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Terrafirma hidden winch install

Discussion in 'LR4' started by djkaosone, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. djkaosone

    djkaosone '11 LR4 HSE LUX 5.0L V8

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    Just thought I'd share my experience with installing the Terrafirma hidden winch mount (newer version for the LR4) (TF096) and Terrafirma 12k winch with synthetic rope (TF3301). I got both shipped with a set of Brtipart recovery tracks DA4587 for about $1k shipped to SoCal from Britpart.com.

    First remove both head lamps, there are 2 tabs per side. Simply slide the metal tabs up and they should slide out, and unplug them.

    Remove the fender flares, there are 2 plastic tabs to remove in the rear inner archway, 2 phillips screws towards the front inner archway, and 1 phillips screw from the headlamp side. Remove the fender flares from the rear side and move along the arch towards the front. There's a metal tab that slides upward along a guide (if you will).

    Then remove the front bumper. There are (4) 8mm screws on top, (1) 30 Torx on each side, (4) 30 Torx on the bottom, and 2 phillips screws on each side of the undercarriage wind deflectors. Once all the screws are removed, pop the sides of the bumper from the fender, I used a plastic body panel remover for it. Then press down on the 2 tabs on each side of the radiator holding the bumper in. When it's partially out, unplug the harnesses (fog lamps, parking sensors, and cameras) from the left side in the headlamp area, and unplug the (2) headlamp washer spray tubes on the right headlamp area. Now you can slide the bumper completely off.

    In order to make room for the everything, you'll have to remove the crash bar (8 bolts 17mm), remove the crash sensors on the right (carefully slide rubber stops up), the window washer tub (2 bolts 10mm), and slide the crash bar up and out. You'll see a plastic air diverter that'll have to be complete trimmed off, except for the top part holding the air temp sensor. Pics after the install will show a clearer picture.

    Next is to drill out the crash bar mounting nuts. I used a 3/16-7/8 step drill bit and just keep going until it pops out. Once all 8 popped out, I ended up drilling out the windshield washer tub spacer that mounts to the crash bar to slide the 1 half spacer into it and the other half on top. The hidden winch mount should line up perfectly with all 8 holes. I'd suggest starting from the inner left towards the radiator, then inner right towards the radiator, then outer left towards wheel (don't forget the mounting plate for the crash sensors), then the outer right towards the wheel (don't forget the plate that mounts the washer tub). Just screw the bolts down a few turns, top and bottom. You'll need the extra room to actually fit the winch in and wire it up.

    Just follow the winch instructions to wire it up. I got lazy and decided to place the winch controller on the upper section of the radiator behind the grill. Since the wires were short, it fits perfectly. I simply ran the wires between the radiator support and the radiator to wire everything up. I also ran the power wires through the opening behind the right headlamp to my secondary battery with just enough length. You can easily run it with more than enough length to cover the main battery. Once everything was mocked up, I bolted the winch in place. Starting with the bolts near the back first and moved towards the front. Then tightened the winch mount up 8 bolts.

    Deciding on how to mount your hawse fairlead was/is a task. I thought about it for a while and decided to utilize the included threaded spacer. Unfortunately, the mount kit and/or winch kit didn't come with the necessary bolts for it. I ended up going to a industrial hardware store and picked up the shortest (2) Metric Grade 8.8 bolt, (2) next size up and (2) next size up from that. The (2) shortest ones actually mounted from the winch mount to the threaded spacer, then either the next size up or the longer one was used to mount the hawse fairlead with (included washers and lock washer). The other 2 were spares. I also picked up a 2 inch long grade 8.8 bolt with fender washers and nyloc nut to mount the winch controller to a random metal piece with a hole behind the grill.

    Now it's time to chop up the front bumper. Super scary, but not too bad. I used a dremel with the drill bit that it came with to carve out holes and random shapes. Since this is all I can upload, I'll stop here. To be continued... Plus the wife is calling me, it's late. To be continued tomorrow...

    Windshield washer tub mounted to the right bracket:
    20171017_170515.jpg

    Crash sensors mounted to the left bracket:
    20171017_170500.jpg

    Temp sensor wire mounted onto the cut plastic radiator brace/wind deflector:
    20171017_170530.jpg

    Mounted the grade 8.8 bolts to the threaded spacer on the mount:
    20171017_170447.jpg

    The winch controller mounted to the random hole behind the left side of the grill, with fender washers (should of used a spacer instead), grade 8.8 bolt, and nyloc nut:
    20171017_170419.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
    defiant, kenk, Al Mamdani and 2 others like this.
  2. djkaosone

    djkaosone '11 LR4 HSE LUX 5.0L V8

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    Ok, part 2. Cutting up the front bumper, I used both a dremel with the kit included drill bit and a pair of sheet metal scissors. I must have put on/off the bumper several times before making my first cut. Eyeballing it and feeling where the bumper lines up with the winch, I was able to feel the 2 plastic welds in the middle. That's where I started cutting and about 1/2 inch deep. Lined it up again, start cutting wider and wider until I felt it was at the right overall length. Then I went back to cut for depth, which ended up about 1.5 inches to 2 inches deep. Then I realized that the inner brace was hitting the winch mount. I started chopping up the brace with the dremel starting from the inner part of the cameras, the very bottom of the brace before it goes solid, and to the very top of my initial cuts. I cut most of the pieces with the dremel, but was scared to cut through and accidentally hit the bumper skin, so that's where the scissors come into play and cut off the remaining parts closest to the bumper skin. The brace should come out with enough clearance for the hidden winch.

    Next is to drill out the holes for the fairlead mount and rope. I literally eyeballed the fairlead mount while the bumper was on and made a small hole with the dremel. When I was able to see through, I would use the step drill bit to make the hole bigger and in the direction I wanted to make it fit properly. Once all the holes lined up properly, I mounted the bumper back on in it's locking place, mounted the hawse fairlead. Marked my hole to be cut through the fairlead, removed the bumper and proceeded to cut. It's a must to make the hole bigger than the fairlead hole so that the rope doesn't touch the bumper skin at any given point. I have about a 1 cm of leeway from the bottom. The key is to always make small holes and then cut to size. It took a while to do, but taking your time is crucial.

    Once everything lines up, put everything back together and that's it. FYI, I'd normally have a beer in between all my work, but I felt that this wasn't the time for it since I had to make crucial cuts. :)

    Bumper brace cutout:
    20171017_170402.jpg

    Fairlead mount and rope holes cut:
    20171017_171843.jpg

    Left side cut for fitting the winch:
    20171017_181050.jpg

    The gap between the bumper skin and fairlead. Not too happy with it, but I'll revisit and possibly use a grade 10.9 metric bolt, spacer, and nyloc nut to reduce the gap:
    20171017_181110.jpg

    Right side cut for fitting the winch:
    20171017_181055.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  3. djkaosone

    djkaosone '11 LR4 HSE LUX 5.0L V8

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    I haven't wired it up yet, I'm waiting for a 500A relay/battery isolator and a 250A circuit breaker to come in. Basically, the black wire goes directly to the neg battery terminal, the red wire goes to the 500A relay switch, new red wire goes from 500A relay switch to 250A circuit breaker, and a new red wire goes from the 250A circuit breaker to the pos battery terminal. This will allow the winch to function properly, isolate any parasitic draws from the (secondary) battery, and circuit protection.

    Future upgrades/mods are to get a remote wire relocation to a easier front mount. Mine is also wireless, so it doesn't really matter. In a worst case scenario, I pop off the front grill for access and manually plug in the remote.

    Anyways, here it is.

    Everything reattached:
    20171017_183752.jpg
     
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  4. AdventureTim

    AdventureTim Full Access Member

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    Thanks for the great writeup!
     
  5. toddjb122

    toddjb122 Full Access Member

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    Wow, what a great write-up. Thanks for the details.

    Don't think I'd have the cajones do an install like that, but it would be crazy expensive to pay someone else and they might miss the details. I would have stopped at "...relocate crash sensors."
     
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  6. djkaosone

    djkaosone '11 LR4 HSE LUX 5.0L V8

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    It was daunting at first but once the parts came off it wasn't too bad. I was more scared off of the cutting part, but my front bumper cover was already beat up from a wheeling/overlanding trip where my suspension calibration went wacky and I had to drive with the suspension on bump stops for 4 miles out of a wash in Ocotillo Wells. Anyways, I didn't really have much to lose.

    If anyone wants to do it and have questions, let me know.
     
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  7. djkaosone

    djkaosone '11 LR4 HSE LUX 5.0L V8

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    Just wanted to put an update on wiring. I debated this with a few electrician buddies and off-road buddies with winches.

    The debate was Circuit Breakers (CB) and/or relay switches or straight to battery, and to which battery (starting or secondary). Without boring you with the details, I'm going to stick with a simple 500A relay inline between the winch contactor and starting battery.

    Why? Because, the amp draw range for the winch is ridiculously high and if Warn, Superwinch, Terrafirma (rebranded Superwinch) didn't include or recommend a CB or fuse inline, then I shouldn't worry too much either. Yes, I know that Superwinch sells a separate thermal CB (which is a series of 50A CBs that make up a 150A CB) made for 9500+ winches, but it may trip after extended use. Well, the 500A relay will be my battery isolator, switched to the cabin. It is thermally protected at 500A and will disengage for overpower consumption. But at that point, I would have to use the 12k winch for a full length and full load pull over a long period of time without any cool off periods. It should also be connected directly to the starting battery since it's the shortest distance to your alternator (generator). You don't want the winch to run over a parallel battery setup with lots of wires between your winch and alternator, more potential to fry anything along that path.

    So, I think the 500A switched relay to the starting battery will be just fine. If anyone would like to add to the debate, please let me know. Thanks!
     
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  8. mbw

    mbw Full Access Member

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    I just got my Warn Zeon Platinum 10-S, and it is the same way.. direct (huge) wire to the battery. I can't put the negative directly on the post, but I can put it on the end of the short main ground wire.

    Worst case, internal short in the winch and you blow up a battery? sounds scary, but it must have something internally to the winch for protection. It would seem really strange to be working with those type of loads and not have some type of protection.
     
  9. Popham

    Popham Member

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    I'm about to install the Devon hidden winch, so great to see your install details--thanks! What did you (or others) do to connect to the negative terminal of the primary battery? I'm making 1/0 cables but attaching to the frame ground will create a huge bottleneck for amperage flow. The ground cables tiny but even worse there's a voltage sensor (shunt?) on the half-size ground cable that may reduce it even further and/or create complications. I'm eyeing the securing stud/nut on the battery terminal. With some bending and cutting of the cable connector, may be the only solution for a direct connection. Other options?

    Also, although Devon also shows the solenoid pack mounted behind the grill, the main reason I've seen winches fail is water ingress to the solenoid contactors. Placing it behind the grill ensures a 70 mph stream of water while driving in rain. I don't think any of the packs are IP67 or similarly sealed, so I'm moving everything to a water tight project box behind the passenger headlight. If you keep it behind the grill, make sure to seal possible ingress points (terminals bases, etc.) with liquid tape or similar.
     
  10. mbw

    mbw Full Access Member

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    The Zeon Platinum 10-s i just bought is IP68 rated. ;)
     

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