The most important part of a winch installation is choosing the right location for mounting. The front bumper area is the most logical choice, but beyond that, where in the front bumper area should it be located for the best access for use and the most protection from street and trail damage is the question.
As you can see pictured at right, I chose to mount the winch as low between the frame rails as possible without protruding below. I chose this location for several reasons. First, the finished winch install will not inhibit airflow to the radiator. Second, this location allows for a much cleaner looking installation and retains the use of the factory front bumper. Third, mounting in this manner makes it much more difficult for someone to steal.
I bought an 8”x28”x1/4” steel plate for my mounting plate keeping with the tradition of not being able to find any aftermarket parts for my truck, a 1990 Mitsubishi Montero. Sure, I could have bought a Warn winch mounting plate and figured out some way to make it work; but, why not go at it from the more manly approach; with fire and noise.
After welding the mounting plate to the frame, all that’s left is drilling the 4 holes for the bolts, trimming the sheetmetal for fitment and connecting the electrical.
The provided instructions were only slightly better than completely useless for the purposes of installation. They do contain the bolt hole spacing (in millimeters). I test fitted the winch in the spot I wanted and marked the first hole using a bit of spray paint. Then, it was just a couple minutes with a speed square and a center punch to locate the remaining holes.
I’m a big fan of wire loom. I’ve seen trucks with 300,000 miles and the original wire looms, rubbing against metal with no problems. This is especially important for applications involving passing through sheetmetal holes. Wiring is really as simple as connecting the red wire to the positive terminal and the black wire to the negative. The end result is pictured at right.
So far, the winch works perfect to the extent I’ve tried it. I basically ran it out and back in once. It does seem to be noisy compared to the worm gear winches I’ve used in times past, but gear noise is to be expected from planetary-type gearsets. On the plus side, Gorilla claims the winch is waterproof; a plus with some of the places I like to wheel.
The best part is the wireless remote control for the winch. Unfortunately, there is no wireless lock-out on the winch itself, so all one has to do it turn the remote switch on and push a button and the winch becomes a really good bumper folder or unspools line completely. Since I have small children, this is a real concern. I will need to keep the remote locked up where curious hands can’t get to it.
All in all, this is a really nice looking, compact winch. Time will tell if the “Gorilla” lives up to it’s name.
Click here to view more pictures of the winch installation in the 4x4Wire Galleries
Click here to learn more about the complete line of Gorilla Winches.