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Discussion Starter #1
Imagine that, I need advice again. I am starting to feel like you guys are just building my truck for me.

Ok, I'm not a fabricator, I can look at something, see in my head where it should go, what it needs to do and approximately how it should look, but getting that idea into steel form and making sure it's strong enough to hold up...bah, forget it. If we could tow with wooden vehicles, I'd be all up in it... I have currently drawn up plans for a hidden winch up front. This bracket will not only hold the winch, but allow for a couple recovery points up front that are removed from [spoiler alert] the grill guard I am about to install. Before anyone says it, I am one of the few people that 97% of the time, prefers the look of simple...of stock...so I do not want to get a new bumper, and yes I am aware of the 'damage multipliers' of grill guards, it's just the specific look I am going for. Anyway, even though I was able to make a cardboard mock-up and blueprints, I am still having to hire someone else to do the actual steel work...

So, back on topic, I am now wanting to ensure I have rear recovery points in place. I do have a hitch, and while a simple solution would be something like this:


I want something in place that is a little more permanent. Something I don't have to worry about 'installing' before I might need it (yes, I know it's just a pin), after all, I do live in Minnesota, if some moron that can't drive runs me off the road in a blizzard, I don't want to have to worry about whether I have a place to tie to ready to go. So, keeping in mind I can't fabricate, so I try to keep as much of my stuff as bolt-on as possible, and knowing I want to keep the stock rear bumper, I am trying to determine the best route to go for a couple recovery hooks in back. I was looking at getting something like this:


...and trying to find a way to mount it so that the hook was just sticking out from the back, something I can quickly hook a shackle up to and throw a tow rope in place... Looking underneath the back-end, I see a few posibilities...but I want to make sure this works, and works well. I really don't want anything that has questionable strength [Example] *cough* sorry, @BRUTAL, and I am not looking to cut any holes if I can avoid it [Example]...

So I took a look underneath. The light blue area in figure 1 is where I would ideally like to attempt to 'tie into' with this, but if you look at figure 2, you'll see how the green area in figure 1 is in the way of a direct line-of-sight out of the back. The dark blue area seems like an easy place to work with, if I could do it without compromising the strength of the hitch..., the red areas seem like the easiest place to work with, but also the weakest, as it seems any bolts would risk tearing out of the side of the right red area, or the metal seems a bit light on the left red area.

FIGURE 1


FIGURE 2


I even debated trying to find a way to mount the hitch shackle (first image) sideways in the area designated by the yellow arrow. I imagine if I mounted in normally the stress from pulling would shear the pivot bolt on the shackle, but if mounted on the side and allowed to swing back, perhaps it would hold up a little better? Something like this:


...only underneath the truck. I am willing/able to do some drilling if needed, but what would you all suggest for something for this? Thanks for any advice!
 

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Your probably going to spend just as much time trying to hook to an existing mount under the bumper as you would swapping the hitch in. If you keep the receiver empty and leave a pin and clip in the mount, it takes almost no time.

if you wanted to get down to it, doing it that way, you could leave your strap hooked to the clevis and toss the whole assembly under your rear seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
if you wanted to get down to it, doing it that way, you could leave your strap hooked to the clevis and toss the whole assembly under your rear seat.
True, but my back seat is already packed :lol:

I don't mind the idea of using just a hitch hook, I guess it's just more of a personal preference of mine, having dedicated hooks. I'm thinking the 'yellow arrow' option is going to suit what I'm looking for best, should have the strength for what I want, and worst case scenario if it tears out the square tubing (somewhat unlikely) I could just replace the hitch itself rather than worrying about it doing damage to the frame. Ugh, I don't know, guess I'm too picky.
 

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Without a new bumper you are probably down to the hitch mounted shackle. I saw a thread of member that had fabricated rear mounted recovery points on the frame and shredded one side.

You can get something like this or a tool box for additional storage space.
 

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I keep a hitch mounted shackle and tow strap under my passenger seat. Last used it to recover a 3/4 diesel dodge. Yes the clevis takes some time to unscrew but not too bad. This winter I am adding a smaller strap with hooks on the end. This should speed up the time it take to yank subis out of snow ditches/berms.

Before I got the shackle we recovered my friends jeep using his hitch and simple a hitch pin with the loop of the strap around the pin. This is generally a bad idea as the pin is not in double shear but bending. If the pin bends you basically lose your strap. Not my rig and didn't have any other option at the time.

I had those hooks before on my last truck. The shackle is much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I appreciate all the feedback! I do have another question, what about something like the attached image...the built in loops, or taking something like the bolt-on shakles and welding then in place where those loops are located on the hitch? Forgive me, I'm a metal fabrication amateur, so I'm not really sure what would hold up, and I'd be having a friend of mine do the welding if necessary.

Edit: Did a bit of googling and think I found my answer on welding the tow hooks, gah...not so much
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, got myself a hitch hook ordered, but I was tinkering and came up with another question as a backup, or secondary solution. As many have said, the front hooks will fit on the rear, and since I have a set of right and left hooks I tried a little fitting. I know it will fit, but if I get slightly longer bolts, proper grade...and sandwich everything in the back, how do you experts think that would hold up? Essentially...frame of the truck, under that the hitch that is already bolted in place with 3 bolts on each side but removing two bolts, replacing with the longer ones and bolting the hooks below the hitch...

FRAME
HITCH PLATE
HOOK
BOLT

Worth the effort, or would the strength not hold up? Thanks again everyone!
 

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I had a pair of hooks mounted (one on each side) where you have the long red outline
on your FIGURE 1 above. Except I removed that carrage bolt in front of the red box and
used that hole for my front hook mounting hole. Then drilled through the back hook
hole to get the rear mounting hole. Had to put a washer between the rear hook hole
and bracket to account for the thickness of the bumper tab in the front. It was very
sturdy and I'm confident it would have held up.

No pics because I've replaced my bumper since then and the replacement has build in
eyes for D-rings... sorry.
 

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I know we each have our own likes and dislikes for the mods on our trucks so here's my 2 cents worth.....
Most serious off roaders will tell you that recovery hooks are okay if you have nothing else to use, but that a shackle or d-ring are better recovery points. Tow lines and tow straps can and do slip off the recovery hooks. (think wet and rainy or stuck in a mud hole)

It is commonly recommended NOT to use a recovery strap with hooks on it ... if the hook somehow comes off it becomes a projectile!

I have used the hitch receiver recovery point for a while now ..... both to pull out others and to have my vehicle recovered as well. I leave it in all the time, except when towing my small trailer. Never a problem

One other logic for consideration .... the after market off-road bumpers available for our Frontiers all have places for shackles, not hooks or d-rings .... probably a reason for that? (Shrockworks, Hefty, Calmini) Hooks are provided by the manufacturers but many times they are just for "show".

Shrockworks front


Shrockworks rear
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I agree on the hooks vs shackles, my apologies if I misspoke, I do have a hooked strap as a backup, but my main tow cable is shackled.
 
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