HOW TO: Install GetLost4x4 Winch Mount - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2009, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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HOW TO: Install GetLost4x4 Winch Mount

I figured I would start this in a new thread to keep things organized. PLEASE post any comments or questions in the winch mount thread https://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/...ht=winch+mount I will add or edit things directly related to the install as I go along. NOTE this is not a "how to" for the other members who are testing the winch mount/hitch mount, at this point it is basically just to show my progress.

Step 1: Unpack all items from shipping box. The Items you should find are as follows.

6 - Mounting Bolts
6 - Nuts
6 - Lock Washers
10 - Flat Washers
2 - Backing Plates
1 - Winch Mount

Here are the parts set out roughly in the way it will go together.


Step 2: Prepare for finish/paint. I choose to grind the weld on the front edge of the winch mount to clean up the leading edge. I also choose to use bondo/body filler to smooth over the seam where the D-ring tabs attach. I would like to point out that the welds are high quality and good looking welds, the only reason for grinding them or covering them up was personal preference. I began by grinding down the weld on the leading edge of the mount as seen here. Note the left side is ground and the right is not



This is after the weld was completely removed.

Bright Silver 4.7L 2.25 RR/OME lift, Kumho KL71 265/70/17, Flashpaq, Lights, rack, intake, Super44, mopar skids, 4x belly guard, rear fog lights, MM9500 winch, GetLost4x4 winch mount

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2009, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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The next part of the preparation was to smooth the seam where the tabs meet the winch mount. I did this to give the winch mount a nice one piece "molded" look that will compliment the rest of the plastic front end of the XK. I used standard body filler and following the instructions on the can mixed a standard size batch. I then put enough of the body filler on each seam to create a slightly greater radius that would make the tabs seem to "flow" into the winch mount. Here is the roughly applied body filler as it hardens for approximately 1 hour.


After the body filler has hardened I then sanded it down using 80 grit sand paper on my random orbital sander and using a loose piece of sand paper. Here is the result of the body filler sanding and smoothing.



Bright Silver 4.7L 2.25 RR/OME lift, Kumho KL71 265/70/17, Flashpaq, Lights, rack, intake, Super44, mopar skids, 4x belly guard, rear fog lights, MM9500 winch, GetLost4x4 winch mount

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Last edited by adamag25; 03-02-2009 at 08:49 PM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Next part of the prep process is to sand the entire winch mount with 80 grit sandpaper. I spent a good amount of time on the visible areas and the areas that would be hidden were not given as much attention. After sanding and smoothing the entire winch mount a good cleaning with solvent to remove any oil, grease, and dirt. After allowing plenty of time for the solvent to dissipate I then coated with sanding primer.



After the primer has had enough time to cure (I give it 1 day) then sand with 220 or higher grit sandpaper. You can use a higher grit for primer but it is not necessary. After the primer is sanded and smoothed use a clean dry cloth to wipe off the dust from sanding. I then put my first coat of gloss black paint on. Multiple coats of paint will mean more protection. Apply thin and even coats and sand with 400 grit between coats.


Here is the result of the body filler at the seams. It may not look like a major difference but I like the look better.



I still have several coats of paint to apply before I apply a coat or two of clear gloss lacquer. That will complete the prep and paint process. After that all that is left is to install.

Bright Silver 4.7L 2.25 RR/OME lift, Kumho KL71 265/70/17, Flashpaq, Lights, rack, intake, Super44, mopar skids, 4x belly guard, rear fog lights, MM9500 winch, GetLost4x4 winch mount

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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After the paint process is complete the best time to test fit the winch and to drill the holes for the winch is while the mount is still on the bench. If you do not have a template with your winch it is a good idea to make one up so the holes can be as small as possible to fit the bolts through.



After test fit and drilling for the winch bolts I touched up the holes with paint to make sure there was no exposed bare metal. It is a good idea to keep a touchup bottle of paint (black or matching) with you throughout the install to cover up any scratches to prevent rust.

The first step of the actual install process is to remove the front fascia. I know this is covered in other locations so I will cover it briefly. Remove the grill buy popping the push pins out from the top of the grill. The grill then lifts out and set it aside in a safe place. Next remove the lower air dam it is held by 2 thumb screws. Now the front bumper/fascia can be removed. There are 2 bolts (10MM socket) that need to be removed from the underside of the fascia. There are some pins that were behind the grill that need to be removed. There are clips that hold the fender flair to the fascia that need to be squeezed and pushed outward to disconnect the flares from the fascia. The fascia can then be pulled straight off the front of the vehicle. After the fascia is off then you need to remove the crush piece from the front frame. On the passenger side of the crush piece near the radiator there is a sensor for the thermometer. Unclip the sensor and remove all the clips that hold the wire to the rear of the cross member so the wire can be moved out of the way. There are 2 bolts that are at the bottom inside corner of the headlamp assembly and 2 set in on the front face (10MM socket). Remove the crush piece and set it aside for later trimming.

The next step is to remove the horn bracket and the washer fluid tank. To remove the horn first unplug the electrical connector. Then remove one bolt (12MM socket) holding the bracket to the outside frame rail just behind the bumper on the driver side. The bolt hole and locator hole are circled in red.



Next remove the washer fluid bottle from the outside frame rail behind the bumper. It is a good idea to have a clean and disposable container to collect the washer fluid (1gallon minimum). Remove the hoses from the washer fluid container and allow the fluid to drain out. After the fluid is drained out you can then remove the electrical connection to the fluid bottle. There is one rivet that supports the filler neck of the bottle to the radiator support. This rivet will need to be drilled out and removed and then a bolt will be used to re-attach so use caution in drilling.



Once the filler neck is free, there are two bolts (10MM socket) that hold the bottle to the outside frame on the driver side. One bolt is in the front of the bottle and easy to access and the other is far back closer to the wheel well liner.



Take note of the locations of the forward washer fluid bottle and horn bolt holes. These will need to work as reference points later when installing the support plates.




Next you will need to remove the radiator supports braces from the front cross member to the radiator support. First mark the location of the hood latch in relation to the bolt head to be sure the latch is positioned in the correct spot during re-install. There is one bolt at each end of the braces that will need to be removed (10MM socket). Set the braces aside for later use and place the hood latch in a secure location however it is still attached by a cable to the rest of the body. The two studs that are welded to the cross member must now be cut or ground down to be flush with the cross member. It is a good idea to paint over the exposed metal after cutting.


Bright Silver 4.7L 2.25 RR/OME lift, Kumho KL71 265/70/17, Flashpaq, Lights, rack, intake, Super44, mopar skids, 4x belly guard, rear fog lights, MM9500 winch, GetLost4x4 winch mount

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Last edited by adamag25; 04-13-2009 at 05:19 PM.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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It is now time to start laying out the mount for drilling. Set the mount onto the front cross member and find a position that is level to the frame rails. You can clamp the mount to the frame to keep be sure it is level.




Next, with the mount level mark the location of the 2 bolt holes that go through the cross member. Remove the mount from the front of the vehicle to drill the two holes. Using a ” drill bit be sure to drill a straight and level hole through the front and back of the cross member. You can then set the mount back on and using 2 of the supplied bolts and nuts hand tight only bolt the mount through the holes that were just drilled.



With the two bolts through the cross member loosely installed make sure the mount is still level to the rest of the vehicle. If not there is some minor adjustability in the mount that allows you to move an clamp in the final location. Starting on the passenger side, take one slotted support plate and the bolt from the horn bracket and bolt through the plate into the original hole for the horn bracket. Do not tighten the horn bracket bolt it is only used for reference. Be sure that the bracket is level to the rest of the mount and that the slotted areas in both the mount plates and the support plates are lined up both from front to back and top to bottom. From the outside of the frame make a mark in each slot to drill the bolt holes. NOTE: BE SURE YOUR MARK WILL ALLOW YOU TO DRILL A STRAIGT AND LEVEL HOLE THROUGH THE FRAME AND THROUGH THE SLOT ON THE WINCH MOUNT. Next going to the driver side using the other slotted support plate and one bolt from the washer fluid bottle. Take the washer bottle bolt and bolt it through the support plate. Follow the same steps to align the plate and mark the location of the holes. I suggest taking as much time as needed to be sure the holes are drilled in line and the plates inside and outside of the frame line up. Then remove the two bolts installed earlier and remove the mount to drill the holes. Using a ” drill bit make your 4 holes (2 each frame rail) through both sides of the frame. Then using your touchup paint cover the area of the holes that now have exposed metal.

The mount is now ready for final install. Set the mount back onto the frame. Using 2 bolts with 1 flat washer and 1 lock washer on each, insert the bolts through the holes in the cross member (first 2 drilled holes). Hand tighten the nuts only. Then with 2 flat washers and 1 lock washer on each of the 4 remaining bolts attach the mount through the frame rails. Making sure that the holes for the washer fluid bolt and horn bracket bolt are in the slotted area of the support plate you can then bolt through the 2 holes on each frame rail. It was difficult to take a picture that shows how the assembled and bolted mount looks. The picture below shows an cross sectional view of the way the bolts attach the parts of the winch mount to the frame rail on the front of the vehicle.



After the mount is installed and all the bolts have been loosely installed be sure that you can fit the bolts for the horn and washer fluid bottle through the slots and into their original holes. You can now tighten down all the mounting bolts starting with the two in the cross member (3/4”socket). Then the bolts through the frame rails (3/4” socket). All the bolts should be tightened to 30ft/lb of torque. Then the radiator support braces can be bolted back into place using the studs welded to the winch mount and the original studs on the radiator support. When bolting the hood latch into place be sure to line it up with the marks made during the tear down process.

The horn bracket can then be installed in the reverse of its removal the tab on the bracket may need to be adjusted. The washer fluid bottle install is the reverse of the removal up to the attachment of the filler neck. You will need to drill out the hole for the rivet and using a small bolt reattach the filler neck to the radiator support.

[picture of filler neck bolt]

The next step is to begin cutting and the plastic to reinstall. Start by laying the crush piece over the mount. The entire center section of the crush piece must be cut out. The approximate size of the cutout will be about 25" x 5". It will be necessary to cut and test fit the several times to be sure the crush piece fits tight around the mount. Once the cutting is complete bolt the crush piece back in place using only the 2 bolts that are located under the headlamp assembly.





After the crush piece has been cut and reinstalled you can use the cut out from the crush piece to cut the fascia. Lay the cut out of the crush piece into the inside of the fascia. The cut out will fit in as it would if it were mounted on the vehicle. Mark and drill 4 small reference holes through the fascia at the 4 corners of the crush piece cutout. Be sure to mark and drill the holes closer together than needed, these holes will be used to make the cutout in the fascia. Now, looking at the outside of the fascia, use masking tape to create a rectangle around the 4 holes to make a template for the mount cutout. Make a cutout that is slightly inside the masking tape line and then test fit the fascia. The fascia cutout will be approximately 23" x 7-1/2". DO NOT USE THIS DIMENSION EXACTLY! The cutout in the fascia wraps around the front and on to the top of the bumper to allow clearance for the winch so it may need to be cut in 2 pieces (like you see in the picture) to be sure the winch will fit and the fascia is not cut back too far. This area is what requires the most personal attention. After all the trimming is complete you can use door molding to finish the edge of the cut plastic and help prevent cracking.




Bright Silver 4.7L 2.25 RR/OME lift, Kumho KL71 265/70/17, Flashpaq, Lights, rack, intake, Super44, mopar skids, 4x belly guard, rear fog lights, MM9500 winch, GetLost4x4 winch mount

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Last edited by adamag25; 04-14-2009 at 09:04 AM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Now, using a grinder or sanding wheel (dremel tool) slowly and carefully smooth and shape the hole for the mount to fit snug around the mount. Once the fascia is cut to fit around the winch mount you can now install the fascia. The installation is the reverse of the removal. Be sure to clip the fender flairs and fender liners back into their original locations.




Now the winch can be bolted into place on the winch mount. It will be necessary to bend the front fascia out of the way to install the 2 rear winch bolts or cut the fascia to allow access to the bolts.



Now the wires can be run to the battery to power the winch. The cables can be run through the grill after it is installed however I chose to run them under the front fascia and route them to the battery on the left side of the radiator. Be sure to tie up the wire for the temperature probe and the wires for the winch to avoid them from contacting the radiator.



Now the winch fairlead, D-rings, and any other items that will be bolted to the winch mount can be installed. The grill can now be installed in the reverse of the removal. Go over the entire install and be sure there are no loose wires or plastic parts. It is a good idea to do a visual check of the wires behind the grill and in the engine compartment. Make sure the winch cables stay clear of moving parts and sharp edges.





Last do a controlled test of your new winch. It is important to be sure everything is going to work as expected BEFORE you need it to. Then do another visual check of everything and then get out and have fun. Overall time to install not including the prep and paint process was about 4 hours. I suggest taking as much time as necessary to be sure that the holes are all drilled in the correct spot and the mount is level.


There are still some pictures that I need to find and insert. Please post any comments or questions in the general winch mount thread

Bright Silver 4.7L 2.25 RR/OME lift, Kumho KL71 265/70/17, Flashpaq, Lights, rack, intake, Super44, mopar skids, 4x belly guard, rear fog lights, MM9500 winch, GetLost4x4 winch mount

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Last edited by adamag25; 04-14-2009 at 08:24 AM.
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Bright Silver 4.7L 2.25 RR/OME lift, Kumho KL71 265/70/17, Flashpaq, Lights, rack, intake, Super44, mopar skids, 4x belly guard, rear fog lights, MM9500 winch, GetLost4x4 winch mount

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 07:09 PM
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Man, that's a great post. I am still a little weirded out by having something stick out like that but its super cool! I am sure the forum members will really appreciate you taking the time to post the pics and the write up.

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Just hanging out on the site because I like you guys.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 08:50 PM
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I'm impressed Adam. By grinding the weld doesn't it weaken the seam? How many hours do you have on the install? Not including all the prep work you have done.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger6882 View Post
I'm impressed Adam. By grinding the weld doesn't it weaken the seam? How many hours do you have on the install? Not including all the prep work you have done.
I included some more details in the instructions but the install took about 4 hours to do it very VERY carefully. I consulted the engineer who came up with the design and asked before grinding down the weld.

Bright Silver 4.7L 2.25 RR/OME lift, Kumho KL71 265/70/17, Flashpaq, Lights, rack, intake, Super44, mopar skids, 4x belly guard, rear fog lights, MM9500 winch, GetLost4x4 winch mount

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Last edited by adamag25; 04-14-2009 at 09:06 AM.
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