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cavsvet74 04-03-2011 10:04 PM

My first mod. Hidden winch

I didn't cut the silver bumper cover yet, so when I put that on, the winch is
totally hidden. I'm thinking of using a YJ type hinged rear license plate
bracket to cover the fairlead after I cut the silver bumper cover.

Of course, I need to take it all apart tomorrow. I need to cut the front flange
of the winch plate a little more so I can get the fourth nut on the tow hook.
I didn't notice they were blocked until I was just about done putting it all
back together. I also goofed when I ran the wiring. It's easier to redo with
the bumper off.

RatherBNarizona 04-03-2011 10:34 PM

I never thought of that. Good idea!

nick50471 04-03-2011 10:49 PM

Wow. Very clever. Can't wait to see it finished.

Raidue 04-03-2011 11:12 PM

Very cool. What size of winch are u running in there?

GREEN-MACHINE 04-04-2011 06:26 AM

i am impressed, thats awesome,,, now i would like to see you write up the whole install, so the rest of us can steal your idea,, no really you should do an indeph write up on,, nice job.:thumb:

cavsvet74 04-04-2011 09:42 AM

Thanks for all the compliments.
It's a Superwinch 8500. Got it through Costco, $499+tax, free shipping and
It came with the mounting plate and both roller and hawse fairleads.
I have a couple of parts to order tonight so I can finish everything this
weekend. I moved the winch selinoid up under the hood and I plan on
moving the plug for the winch control into the cab. When I get it all done
I'll write it up and post more pics.

jp2611 04-04-2011 09:47 AM

That is a DAMN nice job!!!-PIA to do it a couple times, but will be well worth it when done--will be looking for the write up!!!! ///more pics!!!

cavsvet74 04-04-2011 10:23 AM

Of course I have to admit, I followed someone else's write up.
If you search the forum for hidden winch you can find a few.
I'll write mine up anyway, hopefully it'll keep someone from
making the same screw ups I did.

JeeperJake 04-04-2011 10:36 AM

[Lust mode ON]

vze2372e 04-04-2011 10:40 AM

OK 1. I <3 it! 2. I like the look of my big ugly winch out for others to see - so hey, not for me, but WOW, slick job - very cool indeed

krutj 04-04-2011 11:26 AM

Nice clean install....great job!

jayc 04-04-2011 11:30 AM

Thats a great idea, kudos to your out of the box thinking

fenrir 04-04-2011 08:02 PM

put a plate on it and it gone man...nice install

4fit 04-04-2011 08:07 PM

Looks real good!

Here is a post over as JKF with lots of pics and info.
Winch mount W/factory bumper

cavsvet74 04-04-2011 09:15 PM

4fit, that's the write-up I followed to do mine. Thanks for posting the link.

I'm wondering if the JKUs don't have as moch room between the front bumper and the grill. I've seen posts of this being done to the 4doors and it seems the fairlead is always sticking out of the bumper. I can hide the fairlead completely on my 2door.

Here it is, missing only the license plate and silver bumper cover.

cavsvet74 04-04-2011 09:19 PM

I used u-bolts to attach the winch. A spring shop that works on our big trucks at work bent them up for me.

I'll let you know how they hold up when I finally use this.

cavsvet74 04-04-2011 09:26 PM

Now for my mounting problems. Hopefully this helps you avoid some headaches.

To attach the tow hooks you need to get the nuts on. The flange on the winch plate made this impossible for the top inside nut. There looks like there would be enough room to get a wrench in there but, the Fog Lights are in the way. Because of the cylindrical extensions on the steel bumper, the plastic bumper needs to be put on the steel first and it all gets bolted on as one piece.

The yellow line marks the extra piece of the flange I had to cut.
This is me fixing my screw up.

cavsvet74 04-04-2011 09:34 PM

The other problem is with the clutch lever on the winch.
Mine hits the cross member of the frame below the bumper.
I cannot switch the winch from power to frees pool. I'm trying to rework the clutch lever, should have it sorted out in a day or two.
The lever is supposed to sit inside the chrome ring in this pic.
Winches with a sliding clutch control should not have a problem with this. I also did not want to cut into that frame piece. After all, that is what is protecting the winch now.

jk'n 04-04-2011 11:19 PM

<lust mode on> Geeeesh....I wish I hadn't seen this thread....gulp....<lust mode off>

What a great idea. The license plate will hide the install from my wife! I was wondering how I was going to purchase a winch and now I think I can make it a go! :dance:

Schwheelz 04-04-2011 11:47 PM


Originally Posted by jayc
Thats a great idea, kudos to your out of the box thinking

More in the box... Rofl :P

cavsvet74 04-05-2011 09:07 PM

Ok, the wiring is pretty much done. I'm just waiting on new battery terminals with extra studs (ordered from Quadratech),so I can tidy up under the hood.

This is where the winch selinoid ended up...

The outlet plug forr the winch control went on the bottom left side of the dash...

And here is my modified clutch release lever for the winch...

Now all I need is my hinged license plate bracket (ordered with the battery terminals), and I WILL BE DONE! :dance:

cavsvet74 04-07-2011 07:54 PM

Ok, it's done!:punk:

Winch? What winch?

Oh, that winch.

Yep, I'm pretty stoked about how it turned out.:dance:

nick50471 04-07-2011 08:00 PM

:thumb:Looks Great

webbie1970 04-07-2011 08:06 PM

Awesome work looks great.

jp2611 04-08-2011 06:00 AM

That is sweet. Almost wish my TJ had a bumper I could hide a winch in----maybe I need to get a Jk to room with my TJ-------------ANYWAY NICE JOB!!!!!!

JeeperJake 04-25-2011 07:26 PM

I'm going to have to print this out and, *kaff*kaff* review for technical points.

How does it work in practice?

cavsvet74 04-25-2011 07:40 PM

I haven't had a chance to actually use the winch yet.

I still need to figure some way to hold the license plate open.
Just using a small bungee cord for now.

gbtb87 04-25-2011 08:23 PM

Nice job I'm looking to do a winch in the near future,
this is a great idea!!!

deathphoenix99 04-25-2011 08:30 PM

Looks great! Excellent job, can't wait to see how well it holds up for you.

haisma 04-25-2011 08:35 PM

you made it all nice and pretty you might just need to use a stick to hold the license plate open.

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