Jeep CJ Winch Swap Warn VR10-S to VR8-S

Soon after we installed a Warn VR10-S winch on the 1978 CJ we installed some bumper modifications to the 2016 Rubicon Hard Rock that included the installation of a winch.  In reviewing the options the VR10-S seemed like a perfect fit for the JK and thinking further the VR10-S seemed a bit excessive on the small and light CJ-5.

Detail on the Warn VR Series Winches

So we “stole” the VR10-S off the CJ and mounted it up on the 2016 JK RHR, but on doing so we were left with an issue of an empty winch mount. 

Enter the Warn VR8-S, a lighter weight cousin in the new VR series.  The synthetic rope version is nearly 20 lbs lighter than the steel rope version 53lbs vs 71lbs.

A quick order from Quadratec and a VR8-S was at our doorstep and ready for the Jeep.


If needed, refer back to the original VR10-S install for mounting the winch plate.

Since the VR10-S was appropriated for the JK the mount looks quite empty and needs to be remedied.

Remove the bands and packing material.

It’s easiest to place the winch and mount on a support to allow access to the bolt holes from below. The square nuts need to be squeezed in from above.

All the bolts and nuts are supplied with the kit.

Secure the fairlead to the mount before mounting the winch, to ease access to the rear nuts.

With the winch secured to the mount plate, install the assembly to the mount on the Jeep.


Wiring a CJ is rather simple, the grill openings make getting the wires in and back to the battery a snap.  We found it easier to remove the passenger side headlight to get the wires through neatly.

In the bottom of a grille slot.

Up through behind the lights.

Out the side hole in the top of the grille and down the support rods to the battery. Be neat!

Secure the wiring to the grille to prevent rubbing.

Completed outside wiring. We additionally cleaned up the solenoid wiring with some ties.

Use the top mounts on an Optima. We installed wing nut disconnects for when the winch isn’t being used.

With that the CJ now has its own winch at the ready.  The new VR series from Warn has that classic but modern look with a value price.  For the weekend Jeeper this series winch should serve the Jeep well.

Completed Warn VR8-S winch installation.

Two eras, same winch family.

Warn VR8-S Winch at Quadratec