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How to Mount a Winch On Your ATV

If you have an ATV and regularly go mudding or off-roading, you probably already know that you’re going to have to have a winch to help you get out of those tighter spots. But once you find the right winch for your 4-wheeler or ATV, you also need to know how to mount a winch on an ATV. This can seem like a daunting task, but there are plenty of ways to do this as we’ll explain if you keep reading.

atv winch mount

Different Types of Winch Mounts for ATVs

Just like the fact that there are different kinds of winches – hydraulic winches and electric winches – there are also different winch mounts as well. You may be able to find an ATV winch mounting kit that will make things easier. Or, you’ll have to buy a separate ATV winch mounting bracket. The size of your winch ATV winch mounting plate and bracket depends on the brand, type of winch, and size of the winch as well. How hard is it to mount an ATV winch to your vehicle? Not hard at all! Even better, you may even be able to have someone do it for you so you don’t have to.

Mounting an ATV Winch on an ATV

First, you need to know that some tools may be necessary. These include PPE (glasses for safety, possibly gloves), wrenches, ratchet and sockets, rivet removers, and electrical testers (a voltmeter and test light, plus a power drill can come in handy as well).

Clear the Way

Since most quads don’t automatically come with a winch, you’ll need to possibly make some room for adjustments on your ATV. Be sure that you read every detail in your ATV winch instruction manual and the winch mounting instruction manual.

After you’ve done that, you can begin by removing the front bumper (or back if you’re installing it in the rear). This way you have plenty of room to go further.

Follow Directions

It’s extremely important that you read and follow the instruction manual for every part possible. This is to ensure that you are going to be safe at all times.

Install Your ATV Winch Mounting Plate

If you have a winch mounting plate if you don’t already have a winch mount that came with your winch – or if your winch mount doesn’t fit your vehicle properly. This will ensure that it’s a good fit if you get a mounting plate for your size vehicle. Also, this will tell you whether you can install the ATV winch bracket before you place the winch, or if you can install it at the same time.

Install Your Winch Drum & Cable (or Rope)

Install the cable drum next. Since your winch probably comes with cable or rope already spooled, then this may not be an issue. However, if you are replacing your ATV winch cable, learn how to attach the cable to the drum and rewind it properly.

Always use an ATV Winch Fairlead

When you use a fairlead, you can avoid a lot of snags and tangles or keep your cable or rope from getting stuck in the winch. You’ll have a roller fairlead or a hawse fairlead depending on whether you are using cable or rope for your ATV winch cable.

Install All Things Electrical

You’re almost done! Now for the fun and more technical stuff! Once everything is in place, you’ll install your switches for the handlebar, the wiring, your winch wiring, the solenoid box, and the circuit breaker (or fuse), then do some heavy-duty cable management to keep all the electrical parts safe from the elements. Don’t forget that before you do ANYTHING with the electrical system, you need to unhook the battery (or at least the negative terminal) so you don’t short anything out or injure yourself.

While you may have to do some custom rigging, usually you only have to follow the instruction manual for your ATV winch mounting system in order to secure it. This may not be suitable for your exact winch or even your vehicle. Either way though, the process is generally the same so you’ll know what to expect if you are going to be mounting an ATV winch so you can put it to work.


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