiver pin into the receiver for your removable winch mount
That's always a plus!

So have been thinking about the last wish on the list, the hi-lift jack adapters on each side. Going the stealth route means there is no extension far enough to either side for lifting one side only. Lifting the front from just off-center seems a bit dicey, never tried it.
One possible solution is to just go with bolt-on running board style mount points. That solution allows 2 on each side, as well as providing some rock protection.
The other possibility is to just use the cheap wheel strap adapters. Have never used them either and it seems possible to damage the fenders.
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