First thing to come off the TJ was my bumper. Most are held on with 3 bolts going into each frame rail.....two on top, one on the bottom. One of the lower Torx bolts is being removed in this photo. Note the anti-seize on the threads. Even though Arizona is not much in the way of rusting, it takes so little effort to put a bit of anti-seize on the threads during reassembly. I enjoy not fighting with rusted mounting hardware.
You know, the front of a TJ looks kind of ugly once you strip the bumper off. You can see my power steering cooler attached to the cross member.
I used the same winch mounting plate I had on the Warn winch and so excuse the dirt/dust as it is far from new. The winch has the same mounting footprint as did my XD9000i. The only difference was that the supplied mounting bolts were metric. The holes in my plate were just a bit too small for the metric hardware so I opted to use the hardware I removed when the Warn came off the mounting plate. Four bolts attach the winch body to the mounting plate. You may have to grab a drill bit and take them up to the next size for the slightly larger supplied mounting bolts.
I also opted to leave the roller fairlead on my winch plate. Since it had been previously used with steel cable and the Bulldog roller fairlead was untouched, I decided it would do just fine with more steel cable. Looking at the two roller fairleads, I could detect no notable difference between the two. While possible, I doubt my substituting one for the other will influence the winch's performance results.
I slipped the cable through the fairlead opening and attached the hook to the cable. I persuaded a friend to help me lift the winch and mounting plate back onto the TJ to help avoid bending the fins on my power steering cooler.
With the winch secured to the mounting plate and sitting on the frame rails, I put the bumper back into position and proceeded to tighten both to the frame rails. The tow hook bolts (longer than stock) secure the tow hooks and mounting plate to the top of the frame rails.
That took care of getting the Bulldog 10K winch on the front of the TJ. I routed the cables through a small opening along the passenger side of the grill and into the engine compartment. The cables are then brought up and zip tied to the grill support rod. They follow the rod and terminate at the battery. I connected them to the top posts of my Yellow Top battery since the side posts are not designed to source the current load generated during heavy winch operation. (so states an e-mail from Optima customer service)
More Bulldog Winch
4x4 Off-Road Homestead Firearms RC Flying