I went with a Warn. My first instinct was since I doubt I would use it much if at all, I don’t need a good one. But then I realized that if you’re going to wear something just for looks, you might as well wear a name brand! And it wasn’t that much more expensive than an off brand anyway. I went with the VR series (entry level, made in China), 10,000 pounds (definitely overkill), synthetic cable (why not?). I got it on Amazon from a seller in Florida and was all in at just shy of 750 bucks.
Attached it to my bumper custom made by Savage Offroad and powder-coated at a local shop. When the winch arrived, I couldn’t get over how big it was. Pictures don’t do it justice, this thing is a beast! And HEAVY!
I was hoping that it would fit without relocating the control box that sits on top, but no such luck. In this pic, the grill is detached and resting on the control box. I might have gotten it to fit by trimming the grill quite a bit, but I spent a lot of time on that thing making it just how I wanted it and the thought of hacking it up made me sick.
So I removed the control box, fashioned a crossbar to mount it on, and hid it behind the grill. Under the hood probably would have been best, but would require all new cables. By doing this, I didn’t have to mess with re-cabling it. I was surprised that the box is not sealed, which I thought was odd. I know that blocking your radiator is typically not a good idea, and also that mounting the box in a hot area may not be ideal either, but I don’t anticipate any problems.
There is enough room to reach behind the grill to hook up the wired remote. Like I said, I don’t plan on using it much if at all.
So there’s the finished product. The turn signals don’t work because I didn’t think to order an adapter for the LEDs. Still have more work to do on this rig, but it’s come a long way!