Hi Chris, welcome to the Forum.cbsos4u wrote: ↑June 11th, 2018, 7:09 amHi I am Chris and have just purchased a 1996 Nissan Mistral, I want to fit an electric winch to the front of the Mistral, can an anyone help with suggestions and or photos for the best and strongest way to mount this. I would prefer to keep the general look the same but realise the plastic will need to be cut away for this process. ARE there any things that i must avoid or need to watch out for?
Thanks in advance for your help.
I'm not all that up to speed on how Mistral's are made (nor really Terrano's for that matter) simply because we really don't see too many here in Aus, but if you aren't removing & replacing the front bumper with a steel or alloy Winch ready Bull Bar, you probably have no choice but to measure up & fabricate (or get made for you) a steel winch cradle to fit between the front chassis members in order to carry the winch behind the plastic!! The idea with a cradle is that it'll be transferring all the carrying loads & winching stresses into the major construction components of the vehicle - and you'd better believe that the 'loads' involved in just carrying 20 odd kilos of winch out there in front of the front suspension can be massive!! Just the pendulum effect that does occur while driving adds a fairly massive 'multiplier' to the weight, so your cradle needs to spread the load well & securely tie it back into the chassis to let the front suspension support the massively increased loads (which is why a chassis is such a great place to mount a winch!!) or you stand a very good chance of bending the vehicle in the middle or ripping the front clip right off the frame!!
Then there's the winching loads - consider the GVM of your Mistral; then ADD at least that again for the 'bogged' forces acting on the vehicle, more if it belly's out in the mud or if all 4 wheels are bogged; THEN add the shock load that any jerking or slipping of the cable will add.... your winch and its mounting is going to severely stress the chassis every time you winch, so you need a well mounted load spreading cradle to carry & spread that load across a large portion of the underlying structure, or you could easily pull the winch & its mounting points out of the front of the vehicle!! So make sure any cradle DOES tie the loads & stresses back into the main chassis AND that any bolts, nuts, etc use anti-crush tubes & load spreading plates to stop them just crushing or pulling thru the underlying metal of the chassis rails - metal & rails that probably were neither designed nor expected to carry that sort of loading!!
So with all that doom & gloom in mind, is there any reason you couldn't completely replace the front bumper with a Winch ready Bull Bar? There were a few options made & sold in Aust for the Terrano II's, so you might find something in a wreckers or on the second hand market, or maybe one of the Manufacturing company's will do a special for you?! They generally keep all the jigs & patterns etc, so it's just a matter of finding them, digging them out, & either doing the cutting & welding by hand or dropping it into their computer control system & watching the bull bar come out the far end!! Maybe that won't be cheap, but it's a possibility.... I've had bull bars & Long Range fuel tanks made up for a couple of 40 year old 4WD's that way, and the result was by far the best I could've achieved for the $$ otherwise - $$ which really weren't all that much more than sourcing any old bits I could find at the wreckers & getting them cleaned up & refurbished, but it was a whole lot quicker & easier!!
So, some food for thought there. Over to you! Good Luck.