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Old 08-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #1
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Hidden winch instal

Last year I installed a Harbor Freight 12,000 winch inside my wife's stock front bumper. I got a $299 coupon for a 12,000lb winch In the mail the other day so I decided it was my turn for a winch.

Here is the winch installed upside down:


Here is the plastic stock bumper cut and mounted (yes I have to clean it).


Completely hidden


This is where I put the control box and vacuum pump

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Old 08-07-2013, 06:17 PM   #2
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That looks amazing, good work! The silver cover, is it easy removal to use the winch?

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Old 08-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
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Nice set up...Very clean install. Awesome job.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
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Awesome job. This is an excellent option for those that want a recovery option but don't want to spend the money on a new front bumper.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:12 PM   #5
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Very nice work! Looks like you flipped the mounting plate upside down? What was involved in moving the steering pump?
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #6
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Very nice. How much would you charge me to install mine
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:22 PM   #7
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Very slick! Will the winch operate reliably upside-down?
And How did you modify your bumper into a mid-stubby? very cool!
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:28 PM   #8
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Awesome job! What did you use for a winch plate?
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:37 PM   #9
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Nice! I'm hiding mine too in an aftermarket bumper, not a hidden as yours though! Tres stealth!
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:08 PM   #10
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Could you post the steps to do this? Or at least some pointers or things you learned from this? I've been planning on doing something similar.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Ew View Post
That looks amazing, good work! The silver cover, is it easy removal to use the winch?
The silver cover usually is held on by 8 screws, top and bottom edges. I have it held on by only two screws now, where the dealer drilled holes for the license plate. If I go wheeling I would take the cover off ahead of time.

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KBoB Very nice work! Looks like you flipped the mounting plate upside down? What was involved in moving the steering pump?
The winch doesn't care if it is upside down or not, and it has no effect on its reliability. The steering pump was not moved, the vacuum pump was. I used the Or-fab kit to relocate the pump.

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Neral22 Very nice. How much would you charge me to install mine
It's a lot of work, it took me a day and a half.

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slapmypc Very slick! Will the winch operate reliably upside-down?
And How did you modify your bumper into a mid-stubby? very cool!
I used VDP stubby end caps, it was super easy.

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dcaprio Awesome job! What did you use for a winch plate?
I used the universal plate from harbor freight ($40). The front and rear lip had to be trimmed, but that was a quick job.

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JeepChad Could you post the steps to do this? Or at least some pointers or things you learned from this? I've been planning on doing something similar.
There is a write up somewhere, I'll see if I can find you the link
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:29 AM   #12
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Very nice. I rather like it exposed, but that's a personal preference. You could probably put the plastic cover on with Velcro if you wanted. I have my motorcycle tag on with Velcro with no issues. I moved it closer to the tail light and had to be able to get to the seat lock. Your cover has the wind pushing it on, so it would be even more secure for you.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:35 AM   #13
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excellent - this seems very cost effective, too. just under $400?
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by NHflannelman12JK76CJ5 View Post
excellent - this seems very cost effective, too. just under $400?
Winch- $299 (sale price)
Winch plate- $40
12' jumper cables (6 gauge) used to extend the winch control box- $17

So $357 plus tax

And for another $30 you can but a wireless winch remote
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:51 AM   #15
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Great job, been doing some research and looking for stock bumper and winch threads.

How much would you estimate the winch/plate/fairlead weighs? I'd really like to do that but I have the lightest front springs (13s) and a spacer leveling kit, I'd like to hang some weights on the front and see how much it will drop.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:23 AM   #16
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Are there any space limitations when it came to installing the winch? Or will most any winch fit?
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:00 PM   #17
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Great job, been doing some research and looking for stock bumper and winch threads.

How much would you estimate the winch/plate/fairlead weighs? I'd really like to do that but I have the lightest front springs (13s) and a spacer leveling kit, I'd like to hang some weights on the front and see how much it will drop.
According to google the winch is 88lbs, so maybe another 10 for the plate
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:02 PM   #18
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Are there any space limitations when it came to installing the winch? Or will most any winch fit?
The space is tight and several areas need to be modified to make it fit (mostly the inner metal bumper). I'm not sure about other winches.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:45 PM   #19
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According to google the winch is 88lbs, so maybe another 10 for the plate
Thanks, the plate is lighter than I thought. Have to stop by Harbor Freight and check them out.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:44 PM   #20
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I'd be curious to see a step by step myself.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:27 AM   #21
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Me too!
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:58 AM   #22
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X3

I'm wanting to do something similar and have no idea where to start.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #23
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Just tried to get that sale price here in Alberta, and they said no... 399 website price is the best they can do... Flip.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:09 PM   #24
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SORRY TO BUMP THREAD, SOMEONE WANTED ME TO FIX THE PICTURE LINKS

Last year I installed a Harbor Freight 12,000 winch inside my wife's stock front bumper. I got a $299 coupon for a 12,000lb winch in the mail the other day so I decided it was my turn for a winch.

Here is the winch installed upside down:


Here is the plastic stock bumper cut and mounted (yes I have to clean it).


Completely hidden


This is where I put the control box and vacuum pump
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:54 AM   #25
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is it just me? i can't see any pix... trying to install one soon
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:15 PM   #26
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Very nice work!
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:33 PM   #27
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is it just me? i can't see any pix... trying to install one soon
All the pictures in post 1 were re hosted in post 24. They are all working for me

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