If you don’t have a UTV winch installed on your side-by-side, you need to do it before your next ride. Whether you’re stuck in a ditch, in the mud, or on a log, a good winch is your get out of jail free card. If you just don’t don’t know how to install a UTV winch, you’re in the right place.
We’re here to make that intimidating wiring seem easy and to walk you through the steps to get it done.
But before we get into all that, let’s cover the basics.
The first step is always to pick the appropriate winch for the job. A 2500 lb. winch is an ideal ATV winch—small, affordable, and easy to use. A 3500 lb. winch works great on ATVs and most small UTVs. However, these winches might start to bog down if you’re buried in deep mud, climbing over rocks, or running a larger vehicle like a four-seater.
If you’ve got a big machine sporting some extra accessories, you’ll probably be better served by a 4500 lb. or 6000 lb. winch. The added weight of bigger tires and hefty suspension mods will pretty much guarantee you’ll need at least a 4500 lb. winch. And if you plan on hauling your buddies when they break down, you might as well get a 6000 lb. winch just to be sure.
A 12,000 lb. winch is for the biggest of the big. Most people don’t need a winch this size. For those that do—you know who you are.
Okay, so now that you’ve figured out which winch to get, you need to get it mounted. You can’t finish your UTV winch install without a winch mount plate or a winch-ready bumper.
You can easily find either on the SuperATV website by selecting Winch & Winch Mounts or Bumpers from the category options, and then filtering based on your specific needs. Just note that bumpers that are winch ready will be called “Winch Ready” bumpers. If it doesn’t say “Winch Ready,” you can’t mount a bumper to it!
If you’re in the market for a bumper along with a winch, a bumper with a built-in winch mounting plate is exactly what you need. Mounting a winch to it is a breeze and the free spool knob is usually more accessible than if it were mounted inside your chassis with a winch mounting plate—handy for when you’re buried in 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 2500 lb. and 3500 lb. winches both have a 3.0” x 4.87” bolt pattern (76mm x 124mm.), and the 4500 lb. and 6000 lb. winches both have a 3.0” x 6.6” bolt pattern (76mm x 168mm).
Let’s walk through the steps to install a winch and mount. 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 are the most common vehicles people mount a winch to.
Here’s how to install a SuperATV Winch and Winch Mount on Full-Size Polaris Ranger.
You’re done with the easy part of your UTV winch install! All that’s left is the wiring.
Now that you have the 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.” It’s not the end of the world, but it’s still nice to get it right the first time.
Here are step-by-step instructions for installing your winch on a Full-Size Polaris Ranger.
After you’ve finished installing everything, you can reattach any trim and/or bumper parts.
If you’re looking for even more precise winch installation instructions, check out our full-length UTV winch install video.
Congratulations! Your winch is now installed and you’re ready to get dirty!