If the winch fits…
Ever wondered how the 4×4 fitment centre managed to mount that winch behind your vehicle’s front bumper? In this new series, brought to you by 4×4 Mega World, we go behind the scenes and find out, step by step, how a fitment centre gets the job done
Let’s kick this off by stating that fitting a winch is best left to the experts… it’s no easy-peasy, Friday-night-in-your-garage job. At least, not if you want to do it as professionally as Nelius van der Vyver and Lukas Solomon from 4×4 Mega World’s Strijdom Park branch.
Here is a step-by-step look at how they fit a T-Max winch and a towbar to a Ford Ranger bakkie.
1. The bumper and grille are removed and stored in a safe place.
2. All of the winch components are laid out on a table. In this case it’s a T-Max from the new XPower series. It is partly assembled, ready to be connected to the power cables and remote plug-in at a later stage.
3. The winch mount is bolted in place. Since the Ranger comes as standard with a space for this mount, the job is done within five minutes.
4. Nelius and Lukas start by extending the winch’s remote plug-in. The plug is moved from the winch to inside the Ranger’s bonnet. They do this for safety reasons, as it forces the driver to keep the bonnet open when winching.
5. This is quite a process, as it involves soldering, encasing the wires in sleeves and sealing possible entry points. These wires are cable-tied in place, ready to be hooked up to the winch later. Lukas fabricates a bracket for the remote plug-in and mounts it inside the engine bay, away from any mechanical components.
6. In this case, the cable was replaced with a rope. The customer opted for a lighter rope winch, as the Ranger is still running on its standard suspension.
7. The winch is bolted onto the winch mount.
8. The bumper and grille are put back in place to see if any cutting is necessary. In this case, the bumper and grille were modified slightly, because the customer also wanted a front-mounted tow bar.
9. The tow bar is fitted in place.
10. The Ford’s bumper and grille are cut to specific size. The cutting is done professionally and surfaces are lined with thick rubber.
11. This vehicle’s customer wanted a special winch guide, located beneath the number plate. This is bolted into place, after which the bumper and grille are tightened securely.
12. The rope is carefully rolled up and the whole system is tested for any flaws.
13. And there you have it… one winch (and towbar) fitted to one Ford Ranger.
More information: 4x4megaworld.co.za
Compiled by: Gerhard Horn
Photographs: Deon van der Walt