Thinking of outfitting your ride with a winch mount? The process may be a bit lengthy, but it can be done even by an average DIYer. If you've got your new winch mount kit, gather all the tools you need and start off by following these instructions:
What you'll need:
- Drill bits
- Body saw
- Power drill
- Tape measure
- Winch mount kit
- Phillips screwdriver
- Socket and wrench set
- Flathead screwdriver
Removing the grill
Step 1: Prop up the hood and, with the applicable screwdriver, loosen and remove the screws holding the grill. Put the screws in a mug so as not to lose them and set aside as you'll reuse them later.
Taking the bumper off
Step 2: The part of the bumper that's under the grill is held by three push pins. Remove them and set aside. Also take the license plate off. Now, pay attention to the six plastic rivets securing the bumper to the fender well. Remove these rivets and set aside. Remove the three push pins securing the bottom of the bumper as well.
Step 3: With the flathead screwdriver slotted between the headlight and bumper, release the bumper by carefully pushing down on the retaining clip and pulling back on the bumper. Take the bumper off, along with the fog lights, if equipped.
Test-fitting the bracket and trim
Step 4: With the body saw, cut the outside edge of the hole in the bumper support. Stop cutting once you reached the side of the frame. It's important to test-fit the winch mount bracket and trim because the new bracket needs to be flushed against the frame.
Removing the horn assembly and lower radiator support
Step 5: With a 15mm socket, loosen and remove the bolts from the side brackets of the lower radiator support. Set the hardware aside for reuse.
Step 6: Take off the horn assembly using a 13mm socket, followed by the lower plastic radiator bezel that you can remove using a 16mm socket. Finally, remove the bolts from the radiator core support, one side at a time before removing the lower radiator support.
Installing the winch bracket
Step 7: With your power drill and the appropriate drill bit, make four holes on the side of the frame.
Step 8: Position the winch mount bracket inside the frame and the outer winch support bracket on the outside part of the frame, and then secure them with the bolts and washers included in the kit.
Installing the winch plate
Step 9: Position the lower radiator bezel to the newly installed brackets with the supplied bolts and washers. With the 17mm and 19mm socket, insert the bolts but don't tighten them.
Step 10: Using the supplied bolts and nuts, install the winch plate. Tighten the winch mount bracket bolts first using 17mm and 19mm socket, followed by the winch plate bolts with a 22mm socket.
Preparing the bumper
Step 11: Place the bumper on the work table and discard the styrofoam from behind the bumper.
Step 12: With your tape measure, measure 8. on both sides of the step on the top portion of the bumper and label it. On both sides of the bumper's raised part, put a 37. piece of tape straight up with the body line.
Step 13: From the top of the bumper, measure 1/2. down and put a tape across.from one 37. tape to the other 37. tape.
Step 14: Using cut-off wheel or body saw, cut on the outside part of the tape up to the bumper's outer edge. You'll also need to make horizontal cuts following the outside piece of the tape.
Step 15: Peel off the tape going across the bumper, measure 1/4. down from the cut, and mark it. Cut that 1/4. mark from the bumper and remove.
Step 16: Measure 1 1/4. over from both sides of the raised portion of the bumper and mark. From the cut area, measure 2. and mark. Cut the area off and test-fit the bumper on the new winch mount plate and trim.
Installing the winch
Step 17: Position the winch and route the power wires via the hole under and behind the passenger-side headlight up to the battery. Reinstall the horn assembly lower side brackets, bumper, and grill and secure them with their respective hardware.