One of the most useful accessories you can add to an ATV is a front-mounted electric winch. Not only can the winch pull you out if you happen to get the ATV stuck, it can also be used to hoist a deer or other large game animal in the air to make field dressing easier, or retrieve the downed animal from a ravine. The winch even comes in handy before hunting season, to hoist materials into a tree when building a hunting stand, and for other construction projects.
Installing even a universal mount winch with no included instructions is within the capabilities of most do-it-yourselfers.
1) Bolt the winch mounting plate to the front bumper of your ATV, using the included hardware. Some winches include a mounting plate, but most do not. Even if a plate is included, it may be better to buy a custom plate for your particular make and model of ATV, since it is easier to fit a winch to a plate than to fit a generic plate to a particular ATV.
2) Bolt the winch to the plate. In some cases where the mounting plate is not designed for your specific winch, you may need to drill one or more holes in the mounting plate so the winch will fit it.
3) Find a spot on your ATV to mount the relay. It should be between the winch and the battery, protected from the elements yet easy to reach for servicing. If there is enough space, consider mounting it inside the battery compartment. Use the hardware which is included with the winch wiring kit.
4) Attach the winch control switch to a convenient spot on the handlebar , using the supplied hardware.
5) Connect the two wires from the winch to the relay, as indicated in the manual supplied with the winch. Then connect the supply wires to the battery. Slide the insulating boots over the connections. Route the wires along the frame rails, avoiding all moving parts, fuel lines and exhaust system tubing. Secure with plastic wire ties.
6) Find an electrical connection on the ATV that is only energized when the key switch is on. The easiest way to do this is to look in a service manual. Connect the supply wire from the winch control switch to this connection. Route the other wires from the control switch alongside the factory wiring from the handlebar, then to the winch relay. Connect these wires to the relay according to the winch manual.
7) Turn the key switch on, and test the winch function.
* Keep hands clear of the winch cable when the winch is in operation.
* Route all wires clear of all sharp edges, moving parts and parts which may become hot.