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Old 10-23-2019, 05:52 PM   #1
denandannie
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Adding a Winch with Accompanying Headaches

After getting my 2015 Chevy 3500 LB 4WD stuck in the snow in my own drive way, I decided a change was needed.

First, I got rid of the worthless highway tires for some snow tires and then, just in case, I decided to add a winch. After some research, I decided on a Westin HDX grille guard with winch tray and a Warn Zeon 12S winch.

Installing the grille guard was not the simple "bolt on" as the instructions indicated. It required some modifications and the re drilling of several pre drilled holes. After ten hours I finally had it on and it looked awesome.

Two weeks later the winch arrived and I found it would not just slip down inside the winch tray. The winch tray had to be uninstalled first. Fine. Once the tray was laying on my work bench I found the pre drilled winch mounting holes would not line up with the Warn winch, because the winch was slightly too wide. So, after re drilling the mounting holes the winch was finally ready to install back onto the truck. After obtaining a hernia moving it to the truck, and creating a new set of swear words, it was finally bolted on and ready to hook up the electrical.

The winch battery cables would not attach to the battery terminal, plus the neg cable was too short. A trip to NAPA solved the problems.

All that was left was to install the synthetic cable onto the winch drum. Warn doesn't do that for you, they give you the joy of doing that yourself. They give you a piece of wire to try to pull the cable through this tiny, itsy bitsy hole in the drum. Even the Hulk could not pull the cable through the tiny slot.
So after an hour of grunting, swearing and pulling, I finally hooked a long wire to the cable and then hooked the wire to my ATV and pulled it through w/o much effort. Eventually the cable was wound onto the drum and the winch was ready for final testing and cable stretching. That was done w/o incident.

The last item was to install the Westin tow hooks, since they factory tow hooks cannot be reinstalled. However, with the Warn winch being too long, the tow hooks would not fit. After some pondering, I found they would fit upside down if new holes were drilled and longer grade 8 bolts were obtained, which was done.

Finally all was done and the grille guard and winch make the truck one bad-ass looking rig. Total install time was 2 days totaling 14 hours.

Maybe my story will help you should you try a similar truck upgrade.
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Old 10-23-2019, 06:33 PM   #2
Theunz
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They do it in 30 minutes on TV
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:52 PM   #3
denandannie
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They do it in 30 minutes on TV
it takes me 30 minutes to find my tools
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:23 PM   #4
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Pictures would be great
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:20 PM   #5
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Pics or it didn't happen.
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:22 PM   #6
denandannie
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Pictures would be great
not sure how to send photos
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:52 PM   #7
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In the quick reply look at the 6th icon from the left above
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:33 AM   #8
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WOW! Couple that with global warming and it insures no snow fall in the coming years.
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:49 AM   #9
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oh the joy of the DYI'er. These days you have to have mad skills to do what you did. Success is sweet don't you think.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:09 AM   #10
Hornet28
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Combo brush guard winch mount I made for my truck. The winch mount plugs into the receiver and the wiring runs through the grille when I'm using it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1040992.jpg (231.3 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg P1040993.jpg (185.9 KB, 40 views)
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:40 AM   #11
denandannie
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Photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by denandannie View Post
After getting my 2015 Chevy 3500 LB 4WD stuck in the snow in my own drive way, I decided a change was needed.

First, I got rid of the worthless highway tires for some snow tires and then, just in case, I decided to add a winch. After some research, I decided on a Westin HDX grille guard with winch tray and a Warn Zeon 12S winch.

Installing the grille guard was not the simple "bolt on" as the instructions indicated. It required some modifications and the re drilling of several pre drilled holes. After ten hours I finally had it on and it looked awesome.

Two weeks later the winch arrived and I found it would not just slip down inside the winch tray. The winch tray had to be uninstalled first. Fine. Once the tray was laying on my work bench I found the pre drilled winch mounting holes would not line up with the Warn winch, because the winch was slightly too wide. So, after re drilling the mounting holes the winch was finally ready to install back onto the truck. After obtaining a hernia moving it to the truck, and creating a new set of swear words, it was finally bolted on and ready to hook up the electrical.

The winch battery cables would not attach to the battery terminal, plus the neg cable was too short. A trip to NAPA solved the problems.

All that was left was to install the synthetic cable onto the winch drum. Warn doesn't do that for you, they give you the joy of doing that yourself. They give you a piece of wire to try to pull the cable through this tiny, itsy bitsy hole in the drum. Even the Hulk could not pull the cable through the tiny slot.
So after an hour of grunting, swearing and pulling, I finally hooked a long wire to the cable and then hooked the wire to my ATV and pulled it through w/o much effort. Eventually the cable was wound onto the drum and the winch was ready for final testing and cable stretching. That was done w/o incident.

The last item was to install the Westin tow hooks, since they factory tow hooks cannot be reinstalled. However, with the Warn winch being too long, the tow hooks would not fit. After some pondering, I found they would fit upside down if new holes were drilled and longer grade 8 bolts were obtained, which was done.

Finally all was done and the grille guard and winch make the truck one bad-ass looking rig. Total install time was 2 days totaling 14 hours.

Maybe my story will help you should you try a similar truck upgrade.
Photos attached
Attached Images
File Type: jpg full view with winch.jpg (490.7 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg side view of winch.jpg (437.0 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg close front view of winch.jpg (505.6 KB, 37 views)
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:19 PM   #12
JPDoege
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Very cool, thanks for the pics!
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:41 PM   #13
Theunz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hornet28 View Post
Combo brush guard winch mount I made for my truck. The winch mount plugs into the receiver and the wiring runs through the grille when I'm using it.
http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...1&d=1571929787

That is a very nice guard. I like the clean modern square tube look. May not offer the protection of the OP's but definitely a new take on a stale design.
Kudos to both of you.
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:19 PM   #14
scottz
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Nice job, looks great! I have had winches on all my trucks since mid 70's, but not the last two. I usually have a plow truck or something else around to pull things out. In my younger years, I got into a lot of trouble that I needed a winch; not so much any more. I've had a new Ramsey hydraulic winch in my shop for several years, not sure I'll ever use it.

Another issue with the new trucks is the sensors on the front; cameras, radar antennas (adaptive cruise, collision alert) etc. I put a deer catcher (no winch) on mine. It was designed for the camera, but the other sensors were kind of a gray area. I had to buy and install it before I knew it would work; all is well.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2019-08-30 13.48.05 -3.jpg (1.67 MB, 29 views)
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:19 AM   #15
Hornet28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theunz View Post
http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...1&d=1571929787

That is a very nice guard. I like the clean modern square tube look. May not offer the protection of the OP's but definitely a new take on a stale design.
Kudos to both of you.

Thanks. I have a pair of lights mounted on the middle crossbar. I tried a stainless guard but felt it was to flimsy, so I made this. Here's a pic of one I built for my brothers truck when he was hauling RV's around the country. One thing to keep in mind is not getting to much in the way of the air flow to radiator and trans cooler
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCN3027 (1).jpg (84.8 KB, 27 views)
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Old 10-26-2019, 04:12 PM   #16
Jamesb
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Denandannie ... Nice looking truck front end. Love the winch, and would like to upgrade ours. Have you towed much since you installed the winch? Maybe some long steep uphill grades? Since the air has been blocked from the transmission cooler, I have been curious about the effects. Living in the mountains, I’m afraid to mount anything in that area, but most of Warn mounts and others line up pretty close to the same affect. What do you think?
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:37 PM   #17
denandannie
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air flow

a closer view would show there is a lot of air flow so i don't think there will be any problems
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:43 PM   #18
Jamesb
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Ok thanks. My cousin had installed one of those blinding led light bars in front of the transmission cooler, and his temperature went high when we climbed a mountain camping in Tennessee. He removed it since. Thank you for the info.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:46 PM   #19
pepkat
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Snow Tires

Snow tires and all-weather tires are pretty useless for snow and especially for ice. I would suggest you invest in a good set oh heavy duty chains w Cletus for your truck. And also rev you practice putting them on and taking off! IMHO this could save much aggravation and help avoid accidents and need for a wench!
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:49 PM   #20
Byron B
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Looks good. How much weight did this add on?
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