Viking Offroad 350 Series Aluminum Hawse Fairlead

By Jeep Experts

Jeeps and winches….they simply go collectively, if you already know what I imply.  Shortly after I bought my TJ, I picked up a winch and winch plate and mounted it up entrance.  The winch got here with metal cable on the winch and with it, a curler fairlead.  When I re-spooled my winch with synthetic winch line, I did some work on the winch plate, cleaned up the curler fairlead a bit, and continued to make use of it with the brand new line.  Years of use with cable on the rollers left lower than a clean floor.  The rollers additionally attracted some rust.  It was lastly time to swap out the curler fairlead for an aluminum hawse fairlead.

So in response to the field on the workbench, it might need been D-Day.  I’m not so certain about that however grandsons might be grandsons… we’ll focus our consideration on what got here within the white field and skip the D-Day field for now.  Inside the white field was a Viking Offroad 350 Series aluminum hawse fairlead.  It got here with 7/16″ stainless mounting {hardware} too (extra on that later).


At first look, the 350 Series shares a number of the identical properties as different aluminum fairleads.  It has two holes in it and a giant slot within the heart.  It is meant for use with an ordinary 10″ bolt sample.  That is about the place the similarities finish.

What just isn’t readily obvious with the 350 Series is simply how thick this factor actually is till you examine it to the competitors.  In the above picture, I positioned the Vikiing Offroad fairlead on high of an everyday 3/4″ thick aluminum fairlead…..the later I gained in a raffle a while in the past.  The 350 Series is twice that dimention at 1.5″ thick.  It additionally has been Type III onerous anodized for a stronger working end and higher shade integrity. 


So you’re asking your self so what?  Why do I would like a thick hawse fairlead?  It’s all in regards to the artificial rope.  The 350 Series, because of its 1.5″ thickness, gives a bigger working radius (or possibly ought to I say “rubbing” radius) for the artificial line to be drawn throughout when doing any sort of angular pull.  Drawing the artificial line throughout a small radius (this happens when the winch pull is something apart from straight forward of your automobile) reduces its working life.  Just like metallic tubing which has a minimal bend radius, the artificial line prefers a bigger bend radius as effectively, so to talk.  Once once more, we see that larger is best. <grin>

So let’s get this factor on the winch plate and see the way it appears.  The instructions provided by Viking Offroad are fairly straight ahead.  There are however 4 steps within the accompanying directions, that are:

1.  Remove the previous winch line or winch cable.
2.  Remove previous fairlead.
3.  Install the brand new fairlead.
4.  Install the artificial winch line per the producer’s instructions.

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Sounds like a 30 minute job assuming you cease for some chilly refreshments half manner by, proper?  Not fairly, as I used to be quickly to find.

Removing my AmSteel-Blue winch line was simple sufficient.  I slipped the winch into free spool and pulled the road off the winch.  So a lot for step #1.  In the above picture, you may see one of many two bolts holding the curler fairlead in place.  Step #2 is take away the previous fairlead.  Unfortunately, I can’t get to the nuts (behind the winch pate) for the bolts that maintain the curler fairlead in place.  Hmmm…….oh  boy, I get to take away the bumper and the winch plate (with winch connected) so I can take away the fairlead. 

Six bolts later, the entrance bumper is free to return off of the body rails.  I ought to point out {that a} beneficiant coating of anti-seize, over the past bumper set up, resulted within the bolts popping out very simply.  You don’t should learn too many Jeep discussion board threads to seek out conditions the place rusted bolts trigger points.

With the bumper out of the way in which, I popped the hood and eliminated the winch energy cables from the battery and fished them out to the entrance of the automobile.  With two extra bolts eliminated, I used to be capable of elevate the winch plate off of the body rails so I may work on it.

I laid the winch over on its aspect to resolve the winch plate.  Winches have an ordinary 4 bolt sample (or at the least the great ones do) that connect the winch to the winch plate.  These Grade 5 bolts had additionally acquired a coating of anti-seize when the winch was final mounted. 

Viking Offroad 350 Series Aluminum Hawse Fairlead

It was time to have a good time…..I used to be able to carry out Step #2.  Did I point out it was effectively over 115 levels in my storage whereas I used to be doing this?  (sure, AZ summers will be heat)   The two bolts that held the curler fairlead to the winch plate have been rapidly dispatched.  I used to be half manner executed…..however I’ll admit it had taken a bit longer than the half of the unique 30 minute estimation.

For people who could surprise, I’ll state that I don’t often have points when I’m working a mission, particularly one as “simple” as putting in a fairlead.  That was about to vary within the subsequent couple of minutes…..and with it the half-hour put aside for this fairlead swap.

I put the 350 Series fairlead in place on the winch plate and began a chrome steel bolt.  With a few threads within the nut, I put the remaining bolt in place and started to tighten the nuts. 

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Before I had even gotten near tightening the nuts, I spotted that the bolts have been going to protrude by a bit too far and will intrude with the winch being aligned on its 4 mounting holes.  I made a decision to take away the nuts and decide the right size for the bolts.  As I eliminated the nuts, each began to gall.  I’ve by no means seen this occur to bolts that had not even been tightened/torqued down, but it surely occurred.  And after all, I had uncared for to place anti-seize on the threads (an vital factor to do with chrome steel {hardware}).

I managed to get one of many nuts off with one heck of a battle however the cussed one lastly gave up the ghost.  I twisted the tip of the bolt proper off.

Not an issue….Iv’e bought a well provisioned ACE Hardware retailer close to by that has offered a number of mounting {hardware} for my TJ over time.  After 10 minutes in entrance of the fan (inside the home), I grabbed my spouse’s automotive and headed off to ACE.  Short story….they didn’t have any 7/16″ cap screw {hardware}.  They had 3/8″ and 1/2″ however nothing in between.  They did have some nuts so I picked up a few them and headed residence. 

Not wanting to attend two extra days (until Monday) with a purpose to go to an area nuts and bolts specialty store (that additionally occurs to be owned by a Jeeper buddy of mine), I broke out my angle grinder w/ flapper disc and a few jeweler information and began cleansing up the broken {hardware}.  After about 20 minutes I had a working bolt that had satisfactory threads and was shortened to the suitable size.  Another 20 minutes of effort yielded the second bolt that might thread right into a nut (and was additionally shortened to the right size).

OK….so with the journey to ACE, a few extra settle down periods in entrance of the fan, and 40 minutes of customized bolt work, I had managed to suck up a few hours.  (yep, that 30 minute work window was lengthy gone!).

With a contemporary coating of anti-seize on the stainless mounting {hardware}, I as soon as once more positioned the 350 Series fairlead in place and tightened the mounting {hardware} on the winch plate.  With the fairlead in place, the winch was secured to the plate.  YES, the fairlead bolts simply cleared the bottom of the winch!  I had accomplished Step #3.  YEAH!!!!!

Here is the entrance cross-member previous to the winch plate being put again into place.  You can see the SwayLOC protruding out of the left finish of the cross-member, the 2 black airways for its air actuator, and the ability steering cooler mounted to the middle space of the cross-member itself. 

Once the winch plate (with winch) was positioned again onto the body rails, I slipped the entrance bumper again into place and started the method of anti-seizing the 8 bolts that might maintain all of this in place.  Those all went in with no issues. 

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With the winch, winch plate, and rock bumper all bolted in place, the AmSteel-Blue synthetic winch line was spooled again onto my winch.  Yes, I run a Thimble on my artificial line too.  If you don’t have one, you actually need to get one….significantly.  They are unquestionably well worth the added safety to anybody dealing with the enterprise finish of the winch line and they’re going to enhance the working life span of your line (it’s that bend radius factor once more).

If you’ve gotten caught with me up thus far, you’re in all probability considering I’ve gone off the deep finish with a two web page write-up on putting in a brand new fairlead.  Well, sure and no.  I get a number of e-mail on account of this website and a few of them have some very fascinating particulars of how their implementation of what seemed to be a easy mission on the internet website when all types of the way besides the simple one.  So….I assumed I’d share this mission….all of it…..with you simply so you may see that a few of mine are usually not so simple as they might look like. 

Mr. Murphy will all the time get into the center of issues when you give him an opportunity.  I made the error of not placing anti-seize on my stainless {hardware} the primary time…..and I paid for that with a number of sweat (however not tears) earlier than I used to be executed.  On my manner residence from church at the moment, my spouse known as me on the cell to inform me she couldn’t come to the 2nd service on account of her battery (she believes) being useless in her automotive….yep, the identical one I took to ACE yesterday.  I instructed her it could wait till tomorrow morning when it was cooler exterior.  <grin>  She was grounded for the rest of the day.

If you’re out there for a brand new aluminum hawse fairlead, give the Viking Offroad 350 Series a strive.  They aren’t low cost, however then once more, you’re getting an even bigger and higher fairlead too.  Through an e-mail change with Thor (proprietor of Viking), I discovered that the CNC machine time is twice that of a typical 3/4″ fairlead since there may be a lot extra materials to take away and end clean.  Likewise, the onerous anodizing is an additional course of step too.  Check one out and I doubt you’ll be going again to these skinny ones.

So that’s it….my story is completed.  The mission is completed.  And for at the moment, I believe I’m completed.  I’ll stand up early tomorrow and repair her automotive….then that might be completed too. 

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