How To Install Winch On ATV: All You Have to Know

Perhaps you’re planning an off-roading or vacation experience with your ATV. To take your off-roading skills to the next level a winch on your atv is a must. It’s not only important but also crucial to your safety.

But you don’t know how to install winch on atv. Don’t worry because you’ve come to the right place. In this article I will teach you how you can install a winch on an ATV and the benefits that come with it.

So, let’s get started.

Do I Need A Winch on My ATV- 100 words

Whether you are a hardcore off-roader or weekend warrior looking for an adrenaline rush in the badlands, it’s important to have a safe and reliable winch on your ATV.

It can help you in many situations such as off-road trails, hunting, farm, dune riding and many more. With a winch on-board you can:

  • Climb Rough terrains safely.
  • Lug your ride out of the woods and back onto the track with ease.
  • Get your buddy out of a sticky situation.
  • Confident lone-rides because of self rescue capability.
  • Move heavy objects.
  • pull or carry a log that’s a little too heavy to drag by hand.
  • Use Plough blades conveniently.

ATV Winch Wiring Diagram –

Wiring is pretty much the same for all the ATV winches available on the market. Below is an example of a warn winch wiring diagram to help you out with all the connections needed to make for proper functioning of a winch.

Switch Wiring 

The red wire from the handlebar or rocker switch must be linked to the ATV’s power supply. Using a test light or a voltmeter, determine which wire is supplying 12v power from the wiring harness.

After confirming that the wire you’re seeking for is the appropriate one, connect the handlebar wire to the power source with a snap wire connector.

The solenoid should be linked to the green and black wires of the controller. The left side of the terminal is for green wire, and the right side is for black wire.

Solenoid/Contactor wiring

The cables on the winch are colour coded. Connect the red wire to the red terminal on the solenoid and the black wire to the black terminal. Do the same with the battery. For better understanding read the user manual that comes with the winch.

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How to Install Winch On ATV 

Winches are a great addition to any ATV. They are not only useful for assisting in recovery situations but also haul heavy loads with your vehicle. Installing a winch on an ATV shouldn’t be difficult or challenging. Enjoy this step-by-step guide to learn how you can do it.

Step-1: To gain access to where you will mount the winch, remove the bumper and plastic covers from the front end of your ATV by unscrewing the bolts.

Step-2: A winch plate is a must to mount the winch. Depending on your vehicle and the winch you buy, find a specific winch plate. Or try this universal winch plate if it fits.

Step-3: After you have the appropriate mounting plate use the bolts to secure the winch to it. Then attach the winch plate to your vehicle. This step depends on what kind of winch you are putting in. 

Step-4: When you’ve fitted the winch and mounting plate on your ATV, use the included bolts to attach the fairlead to the mounting plate. If the winch rope has a hook at the end, make sure you pass it through the fairlead before attaching it.

Step-5: Locate a convenient spot on the handlebar to put the rocker swicth.Place the switch there and secure it with bolts and screws using the provided clamps.

Step-6: Follow the atv winch wiring diagram segment for Wiring Handlebar Switch and Installing Solenoid. Keep in mind to put the solenoid in a dry and secure spot out of reach of the ATV’s moving parts.

Step-7: The red cable from the circuit breaker is linked to the red cable of the solenoid.

Step-8: Finally check if the winch is working properly. Secure all the wires and keep them in an orderly manner.

These are all the basic steps to follow while installing any winch on your ATV. Also follow the instruction manual provided with the winch and the mounting plate. 

If things still seem confusing, I recommend you watch this video on YouTube and learn how easy it is to install a winch.

Recommended ATV Winch Wiring Kit

The wires that make up your winch are susceptible to breaking down after cruising through rough terrains. You can easily repair the damage by using a new wire set. With this winch wiring kit, replace your spoiled wires without having to buy a whole new winch

How Do You Install A Winch and Plow on an ATV?

Installing a plow kit can be a bit tricky. Depending on your vehicle the process might need a little improvising but it all comes down to 3 major stages:

  1. Attaching the mounting plate underneath the vehicle for the plow tube.
  2. Prepping the plow tube and fixing it with the mounting plate.
  3. Securing the plow blade to the tube. 

You can watch this informative video to ensure proper installation of your plow blade.

How Do You Replace A Winch On An ATV?

If you’ve crashed your ATV, and your winch is damaged, you need to get it replaced. The only way to do that is by having a new winch installed. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove the old winch from the ATV.
  2. Install the new winch on the ATV. (Follow the same process that’s been described above).
  3. Make sure that there are no loose bolts around, then tighten everything down until it feels snug.

Is A 2500 lb Winch Enough For ATV?

Choose a winch for your ATV that has a rated pulling capacity of around 1.5 times the gross weight of your vehicle. Most ATVs will be fine with a 2500lb winch, but larger models will require greater pulling force from going up to 3500 pounds. Take into account how you intend to use the winch while selecting the pulling capacity of the winch.


DO all ATV winches mount the same?

For all of the winches, the mounting procedure is similar but not exactly identical. The winch mounts that are available on the market are vehicle specified.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Winch On An ATV?

An ATV winch kit can cost from anywhere around $150-$300 depending on the capacity and brand. 
The installation cost will be about $100. But with a little patience and effort you can save some bucks and do it yourself.

Are ATV winches universal?

Yes, all of the top selling ATV winches are compatible with most of the ATVs. But the winch mounts are vehicle specified. So be sure to find the exact mount that will fit into your vehicle.

Final Thoughts

Let’s bring it to conclusion. A winch is a critical piece of equipment for your ATV. The process of installing can be time consuming but it is worth it in the end. Having a winch gives you an edge over those that don’t.

I hope this guide made the installation process easier for you so when any unexpected challenge pops up, you’ll be ready, and it will feel like a walk in the park.

Ricardo Vaughn
Ricardo Vaughn

Vaughn is a seasoned off-roading expert and professional winch specialist. When he's not out on the trails, he shares his knowledge and experiences through his writing as a blog author in the off-roading and outdoor lifestyle space.

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