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After 4 years of
modifications to my CJ I have reached the readiness for a winch. After
additions like lockers, tires, transmissions, etc. I realize that my Jeep can
take me further than ever before. A winch is an item that truly
compliments a Jeep in both appearance and function. It offers a sense of
security and confidence when off-roading.
I pondered for a long time
about which winch I would buy. I have always been partial to Warn winches,
perhaps because of their long history and good products. I also liked the
"look" of the warn on the front of Jeeps.
Not too long ago I bought a Durango
4X4 bumper for my CJ, this bumper includes a protective bar that helps
prevent damage to the winch.
I picked up the winch and
mounting plate from OK Auto, I was surprised on the small size of the winch box
(a). All I had to do was pick up the box to tell there was something very
heavy inside. After unboxing and inspecting everything (b) I was ready to
get started. I started out with the mounting plate (c) The
installation is quite simple, there is two L shaped brackets with large bolts
that attach to the sides of the frame (d). The bolts fit in existing holes
so there is no drilling required. Next, spacers were installed on top of
the L brackets below the mounting plate. I did a test fit of the mounting
plate and discovered that the plate's holes needed to be elongated because my
Jeeps frame is slightly wider (e). After achieving a proper fit the
fairlead is then installed to the mounting plate followed by the winch.
Now the winch, fairlead, and mounting plate can be installed onto the L brackets
and bolted into place (f & g).
Now that the winch is
securely mounted to the front of the Jeep (h) it was now time to move onto
wiring. My CJ is equipped with an Optima
battery (i), this made things easier and neater because an Optima battery has
top and side terminals. Optima recommends that only the top terminals be
used for high load equipment like a winch. This meant that I was going to
move the general Jeep power leads to the side terminals and the winch leads
would go on top. I picked up some new battery cables and re-routed the
lines. I then routed the winch
cables up to the battery and attached them. I added a quick disconnect to
the positive side winch lead power lead so I can disconnect the winch when not
I hooked up the controller
to the winch and gave it a test, all seemed OK. I wanted to re-spool the
cable so I drove the Jeep into my backyard and unwound the cable. After
reeling it all in I attached my Rock Equipment tow strap to a tree in my back
yard and tested the winch with a load. (m)
All in all, this was one of
the easier installations I have ever done, no welding, fabricating, cutting,
etc. As of this writing I have been offroad twice since the install. Both
times I was in situations where I was sure I was going to need to use the winch.
I was anxiously awaiting to use it but both times I luckily made it through
without. I guess I am getting good experience hooking up the controller.
I'm sure the winch
will come in handy some day.
Over thirty years of experience made Warn the leaders of the
industry. The XD8000i winch with 4 roller fairlead and 100' cable has a 8,000
Lbs rating. Featuring Series Wound Power and the unique Direct Drive Cone Break.
Spring- loaded control switches ensure safe operation and four Solenoids provide
emergency back up. 3-Stage Planetary Gears with a 216.1 Ratio deliver smooth
line pull. Sliding Ring Gear clutch for free spooling. 12 ft. remote control
included. Weather-shielded solenoids. Color-coded cables and connectors. Limited