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Suck-down Winch Project
 

With the winch mounted, it was time to make an attachment point for the axle.  The plan was to run the winch line from the winch through the axle attachment point and then back up to the opposite frame rail where the winch line would be fastened. 

 

I cut another cardboard template and transferred it to some 3/16" steel.  Another session at the band saw and some touchup work with a flapper disc on the grinder yielded a couple of mounting tabs.  A small pulley, made for a 1/2" diameter electric motor shaft, was obtained at the local hardware store.  A 1/2" grade 8 bolt completes the pulley mount.

 

Since my D30 axle has a truss on it, it was decided to attach the pulley to the top of the truss to simplify the installation.  It would have been preferred to attach it lower to the axle tube but since their was no clearance issues involved, the top of the truss was used.  Some welding and a coat of black spray paint and it was ready to go.

 

Warn calls the device that controls the winch the contactor.  It serves the same purpose as the big relay box found on the Warn 8K winch.  Luckily, it is much smaller since it doesn't have to handle nearly as much current.  I mounted mine on the passenger side of the engine compartment, just forward of the factory air cleaner.  The base of the contactor is drilled for 1/4" mounting hardware.  One hole was already in the fender and I drilled a second hole.  While there are four holes on the contactor, I didn't see the need for using all of them.  I used Nyloc nuts on the 1/4" bolts to keep it secure.

The four terminals on the contactor are color coded; red, black, blue, and yellow.  These correspond to the colors of the cables supplied by Warn.

 

The cables also have rubber boots that you slip onto the cables before connecting them to the winch and contactor.  The instructions from Warn are very good (clear diagrams and good wording) so I won't go into detail on hooking up the winch.  If you are not color blind, you'll be able to hook it up by matching the colored cables to the terminals.

No, I didn't forget to put a grommet in the hole in the fender well that I passed the motor cables through.  I didn't have the correct size as I was doing the install and so I'll pick it up at the hardware store tomorrow and slip it in. 

NOTE:  It is important to make certain that you do not allow the cables to rub on the edges of the sheet metal as this can cut into the insulation and case a very bad short when you energize the winch.

As you can see in the above photo, I obtained some larger diameter synthetic winch rope.  In fact, this happens to be a piece of used Amsteel Blue that Barry (a local Jeeper) donated to the cause.  Thanks Barry! 

As I write this, I am not satisfied with the method I used to attach the Amsteel rope to the winch.  Troy thought that the larger rope would work better.  I'll admit that it rides nicely in the pulley.

I just might switch back to the smaller winch rope that came with the winch.  I'll try a couple of things first and will add some comments to the write-up (at the end) once I figure out how I'm going to do it.

 

Here is a photo of the Amsteel Blue rope routed through the pulley to the tie off point on the opposite frame rail.  To make an anchor point, we cut a link from a large piece of chain and welded the link to the frame. 

 


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