How to Install a Winch on an ATV


1) Install the mounting plate for your particular ATV. You may need to buy a mounting plate just for your ATV if the one provided does not fit. Use Loctite and secure the winch to the mounting plate. Then connect the winch wires to the ATV.

2) Connect the six-gauge winch wires to the ATV.

3) Connect the wires from the winch to the contactor/relay. This connects the power switch to the winch and it runs the electricity from the ATV to the winch motor. In some cases, you may need to install a contactor box in order to complete this step. Usually the contactor is under the seat or in that vicinity. Try looking near your battery or under the back rack.

4) Connect the red and black wires from your ATV to the contactor box. Look at the instructions to see exactly how your winch is going to be set up on your particular ATV.

5) Set up the power switch on the handle bars or in a place where you want the power switch to be. You can put this switch wherever you want. But, it is convenient to have it on your handlebars to control it while you steer, if needed. You will have to slide the wiring through the handlebars, or along the path where the rest of the handlebar wiring is installed. If you have pre-installed winch wiring, use this as a guide.

Making it Work

6) Connect the final black cables to the battery. This will power the winch and supply electricity from the battery.

7) Test your winch. It should whir to life. If not, you may need to poke around for a bad connection. Start testing the wires you have installed, beginning at the relay box and working up to the handlebars.

8) Test your “hot” handlebar wires for the right connections. Since this is where the ignition is, some wires receive power only when the ignition is turned on. Be sure your switch is tapped into one of these wires.

9) Try your winch again. It should come to life. If not, review your diagram and reinstall the winch if necessary.

Extra Tips:

*Always follow your wiring diagrams. Installing the right wires and getting all the connections right is the hardest part of this task. It will all be available to you in your instructions. Get both your bike wiring diagrams and the winch instructions to complete this task.

For ATV maintenance parts and more shop with our sponsor