How to Install a UTV Winch?

To install a winch on a UTV, make sure you have a winch ready bumper or winch mounting plate that will properly fit your vehicle's make and model. All SuperATV Black Ops Winches come with a color-coded, waterproof solenoid, a set of color-coded wires to match, a rocker switch, fairlead, a wireless remote, and a generic mounting plate. This installation process is pretty simple. All you will need to do is connect your winch to the solenoid, the rocker switch to your solenoid, and the solenoid to the UTV battery. If everything’s wired correctly your winch will spool in and out as expected. There will be more on that in the last section, so for now, let's make sure you have everything you need to get started.

Additional Details
SuperATV's 5000 lb Black Ops Winch
SuperATV's Black Ops Winches are designed to be compact, reliable, and powerful.

How to choose the right UTV winch

The first step is always to pick the appropriate winch for the job. A 3500 lb winch is great for many applications, and perfect for every just about every ATV made. A 3500 lb winch is strong enough for many UTVs as well. You can operate snow plows, go trail riding, or hill climbing and get yourself out of a lot of sticky situations with a 3500 lb. model. However, it might start to bog down if you’re burying your vehicle in deep mud, climbing over rocks, or running a larger vehicle like a 4-seater.

If you like to go a little bigger with a larger machine that is sporting a lot of extra accessories or conquering more extreme obstacles, you’ll probably be better served by a 4500 lb or 5000 lb winch. The added weight of bigger tires or suspension modifications can mean a stronger winch is necessary. These larger winches will get you through any obstacle. If you’re machine is getting to the extreme end of customization and weight you’ll want the extra oomph a 5000 lb will get you.

Choosing the right winch mount

Once you have your winch picked out, you need a way to mount it to your UTV or ATV. No winches mount directly to your vehicle right out of the box—you need to get either a winch mount plate or a winch-ready bumper. At SuperATV, you can find either easily by selecting your vehicle make and model and then by filtering by your results by "winch mounts" or "bumpers". Just note that bumpers that are winch ready are called "Winch Ready" bumpers. If it doesn't say "Winch Ready," you can't mount a bumper to it!

There’s no reason not to get a winch-ready bumper if you have the choice. Mounting a winch to it is a breeze and it makes it more accessible than mounting a winch inside your chassis with a winch mounting plate—very handy when your entire front-end is under the mud. If you decide to go with a winch mounting plate, just make sure it's compatible with the winch you need by checking the bolt pattern! SuperATV’s 3500 lb winch has a 3.0” x 4.87” bolt pattern (76 x 124mm.) The 4500 lb and 5000 lb winches both have a 3.0” x 6.6” bolt pattern (76 x 168mm.) We're pretty good at getting the right bolt patterns on the machines that need them. We're not going to make a 4-seater Fullsize Ranger winch mount that can't fit a 4500 or 5000 lb winch for example.

Black ops winch components including wiring, remote, rocker switch, solenoid and clevis hook.
Black Ops Winches are designed to be easy to install and operate. They come with every except your vehicle-specific mounting plate.

Let's Get Started

Bolting your winch to the bumper or mounting plate and getting your rope assembled through the fairlead with a clevis hook and baffle ring is easy, but wiring your winch can get a little tricky. ALWAYS refer to the instructions included with your winch model and mounting plate. Depending on the make and model of your UTV, the instructions below could vary somewhat, but the basics are the same. Feel free to give us a call or check out the downloadable instructions available on any winch and winch mounting plate product page.

The solenoid is the most important part of your winch's wire harness. SuperATV’s solenoid is color-coded to make wiring everything up easy. SuperATV’s solenoid is waterproof but you’ll want to make sure you mount it in a safe place where it won’t get hit by debris, get too hot, and is safe from moving parts. We usually mount this under the front hood because it's high up and it has easy access to all wires.

Install the Winch Mounting Plate

Before you can install your winch, you need to install your winch mounting plate. The steps required to install a mounting plate vary from machine to machine. Usually it involves removing the factory bumper and/or the plastic bodywork from the front of the vehicle and then finding the indicated area on the frame to bolt the mount to. If you opt for a winch-ready bumper instead of a mounting plate, all you'll need to do is mount your bumper. Mounting a winch-ready bumper is usually easier the installing a winch mount and gives you easy access to your winch when it's buried in mud or creeks.

We'll go through the steps of installing a winch mount and winch on a Fullsize Polaris Ranger because it's often the most popular UTV to install an aftermarket winch on. These steps will be identical whether you're installing a SuperATV mount on a Ranger XP 1000, Ranger XP 900, or Ranger XP 570. These vehicles have a relatively straightforward installation process compared to some others.

  1. Remove the bumper from the machine. For 2018 Ranger XP 1000 models, the stock plow catch must also be removed.
  2. Mount the SuperATV Winch to the winch mounting plate and finger tighten the four M8 x 25mm bolts included with your winch. Once you're sure of the winch's orientation and fit, tighten the bolts down.
  3. Take the winch assembly and bracket and mount it on the Ranger using the four M10 x 20mm bolts provided. Loosely tighten at first so that you can make sure everything is aligned. The nylock nuts that came with your mount are paired with the lower two M10 x 20mm bolts Tighten all four bolts to snug.

Wiring Your Winch

Now that you have winch plate mounted and tightened up it is time to wire the winch. Follow the diagram below to make sure you’ve got it right. If you swap the positive and negative wires, the winch will spool out when you press “in” and spool in when you press “out.” Not the end of the world, but make sure you get it right the first time.

Black Ops Winch Wiring Diagram
The color-coded posts and wires make our winches easy to wire.

  1. Mount the solenoid in an easy to access location. We recommend somewhere under your UTV’s hood. Make sure you'll have easy access to the all wires running from the winch and the battery.
  2. Using the provided black and red wires connect them to the positive and negative terminals on the winch. The red wire will be connected to the positive red terminal and the black wire will be connected to the negative black terminal.
  3. Now connect the yellow wire from the winch to the yellow post on the solenoid and the blue wire fromt he winch to the blue post. Make sure to tighten all of the connections, but do not over tighten.
  4. Now connect the male end of the rocker switch to the female plug coming from the solenoid. Make sure to tighten the connectors by using the cap screw on the metal ends.
  5. Locate your UTV’s 12V key on power source. This should be in the busbar under the hood. Using the provided connectors and wire, splice the red 12V switch wire to the UTV’s keyed power source.
  6. Finally, connect the other end of the red and black wires to the UTV's battery.

The last step is to install the fairlead. This will allow your synthetic rope to spool in and out easily, help clean of excess debris, and save your rope from wear. Models like the Ranger XP 1000, 900, and 570 require the fairlead to be mounted to the bumper. Other models may mount directly to the mounting plate or elsewhere.

After you've finished installing your wiring, winch, and fairlead, you can reattach any trim and/or bumper parts.

Your winch is installed and you’re ready to get dirty!

Need More Winch Wiring Help? Watch Our Black Ops Winch Install Video Below

Watch this Video Black Ops Series Winch Install - SuperATV 02:17:00 Inside look at how to install one of SuperATV's black op series winches onto any ATV/UTV. 2017-07-21