Warn 8000i Winch Install

After 4 years of modifications to the jeepfan.com 1978 CJ-5 I have reached the readiness for a winch. After additions like lockers, tires, transmissions, etc. I realize that my Jeep can take me further than ever before. A winch is an item that truly compliments a Jeep in both appearance and function. It offers a sense of security and confidence when off-roading.

I pondered for a long time about which winch I would buy. I have always been parital to Warn winches, perhaps because of their long history and good products. I also liked the “look” of the warn on the front of Jeeps.

Not too long ago I bought a Durango 4X4 bumper for my CJ, this bumper includes a protective bar that helps prevent damage to the winch.

I picked up the winch and mounting plate from OK Auto, I was surprised on the small size of the winch box (a).  All I had to do was pick up the box to tell there was something very heavy inside.  After unboxing and inspecting everything (b) I was ready to get started.  I started out with the mounting plate (c)  The installation is quite simple, there is two L shaped brackets with large bolts that attach to the sides of the frame (d).  The bolts fit in existing holes so there is no drilling required.  Next, spacers were installed on top of the L brackets below the mounting plate.  I did a test fit of the mounting plate and discovered that the plate’s holes needed to be elongated because my Jeeps frame is slightly wider (e).  After achieving a proper fit the fairlead is then installed to the mounting plate followed by the winch.  Now the winch, fairlead, and mounting plate can be installed onto the L brackets and bolted into place (f & g).

I picked up the winch and mounting plate from OK Auto, I was surprised on the small size of the winch box (a).  All I had to do was pick up the box to tell there was something very heavy inside.  After unboxing and inspecting everything (b) I was ready to get started.  I started out with the mounting plate (c)  The installation is quite simple, there is two L shaped brackets with large bolts that attach to the sides of the frame (d).  The bolts fit in existing holes so there is no drilling required.  Next, spacers were installed on top of the L brackets below the mounting plate.  I did a test fit of the mounting plate and discovered that the plate’s holes needed to be elongated because my Jeeps frame is slightly wider (e).  After achieving a proper fit the fairlead is then installed to the mounting plate followed by the winch.  Now the winch, fairlead, and mounting plate can be installed onto the L brackets and bolted into place (f & g).

 

winch_box.JPG (45531 bytes)
(a)
Winch.jpg (36086 bytes)
(b)
winch_plate.JPG (42348 bytes)
(c)
side_mounts.JPG (31344 bytes)
(d)
Mount.jpg (35790 bytes)
(e)
Mounted.jpg (44879 bytes)
(f)
mounted_side.JPG (36260 bytes)
(g)
winch_done.JPG (43093 bytes)
(h)
batt_term.JPG (47307 bytes)
(i)

(k)
winch_test.jpg (56405 bytes)
(l)
winch_test2.jpg (59130 bytes)
(m)

 

Now that the winch is securely mounted to the front of the Jeep (h) it was now time to move onto wiring.  My CJ is equipped with an Optima battery (i), this made things easier and neater because an Optima battery has top and side terminals.  Optima recommends that only the top terminals be used for high load equipment like a winch.  This meant that I was going to move the general Jeep power leads to the side terminals and the winch leads would go on top.  I picked up some new battery cables and re-routed the lines.  I then routed the winch cables up to the battery and attached them.  I added a quick disconnect to the positive side winch lead power lead so I can disconnect the winch when not in use (k)

I hooked up the controller to the winch and gave it a test, all seemed OK.  I wanted to re-spool the cable so I drove the Jeep into my backyard and unwound the cable.  After reeling it all in I attached my Rock Equipment tow strap to a tree in my back yard and tested the winch with a load. (m)

All in all, this was one of the easier installations I have ever done, no welding, fabricating, cutting, etc. As of this writing I have been offroad twice since the install.  Both times I was in situations where I was sure I was going to need to use the winch.  I was anxiously awaiting to use it but both times I luckily made it through without.  I guess I am getting good experience hooking up the controller.