The front harbor freight winch tow hitch is designed in case you get stuck with your Jeep Wrangler, or if you need to tow anyone out of a ditch. If you go off-roading a lot, this could come in handy.By Bassem Girgis – November 17, 2015
This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).
The Jeep Wrangler is designed to drive in areas away from any tow trucks. There is, luckily, an inexpensive solution sold by Harbor Freight tools specifically to get you out of trouble, which makes it OK to get in trouble knowing you can always get out of it. The winch has a cable that extends, which helps you in various ways. You can use it to pull other fellow off-roaders out of ditches, you can use it so fellow off-roaders pull you out of ditches, or you can even wrap it around a tree to gain more traction to pull yourself out of ditches. All in all, it works to allow you to continue the fun. Even though it may look like it’s supported by the front bumper, make no mistake about it, it has no relationship to the front bumper. This winch is attached to a plate that attached to your frame, and it sits on top of your bumper without even applying weight on it. The process is easy to do, it just requires you to remove the front bumper. Read on to learn how you can install a front winch on your Jeep Wrangler and let the fun continue.
Figure 1. Front winch.
- T55 socket
- Socket set
- Flat head screwdriver
Step 1 – Remove front bumper
Remove the plastic shield from under the car. Remove the plastic clips by turning them counterclockwise with your flat head screwdriver. Slide under the front of your car, then remove all the bolts attaching the front bumper to the frame. There should be four total holding them together. Ask a friend to hold the bumper for you so it doesn’t fall when you remove the bolts.
Figure 2. Remove bumper.
Step 2 – Install winch plate
The winch plate comes specifically for your Jeep Wrangler. It is designed to bolt on your frame, as the holes are pre-drilled in the right places. Use the bolts included with your plate and bolt it onto the frame. Follow the instructions on your specific winch; you will most likely use the same holes that the bumper uses, which doesn’t mean it will be supported by the bumper.
Figure 3. Install plate onto frame.
Step 3 – Install the winch
The winch bolts right on the plate. All the holes should align, so use the included bolts, washers and nuts. Then tighten them together before you install the bumper back on.
Figure 4. Install winch on top of the plate.
Step 4 – Install bumper
Install the bumper the same way you removed it. If you used the same holes to install the plate, simply align the bumper with the same holes and tighten them together as a whole. If you’ve mounted it differently, then mount the bumper the same way you’ve removed it. A friend can come in handy here to hold the bumper while you tighten the four bolts.
Figure 5. Install bumper.