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fitting it turns out the horizontal piece fit at 43 3/8" there was about 1/8 of undercoating sprayed on that accounted for needing that extra 1/8. so the horizontal is fine at 43 3/8.

update: I got it welded and fitted up. I added two pieces of angle on the bottom and drilled and tapped and bolted it together as well. Angle was welded underneath. I think this helped me more to put it together so it didn't misalign but I believe the bolts will add some shear strength to this. used grade 8 bolts.

next thing is to buy the winch im really looked forward to it thanks a lot for this thread.
I'm starting to build this my self during quarantine. Can you recommend the bolds that you purchased, what length and diameter
 

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2007 FJC 4x4.
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I realize this is the DIY thread, but I noticed the ASFIR one is currently $378 shipped (as of now 4/6/20). Seems like a really solid deal..... y'know, in case you get sick of welding....

 

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About to install the winch and see how it fits up. One thing that is for sure is the rails can be an inch higher. This would allow to put a second bolt or pin into the frame or make it that bit stronger having a thicker throat where it goes up and connects with the horizontal. However the design definitely strong enough.


You could use 3/8 plate for the rails and gusset the corners to add tow hooks as well. Will post up when its complete in a few days.
Do you think that the tow hooks would hold with just the 1/4" plate or the rails would definitely bend using that thickness?
 
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