How to Install Universal Winch Mount? – [Guide]

If you are the type of person to go on road trips or maybe travel a lot, you have probably bought yourself a winch. What is the winch, you ask? A winch is a tool used to pull your car if it gets stuck by chance. So you may know how to use the winch, but a universal winch mount does help you mount the winch on the vehicle. It is pretty easy to use if you know the few simple steps on mounting it. Here we have explained how to install the universal winch mount on the vehicle.

How to Install Universal Winch Mount? – Guide

There are two ways to mount the winch, there are two options, foot down and foot forward orientation, and you need to have some simple hardware tools and a universal winch.  

So now we come to mounting the universal winching plate. It is pretty basic. The first thing you should have an initial idea about is whether the winch can be mounted foot down or forward. If you mount it wrong, that can destroy your winch. Whatever winch you buy, there are only a few configurations, 

  1. The foot down only method
  2. The foot forward method
  3. A mixture of both foot forward or foot downward. 

However, if you already have a bumper with you, make sure to buy a winch matching that. The bumper needs to match the mounting plated and the winches mounting configuration. There is no need to worry if you buy a foot down or forward winch. 

The Foot Forward Method

In this method, the forward mounting plate will take the load. However, some small shear loads on the bolts might occur if the winch pulls are not straight. The winch has to strain against the mounting plate primarily. Make sure that your winch is not pushing against the Winch mounting hardware. 

The Foot Down Only Method

This method deals with large single shear forces. The need to be sized correctly with the hardware. However, if you don’t install it correctly, the winch mounting hardware might break and shear off. It will cost you quite a bit to buy a new one, hence permanently settling for swapping parts. 

Some winches also need to be mounted foot down only for lubrication. Other of these winches need to be mounted only in a certain way so that the waterlogged from rain or puddles can drain off properly. 

Great advice. However, try not to mount a foot forward winch in a foot downward setting. Unless you really need to and there is no other way, do not attempt this. This, if you try, will cause you more damage than benefit. The foot forward plates are much smaller and cannot take the considerable load of food down plate. If you mount them wrong, the forward plates will sheer off or get bent and damaged. 

Winch mounting orientation is essential for the moton and the solenoid box to drain the logged water correctly. Also, the proper winch will make sure that it can handle the stress and prevent housing stress. Also, proper orientations make for good lubrication of the universal winching plates. 

The Proper Installation of Plates

The first thing to remember is that the winch will get destroyed if a bolt comes loose. Therefore, always tighten your bolts when working on your winch and mounting plates. The winch mounting plate is clamped to the winch by bolts. Some two or more turns will do the work. 

The bolt holes are usually made a few sizes more significant than the actual bolt size to tolerate manufacturing disturbances and make mounting a bit easier. However, when the winch starts moving, the bolt might loosen up. They will begin to jiggle, and also the other bolts will loosen up beginning this. Lose bolts would not be able to handle the load since the twisting forces will make sure that they crack. 

However, it’s pretty easy to prevent this; make sure to use a bit of loc-tite on the hardware and a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to the mounting plate. Make sure you don’t over twist the bolts. This will cause the threaded aluminium in your winching plates to sheer away. And stripping thread costs around a thousand dollars, so yes, it will cost you a lot. However, if you sadly do sheer the thread, make sure to repair them consequently using Helicoil and remember to buy a torque wrench to prevent it from happening again. 

The universal Winch Mounting Plates

These plates usually work for all kinds of winches regardless of their brand, but the orientation should be correct. It needs to have the standard of 10″x 4.5″ mounting series. These plates are pretty simple to use, and there are only a few variations, so it should not be much of a problem. 4×4 jeep plates can be managed to fit regardless of the size of the winch. 

Some of the few Universal Mounting Plates are: 

  • Warn 11078 Universal Foot Forward Winch Mount Plate
  • Warn 13942 Universal Foot Down Winch Mount Kit
  • Warn Universal Foot Down Winch Mount for Trailers
  • Universal Foot Down Winch Mounting Bracket by Driver
  • 36″ Wide Foot Down Winch Mount Plate by GoPlus
  • Rugged Ridge Foot Down Raised Winch Plate
  • Warn 87675 Foot Forward Winch Mounting Plate

Almost all the winch mounting plates are fitted with four bolts and are  10″ x 4.5″ with the bolt patterns in the front face or the bottom leaves. Some of these winches have six bolts too, and if they are for larger vehicles, four bolts will be on the front and two bolts secondary in the sides. However, make sure that you do not crack or sheer your aluminium threads. 

So now that you know how to mount your plates quickly and correctly remember all the tips and tricks for the same mounting. Always remember safety comes first, so while mounting the plates, make sure you mount them safely, following procedure. And always keep in mind the loose bolts.

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