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How to: Winch Install on a 2nd Gen - Factory Bumper

Discussion in 'Offroad Fabrication - Bumpers, Sliders, Cages etc.' started by turboexplorer, January 4, 2015.

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    1. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      So this weekend I started on the winch mount. I am super happy with the results so far, but it has also taken a bit more effort than I originally thought as the winch is very tight in there but is a perfect placement. :thumbsup:

      Front bumper removed.
      View attachment 81970

      Got bumper set aside and winch out for fitment.
      View attachment 81971

      This is what it started as.
      View attachment 81972

      Quick throw in to see a rough idea on placement. I already knew I would have to move the transmission cooler up some.
      View attachment 81973

      Holding the winch up higher with 2X4's on the cross memeber and the jack stands on the front. You can see the edges of the frame bumper horns where I had to cut a bit so it will clear easy as the frame horns roll around about 1/2-5/8"
      View attachment 81974

      Can see how tight the initial fit was to the motor.
      View attachment 81975
       

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    3. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I need to get back up to that area, just beautiful.
       
    4. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      You can see how tight it was to the lower part of the core support. This is why the motor is so close to the frame horns.
      View attachment 81976

      So it was time to make the winch mounting plate so I can really see where everything lines up and what works best for fitment and strenghth. I made the plate 1/2" longer on each side so I would for sure have enough metal for final fitment.
      View attachment 81977

      Mark the plate out so the winch is dead center and drill the 1/8" holes for now until I am 100% sure that it will fit. I also marked the ends where it needed to be bent to fit both winch and frame.
      View attachment 81978

      So what I did to bend the steel (1/4" plate) is used my 4 1/2" grinder with a cut off wheel to score the plate. Went about 3/16" deep so to leave only 1/16" left to bend. I did the score on the top of the plate so where it is welded will be hidden and the bottom that you will see will have the nice super clean bend. Then I held it on the floor on a board and hit it with a big dead blow hammer to get it to bend over. The bends allow the which mount part to be 13/16" below the ends where it will be mounted to the frame.
      View attachment 81979

      Pictures of the bend. And no worries, where it is bent will be ground out so I get full penetration on the weld to strenghth it back up.
      View attachment 81980

      View attachment 81981
       

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    5. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      So with the plate made and winch sitting on it was time to fit the front bumper and see if there is any issues or not.
      View attachment 81983

      View attachment 81984

      View attachment 81985

      Long story short there was issues and the winch and plate needed to go backwards about 7/8" for it to fully clear the front bumper. So options where to cut a bunch of front bumper and make relief cuts in the mounting plate or to cut the core support section and move both back. I used the second one. I spent some time cutting the core support out really well and ground it flush so it looks really clean. It will all be painted and look really good when done. Only removed what was needed and core support remains strong.
      View attachment 81986

      View attachment 81987

      View attachment 81988
       

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    6. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      Cutting the core support and refitting shows it is good to go so tacked the plate in place.
      View attachment 81989

      Happy with fitment I burned in 3 inches on the plate towards the rear on the top to make it permanent.
      View attachment 81990

      View attachment 81991

      The top of the plate ended up on the bottom of the frame. So where the frame is here in this picture needed a small plate to make it even with the main plate for a great fit and really strong mount.
      View attachment 81992

      Here is the small 1/4" plates that go on the bottom of the frame rails that make the fit for the main plate really nice, this also ties it heavily onto the frame rails. And in case anybody is wondering about the gap to the main plate (always get asked) this would be considered a butt weld. And for good penetration and to make the weld flatter to the plates the gap is needed. Remember this is 1/4" plate and it takes this gap to get full penetration for a proper weld. Anyways small tip for others fabricating things. :thumbsup: General rule of thumb for butt welds is a gap 1/2 the width of the material you are welding. This is not the case for lap or fillet welds.
      View attachment 81993

      View attachment 81994
       

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    7. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      So was time to fully burn in the plate. Burn in about 3" at a time and let the steel cool in between. Cools quickly as there is the frame rails and my front cross member to soak up the heat. Also when burning it in I put a cardboard piece between the plate and the A/C condenser so stray weld berries didn't find their way burning holes in the condenser.
      View attachment 82000

      So where I scored the plate to bend it, I then used a 1/8" wide cut off wheel to open it up so again I can get a proper weld and full penetration. This picture is great to show how proper metal fit and prep is every bit as important as knowing how to weld as is essential for proper welds.
      View attachment 82001

      Fully burned in.
      View attachment 82002

      Also since the metal warps when welded I welded this small strip of 1/4" to hold the center of the plate down while I welded the seams up. Once fully cooled with all welding done will remove it and plate will still be perfectly flat.
      View attachment 82003

      Bottom fully burned in. The frame is lapped over itself here where these plates where and you could still see that and it bugged me so I did a few small welds so the whole area is welded with out anyone questioning why it looked like it was fully welded on even though it was on the lower lap section.
      View attachment 82004

      View attachment 82005
       

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    8. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Looks really good. Aren't you eventually going to build bumpers though? I do like the hidden factory look a lot.
       
    9. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      So now onto some supports. Made a CAD template (cardboard aided design) to fit the frame rails. Had to make the ends to fit the crumple zone bulge on each frame rail. BTW everything for this project I just used a 4 1/2" angle grinder, either with cut off wheels, grinding wheel, flap disc or wire wheel. Best tools for the garage what tools are limited. Also both sides turned out identical so pattern was used to make 2 plates. These plates where made with the winch sitting on a flat piece of steel so I knew the shape and placement as to not interfere with the wires that attach to the back of the motor. Also made them curved so it looks much better and has character than a straight triangle piece. :nono: These supports are 1/8" steel.
      View attachment 82006

      Held in place and ready to be tacked up. Also small side note for fabrication. Remove ALL mill scale off of the steel on both surfaces being welded. Mill scale is full of contaminates and will make for a weld that has less strenghth and looks poor and can make you think the welder is not set up correctly when really its just the crap that wasn't cleaned off of the steel. Mill scale is there from when it is hot formed.
      View attachment 82007

      First burn in sections on the brace plates.
      View attachment 82008

      View attachment 82009

      View attachment 82010

      Then fully welded to the frame.
      View attachment 82011
       

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    10. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I do like me some clean welds. Nice work.

      That would be a fun run, two white SAS coil over Explorers from the two best gens to modify.
       
    11. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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    12. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      I got the winch solenoid box mounted. Took a bit to find a spot to remote mount it that it would fit and still be serviceable. I did not want to mount it on top of the winch and restrict any more air flow than is needed. Also I can't get to the solenoid box to plug in the remote with it on top of the winch anyways so it might as well be remote mounted.

      I was limited to the right side of the truck though due to the length of all the big gauge wires that I did not want to remake or extend. So instead what I am going to do is pull the remote control plug port and extend the 4 small gauge wires and mount just the remote plug port to an easy access and clean looking spot. That way the big solenoid box is hidden yet still have access to service and do not need to get to it to plug in the remote. So that turned out great and will post pictures of it later.

      Also I got the new transmission oil cooler mount made. It ended up 3 1/8" higher than the factory location and still uses all 3 factory mounting spots. Turned out good and still fully functional. Needed to move it up since winch is now where the factory lower mounts where also need room for the cooler lines coming off of the bottom of it. Will post pictures of it later.

      Question? Since I have my grill off should I paint match it white instead of it being chrome around the grill section and headlights?
       
    13. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Looking good !

      I had the same ordeal with relocating the box. I was going to run it inside the cab, but decided to eventually get a wireless remote installed. So I put it in the grill to the pass side, and can reach it to plug the controller for now. Some food for thought for ya.

      I say paint it. :)
       
    14. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      O man. I got all wiring done (minus remote, gmanpaint that's what I was thinking of doing) and plumbing done for transmission cooler. And WOW it fits but is very tight. None of it will have any rubbing problems but it is tight. Wires are barely long enough to go from solenoid to winch motor so attaching them is a little bit of a chore. Technically everything is fully serviceable but none of it is a 10 minute job to service.

      Now onto the fairlead. Hummmm....... :scratch: would be easy if I could weld it's mount to the winch plate but if I do then I can't remove the winch without cutting it off. So my option is bolt on. This will take a bit more fab work to accomplish. :thumbsup:
       
    15. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Fab up a bracket for the fairlead that is able to be bolted to the winch plate. you'll need more gussets to reinforce it but that's the way I'd go.
       
    16. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Agreed.
      My winch is mounted to a bumper, but I have to pull the bumper to remove the winch. If you want them mounted so they are tucked away there are always issues.
       
    17. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      You guys hit it dead on what I was planning on doing! :thumbsup: The thought is to make a 1/4" bracket that holds the fairlead and has 4 bolts to the plate. Easy to install / remove if needed and plenty strong. Also won't be attached to the bumper so can always stay with the winch.

      I know there is always issues with it tucked so far back in but to me it's totally worth it for the clean look. Figured if winch ever needs to be serviced I would have to pull the bumper from the start of the project. Factory bumper is 4 bolts and fairly light and easy to move with 1 person so no issues. Also can use winch mounting spot if I ever built a bumper as well. Low and tucked away.
       
    18. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Can you fab it so the fairlead plate uses the same mounts as the winch or would that leave too much free space for the plate to bend?
      You going to run the fairlead through the bumper, or under, or above?
      You mentioned the good part about using the stock bumper; weight. My winch bumper weighs about 85 pounds without the winch. Nearly impossible to remove with one person.
      Having the winches tucked up so it requires bumper removal to access makes it unlikely they will be stolen.
       
    19. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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    20. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      Can't really use the same mounting bolts as the winch. It would have to go under the plate and there is only 1/4" of room between that and center front rock light. And as far as bending it shouldn't have an issue as it only has to stick out roughly 1 3/8" from the plate. So it can't bend 1/4" being that short very easily at all. Look at the plate that gmanpaint posted in the link it looks like its only 1/8" from the picture. The bolting section and the part that the fairlead bolts to will all be 1/4".

      The fairlead will be behind the bumper opening so technically it is inside the bumper with the rope coming through the bumper. The opening is big and curved so I can pull at like a 80* to the side of the front of the truck and not even rub the bumper with the rope. Same as far as up and down it would have to be at an extreme angle to rub on the bumper.

      And hadn't thought of it being in so far in as a theft deterrent but it makes complete sense. Would take way to long to remove in a hurry. :D Also the other thing I thought it does to help is it is completely covered from being in the sun or normal weather. Of course will get wet when driving in rain but as for parked its fully out of the weather.

      I am running a synthetic rope so I have the small fairlead. It is 3/4" thick aluminum. Will look really clean next to the bumper. That factor55 link looks really sweet but man that sure is pricey for just a hook. Guess I haven't looked into what hook to run, it of course comes with the large heavy iron hook so will have to look at a good option for replacement. That factor55 is a good idea though would like it pulled tight to the fairlead and not pulled out and hooked else ware. Anyone want to donate to a winch hook fund? ;)

      I did get the patterns made and most of the steel cut to make the mount last night. It will end up mounting on the sides of the winch so the mount will be wider than the fairlead. Tonight is date night though so no work on the truck tonight but will get it all finished up tomorrow and get it painted up so I can go back together on Sunday I hope.
       
    21. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      Sorry I totally missed a few posts. Yes that would be the eventual goal, but for time and things decided to at least get the winch on the truck first. Would love both front and rear bumpers. Really like the ones that [MENTION=3817]BKennedy[/MENTION] is running.

      Thanks, good welds makes for a cleaner stronger truck. I am not professional by any means but try to do my best.

      And a Southern Utah run would be amazing, especially if we could round up a few additional trucks. Pretty sure [MENTION=3964]sirhk100[/MENTION] would come up from Vegas for a run. That's at least 4 trucks. :D

      I ended up making a small mount on the side of the fairlead mount for the remote plug in port. Will look really good and I didn't end up needing a hole in the grill.

      Think I am going to plasti dip the chrome part of the grill white and run it for a bit and see how the white looks and feels and go from there. If I really like it I will buy a blank grill and have it all paint paint matched.

      Exactly what I did! Turned out great and is really nice and strong and clean.
       
    22. sirhk100

      sirhk100 Well-Known Member

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      I'm pretty busy from now up till early March for the Mint race but after that, I'd definitely be interested...
       
    23. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      Now for a few fun pictures again.
      View attachment 82064

      View attachment 82065

      This was a really cool wall to climb. You have to approach it a bit farther to the right than you may think or want to for that matter cause it creates a goofy feeling of off camber in the truck but its really not. Then you have to spin all tires on the wall (can do at a light throttle) and walk the truck over to the left about 1-2ft. Then you reverse a hair, then hit the hammer and get up the wall. Was a really fun obstacle, haven't ever climbed it before. Always went around it when I was stock of course. The limited slip in the front was very beneficial as I could turn all 4 and walk the truck over. My brother [MENTION=137709]sector9[/MENTION] with the open front diff did it but was a bit more work to get it to walk over.
      View attachment 82066

      View attachment 82067

      View attachment 82068

      View attachment 82070
       

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    24. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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      I am pretty busy until March 15th as well. Will be down in St. George from the 12th-15th but will all be on 4 wheelers with a bunch of guys from up here. (annual get out of the snow in Salt Lake guys ride) After that as far as I know I am free game for any weekend.

      [MENTION=3817]BKennedy[/MENTION]^^^^Knew he would be in, we have talked about getting together for a run for a few years and never have managed to actually set one up yet.
       
    25. turboexplorer

      turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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    26. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      What did you wheel base end up as? Mine is 114"
       

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