Finished the mounting today.
I probably should have removed the grill guard and bumper, as it it would have been easier to get at. But it's HEAVY, so I unbolted the winch and by moving around in its enclosed space managed to get it painted (hey, primer) and the cables hooked up.
I took the opportunity to install a buss bar with 3/8" studs and some smaller posts; I hooked the winch cabling to it, as well as a 6 AWB wire and big fuse I have that connects to an inverted in the cabin. And a trickle charger and driving lights also connect there.
It's a pain because at least on my van I've got two 2 AWG (? maybe smaller) crimped together from the engine, with a clamp-on style terminal. There's absolutely no slack in it, so I was reluctant to pull off the clamp and install new ones, mainly because it would have been a PITA to get new ones on. Instead I put a clamp that converts to a "marine style" stud (3/8"); onto this I fastened a 2 AWG short cable and a tapered battery connector; the engine wiring now clamps to THAT terminal, and the short battery cable runs to the bar. And from the bar all the other stuff connects.
I ran the winch cables through split conduit, as you can see, and then through a PVC elbow where they cross a sharp edge. Then they enter some scrap heater hose and run down the side of the fan shroud. I figure that stuff's wear and temperature resistant. At the bottom, more conduit and up over the crossbar I mentioned in an earlier post. Neg to winch, pos to the solenoid bos.
The box was originally meant to go on the winch, but no room. And the design seemed bad to me (as is typical with HF stuff it's just a starting point...you usually have to mod it to make it good). So bent a couple of brackets and bolted through the chrome bumper. The design is lame because it's impossible to take off the top when it's bolted down; I'll correct that later if I have to. Couple little drain holes in the bottom and done.
As you saw in earlier photos, no wire rope. Traded it in. Got synthetic. The line, however, came with a ring terminal end and I've got a through-hole-with-allen-bolt winch (the last one I installed was the other way 'round, which is actually more of a pain). So had to cut it off. Man, Dyneema is HARD to cut! Stuff's like tool steel! Went through a few cutting wheels with the Dremel. It just made it into the hole since the rope has a heat sheath; I figured I could peel a bit back to make it fit, and it did. Now I need a tree to get it taut, but it's on. SOOOO much nicer than wire rope. All my friends made it clear they would not help me winch a 4.5 ton van with wire rope. Scared them.
HF makes a wireless remote; gonna add that (BTW, lots of folks are rewiring those to work on other winches; they're fairly inexpensive).
Only hiccup was the crappy bolts for the winch. So here's a warning:
DO NOT USE THE HARBOR FREIGHT BOLTS TO MOUNT A WINCH!!
Not the first time I've found their hardware lacking, and I had considered, on advice of a reviewer, switching to SAE anyway. But I thought I'd do it when I returned and was just gonna make sure they were torqued correctly and was literally on the last one when SNAP. BIG pain, but that's for another thread.
Overall, pretty happy with the project.
One lingering question is the width of the opening of my fairlead. It's the right size, and I notice that they seem to be standard and all run a bit smaller than the width of the drum. Rope spools fine; just wondering about it.