If you don't get stuck, you aren't wheeling, you aren't testing
your limits and the limits of your vehicle. There is no shame
in getting stuck, but it is a shame to dent your freshly painted
hood. A simple reinforcement of the hood area can prevent dents
that damage the paint.
After a weekend of wheeling which included crawling out on the
hood to catch a strap, I figured it was time to add some
reinforcement to prevent dents. I had recently purchased a
welder, so I figured this would be a good harmless project
to practice my welding skills. The reinforcement could be built
with out a welder, by welding makes it easier and cleaner.
All that was required in materials was about 8 feet of 1"x1"x1/8"
angle. A circular hands saw with a metal cutting blade was used
to cut four lengths, two to span the hood front to back, a short
one for the front, and slightly longer piece for the back. A
miter saw would be excellent to make the slightly odd angle cuts,
but I didn't have one, so I just notched out the pieces to fit
The four pieces where welded together on the floor and several
holes where drilled in the front and back pieces for #10 sheet
metal screws. Several matching holes where drilled in the hood
through the hood hat sections (not down through the hood).
Once it is screwed in, the hood is much firmer. Now I wouldn't
go jumping on it, but now when I crawl out to pull out the winch
cable or catch a strap, there are no worries.