If you travel off-road, through extreme weather, or work in remote locations, a winch can very well pay for itself in no time. There are several ways to mount a winch on a truck or SUV, but permanently mounting it to a winch plate is by far the most secure. You will need to buy or fabricate a plate that is specific to your vehicle, so be sure to check with the manufacturer of the winch for the right part. Brackets and mounts will vary by vehicle model.
Things You'll Need
- Winch mounting plate and mounting hardware
- Set of wrenches in multiple sizes
- Socket set
- Thread locking compound
Select the area of the truck where you want to mount the winch. You will need a mounting plate and hardware kit to work in the position you selected. You will most likely need to get this from the winch manufacturer or the dealer where you bought the winch.
Install the mounting plate using the hardware kit and carefully follow the directions specific to your vehicle. There are brackets that will be bolted to the frame to secure the plate and these can be installed using an open-end wrench or socket and ratchet.
Coat the threads of the mounting bolts that came with your winch with a thread-locking compound. There are several brands; use the brand that you prefer.
Slide the four mounting bolts for the winch through the holes in the mounting plate and thread them into the winch. The mounting holes are located on the base of the winch on most popular models.
Install the wiring for the winch by routing the red (or hot) wire to the battery's positive terminal and attach the ring connector under the bolt. If you are using an aftermarket battery, there are several available that include a smaller terminal that will accept the ring connector. In this case, you secure it with a nut independent of the main terminal.
Route the black (or ground) wire to the frame of the truck and solidly attach it making sure you have a good ground. Be sure to route the wires carefully so that they do not get caught in any moving parts or run over anything hot that could melt the insulation and cause a short.
Tips & Warnings
- There are several different control boxes that will idle the engine up as you load the winch, in order to control voltage drop from the alternator. This is a great addition when you install a winch, but it is not a required item.
- Be very careful as you route you wires from the winch. Sharp edges, hot engine parts or moving parts like fans can damage the wires.
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