Badlands 12000 lb winch instal - was it worth it? (1 Viewer)

Mar 10, 2005
I have an ARB bumper and wanted a winch. Harbor Freight had a Badlands winch on sale for about $300. A steal, maybe. Reviews are not bad and the price is, well cheap. The issue is installation.

I did search and found some post but nothing for the bumper on my FJC. Well for $300 it was worth a try.

The issue is the winch mounting holes are in the forward facing side of the bumper, not on the bottom side.

As "clocking" the winch engage handle is required, here is a link on how to do this:

Please be advised that Harbor Freight will most likely not honor any warranty once you "clock" the winch.

When "clocked" the winch will look like this:


Note the position of the handle.

While you do not need to remove the cable, I found it easier to mount the winch without all that extra weight.

Please note that all the mounting bolts provided with the winch were too short with my install, so check the length and be prepared to go to a hardware store and purchase longer bolts.

My winch had a tension bar, when clocking, I removed the tension bar and springs.


You will need to remove the front skid plate. Please note the location of the mounting bolts, as after my install I noticed 2 bolts were located under the winch and I could not use them without taking the winch out.

With the ARB in place I had only 5" of clearance and the winch need 7" to fit it into the winch mounting plate.

There are 8 bolts and nuts that mount the bumper to the bumper support. By removing 6 of the 8 and loosening the top 2 mounting bolts you can pull the bumper out yielding sufficient space to install the winch.


The winch can now be placed in the bumper and mounted.

You will need to place the bolts to mount the roller fairlead thru the mounting holes before placing the winch and bolting it in place.


The rest is straight forward, the wires hooked up and were able to reach the battery. Put all the bolts back and tighten.

Some of the bolts will be a bit tough to place as space is limited.

The only other modification was to the Roller Fairlead. The lower winch mounting bolts interfere with the Fairlead laying flat. Using an angle grinder with a cutting blade, I cut out a small section of the Roller Fairlead base plate.


The bottom bolt is for the winch. Remember to place the bolts for the Roller Fairlead before placing the winch

Only allowed 5 pictures.

Was it worth it? It was a bit of a pain but now that it is done, for $300 and maybe $15 in bolts / nuts, yup.
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