How to: Winch Install on a 2nd Gen - Factory Bumper | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

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

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

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

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


  • IMG_5250.JPG
    147.9 KB · Views: 476
  • IMG_5252.JPG
    160.6 KB · Views: 479
  • IMG_5254.JPG
    199 KB · Views: 486
  • IMG_5256.JPG
    196.7 KB · Views: 488
  • IMG_5260.JPG
    199.8 KB · Views: 483
  • IMG_5263.JPG
    152.2 KB · Views: 479

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

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


  • IMG_5283.JPG
    162.2 KB · Views: 471
  • IMG_5281.JPG
    158.9 KB · Views: 454
  • IMG_5273.JPG
    190 KB · Views: 468
  • IMG_5270.JPG
    216.8 KB · Views: 467
  • IMG_5265.JPG
    133.8 KB · Views: 463
  • IMG_5262.JPG
    183.5 KB · Views: 475

So onto catching up winch pictures. Winch fitted on plate after plate was completed.
View attachment 82077

Factory transmission cooler location.
View attachment 82078

This will be the new location.
View attachment 82079

Making sure the lines will clear.
View attachment 82080

Starting the lower cooler mount. Made a simple mount out of 1/2" wide 1/8" flat stock. Turned the legs sideways as to not impede any air flow. (not that it would matter any lol)
View attachment 82081

Mocked up into place. I used all 3 factory cooler mounts with original hardware.
View attachment 82082


  • 20150106_221642.jpg
    92.9 KB · Views: 372
  • 20150106_213056.jpg
    102.3 KB · Views: 379
  • 20150106_210727.jpg
    96.9 KB · Views: 379
  • 20150106_210713.jpg
    90 KB · Views: 369
  • 20150106_210604.jpg
    87.2 KB · Views: 376
  • 20150106_203538.jpg
    93.1 KB · Views: 376


  • 20150106_222928.jpg
    78.9 KB · Views: 375
  • 20150106_222852.jpg
    112.9 KB · Views: 367
  • 20150106_222747.jpg
    88.4 KB · Views: 377
  • 20150106_222344.jpg
    78.3 KB · Views: 353
  • 20150106_221713.jpg
    79.9 KB · Views: 366
  • 20150107_202059.jpg
    90.5 KB · Views: 367


  • 20150106_223831.jpg
    76.5 KB · Views: 363
  • 20150106_223820.jpg
    57.4 KB · Views: 357
  • 20150106_223809.jpg
    49.5 KB · Views: 368
  • 20150106_223756.jpg
    89.6 KB · Views: 375
  • 20150106_221724.jpg
    97.5 KB · Views: 370

Wires crossing the frame rail to reach the winch motor.
View attachment 82094

Do you see the power wire for the winch? Me either, it's hidden. It is inside the upper section of the front fiberglass core support. It is just under the black trim piece you see sitting up in place on the top. It is inside it as it is U shaped.
View attachment 82095

Wires hooked up to the winch motor and old trans cooler lines coming through their routing. Think I am going to redo the hard cooler line ends so the rubber section can go on the side of the radiator instead of under it.
View attachment 82096

Bumper back on with winch in place.
View attachment 82097

Holding the fairlead roughly where it will end up being mounted.
View attachment 82098


  • 20150107_222924.jpg
    80.4 KB · Views: 368
  • 20150107_222133.jpg
    99.8 KB · Views: 359
  • 20150107_212301.jpg
    70.9 KB · Views: 355
  • 20150107_212124.jpg
    99.9 KB · Views: 369
  • 20150107_204754.jpg
    95.3 KB · Views: 352

So onto the fairlead mount. First held bumper in place did a bunch of measuring and then laid it out onto my CAD. After the rough size was there and the shape of the fairlead was drawn onto it I could then better see how I wanted the mount to look and where I wanted the support. All this is made from 1/4" plate and all cut out with a 4 1/2" grinder with a cut off wheel.
View attachment 82117

So this is what I decided on for the mount design. It is strong and ties both sides of the mount together as well as keeps a very minimal footprint that you can see from the front of the truck. Also when you see it done you will see how it will act as sort of an arch and will also ad a bit of strenghth to the plate from flexing at all when the winch is twisting. I also center punched the fairlead mount holes through the pattern so it was all done in one shot no guessing.
View attachment 82118

Cut out.
View attachment 82119

Fairlead sitting on it, love how its the same angle as the fairlead aluminum.
View attachment 82120

Rest of the mount cut out.
View attachment 82121

All sanded and edges all rounded and corners rounded for a nice clean look. Also easy to handle as it is smooth everywhere.
View attachment 82122


  • 20150110_220441.jpg
    122.4 KB · Views: 361
  • 20150110_191245.jpg
    102.2 KB · Views: 366
  • 20150110_143253.jpg
    51.5 KB · Views: 346
  • 20150110_143239.jpg
    50.8 KB · Views: 360
  • 20150108_220641.jpg
    98.3 KB · Views: 363
  • 20150108_215120.jpg
    99.6 KB · Views: 380

All mocked up and ready to be welded. I used a piece of 1/4" plate under it so that the mounting surfaces would be perfectly flat and in line.
View attachment 82123

All welded up.
View attachment 82124

Fairlead attatched.
View attachment 82125

Mocked up on the winch plate.
View attachment 82126

View attachment 82127

Fitted the bumper so I can make sure it is exactly what I want. and is placed perfect. Then mark so some mounting holes can be drilled. Also I did end up needing to cut about 1/4"X1/2" off of the inside of the bumper where the lower corners of the fairlead mount at fitment issues. Easy fix. I have at least 1/4" between any part of the fairlead and any part of the bumper.
View attachment 82128


  • 20150111_002124.jpg
    84 KB · Views: 355
  • 20150110_235341.jpg
    77.2 KB · Views: 356
  • 20150110_235324.jpg
    71.5 KB · Views: 335
  • 20150110_233137.jpg
    102.8 KB · Views: 353
  • 20150110_233104.jpg
    110.2 KB · Views: 367
  • 20150110_221808.jpg
    117.7 KB · Views: 355

All bolted up! Here you can see where the fairlead mount can act as a sort of arch and add a bit of flexing strenghth to the front of the winch plate.
View attachment 82129

View attachment 82130

View attachment 82131

Made the remote plug socket mount onto the fairlead mount at the end as I thought it would add a nice clean look to it and will be easy access to plug in. Also didn't have to drill any holes for it else ware.
View attachment 82132

View attachment 82133

All stripped down and taped off and ready to be painted. Finally, as usual the project took longer than I thought it would. Last Saturday had a huge migraine so didn't get anything done so that didn't help either. But very happy with how it has turned out. Was a chore getting it to fit really cleanly behind the factory bumper but I got it done.
View attachment 82134


  • 20150111_143246.jpg
    94.1 KB · Views: 361
  • 20150111_125714.jpg
    74.1 KB · Views: 360
  • 20150111_125706.jpg
    90.6 KB · Views: 364
  • 20150111_105901.jpg
    99 KB · Views: 354
  • 20150111_105848.jpg
    66.8 KB · Views: 370
  • 20150111_105839.jpg
    79.2 KB · Views: 358

Nice work.


  • 20150111_183200.jpg
    90.2 KB · Views: 362
  • 20150111_183154.jpg
    83 KB · Views: 355
  • 20150111_152723.jpg
    101.9 KB · Views: 357
  • 20150111_150254.jpg
    64.8 KB · Views: 353
  • 20150111_150247.jpg
    77.4 KB · Views: 355
  • 20150111_194645.jpg
    91.9 KB · Views: 365


  • 20150115_182931.jpg
    107.5 KB · Views: 346
  • 20150115_182919.jpg
    112 KB · Views: 350
  • 20150115_182902.jpg
    96.6 KB · Views: 349
  • 20150115_182847.jpg
    104.3 KB · Views: 347
  • 20150111_195337.jpg
    80.4 KB · Views: 354
  • 20150111_195316.jpg
    99.1 KB · Views: 354

Got the pigtail for the remote control extended 18" and had the wife braided it for a nice really clean wire. Was a good thought I'll have to remember this for other projects. Looks really clean compared to 3 random wires.
View attachment 82198

Got the chrome part of the grill all plasti dipped. It turned out pretty good. I kinda suck with it, it always wants to peel around where I tape off. But either way it turned out great for a temporary look. I really like it.
View attachment 82199

Winch control solenoid box is mounted for the final time. This is where the power wire for the winch is run, it runs straight up from the solenoid box to the upper section of the fiberglass support. Nice and clean and no way to ever rub on any metal since this large wire is not fused or breaker-ed.
View attachment 82200

Nice and hidden.
View attachment 82201

And where it does duck through the core support I did 2 layers of heat shrink tubing so as not to run into any issues.
View attachment 82202


  • 20150115_201732.jpg
    76.8 KB · Views: 361
  • 20150115_201657.jpg
    74 KB · Views: 358
  • 20150115_201624.jpg
    78.8 KB · Views: 357
  • 20150112_213111.jpg
    76.6 KB · Views: 354
  • 20150111_192430.jpg
    82.8 KB · Views: 362

Winch is fully mounted and wired in for the final time. Winding up the rope onto the winch drum. I will have to spool it out and do a proper rope spool with it pulling the rig on flat ground to make sure its tight enough so the rope doesn't fall in between itself and get stuck when I am doing an actual recovery pull.
View attachment 82255

All spooled up and fairlead mounted in place. Looks awesome tucked in there. :D I love how the fairlead mount turned out!
View attachment 82256

View attachment 82257

View attachment 82258

View attachment 82259


  • 20150115_214924.jpg
    94 KB · Views: 367
  • 20150115_214716.jpg
    94.4 KB · Views: 360
  • 20150115_214622.jpg
    88.3 KB · Views: 401
  • 20150115_214609.jpg
    96.1 KB · Views: 358
  • 20150115_212340.jpg
    110.3 KB · Views: 367

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Front bumper refitted and alined for the final time with the winch rope fed through. I also did a full wipe down of the fiberglass support since I was in there it might as well be fully cleaned. Compare to the bottom picture in the last post.
View attachment 82260

And the final product with the winch fully in and the chrome portions of the grill are now plasti dipped white. I really like how the winch turned out, it is very simple and really really clean looking. Turned out just like what I had in mind. I also really like the white grill.
View attachment 82261

View attachment 82262

View attachment 82263

View attachment 82264

View attachment 82265


  • 20150116_172007.jpg
    87.7 KB · Views: 358
  • 20150116_193150.jpg
    73.3 KB · Views: 370
  • 20150116_193211.jpg
    84.1 KB · Views: 372
  • 20150116_193358.jpg
    88.9 KB · Views: 369
  • 20150116_193406.jpg
    71.8 KB · Views: 361
  • 20150116_193426.jpg
    73.7 KB · Views: 362