How to Install Winch on ATV? – [Step by Step Guide]

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is basically an off-road vehicle that is motorized with four non-pneumatic tires and four low-pressure tires. The seat on an ATV is made for the purpose of being straddled by the operator, and the steerage is controlled with the handlebars. ATVs are classified into two types based on the manufacturer. Single-user Type I ATVs have no passengers, and are designed for one operator only. The manufacturer designed Type II ATVs for usage by an operator and a passenger, with a defined seating place behind the operator. In the same way, riders should also keep in mind the various ATV sizes.

Things you need to consider before installing a winch on your ATV

In the following section you will find a few things that may impact your decision on whether or not to buy a winch for your ATV. If you take a look, I bet that you will be able to make the right decision:

Synthetic Rope or Wire Cable

Synthetic ropes and wire cables should be chosen depending on your usage requirements, so think carefully about your decision before you get started. Heavy loads are often hauled by ATVs, but those who don’t want to add more weight to their machines can go for synthetic ropes. They are lightweight and easy to handle even without hand gloves. As opposed to steel or wire cables, which are heavier and more difficult to handle. Wire cables, on the other hand, are extremely resilient and are an excellent choice for ATV recovery and utility work.

Weight Rating

You do not need a big winch for your ATV if you have one that’s under 400cc and has a smaller engine. When it comes to high-performance ATVs and especially large-sized ATVs, winches weighing between 3000 and 3500lbs are recommended.

Power Source

ATVs are mostly electric these days, so winches can easily be powered by the battery packs on ATVs. While there are hydraulically powered winches available, they may be difficult to handle. Using the winch with batteries that are in good condition should not present a problem. 

Getting a Mounting Plate for your ATV

Before you can install an ATV winch, you must first install a mounting plate. ATV’s are not designed with a winch storage spot, so you need to modify them to make one. There are numerous winch mounting plates on the market, and you must select one that is appropriate for your vehicle. Prior to getting a mounting plate, you need to determine the type, the make, and the model of your ATV. The plate must be sturdy enough to withstand the force generated by the winch. Also, make sure your bumper is compatible with your winch and your plate.

Most winches will not operate with factory bumpers since they were not designed to withstand such force. We recommend that you go through the parts section of the company’s catalogue where you purchased your winch and find a bumper that will work with it, as most bumpers do not have a place to mount a winch. It is possible to purchase mounting systems that include both a bumper and a custom mounting plate.

Tools needed to install a winch on your ATV

Down below is a list of tools that are absolutely essential to get hold of before you begin installing the winch on your ATV.

  1. Ratchet
  2. Voltage meter
  3. Screwdriver
  4. Wrench
  5. Bolts
  6. Drill
  7. Flat washer

Step-by-step Guide to installing a winch on your ATV – Steps

Step 1: Having all the materials together, install the mounting plate first. The winch and mounting plate come with detailed installation instructions and warnings that you should carefully read before you begin.

Step 2: With the screwdriver, you will need to remove the bolts holding the front bumper plate on. There are four bolts in front and four on each side. (They will be used again in the future, so keep them in good condition)

Step 3: Removing the front plastic fascia as well as the bolts is required.

Step 4: The roller fairlead should be fastened with bolts, nuts, and lock washers to keep it in place.

Step 5: Attach the plate to the wall and secure it. Move any wires or hoses while you’re doing it to avoid injuring your ATV. While fixing the plate, an adhesive is used to keep the bolts in place.

Step 6: Install your winch on the plate and tighten the nuts. It must be positioned just right before it is secured to the bumper.

Step 7: Connect the clevis hook to the cable loop.

Step 8: It’s critical that the winch line has an obstructed path in order to work, so disengage the gear train and make sure the line is free. Remember to activate it after the test.

What is the cost of installing a winch on your ATV?

A winch is a powerful tool that may be used to easily pull your ATV out of danger or to move hefty items. There are several winch kits available online, with prices ranging from $100 to $200. However, purchasing an ATV winch is only part of the procedure; the majority of the work entails attaching the winch to your ATV. DIYers can easily save around $100 by installing the winch themselves. In addition to all the “How-To Guides” available online, there are also manufacturers in the US that provide simple installation manuals that can make the winch installation process much easier.

Wiring the Winch

‚Äč A contractor is used in winch systems, and you must select a good location for it. Typically, the contractor is installed under the driver’s seat, but that is an option as well. Wires for the winch pass through the contractor, a relay box that acts as the winch’s primary wire hub. There will need to be a few holes drilled in order to route the wires.

The winch control switches must then be installed. A convenient place to install them would be in the steering mechanism. Some winches feature a switch that connects the contractors to the ignition switches. Nevertheless, when your winch is connected to the ignition, it can only run when the ATV power is switched on. Use the voltage metre to locate the ignition’s hot lead, and then connect it to the winch switch with it. Connected to the other switch wires is the contractor.

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