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RZR Winch Install

This is the procedure I would follow if I were to install a winch again. I installed a Viper Max 4500 on a 2011 RZR, 50”, but many, if not all, of the procedures would be the same for any winch on any RZR. I wrote this as the instructions I received in the packing was inadequate. Some things listed here, such as exactly which bolts to use, will have to be figured out for yourself. Also, you may need to purchase some hardware anyway. Following these steps will eliminate a lot of "do over".

1. Remove tray under front hood.
2. Remove side brace bars that are next to seats.
3. Remove seats, place large, soft blanket down to lie on where the passenger seat was.
4. Remove rear panel behind seats.
5. Remove cover over front drive shaft.
6. Disconnect battery ground wire.
7. Jack up front end so wheels hang loose and work area is higher.
8. Remove lower front grill.
9. Bolt two angle braces in position behind front grill so that flat end is to the front. Inside angle should be to the outside and down on each one so bolts (two each brace) can be reached from the sides over the tires. Braces will be slightly above the grill opening.
10. Put bracket with two angles, or bends in it, (which will hold the fairlead) on through the grill opening and attach with four bolts. They may be reached easiest with one wrench from front and one from the side, or use a locking plier to hold bolt.
11. Put fairlead on bracket from the front using the two bolts with the recessed heads.
12. Turn winch lock to free spool, then pull two feet of rope/cable off of winch. Turn back to lock. From driver’s side, place winch on angle brackets with rope to the front. Fish rope through fairlead to dangle in front of grill.
13. Bolt in winch with four bolts up through the angle iron. Use 1.25” long bolts for front holes. Use lock washers and Locktite on bolts.
14. Put rubber boots on cable ends about an inch from each end.
15. Lower RZR if you want to reach under hood better. Find opening in top of firewall where covered wires now run. Use this opening for all four winch power cables.
16. Run two long cables (probably yellow and blue) from the battery, under the front drive shaft, up the outside firewall, through wire hole to just inside the cab.
17. Run the two short cables (probably red and black) from the winch posts to the wire hole to just inside the cab.
18. Contactor will be placed on four holes (covered with plugs now) in firewall.
19. Attach rocker switch (if you are using one) to the cross bar under dash between the steering wheel and the door. I tapped a hole and screwed mine on. Run wires over steering column towards contactor area.
20. If using a wired remote control, drill a hole in the firewall just below and to the outside of the rocker switch. Use remote plug for template for mounting holes. Run wires from the outside in and over the steering column towards contactor area. Mount remote plug to firewall. Cover with supplied dust cover.
21. Attach ALL wires to and from contactor except battery ground. Yellow +(pos) from battery > red on cont., blue – (neg) from batt. > black on cont. NOTE: don’t hook up battery ground to battery yet. Red + (pos) from winch > blue on cont., black – (neg) from winch > yellow on cont.
22. Slide all contactor boots into position.
23. Attach leads from rocker switch and remote switch into green bullets coming off contactor.
24. Attach red wires off switches to orange wire under middle of dash for power only with ignition on. This is a low power circuit.
25. Now attach blue contactor wire to the battery ground post.
26. Insert remote cable to remote plug in firewall. Turn on ignition switch. Tap “out” and “in” on remote control to see if they function by holding rope end. If they are reversed, turn off ignition and reverse the wires on the winch. Then test again.
27. Test rocker under dash. Now TURN OFF ignition switch.
28. Attach contactor to inside of firewall. If you have a small person handy, have them push the bolts through the four holes. If no help, use a clothes hanger bent in a U shape and insert through upper contactor holes, then through upper holes in firewall. Pull from outside and bend to keep contactor in place while placing two bolts in lower holes. Place nuts on outside and tighten most of the way. Use locking pliers to hold bolt from inside of cab. Then remove wire and replace with bolts in upper holes.
29. On inside, cut and splice, or bundle up wires to tuck up out of the way under dash.
30. Adjust slack in power wires (red/black/yellow/blue) and zip tie. Be sure wires to battery won’t flex up to rub drive shaft.
31. I used a piece of old mudflap rubber to protect the heater hose where it rubs against the winch motor. I zip tied it in position and it is invisible.
32. Put liquid tape on both of the winch's cable attachment posts, let dry, then slide boots over connections.
33. Using removed, lower grill cover for guide, cut cardboard template and then cut an opening in template for hole where winch rope comes out. Don’t cut plastic cover yet.
34. If you have rope, remove metal thimble from end, then fish through rubber stop. I did it in two minutes without any lubricant, but use some if necessary. Re-insert thimble.
35. Re-check template to see if rubber stop will pass through easily. Use template to mark, then cut hole in original plastic cover.
36. I used chrome door edging to line opening I cut in the cover—looks good!
37. I put foam rubber in the opening at the top of the firewall to keep dust out of cab. This can be done behind the front tray before re-installing the tray.
38. Re-install all panels, bars and seats.
39. Run rope all the way out of the winch and rewind with some tension on rope.
40. Show off your work to anybody you can. Open a Dr. Pepper.

article written by GJRonK

Here are some pictures of a Viper Elite on a 2009 RZR-S (provided by member "Tuf-Skin")

wired switch mounted to the steering wheel support:
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