Today we are installing a Runva 11XP Winch on one of our team member’s Mitsubishi Triton, so we have created an easy step-by-step DIY guide for you to install a winch yourself at home – no need to cough up money for fitment! This install should only take an afternoon for those relatively handy with tools, but if you are new to these things you may want to set aside a day so you can take your time.
Why Install a Winch?
Winches are such a key mode for any solo tourer or keen 4WDer as it allows you to go further on the tracks and gives you confidence that you can make it back to camp or get out of sticky situations. If you have ever watched any of our trips on Our YouTube Channel, you know just how valuable a winch is – it is essentially cheap insurance.
Why Choose Runva?
Not only have they been punished and pushed to the limit by Shauno and the boys, but they have stood the test of time, and are used by countless other people in the 4WD industry.
What makes the Runva so tough is it’s ratchet braking system. Instead of using friction brakes like other winches it uses a ratchet inside the gearing, this is a lot safer with reduced heat; which is one of the biggest killers of winches.
Runva Winches come with strong and durable Dyneema rope, plus a wireless remote controller for easier recoveries and a bunch of different mounting options for the control box to suit your particular bull bar. Plus, these winches are made to get used, they’re IP67 rated so will handle river crossings, mud, and dusty tracks.
The Tools You Will Need
We installed this Runva 11XP with the use of only a Mechpro Blue 179 Piece Adventure Tool Kit neatly stored in a Snatch Tool Roll to show you do not need expensive power tools, and you can use your exact tool kit you take to the bush – Heck, you could even install this at camp!
Before you go ahead and install your winch, make sure you have a winch compatible bull bar/winch cradle system with an appropriately sized battery to connect to.
Make sure you choose the best rated winch for your use too, Runva offer an 11,000lb rated winch (11XP) for most 4WDs, or a 13,000lb winch (13XP) for heavier 4WDs. Read This Guide for an explanation on winch ratings and safe recovery techniques.
Take off your bull bar accessories that may be in the road when installing your new winch – Driving lights, UHF Antenna etc. This is to give yourself more room to work as it can get cramped working in such a small space.
Remove Bull Bar
Unbolt and take off your bull bar, and if necessary, remove your bar wings and bash plate if they are in the way. Also unplug any wiring attached to the bull bar.
Pro Tip: Put all of your loose nuts and bolts in a container or bag to make sure you don’t lose any.
Some bars and winch applications need the Gearbox to be rotated in order to be able to access the winch clutch. Luckily for this installation it was not necessary as we can access the clutch through top of the bull bar. Refer to your manual on how to rotate your gearbox.
Mount Runva Winch
It is now time mount your winch to the winch cradle (either in-bar cradle or chassis mounted cradle). Tighten all mounting bolts as best as you can, as this is the thing that will pull your 4WD out of strife!
Mount Control Box
Your Winch Control Box has many mounting possibilities - either to the winch, to the top of your bar or hidden away. The Runva comes with brackets for multiple on-winch mounting applications, and a bracket for on bar mounting that we used to hide the control box in the wing of the bar.
Mounting the control box is personal preference for looks, usability and what fits for your bar/vehicle. For this 4WD we hid it away, yet it is still accessible if we need to plug in the wired controller.
Make sure the wires from the control box still reach your winch wherever you decide to mount it.
Wire Control Box to Winch
Once control box is mounted, attach appropriate coloured wires to the correct coloured terminals – yellow wire to yellow terminal, blue wire to blue terminal, short red wire to winch red terminal, thin black wire to any earth. Leave the long red wire for the next step.
You’re almost there! Connect the long black wire from bottom black terminal on winch to the vehicle battery negative terminal, the long red positive wire from winch control box to one of the isolator switch terminals and then the other loose short red wire on the other isolator switch terminal and leave the other end of this short red wire unconnected for the time being.
Install the isolator switch anywhere easily accessible in your engine bay, but ensure it is mounted somewhere that the other end of the short red wire from the switch can reach the vehicle’s positive battery terminal. Also make sure the isolator switch key isn’t obstructed in either the on or off position, and that you can close bonnet without hitting the switch when key is in.
Test Everything Works
Before you put your 4WD back together again, test that it all works. Engage the clutch of winch, turn on the isolator switch, press and hold the wireless remote power button until remote flashes red, that means your winch is on!
Then simply test winching in and out while holding rope under slight tension. Once you are happy with placement of your winch, the isolator switch, control box and gearbox - turn off the winch via the remote and then turn the isolator switch off too.
Now then, protect your beautiful wiring with corrugated tubing and neaten up the potential wiring mess with zip ties however works best for you!
Finishing touches now! Bolt your included Runva Fairlead to your bulbar and feed through the rope before attaching your hook/soft shackle on the end.
Hot Tip: Make sure your registration plate will not rub on the winch when its in use, you may need to install a flip-up number plate bracket or even change to slimline plates like we did with this 4WD. This ensures your number plate doesn’t get damaged by the winch rope and the rope itself doesn’t wear down from the metal plate.
Reattach Bull Bar & Accessories
Lastly, properly and securely remount your bull bar and accessories that you have previously removed, and you are finished with the installation.
For this team member’s 4WD build, we added a brand new set of 7-inch STEDI Type-X Sport Lights to completely makeover the front of this Triton and to upgrade the old driving lights – we also had to include a Replacement Smiley STEDI Cover to complete the look.
Pre-Tension the Winch
Before you tackle the tracks with your new winch, find a secure tree and free spool (disengage clutch and pull out the rope by hand) the winch rope, leaving only 7-10 wraps left on the drum.
Next, re-engage the clutch, turn on your new bit of kit, and winch in the entire length of that rope – doing this on flat ground is fine with your vehicle in neutral, then you are done! Just make sure your vehicle is running while winching as it will drain your battery pretty quick otherwise.
Perfect to practice your first winch and to test out the Snatch Recovery Kit with its Soft Shackles, Tree Trunk Protector and Winch Dampener Bag. Read our guide on Expert Tips for Safe 4WD Recoveries for correct winching protocols and professional winch techniques.
Pre-tensioning is important as it ensures the winch rope is tightly and evenly wound on the drum, prevents the rope from pinching and protects the rope from premature wear and potential winch lock-up.
Once you’ve installed a winch, you’d wish you’d done it sooner! Keep in mind the maintenance of your winch as said in your manual, and just because you have a winch doesn’t mean your 4WD is indestructible.
Who’d have thought you’d be able to install a winch at home with only simple hand tools? Well now you have the ultimate guide to do it yourself. Now get on the tracks, have fun and be safe - hopefully we see you out there!
Keep an eye out for more DIY How to Guides coming to 4WD 24/7.
Please use winch appropriately, cautiously, safely and for its intended use as misuse can result in injury or property damage. Refer to user manual included in box for details on gearbox rotation, vehicle battery size, use and other warranty related information.
Mechpro Blue 179 Piece Adventure Tool Kit - MP223KCRV
Having a do-it-all tool kit is a must when heading off on epic adventures. The Mechpro Blue 179pce Adventure Tool Kit is a great solution with quality tools that won't break the bank. Mechpro Blue Tools range of tool kits have been extensively tested and refined to produce products that will last a lifetime in the toughest environments whether around the workshop or out on the trails.
- Chrome Vanadium Steel for Strength and Durability
- Quick-Release Ratchet
- Spare fuses & terminals – to suit 99% of most common breakdowns or DIY upgrades
- All in one, easy to take and store
- 15 x 1/2in Dr. Sockets: 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 30, 32mm
- 1 x 1/2in Dr. Quick Release Ratchet 72T
- 1 x 1/2in Dr. Universal Joint
- 1 x 1/2in Dr. Breaker Bar: 375mm
- 1 x 1/2in Dr. Extension Bar: 125mm
- 2 x 1/2in Dr. Spark Plug Sockets: 16, 21mm
- 12 x Combination Spanner: 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24mm
- 9 x Hey Keys: 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10mm
- 1 x 12in Hacksaw: 300mm x 12mm x 24T
- 1 x 200mm Wire Stripper/Crimper
- 6 x CRV Screwdriver: PH1x75, PH2x100, PH3x150, 5x75, 6x100, 8x150mm
- 1 x Circlip Pliers
- 1 x 150mm Long Nose Pliers
- 1 x 150mm Diagonal Pliers
- 1 x 175mm Combination Pliers
- 1 x 250mm Adjustable Wrench
- 118 x Assorted Fuses & Terminals
- 1 x 220mm Locking Pliers
- 1 x 8oz Ball Pein Hammer
- 1 x 200mm Half Round File
- 2 x individual tool bags for sockets and spanners
- 1 x 17in Tool Bag
Snatch Tool Roll - SBTOB
The Snatch Tool Roll has been developed to keep all of your tools in one convenient location, 4x heavy-duty canvas bags, heavy-duty zips, and velcro strips allowing you to remove each bag and only take the tools you need to make the repair. The handle doubles as a hanger, allowing you to hang the tool roll while working on your 4WD.
- Easy Pack Down Heavy-Duty Tool Roll
- 20oz Heavy-Duty Canvas
- 1000D PVC Lining
- Removable Heavy-Duty Canvas Bags
- Reliable YKK Zips
- 3x Standard 40cm x 10cm x 6cm
- 1x Large 40cm x 12cm x 12cm
*Tools Not Included*