As with all of the Jeeps that have passed through the jeepfan.com stable a winch is one of the earlier installations. We’ve grown to really like the Warn VR series winches. The compact design and affordability make it a perfect addition to your Jeep.
The jeepfan.com 2018 JL Wrangler is equipped with the factory steel bumpers that are winch ready. What this means is that the bumper has removable pieces that allow the winch to fit but that’s about it. A winch mounting plate is also required.
We chose the Warn winch mounting plate along with a Warn mid size factory bumper hoop. It has the typical Warn quality and will easily support almost any winch you may want to mount to your Jeep. This mount is specially designed for the factory steel bumpers and installs rather easily. It took us about 3 hours to install at a leisurely pace. Our parts were obtained from Quadratec. Full parts list at the end of the article.
This installation doesn’t require any special tools but deep metric sockets are needed to remove the nuts on the bumper bolts. Simply put, the install involves removing the factory bumper to install the Warn winch mount and winch then putting it all back together and wiring it all up.
On the JL with a factory steel bumper there is a small plastic trim piece behind the bumper that needs to be removed by popping up the plastic fasteners. This piece will not be reused. Following the trim piece remove the bumper skid plate by removing the 7 bolts.
Next, separate the fog light plug and remove the 8 nuts holding the bumper to the frame. With all that completed the bumper can be pulled off. Place the bumper on a steady work surface for the next steps.