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Hidden Winch with Clutch Access

Gangly

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I saw a few other posts on hidden winch systems for these trucks, many of which debated their usability with regards to accessing the winch in a pinch. I figured I would share what I did with hopes that it might add clarity to the debate.

I took a winch plate from an aftermarket bumper kit and modified it, fab'd up a fair lead mount with gussets, and welded the fairlead mount to the modified winch plate. The entire setup bolts directly to the frame with 6 bolts. I did have to drill 4 additional holes in the winch plate: two additional holes to mount it to the frame, and two additional holes in the base of the winch plate to mount the winch at the depth I wanted. For easy access to the control box, I purchased an aftermarket winch wiring extension kit from VICE designs(I believe out of Canada), and placed the control box at the top of the engine compartment, immediately adjacent to the passenger side fender well. Even though its a wireless winch, I wanted to be able to hook the handheld controller directly to the control box incase the batteries, or something similar, quit working while in the field. Second, I wanted to be able to have clear access to the clutch handle from the top of the engine compartment since I don't want to be swimming underwater to free spool it. To do this, I removed two of the air vent slots on the upper air dam which allowed me to reach down between the radiator and grill and easily maneuver the clutch with TONS of room/access.

There are a lot of sharp edges so I used "auto trim" to cover all the sharp edges, including the clutch access cut out, while also double wrapping all conductors with sleeves and loom. The truck stays pretty dirty since it gets used like a truck, so don't expect any glamour shots :)
 

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I saw a few other posts on hidden winch systems for these trucks, many of which debated their usability with regards to accessing the winch in a pinch. I figured I would share what I did with hopes that it might add clarity to the debate.

I took a winch plate from an aftermarket bumper kit and modified it, fab'd up a fair lead mount with gussets, and welded the fairlead mount to the modified winch plate. The entire setup bolts directly to the frame with 6 bolts. I did have to drill 4 additional holes in the winch plate: two additional holes to mount it to the frame, and two additional holes in the base of the winch plate to mount the winch at the depth I wanted. For easy access to the control box, I purchased an aftermarket winch wiring extension kit from VICE designs(I believe out of Canada), and placed the control box at the top of the engine compartment, immediately adjacent to the passenger side fender well. Even though its a wireless winch, I wanted to be able to hook the handheld controller directly to the control box incase the batteries, or something similar, quit working while in the field. Second, I wanted to be able to have clear access to the clutch handle from the top of the engine compartment since I don't want to be swimming underwater to free spool it. To do this, I removed two of the air vent slots on the upper air dam which allowed me to reach down between the radiator and grill and easily maneuver the clutch with TONS of room/access.

There are a lot of sharp edges so I used "auto trim" to cover all the sharp edges, including the clutch access cut out, while also double wrapping all conductors with sleeves and loom. The truck stays pretty dirty since it gets used like a truck, so don't expect any glamour shots :)
I will copy that modification for clutch access… simple but it look like it will work… on my set up… thanks for sharing
 
I will copy that modification for clutch access… simple but it look like it will work… on my set up… thanks for sharing
Your welcome, I hope it works out for you. Please post your setup when your done, it's always nice to see other people's "fruits of labor" and it will help others out as well.🙂
 

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