Introduction: Build Your Own Omen Wakeboard Winch From Beach

About: I'm a 4th year physics/engineering teacher living in China Spring, TX. I like to make learning fun and interesting along with my other hobbies as a DIY enthusaist and being a great husband/father. In my spare …

This is our second winch build on instructables. Click Here to view our first winch build. Here is a step by step wakeboard winch build from our website I will try to give every detail of the build so you can have a basic understanding before and during the build.

Wakeboard winches have been around for years now and help wakeboarder, wakeskaters, and even snowboard and skiers to work on their skills and certian tricks. The simple design of these winches help them to be portable to be taking to places boats or jetskis can't go. These winches are a lot of fun to take everywhere! Enjoy the instructable and if you have any questions just leave your questions in the comments.

Step 1: Pre-Build: Gather Winch Parts

Before your start, here is a list of parts you will need. I have saved you a lot of Google searchs and included links to cheap parts we currently sell in our store so you can follow this list and have all the parts to get you started. The links are to help with your with your search. I encourage to look around the web for the best deals.

 Part, Quantity
Sprocket for #40/41 Chain, 55 Tooth, 1" Bore X1 
TAV2 30 Comet torque converter, 3/4" Bore, 10 toothed sprocket X1
1" Solid Steel Axle 1/4 keyway  need 36"  
Xtreme #40/41 High Perf. Racing Chain need 10' (you can always shorten a chain)   
Northern Tools 1in. Hydraulic Pillow Block X 2
WARN Works® Roller Fairlead X1
2-Piece, 4-Hole 6in. Split Rim X1
SGL FL Kart Hub 4H 1in. Bore X3

The torque converter in this build uses a Comet 30 Series. But the Comet Company went out of business so parts are hard to find. The TAV2 is a good torque converter and can replace our Comet 30 Series so do not be afraid if your winch does not look the same as ours. Use this build as a guide to your winch. That list is just the main mechanics of your winch. You still will need a spool (8in inner diameter, minimum of 12" diameter sidewalls) and choose a material type for your winch frame. For me the easiest to get was galvanized steel. It is a good option on the cheap side that will not corrode. The steel has a zinc coating bonded, so that if you grind it down it is still protected. But once you heat it up to weld it that zinc gets vaporized so you need to use an anti rust primer on all your welds. Also note that zinc vapors are pretty bad so watch out when you do your welding. Buy 2X2 steel so that it fits right into a tow hitch receiver. You also need a thick plate of steel, diamond plate is cool cause its pimp. That plate will be used to mount the engine so it must not vibrate, 4-5mm is a good thickness. That's it for the materials side of things.

Now you need to pick an engine. We sell a great 6.5 Horsepower Engine Here The transmission used for this design is a TAV2 30 Comet torque converter. Just make sure you order the right engine bore size so the engine and torque converter will work together. This leads to our engine choice. Most winches I've seen, including the first edition of the Distortion Grinch are using 6.5HP with a Torq-A-Verter or something kit. So counting the engine, all the parts from that list, and added materials for construction you are 100% sure to be under $1000.

So this is what we ordered. Now that all is here, let's get some winch building going!!!

Step 2: The Spool

Hard Plastic or Metal for Sidewalls. (minimum of 12" diameter for sidewalls)
1/2" aluminum tubing 8 foot
1/2" threaded rod 8 foot
Split Rim
1" solid steel rod with 1/4 keyway
Nuts & Washers

We pondered for a while on how to do that spool! I knew I had to have a 15 inch diameter spool and about the width of the engine. We figured we would cut a round plate of steel to make the sidewalls. We looked around for something circular to make a guide to draw it out and BAM it hit us... Our 300mm metal grinding disks were a perfect fit! So they got slapped on the spool right away, this by the way will play a trick on us later on... Here are a few pictures of the spool building process, it's pretty straightforward. Split the rim you bought, and use the two kart hubs to make the spool sides. Just look at the pictures, it's easy to tell what needs to be done.

*DISCLAIMER: Do not use metal grinding disks for your build! They will take off fingers at high speeds. Use a hard plastic or metal instead. We used it for our winch because we fully covered the spool.

This is most of what will be used to make the spool. I got that rope from a sailing shop here, it looks great but lets hope it doesn't stretch and holds up! There is about 650ft of rope. But can only strongly advise to get a good rope from the start, it can only save on later frustration when you are hitting that perfect spot and your old ass cheap rope breaks. That's why I would suggest iRide's Pro Line. They make it for winches and it is way worth it. 

Step 3: Cutting the Engine Plate

I can't give you exact measures for your engine plate. It can vary on how you want your winch to be. I'll give you pointers on how we did it.

That's how you want it to look like so you can measure and trace the engine plate shape. First drill the holes where your engine will be and screw it down temporarily. Then you want to align the jack shaft with the driven unit. Set it up for a distance of 11 inches center shaft to center shaft from engine to jack shaft. There goes the only measurement I had for that project! Note that you will find that length on the belt packaging Then you can use the pillow blocks bearings to fine tune the belt tension. Once all is aligned roughly besides that 11inch distance draw out your engine plate and cut it. You need to make a groove in it, check the next picture to see what I mean.

Step 4: Welding the Base of the Frame

Now you want to line up the base of the frame before the welding fun starts! We first wanted to make 45 degree angles but that didn't go too well with our old metal cutting machine... We went for basic angles and since a single point of welding can hold over a ton lets assume our lame ass job will hold up at least half of that! So the welding started! Elvis went first as he was the only one that had done it once at school years ago... But I must admit we did a pretty good job for first time welding noobs... It probably wont look good, but it will hold up!

Step 5: The Local Touch

Then comes in the touch: grab a surfer buddy and steal his old pair of quicksilver flip flops. Then cut them in squares and use only the thick lower part of the sole. And voila!! Very cool engine mount dampeners! It looks alright for now, and it might even help! We'll see about that when the engine runs.

Step 6: Making the Spool Supports

You need to line up everything to take your final measurements. Check 1000000 times that it is 11inch from the center of the engine shaft and the center of the 1" axle for the chain tension. Then lift up the spool to get the chain at a good tension.

I know this all seems very random but not having any measurement to start from has worked pretty good for us till now. Now measure how high you want your spool axle to be and how far from the back of your winch it will be. Then draw up a side view of your winch using a 1/10th scale for example and define how you want your support bars to be. This is what we came up with. Note that only one side is done... We ran short on metal cutting disks and couldn't do the final two cuts! And of course it's new years week end so the winch project will be on a break at this point. That was the drawback of using them as sidewalls lol.

Ok I finally got some metal cutting disks and it was back on like donkey kong (sorry)! We welded the other support, the bottom tube that goes into the tow hitch and we made some handles out of the spare tubing we had. Those handles can also serve to stake the winch down. You also want to cut plates the size of the tubing openings to close the frame, you don't want sand and whatnot to fill up your nice pimp frame! After all the welding and grinding done this is how the frame looks behind the truck. Once on the truck mark how long you want your support to be and where you need to drill the hole for the pin. Note that it is still missing the rope guide. This will be welded on after we know where the spool will be precisely.

Step 7: Making the Rope Guide

You can now position the spool where it should stand so that the chain is how it should be, not too tight, not too loose, you might want to aim for a loose fit if you plan to use a chain tensioner. You want your spool as low as possible to make the winch more stable when it's on the ground, that's also why we went for a longer frame than what was needed. Once in place with the pillow blocks on the sides you can mark where you need your holes to be on the support arms to hold the bearings. Now drill, bolt and bam, the whole system is linked!!!

The only thing left now is to weld the guiding roller in place according to where your spool is. Yes, once more you need to unscrew everything off the frame to weld, again. And it wont be the last!

Step 8: Making the Engine Shield

We used a steel plate to shield the engine from all the water and dirt spray of the spool. Make a first steel plate the width of the thinnest part of your engine plate, the one at the front of it, and about an inch higher than your engine. Also make one triangle support for that plate and another smaller plate the same width as the first one but only 4-6 inches long. In the picture you can see two triangles, but only one is really needed, two was overkill.

Pic 2
Weld the two plates together at a small angle and weld the support triangle on the main plate.

Pic 3
Now weld the shield you just made to the end of the engine plate. Make sure your shield doesn't get in the spool way!!

Pic 4
After our initial tests we noticed that you want to have a wider shield, this is how we tweaked ours.

Pic 5
We added two joint-frames so the top part could flip up to allow for spool assembly and cleaning.

If you still need to close ending of tubes (like us) now is the time to do so because the frame is DONE.

Step 9: Prepping for Protective Coat

Use a metal brush to make all those solders and tubes shine like a penny, then grind down all the excess welds to make it look cleaner, or don't to make it look rough. Just make sure you grind or metal brush everything to help whatever coat coming next to hold on. Put a coat of anti rust paint primer on all of your welds, that is the only protection they will get for now, they no longer have the zinc protecting the steel.

That's it now do what you want with it. We are going to use Line X, a truck bed spray on protection, on the whole frame.

Step 10: Finishing Assembly

Now that you have a nice raw looking frame you have to give it some love! I went to a friend's that does stickers and has all the needed machines. The Omenization started!

Step 11: Finish Assembly

Once the frame is done being pimped it is time to put everything back on. Start as always with the engine. This time you want to add silicone between the “local touch” blocks. This is to make sure sand or dirt doesn't build up in the small space that is left between the engine and the mounting plate. You also want to use that sealant on all of your bolts.

To be on the safe side use what you have left of anti rust paint primer on all your bolts and whatever else you think needs a layer a protection. Make sure you keep your chain greased (marine grease), your belt dry and after each use put some sort of protective spray on your engine like WD40 but Inox is better, or any kind of spray on protection. Check your bolts, the belt and chain tension often. Also make sure you follow your engine guidebook for oil change, that's how you keep a 4 stroke happy.

Step 12: Final Product

Thanks to Din, Hamata (Elvis), Nico and Tam for their help, without them it would have been a hell of a lot harder if not close to impossible!! And again, thanks to Chris for his guidelines and his help. Now go get yours done!
Different angles of the finished winch, on one of the pics you can see a tube we use as throttle control, best we got till we hook up a boat throttle, I'll updated the guide as the winch evolves.

Thank you for viewing our latest beach winch!
For Winch Parts go to our parts store
Beach Winches website

Epilog Challenge

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge