Zorba's JeepStandard parts aren't. Interchangeable parts won't. Especially when the "standard" isn't really a standard, just a widespread practice with slightly different interpretations. In this case, getting the winch to mount to the plate was a challenge because the bolts and nut assembly for the hawse pushed the winch back just the tiniest amount so that it wouldn't bolt up. So I had to get creative with the hawse bolts, placing both the lockwasher and flat washer under the head and not having any washer at all under the nut. I did put a squirt of "Locktite" on the threads - as its a non-stressed assembly, it should be fine. I think "Rugged Ridge", the maker of this particular winch plate, needs to change their hole placement just a tiny bit - but the plate is otherwise very well made.
Mostly Jeep stuff, mostly Xmas loot.
"BPA Racing" 10 ton snatch block.
Folding shovel, or "E-tool".
Will help get the Jeep unstuck if necessary.
Real U.S.G.I. surplus by Ames, not Chinese junk!
Previously acquired hawse fairlead, installed on "Rugged Ridge" winch plate.
Backside of hawse is radiused for synthetic winch line.
Bolt, nut, lockwasher holding hawse on.
Nope. Winch wouldn't mount, so I swapped the lockwasher with the flat washer...
Nope. Still wouldn't fit. Both lockwasher and flat washer are under the bolt head. See text.
Finally! Winch bolted to plate with penta headed security bolts.
Skipping ahead, the nut barely fits between the fairlead bracket and the winch body.
Plastic swaybar cover removed.
Spacer for rear of plate.
Spacers had to be cut down to fit.
Winch and plate set in place.
Stock recovery hook won't fit, a known issue with these when using a raised winch plate.
Grinder to the rescue!
Took a LOT of grinding, I had to quench the part several times before checking for fit.
Didn't have to grind off much!
Much better fit.
Have to prime...
... and re-paint the part before reinstallation.
Assembly complete sans one hook which hadn't been ground down yet.
Top down view of said hook, now installed. Stock bolts were fine for the hooks,
but the rearmost bolt shared with the swaybar bushing hold-down was too short
after adding ½" of steel to the top of it, so new bolts had to be procured. The
OEM bolt was about 40mm long, I needed a 50mm, but 60 was the only thing available!
Keep it covered when not in use - esp. in Florida!
The seller of the winch gave me the old, rusty mounting hardware for reference - ⅜" bolts and hex nuts. Hex nuts are incorrect, you're supposed to use square nuts that fit in recesses in the base of the winch. So I sourced the correct square nuts. Then, as winches are targets for thieves, I decided to use non-standard bolts to hold it in place - so sourced some nice stainless penta-headed security bolts. Of course, that caused yet another problem in that the bolts came in two sizes, too long and too short! So I went with "too long", and made up the difference with the ¼" thick square washers as shown. As the plate is attached to the Jeep with 4 huge Torx headed bolts, I figured that was already unconventional enough to help deter most thieves from trying to lift the winch and plate both together.
I had purchased this winch plate from "Amazon Warehouse" for 50 cents on the dollar or less - so I wasn't too upset to find that the rear spacers that are apparently supposed to come with it were nowhere to be found. When I had purchased the square washers for the winch bolt-up, I was slightly annoyed that I had to buy six of them instead of the needed four! Good thing - I was able to use the remaining pair to fab new rear spacers!
The other issue lies with the OEM recovery hooks. To the best of my knowledge, nobody makes a raised style winch plate that will work with these hooks correctly, although they will work with a flat plate. I have no idea why this situation with (apparently) all raised plates exists - if the raised portion didn't start its slope for another inch inward, the OEM hooks would fit fine! There are several options for dealing with this that I've seen: A) Swap the OEM hooks from side to side - won't work if you have OEM fog lites like this Jeep does. B) Omit the hooks and install another type of recovery point - difficult to do with the stock bumper. C) Replace the hooks with an aftermarket style - cheap enough at about $12.
However, I always have to be different. I went with D) None of the above - instead I ground off the small amount necessary to enable the OEM hooks to be used in their original locations. I had to re-prime and re-paint them, but that was easy enough. Took a bit to grind off the material needed, but its done now!
Main power wiring installed and operational. The wiring that the previous owner purchased was too short for the positive lead, although the negative was long enough. Plus that wiring was #4 AWG, adequate but not as good as the #2 AWG main positive lead I purchased from Battery Cables USA. So I used the provided and long enough #4 AWG negative - only because its redundant with vehicle ground anyway. I also used a short length of the #4 positive to run from the battery to the solenoid.
500 amp solenoid to control master power to the winch...
With 500 amp fuse.
One side of coil grounded.
Mounted on firewall. Gotta "do something" about that vacuum line...
Fixed. Added an elbow, rerouted the line. Stress on same eliminated.
Wired up, with temporary jumper wire to operate solenoid.
500 amp fuse with floating connection. See text.
#2 AWG main positive lead connected to winch.
#4 AWG negative lead. See text.
Detail shot of both leads.
Ready to test.
Local Muscovite ducklings...
In addition, I installed a 500 amp fuse "just in case". I don't particularly care for the floating connection I ended up with, but "it will do" for now at least.
The best way to connect the winch negative from a purely electrical standpoint is to ground the winch to the frame as close as possible to the winch itself, and have a very heavy ground lead the battery to the frame, also as close to the battery as possible.
UPDATE: Floating connection has been secured.
Small length of red #4 AWG wire left over...
Used the SEM trim paint to change it to black.
Connected to the winch's ground bolt.
And directly to the frame.
Side view of frame connection.
Temporarily disconnected the direct to battery negative lead for testing. See text.
However, few are wired this way. Experienced Jeepers prefer to run a negative lead all the way back to the battery, even though such can NOT possibly have as low of an impedance than the huge body/frame does. Why? Reliability. High current ground connections to the frame can be difficult to make reliably, and even harder to keep that way.
However, there's nothing saying that you can't do both! Then you have the best of both worlds - actually, even better than either grounding path would be alone. As I had a small length of left over #4 cable, I reterminated it, painted it black with the SEM trim paint, and connected it as shown in the above pictures. I used star washers on both ends for a good ground connection, and will also "glop" both ends to help keep rust out of it.
Before I started, I disconnected the winch's negative lead so I could do some testing. As I expected, there was no ground path without the negative lead - the winch mount has too much paint for a reliable connection - the solenoids wouldn't even click! Then I added the new ground connection, and the winch ran fine. As an experiment, I ran the winch with the new ground while alternately connecting and disconnecting the negative lead, and got a very slight increase in the winch's running speed when connected. I put this down mostly to the small sized negative to chassis ground lead at the battery - #6 AWG I'm pretty sure. Although it doesn't really matter with the winch's negative lead connected to the battery, I'll eventually beef up the battery's negative connection for sake of completeness.
Added aluminum tape might help brighten tail lites slightly...
A couple of glamour shots - washed and waxed it this day...
Looks great at "stage distances"!
This pix isn't anything spectacular by any means, but I'm surprised it turned out as well as it did.
It was taken in what amounts to complete darkness, save for a street light a half block away and the
Xmas lites on the house. I took it by letting it autofocus using the (external) flash's IR beacon, then
switched it to manual focus while holding the shutter button halfway, THEN releasing the button,
turning off the flash, re-metering and taking the picture - hand held for a 2.5 second exposure!
Read on for the next part!