Mile Marker and Fab Fours make the perfect pair for mounting a winch hidden behind a pickup’s rear bumper
Rear-mounted winches are a rarity in the everyday world of pickup owners. For many, the thought of having electric winches front and rear is overkill.
For some, however, a rear-mounted winch makes perfect work sense in both efficiency and safety.
In heavy construction, right-of-way clearing, site development and oil/gas pipeline work, winches mounted at the rear of work trucks are welcome accessories that serve multiple purposes.
Rear-mounted winches are great tools for pulling broken vehicles or equipment onto a trailer deck, or winching without having the front of the truck being put in an awkward, and sometimes-dangerous, position.
Installing a rear-mounted electric winch is fairly easy if you have the right components. We teamed up with two of the best to outfit a GM dually: Mile Marker and Fab Fours.
We selected a Mile Marker SEC 9.5 electric for this application.
The SEC9.5 is a strong, reliable planetary-design unit with a maximum pull of 9,500 pounds. It is powered by a 4.8hp series-wound motor that drives a planetary gear setup with a 212:1 ratio.
Its compactness and light physical weight make it an ideal candidate for rear mounting.
We mounted it behind Fab Fours’ 75-pound Black Steel bumper, which is a good heavy-duty “ranch style” replacement for OE rear bumpers.
Line-X coat it with their best spray-on liner, Line-X Premium, to further enhance the bumpers’ appearance and field durability.
Installing a rear winch on a pickup requires a little forethought as there aren’t any specific mounting kits for such an application.
They key is to use Mile Marker’s universal channel mount ($110) to save time on the fabrication process.
To that you’ll need to cut/fabricate 1/4-inch steel extension brackets to hang the winch/mount between the frame rails and the spare tire hanger crossmember.
The installation and fabrication of parts really isn’t that difficult when you slide under the truck and look at what needs to be done.
Mile Marker’s winch control box is then remote wired so the winch control cable plugs in next to the license plate step while the box is mounted between the winch and the bumper.
We used battery cable, run inside the driver’s-side frame rail, to bring power directly from the batteries under the hood to the winch control box.
To mount the fairlead, we cut out a small piece of the Fab Fours bumper for the cable to exit behind where the license plate normally resides and drilled holes to bolt on the roller fairlead.
Then we used a flip-up license plate holder that attaches to the fairlead keeps the truck street legal.
It’s a slick and efficient winch setup.
Here’re my shop notes taken when Truck Supply & Outfitter’s up fitted a customer’s dually with rear winch:
- Remove the spare tire, loosen (don’t remove) two bolts holding receiver to the bumper step, and remove the two bolts on each side of the receiver frame brackets so the hitch can be angled downward from frame rails.
- Measure, mark and fabricate two 9”x9” ¼-inch steel plates to extend the universal winch mount so it bolts to the frame rails utilizing the hitch mounting holes. (Distance between the outside of the GMC frame rails is about 42 ¼”.)
- Cut a 2”x2” notch in “forward outer “corner of each plate to clear the spring hanger brackets.
- Remove winch control box and cables from the winch (it will not fit with control box attached because of OEM wiring harnesses in that area.)
- Center and bolt winch plate/winch to the new mounting plates. Use floor jack to lift winch assembly into place.
- Sandwich one side of mounting plates between factory receiver hitch brackets and frame. Run hitch-mounting bolts through the plates and hitch frame brackets. Attach bolts finger-tight.
- Center winch assembly between the frame rails.
- Drill a hole in each plate so a third bolt can be used to attach each plate to the rear of the spare tire crossmember.
- Now tighten all bolts.
- The winch control box needs to be mounted in a protected location near or on the driver’s-side frame rail or inside the bumper. This will require making longer control box cables.
- The receptacle for the hand-held control cable will need to be moved/re-mounted somewhere convenient, like on the side of the license plate inset on the rear bumper.
- Or, you can do as we did, and install Mile Marker’s wireless remote control setup before mounting the winch control box under the truck and not worry about the where to place the control cable receptacle.
- The last step is to cut out the opening in the rear bumper behind the license plate to accommodate the roller-type fairlead. Treat fresh cut edges with rust-preventive paint/sealer.
- Mount fairlead. Mount flip-up license plate holder. Run winch cable through fairlead and install hook.
- Double-check that all bolts and wires are tight. Check winch for proper operation. Re-mount license plate over fairlead. Job done
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