Black Widow Winch Plate/Bumper - 2/5 Stars Updated 03/28/17 10:30 am CST - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Black Widow Winch Plate/Bumper - 2/5 Stars Updated 03/28/17 10:30 am CST

UPDATED
I'm giving this 2 out of 5 stars so far. This is a product review, but practically a how too as well for cutting the brackets where they need to be cut.
Initial ordering went smooth. They did call and verify some info, wish they would've told me on the phone they were going to have to charge some additional $$ for shipping. Wasn't a big deal as I thought the initial shipping price was LOW, just wish they would've mentioned it on the phone. Lead time on the website said 6 weeks. They shipped it at exactly 6 weeks and 1 day. So that was pretty accurate. Getting the tracking # was a little crazy, but that was because Fed Ex never forwarded it to me, so not on them, but they did respond to e-mails to make sure I got it. Customer service was good, they responded to texts for the most part, when I was trying to figure out what I was doing wrong with the L brackets (turns out nothing), I did end up having to e-mail, but they responded. not much insight, but still a response. I'm sure it's hard to say anything when you can't see the actual issue. I did pay the extra $30CAD for the "grade 8 mounting hardware".. Had I known all that was going to be was 4 bolts, 4 nuts, and 8 washers, I'd of just gone to fastenal and spent $7 on that.


Pros: Weld and build was quality and solid. Paint seems to be good and quality.
Cons: Can't use stock radiator skid (potentially updated if I see how easy it is to fab a bracket to make it work, which I don't see potentially being too hard to come off the back winch mount hole), this was not on the product page. Con #2, L brackets had to be trimmed to work. Con 3# - 3/4" shackles won't fit properly, and you have to use 5/8 shackles

Final product install (minus bracket / figuring out how to use stock radiator skid and 5/8" shackles not pictured)



Pics below are the L bracket on 'before photos' showing how the holes to the frame just don't line up, and some of the gap where the L portion that bolts to the actual bumper was just too tall.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Support bracket before 2.JPG (96.6 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg Support bracket before.JPG (91.4 KB, 69 views)
File Type: jpg Support bracket holes.JPG (65.1 KB, 69 views)
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Last edited by ZheKing; 03-28-2017 at 11:33 AM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Initially, I thought I was going to have to cut the corners to make it slide up in to the frame bumper support flanges, which I did, however, once I got it bolted up on one side, I saw that was not necessary (Sorry for the blurry of the first photo with the cut corners). In the end, I had to cut a portion of the top off of the L part that bolts to the actual bumper (seen below), and then to make the holes in the back line up, I just cut all the way in between them to give me the most flexibility to slide it forwards and backwards. This was absolutely not necessary, as only the back hole had to be moved up (about another hole width forward of what they give you) and the front hole had to be moved back about half a hole. You can also see where I had to cut the L portion that bolts to the actual bumper shorter below.

The biggest hassle was figuring out exactly where it needed to be cut. After measuring, marking with a black sharpy (all I had, was a huge hassle trying to see on black paint at night) dremmeling, grinding, sanding, I finally just stopped caring about it being pretty and got the saw saz out and went to work. Once I got the first one done, the second one took about 10-15 minutes since I only had to make a few cuts. It also seemed like once I got the frame bolts in, and tight, and then tightened the bumper bolts, it probably had to bend it some just slightly in to place, I was using an air tool so that was no big deal, hand tool might be harder, but it was mounted extremely solid with just the L brackets right (main bumper bolts were lose just to try and give adjustment for the L brackets, which ended up not really being an issue once I cut them). You can see what I mean about needing to slightly bend in the first post, Photo #2 where I'm holding the frame portion of the bracket flush, but the bumper portion has a gap. As mentioned, this didn't seem to be an issue at all, but felt like it was worth noting.

Tomorrow, I plan on getting some larger washers for the "frame bolts", as I don't like how little of the built in washer is on the L bracket (this would've happened even had I not need to move the holes, as you can see, I cut them straight from end to end, and had the holes lined up, it still would've been slim on the sides). I also plan on pulling the L bracket back off and hitting the portions with bare steel showing where I cut with some rattle can primer and paint.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cut corners.JPG (118.0 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg Bumper bolts.JPG (60.4 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg Frame bolts.JPG (114.1 KB, 292 views)

Last edited by ZheKing; 03-10-2017 at 11:52 PM.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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bumper cover is cut, you can actually mount the solenoid (if you have smittybuilt, not sure other brands) on the winch if you get creative like I did... originally had it over the motor, put vertical mount and move the right side holes down about a hole length. finally put the cable on, no issues with that so far.more to come. it's a tight squeeze but it works and isn't hanging out WAAY over the bumper cover. and YES i know they said you had to relocate, but i didn't want to, figured I'd just get creative. LOL. Weather has been crappy, but getting nice finally. will try to update more after this weekend.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Vertical.JPG (133.2 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg Original.JPG (130.0 KB, 33 views)

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Bumper and bumper cover are finally mounted. First thing, they've clearly changed the design between the photos on their site, and the final product. I had to trim WAAAAAY out past the clevis mounts because of a V they added for more support I guess? Here is the stock photos from website.





You can see how they had it trimmed. You can see how far I had to go because of the V addition below. Was a little irritating having to trim that far out. Second, It doesn't look like they accounted for fog lights very well, this is what it ended up looking like once plugged in. I hated to put that much bend and strain on the wire, but i had no other option.

ultimately, I did a vertical mount with my solenoid as mentioned above, and just simply cut a hole for the winch remote. I will cut another matching hole in the grill guard. I also ended up cutting a spot for the winch clutch lever, though I will probably clock that forward and cover that cut spot up with the grill guard. (Updated: clocked that winch gear forward to get to lever. 100% easier.).

I mentioned before, and you can see in the photos, 3/4th shackles WILL NOT FIT properly. At least these Rugged Ridge ones won't (maybe other brands aren't as thick. If the clevis mounts were literally 4-5 mm further out from the bumper they'd fit. Ultimately, I wouldn't buy this again without product redesign. And I'm changing it to 2/5 stars due to the fog light kerfuffle.

Will see about fabbing some brackets for the stock radiator skid. Another update will come. (should've reserved another post oh well)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_9655.JPG (677.9 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_9651.JPG (120.2 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_9654 (1).JPG (878.1 KB, 20 views)
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Last edited by ZheKing; 03-28-2017 at 11:32 AM.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 01:37 AM
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Damn... Thanks for being the guinea pig. A company that was off by that much would not be one I would buy from. Even with those big slotted holes they still didn't line up. I'm sure you can make it work, but when I pay hundreds of $$ for a product It'd better fit without the level of modification that you have had to do. Too bad, cus their prices are decent. I'm excited to see how it turns out though.

Also the strength of this would concern me:



There is not very much on either end of the "hole" to hold that piece together. Probably not a huge deal because of how force is applied to this piece (I feel like it is usually pulled up into the frame rail as opposed to laterally) but still a bit odd.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbatrossCafe View Post
Damn... Thanks for being the guinea pig. A company that was off by that much would not be one I would buy from. Even with those big slotted holes they still didn't line up. I'm sure you can make it work, but when I pay hundreds of $$ for a product It'd better fit without the level of modification that you have had to do. Too bad, cus their prices are decent. I'm excited to see how it turns out though.

Also the strength of this would concern me:



There is not very much on either end of the "hole" to hold that piece together. Probably not a huge deal because of how force is applied to this piece (I feel like it is usually pulled up into the frame rail as opposed to laterally) but still a bit odd.
My concern would be when yanking on the bumper such as a snatch strap recovery. The front frame horns are only lightly welded to the frame because they were set up to to be pushed on in a collision, not pulled on in recoveries out wheeling. They have been known to pop the welds and seperate from the frame. The lower frame bolt holes are the strength to pull from, hence why the factory tow hook is there. But those long slots dont have any strength in the position its mounted to support a yank. I can see the weak frame welds popping and the slots just sliding out until the ends.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 08:32 AM
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My concern would be when yanking on the bumper such as a snatch strap recovery. The front frame horns are only lightly welded to the frame because they were set up to to be pushed on in a collision, not pulled on in recoveries out wheeling. They have been known to pop the welds and seperate from the frame. The lower frame bolt holes are the strength to pull from, hence why the factory tow hook is there. But those long slots dont have any strength in the position its mounted to support a yank. I can see the weak frame welds popping and the slots just sliding out until the ends.

At the very least I'd get some washers for those bolts.

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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I did get washers for the "frame bolts" on bottom, have the bumper completely mounted up with L brackets now. Did hit them with some rattle can primer / paint on the bare steel, as even over night they had gotten some minor surface rust. Not sure what changed from Friday night to Saturday morning, but getting one of the L brackets back on was the biggest PIA ever. The holes didn't want to line up horizontally that time. Not sure what magically changed over night, maybe the bumper shifted some, who knows.. Ended up just hammering hammering and prying it over to at least get the bolts started and then pulled it all in to place with some muscle (also think i ended up rethreading the frame holes on the one that was off due to the slight angle the bolts went in at finally, oh well, they're never coming out again, if they do, it's nothing that can't be re-angled again pretty easily.). needless to say, it's not ever coming off..... By not coming off i mean the bolts are all torqued down good, and it felt pretty solid in general, but I don't want to have to ever deal with this again.

Will get more pics tomorrow and update the "cutting portion" section. based on the photos on the website, and what I had to trim, maybe they made a design change? Because I had to trim ALOT more than what they did in their photos. Current progress is bumper mounted, bumper cover is trimmed (for the most part pending any small adjustments for the winch that might need to be trimmed), winch and lead are mounted and cables are run up to the battery.

All thats left is clock the winch (hopefully it will work and line up because I REALLY do not feel like relocating the solenoid or messing with this too much more anymore), and then make the bumper cover "look pretty". some of the cuts are a little rough.

One other thing I noticed when mounting the winch, that I will ahve to update one of the above posts on, the holes for the lead and the winch and junk are SO damn wide and big, I ended up having to go get 6 washers for those things (2 lead, 4 winch), not a big deal it was $.98 cents for the 6 washers, but it's just something else I had to go to the Lowes and get and deal with. 1, I should've noticed and known, but 2. making MENTION of these things on the product page would be FANTASTIC..... it's not so much I had to get them, it's that i had to drive across town with my bumper cover off (DD Golf is getting the timing belt / service done) and look like "that guy".

Literally, the time it's taken me on this, I could've done a Z turbo swap or something. hoping @Joshintexas does a solid PRG review for the community just so we have some comparison on our 2 present options.

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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updated.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 03:31 PM
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I would give the company feedback on all these things. You are the first person I know of to buy this other than the prototype. I'm sure they would appreciate it for future units.
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