ARB and Superwinch EP9

Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
752
Location
Bend, Oregon
Ok, finally getting around to documenting my superwinch ep9 install on an ARB front bumper. There are a few threads out there with some of this info but here's another perspective incase anyone is thinking of going the Superwinch route.

A few thoughts:

  • I ordered the winch from Amazon, and shipping was pretty quick. They had by far the best price on the winch, by a few hundred bucks.
  • The EP9 runs about the same cost as a m8000. Given the extra pulling capacity of the superwinch and the low current draw, I went this route, especially since I am not running dual batteries.
  • Although the install wasn't that hard, its not a quick bolt-on affair. There are a handful of things that need to be done to get this to work on the ARB.

    • Re-clock the free-spool nob such that it points upward to facilitate a foot-forward mounting. I chatted real quickly with one of the great folks at superwinch. I was a bit nervous at cracking open a new winch but it is very straight forward.
    • Relocate the solenoid.
    • Cut and crimp some new wires.
    • Factor in the cost of a disconnect switch, extra wire, terminals, spacer, etc depending on your setup.
Fitment

  • Although the superwinch uses a standard mounting pattern for the fairlead, the included fairlead will NOT bolt up to the ARB. Its a bit too long lengthwise, so the upper mounts will not line up with the vertical rollers. I went with an offset Slee Hawse fairlead and just switched to synthetic rope at the same time. Otherwise you'll need to mod the bumper or get a warn or compatable fairlead.
  • You'll need some sort of spacers to push the bumper back in towards the grill. A 9mm spacer only allowed a papers-thickness of space due to the length of the winch. I ended up using a slightly thicker spacer to ensure there was enough space in the event the bumper flexes slightly upon load.
  • You'll need new hardware than what comes with the winch since you have to use spacers. Additionally, since the superwinch by default is a foot down design, they don't anticipate the extra thickness of the fairlead in the fasteners that are included. Here's a few rough measurements on the thickness of the components:
    • Winch itself: 2-2.5 CM
    • Bumper: 4mm
    • Spacer: 9+ mm
    • Slee Fairlead: 6mm
    • Washer: 2mm
Cable:

  • The included cable is rated at 980kg wll. Depending on if you use a 4:1 or a 5:1 safety factor, this means the cable may break at between 8624lbs-10780lbs. Not cool IMO. Especially as this is the WLL with a new cable. A few drags, weathering, etc and it won't be that strong.
  • See some of the links below, but reading through many pages on the internet, combined with the fairlead needing replacement, pushed me to synthetic rope.
Rope:

  • There are a number of vendors selling all manner of synthetic rope. The advantages and disadvantages have been discussed ad-nauseam, so I won't go into that here. Pick a vendor, and roll with it.
  • I opted to go with dyneema sk78, or amsteel blue, in a 3/8 size. 80ft. I ordered this from westmarine. These guys were great to work with and the order shipped quickly.
  • A side note; the included hook with the steel cable will NOT fit onto a 3/8" thimble.
  • Installing the rope instead of steel takes a little time and modification of the rope. Winchline.com has a good writeup on how to do this. (See below).
  • In retrospect I would have gotten a better thimble, maybe even one of the safety type thimbles.
Wiring:

  • The two main wiring challenges are the relocation of the solenoid and, optionally, a cutoff switch.
  • I wanted to keep the solenoid on the bumper, so I fabbed up a quick mounting plate. Used 16 gauge (1.5mm) plate to essentially rotate the mounting bracket 90 degrees. Pick your poison here as to how you relocate, but you really should do this to prevent a possible solenoid failure while winching.
  • I also wanted a cutoff switch in the event of any sort of failure, human or mechanical. Since this was my primary intent and not for vandalism deterrence, I wanted to put the disconnect outside. Popping the hood during an emergency may take too long.
  • Using a bluesea marine switch mounted on the DS inner side of the bumper seems to work. Not an ideal mounting location but it should work.
    • The switch is large! However it is also rated to 350 Amps continuous. Conveniently this is what the ep9 pulls at full load.
    • Beware some of the cheap battery disconnect switches! Most are not rated anywhere near what the winch can pull. It may function fine for quick pulls at lower amps, but may fail just when you are pushing things to the limits!
    • The terminals on the switch are slightly larger than the terminals on the cables provided. You will have to slightly drill them out, along with cutting some other cable to install.
  • The superwinch supplied cables don't really fit onto the stock toyota battery terminals. I have since purchased some of the military type terminals and it all fits together much better.
  • I ordered the terminal boots from mcmaster carr. They were quite inexpensive. Just make sure its nice and warm out when you install and things go much easier.
Other links I found useful:

 
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
752
Location
Bend, Oregon
Pics

Winch in box.
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Unpacked.
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WLL of cable.
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Ready for work:
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Reclocking

  1. Remove the three allen screws to remove the cover.
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2. Inner allen screws....on the outer section, not the 6 right in front.
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3. All lined up after rotating.
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4. Cap back on.
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Joined
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752
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Bend, Oregon
Solenoid and Switch

Plastic housing of Solenoid Off. Was able to get a better idea of how the wires would need to be routed:

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Stock wires. Notice the bottom half of the plastic housing that rested on the winch body.
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Disconnect switch and ratings. Notice will go up to 900A for over 2 minutes. Its not waterproof, but you can find the ratings on how water resistant it is on the Bluesea website.
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Joined
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Messages
752
Location
Bend, Oregon
Cable and Rope

Removal of wire cable by loosening the small allen screw.
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For my memory as to which wire goes where....
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And the same on the solenoid, though it is marked better...
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Solenoid removed:
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Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
752
Location
Bend, Oregon
Fairlead, etc

Testfit of fairlead and winch with spacers:

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Rough mockup to determine wire lengths. Plan is to use the sheet metal and have the solenoid supported by that plate and the light tab on the arb.
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Wires crimped, tagged, and booted.

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Extending the ground wire.
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WIP:
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Final Wiring:
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Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
752
Location
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Large Wiring

Now that the small solenoid wiring is done, it was time to wire to battery.

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Booted and loomed:

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Mocked up:
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Switch Mounting:
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Installing the rope. Had to cut off a few strands:
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Note picture of bracket for the solenoid that mounts to the winch:
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80 Feet and only a few pounds :-D
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Spooled up and using a piece of old webbing as a guard on the outer wrap. Mostly for sun protection at 8500 feet.

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Horrible mounting to battery. Have since replaced with military spec terminals. Note however you'll have to recrimp the wires from the pos and negative VEHICLE wires to fit onto the milspec terminals.

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Wiring of the negative wire:
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All ready to go:clap:
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Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
752
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Bend, Oregon
Thanks!

Looks like it was 529 when I purchased it. Switch was ~40, and then all the random other junk, plus fairlead, rope, etc. Byebye money. Looks like the winch runs 568 now. Probably the whole increase is shipping costs and gas :D

No plans for interior controls right now. I do mostly ski driving in the winter and longer "mini-expo" trips in the summer, so I don't expect to be doing lots of winching. And I think from where the soleniod is mounted the remote would reach through the window. :hillbilly:
 
Joined
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Queens, NYC and sometimes Orlando, FL
No plans for interior controls right now. I do mostly ski driving in the winter and longer "mini-expo" trips in the summer, so I don't expect to be doing lots of winching. And I think from where the soleniod is mounted the remote would reach through the window. :hillbilly:


Oh the hand controller will definitely reach :)

However, one of the reasons why I relocated my noid pack under the hood and added interior controls is due to cold weather :doh:

I've been through my fair share of ice storms where I could barely chip away the ice around my winch hook, let alone access the frozen plug port :eek:


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Also, I know a few people that had their solenoids freeze up during extreme cold weather and not function at all :meh:

My biggest fear has always been a frozen noid that wouldn't stop, so I added a failsafe cut-off switch and mounted the noid pack under the hood where it stays warm and dry :cool:
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
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Location
Mobile, AL
I put my Superwinch behind the front bumper also, but I left the solenoid in place and trimmed maybe a 1/8 from the lower valence. Nice write-up, I would like to get a ARB myself but $$$:crybaby:
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2004
Messages
3,062
Awesome writeup and really clean install! I really like how you did the solenoid box and your spacers for the feet. Many guys just use washer and think it's okay. I had to use a 3/8"(if I remember correctly) spacer recommend by LandTank from quadratec to get my 12.5ep to fit in the ARB. The 12.5ep comes with the clutch lever already clocked for feet forward mounting. I used the exact same switch but mounted it inside the engine bay on top of the cruise control box but I also run dual batteries. I also like your use of rubber hose as protection instead of just plastic wire loom.
 
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Joined
Apr 23, 2008
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Sunnyslope, Phoenix, Arizona
Looks wonderful. Beautiful writeup. Thanks!
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2011
Messages
249
Nice write up. I didn't know ARB bumper mount winch for side way, so that way my EPI 9.0 will not fit at all. Either to get different winch or different bumper to fit with EPI 9.0.
 

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