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How to Install a Winch on a Jeep

Winch Installation on a Jeep is similar to what you would do for any other vehicle. Since Jeeps’ models differ from one another, you may have to make some modifications on your own before Mounting or Installing the Winch on your Jeep.

Jeeps are robustly built vehicles, and equipping one with a winch is going to make your investment in both the Winch and the Jeep a pleasure to utilize.

Before getting into this, please read our article on how to determine winch size for your jeep and what are some of the best jeep winches for the money.

Install a Winch on a Jeep
Source: Jlwrangler Forums

Mounting Winch on Your Jeep: Before installing a winch on your jeep, you need to find whether it can be mounted on your jeep bumper. Since many don’t have the option to mount on it and some are plastic made, you have to consider buying a steel bumper for the winch installation, holding your winch sturdy, and giving peace of mind when driving.

Things you will need,

  • Steel Bumper
  • Winch and Winch Mounting Plate
  • Fairlead and Fairlead Bracket
  • Sockets (13 mm and 18 mm)

Suspension HeightMeasure Suspension Drop: When you are about to install everything, you might be adding some extra weight to the front. Knowing how much the front suspension will drop, it is important to take some height measurements before mounting it. This is pretty important to you because if we are getting a ton of sag, we may want to add a little coil spacer to adjust the height.

Usually, the Bumper of the Jeep stands in the way of adequately installing the Winch. You may have to drill some holes through the Bumper to mount the Winch on the Jeep. Consider yourself lucky if you have a factory bumper that already has space for such installations.

Safety Precautions: Take extra caution in every winching situation. Please familiarize yourself with the operation of your winch before using it. Consistent focus on safety is of great importance. Always wear heavy-duty leather gloves when handling the winch.

Installing Winch on a Jeep

Below is the step by step instructions on how to install a winch on a jeep. These steps can be suitable for some of the popular jeeps like Jeep Wrangler JK, TJ, YJ, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Remove Plastic Fascia Plate

The first step is removing the plastic fascia plate in between the bumper. You can remove it by popping the two rivets out. It’s not needed once the winch is mounted.

Remove Skid Plate

The next step is going underneath and dropping the skid plate from below. Use a thirteen-millimeter socket to pull the bolts to get it off.

Disconnect the fog light harness once you remove the skid plate.

Removing the Bumper

Take the bolt off, connecting the bumper to the frame of your jeep from either side.

Pro Tip: You will need an 18 millimeter deep well socket to get the bumper bolts.

If you are looking after how to install a winch on a jeep under the factory bumper, follow the below steps from mounting the fairlead and a winch.

Mounting Fairlead to Bumper

Attach the Fairlead with the fairlead bracket. Now line up the attached Fairlead over your Bumper and set up the Winch on top of it.

Mounting Winch to Bumper

Bolt your winch in place on the Jeep’s bumper using the provided hardware that comes with the winch.

Take the bolts and run them through the bumper’s bottom through the fairlead bracket and your winch into the nuts and tighten them.

After the basics are considered, attach the bumper back on to the Jeep.


Wire up your winch by following the instructions in the Manual. Attach the wires to the winch and hook up the Solenoid box or the Control box. You can either set it plum on top of the winch or the side, on the motor.

Next, you have to route the Positive and Negative cables from the winch to the vehicle’s Battery.

Ensure you route the cables from spaces with a negligible chance of damage or harm to the cables. Do not set them near components where they can get heated quickly or get stuck between moving parts and snap at some point.

Pro Tip: Use a wire loom or an expandable braided cable sleeve which can protect your cables from high temperature.

After attaching the specified cables in place with the Battery, tie up all loose cables to appear neatly placed under the Jeep’s hood.

Installing Winch Rope

Now everything’s all wired up, now we need to install the synthetic rope/steel cable on to the winch itself. Make sure to disconnect the cable from the battery just in case. 

Attach the winch cable to the drum and lock it in place. On the other side of the winch line, install the steel recovery winch hook or a FlatlLink.

Reconnect the battery terminal.

Spooling Winch Rope

Plug in your remote to the winch if it’s wired, and engage the winch. You have to get ten rolls of the heatshield line on the first few spools on the drum. 

Ensure not to get our hands too close and keep a safe distance. Line up your winch to avoid getting tangled and continue to hold tension on the rope as you spool it left and right.

Try and make some excellent even coils by holding tension on the rope.

Pro Tip: When installing a winch rope, make sure that you stretch the winch rope before using it for the first time. Suppose you don’t do this. It won’t evenly spread across the drum, and the top coils of that winch rope will crush the coils beneath it.

The last thing to do with all the wiring and installation done is attaching the Cable Hook to the cable’s end dangling from the Fairlead.

If you are not using a FlatLink, attach the recovery hook to the recovery D-Ring to keep it safely away from your winch.

Ensure that the hook and the cable are secure before engaging the Winch and starting any winching operations.

Please comment and share with us how do you install a winch on your jeep.

Also Read:

How to Install a Winch on an ATV
How to Install a Winch on a Trailer
How to Use a Winch Without the Remote
How to Choose the Right Winch Size

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