4wding is always more fun when there are 2 or more vehicles because you tend to adventure to places you would not normally go, because you know that if you get stuck, you have somone to help you get out.
I like 4wding in groups but the reality is that 50% of my 4wding is with my family and in fact, later in the year we are planing to go from Brisbane to Uluru. I’ll feel a lot more comfortable knowing that I have a winch to get me out of trouble if I happen to stuck. Last thing I would want is for my family to have to sit on the side of a track / road hoping that someone drives by who could help us.
Having this in mind I set out to find myself a winch. I haven’t mentioned this before but I like to hunt around for a good deal whether it’s new or used. I spend a lot of time looking for things on Gumtree. Yes you could just buy it new, but anyone with a 4wd knows how quick the accessories add up.
I ended up purchasing a 12,000lbs Monster Ironman Winch with Synthetic Rope (used) for $200.00. In fact I got the two for that price, one was damaged and one was semi working. The control box plug was broken and after a quick search before buying it found out that it was a common problem with that brand of winch.
I drove 50km for the winches and as soon as I got home started work on fixing it up. The control box was a mess with broken wires. I located some diagrams on the net and started rewiring it. It wasn’t long before I had it up and going, mind you I had a contact around the wrong way and it was going forward when it should have been going in reverse. I quickly swapped it over, tested, and the winch was ready to go. I repaired the control plug and reinforced it to prevent it breaking in the future.
I removed the gear box to make gure everything was fine, which it was. I swapped over the synthetic rope from the damaged winch as it was in a better condition.
I went to Supercheap and purchased some high tensile bolts and fitted the winch to the vehicle. The rocker bar does not need any adapter brackets and winch simply bolts straight in. Whilst I was at Supercheap I also picked up a battery isolator so that I could isolate the winch when I’m not 4wding. This will, in the event I have a accident, ensure that the solid positive wire running along the front of the vehicle is not active and effectively a dead wire.
I made up a small bracket for the isolator and mounted it behind my battery.
The space I used is where some people are fitting a second battery, however due to installing the rocker bar the water tank gets moved to this location so i figured I might as well use this space. I’m sure you could fit the isolator elsewhere if you wanted (I also fitted a secondary battery in the Sport, Ill cover this with a post in the near future).
I also made up another bracket to mount the control box in the Rocker bar to the left so it was not in the way of the radar
The rocker bar also came with a flip up number plate bracket so that you can lift the plate up when you need to use the winch. The issue with that was the plate sticks out too much and interferes with the parking sensors. I get around this issue I modified the bracket so that it would site up higher.
It was all quite simple and straight forward with the install as nothing needed to go through the firewall as the winch has a wireless remote or you can also plug it in by cable if you wish. You could run a switch into the vehicle and put a switch in for either the isolator or the winch control however I felt that I did not need this and the winch was easy to operate the way it was.
I have since used the winch to recover another vehicle with no issues at all.
Approximate cost of winch and parts – $260.00