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  #1  
Unread 7th June 2017, 03:50 AM
Rambler Rambler is offline
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Default Soft shackle better option for light vehicles?

I'm having trouble finding a bow shackle that will fit through the tie down recovery points on my '06 Forester, the 3.2T shackles that came with my vehicle recovery kit are too large to fit through the holes. I'm looking for other options as I'm reluctant to buy anything smaller with a lower rating, as a shackle is definitely not the first thing I want to break!

I'm wondering if soft shackles might be a better option for our cars. Even the cheapest ones are rated at BS of around 14T, and of course there's the advantage of not having metal flying around should something go wrong, especially considering Subaru tie down recovery points are not the strongest.

Brand I'm looking at is 'Gatorjaw'. Website says they're good for recovery use.

http://www.bubbarope.com/gator-jaw-soft-shackle

They look good to me. Only issue I can see is that it says not use on a 'sharp edged tow point', but you could always round it off with a file?
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Unread 7th June 2017, 05:18 AM
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You are referring to the front? I have no issues fitting 3.2t bow shackles.
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Unread 7th June 2017, 05:30 AM
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I carry a couple of Wet Tech soft shackles (along with normal shackles) - I use them whenever I can in preference to the metal version.
http://www.wettechrigging.com.au/pro...-soft-shackles
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Unread 7th June 2017, 07:57 AM
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I've got 3.2t rated bow shackles on my 03 Forester and they fit through the front recovery points ok.
My 25t shackles for the fire truck do not fit. They are big and damn heavy!
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Unread 7th June 2017, 02:35 PM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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I have 2 Gatorjaw shackles. I have not had to use any but I definitely prefer them to metal ones.

I also have a standard metal shackle for the hitch recovery insert.

I have noticed that 4x4s here now come with open end recovery points that eliminate the need for shackles altogether. Great idea.
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Unread 7th June 2017, 10:12 PM
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The two great things about soft shackles is that they don't present any mass to fly off and injure someone in the event of failure, and they are quite easy to make yourself.

A couple of bucks worth of dyneema, a diamond knot and a simple bury splice.

I have two concerns regarding their use on std Subaru metal-plate with hole type recovery points:
1/ chafe on the sharp edges - can be mitigated with some chafe cover
2/ the very small bend radius reduces the breaking strength. It should be at least 1:1 (bend radius / line diameter) to preserve the line breaking strength. at least 6mm radius (assuming you've used 6mm line for the shackle). The standard recovery points present about a 3mm bend radius if that.

Another supplier here - you can see some minimal attempt at chafe sleeve: http://www.marks4wd.com/sb035.html

I'm actually quite alarmed that none of the suppliers of these things mention the dangers of small bend radius. They certainly don't seem to take as much care as arborist or climbing gear suppliers, for example.
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Unread 7th June 2017, 10:35 PM
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eg: here's some test results using a simple plate with holes in it -- much like a subaru recovery point. 30% reduction in strength.

http://www.balancecommunity.com/slac...les-weaknesses
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  #8  
Unread 8th June 2017, 08:05 AM
Rambler Rambler is offline
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Ha. Just realised the removable screw fits easily and can just be threaded in, no need to get the whole bow shackle through. That's embarrassing. I'll pick up a set if I end up using these enough.

Good info Duncan, I wonder if one of these rope thimbles would do the trick.
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  #9  
Unread 8th June 2017, 08:44 PM
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Haha. That's how they're meant to be used, Rambler!

Hands up all those who have never been caught out by something simple like this ... .
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  #10  
Unread 8th June 2017, 09:30 PM
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I have a 14T soft shackle from ebay but will only use it to join straps, I won't use it to attach to a recovery point for the reasons mentioned. This is the same as I got (just bought another... the last one, sorry lol):
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/4WD-Bow-S...oAAOSwONBZCO0p
or
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/4WD-Bow-S...AAAOSwcgNZCO0p
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