This weekend we worked on the Winch (again).
Mainly to hook it up to the battery with the quick connects
But the Winch was shorting out on the frame and we found out the hard way by it cooking the brake lines! It was the easiest path the the short could make: winch chassis to the bumper to frame, from frame to the steering body line touching the brake lines (the short was trying to make it back to the battery)..
Didn't seem to completely damage the brake lines where they split to front and rear but it got red hot and real smelly! I thought it was frying the fuse box (right below brake lines)!
So the bottom line was the Winch from Harbor Freight wasn't exactly working well since it short's itself when it changes polarity when the motors reverse! Real deceptive.. since it was working reversing and shorting at the same time. Not Good.
We even removed my known good Warn Winch from my Landcruiser thinking it would fit and we did confirm that it didn't exhibit the same weird voltage reversal from it's chassis ground. Warn Winch Good. Cabling in Sporto; Good.
After removing The Warn 9000TI we found out it didn't fit. The bolt patterns were the same but the left and right dimensions were too long on the left side (for a 12000 or 16000 Winch)
At least we find out that the Harbor Freight Winch was NUTS! with it's reverse polarity issue off it's chassis! It worked witht the Warn so the cabling was good.
So, I'm now shopping for a Warn or Superwinch 10000 and up.. at least with the common larger bolt pattern.
Things I learned and to remember:
Always check if the winch your putting in doesn't have any type of voltage or reverse polarity action happening from the winch chassis itself!
Even Bolt patterns for popular Winch's at 10 x 4.5 doesn't mean it will fit! (Double confirm dimensions)
Winches without the steel lines are actually quite easy to haul around, about the weight of a heavy dumbell.
Brake lines can really cook up good(short) without breaking!
Stay away from Harbor Freight 10K Winches even if it's dirt cheap.