Install an ATV Winch
By Midwest Traction on August 12, 2017
Tips & Advice
ATVs are designed to get into the muddiest of the mud, the wettest of the wet, and the sandiest of the sand. They're all-terrain, and they're all-tough. Getting stuck is an inevitability when you're off-roading, and we highly recommend you install a winch on your ATV well before you find yourself in such circumstances. Here are our quick tips.
ATV winches come in several varieties. We recommend doing thorough research before your purchase, but if you're one who likes to ride alone, electric winches are ideal. Your ATV battery
supplies power, you connect the end of the winch cable to something solid (like a tree, using a tree strap), and switch the winch motor on to pull yourself out.
After selecting a model appropriate to your vehicle and your needs, make sure you've added a mounting plate to your cart. Most ATVs are not winch-ready. Consider make and model and the line pulling rating on the winch. Your front or rear bumper may need modifications to accommodate the mounting plate. Some manufacturers offer bumper and mounting plates as a package deal.
What you'll need:
- Voltage meter
The mounting plate should come with easy-to-follow installation instructions, but here are our extra tips:
- Remove hoses and wires from your work area when bolting the mounting plate
- Secure bolts with an adhesive while you're tightening them
- Ensure the winch is properly seated on the mounting plate before securing
- Check the winch line for obstructions. To do this: pull the line out by disengaging the winch gear train. Ensure you've re-engaged the gear train after your check or the winch will not function
- To wire the winch to your ATV, use a contactor (relay box). This is the central point for wiring and is best installed under the seat
- Run and connect winch wires from the battery to the contactor and from the contactor to the winch
- Winch control switch generally connects to your ATV ignition switch; use the voltage meter to find the hot lead for your ignition
As always, seek professional guidance if you are unsure. We want to keep you rolling, and we don't recommend taking undue risks with your vehicle.