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Today I’m installing a Smittybilt waterproof X20 synthetic rope winch onto the underside of my metal off-road bumper that fits on my 2018 Tacoma. Let’s get started. So I’m not sure what order I’m going to release these videos in, but I figured I might as well document the process. So this right here is box for the X20 waterproof winch. I decided to go with the synthetic rope, which is actually this stuff over here, because the synthetic version is like 30 pounds lighter than the metal rope version. And I figured with how long I’m going to own this truck, it’s better off to save that 30 pounds, because the more weight you’re carrying on your truck, the less the gas mileage is going to be. And obviously when you’re off-roading you don’t want a super heavy vehicle, and 30 pounds is 30 pounds.
So I’ve already taken most of the stuff out of the box. Here we have…this is a wireless control. So it has the wireless capabilities. It can go in and out obviously, it’s a winch. This is 10,000 pounds so it’s more than enough to carry the truck. We have this module right here which installs on the winch, which I’ll show you in a second. Obviously we have the synthetic rope. I’m not sure how long that is, I’ll look it up in a second. And then here we have the winch itself with the hardware. Now as I mentioned in a previous video, this bumper is a C4Fab low profile bumper and fits on the underside of my truck. And there’s the winch. Let’s install this thing. So the front of the winch is facing that direction. It’s going to go out that little slot in the bumper. And so this is a little control module. Check out TruXedo Pro X15 Black Friday Deals.
It’s got a little plug right here for the wired control, and this also has, you know, the wireless capabilitites. Water out. But I took off these two silver brackets from the bottom because the silver brackets are used for mounting it right here over the top of all the rope, but I want to mount it over here on the side so it kind of stays out of the way. Fitting underneath my Tacoma, I don’t know which spot will fit, but there’s one other guys who’s done this, David’s Toyota. I will link his YouTube channel here. But when he installed his, he put the module over here on the side, so I’m going to follow his example and hopefully not run into any problems. I put the two added brackets on the bottom, and now the whole thing should just sit right here with those two little screw holes on the side. So I’ve installed the control box and then the wiring is pretty straight forward. I mean, everything has it’s own little like terminal lettering. So this line is an “A” and it goes to the A port. There’s also instructions here off to the side.
One thing I would change if I did this again, I would jump inside this control box up here and make sure all of these are tight, because as I kinked them over to the side, I feel like these nuts loosen up on the inside. And then the rubber boots go down over each of the connections. So there are 2 wires that go over here to the “A” port, which is the negative which also goes up to the battery terminal. And so I have the thin and then the battery terminal wire. And then both of these cables…this red one goes to the positive battery terminal, and the black one goes to the negative battery terminal. So now I will put this in the bumper. So this is a special little rope guiding plate that goes in front. I’ll lock that in from the back with the supplied nuts and washers. So the rope guide is in place. Basically this just has curved edges around it so the rope doesn’t get frayed on, you know, some of the sharper edges inside of this metal. The light bar is also in place.
This is a rough, country, like black edition light bar. I’ll link it down in the video description. So it’s not made specifically for this bumper, I just put some of the supplied hardware like that rubber cushion, and then the nuts and bolts on the bottom with the bigger washer because that hole was pretty massive. And once I get it all tightened in, it should be in the right spot. It lines up with the hole pretty well, so no complaints. So, conveniently, when trying to install the winch, there’s a little slot down here at the bottom that we can just slip some of these square nuts into. And that is on every corner. So that square nut goes in there and then the bolts will come up from the bottom with the washer and the locking washer in place. Okay, so underneath we have the 4 bolts in place. The winch is now secured, and the nylon rope is attached with this Allen bolt right here on the side.
Now this says “spool wire in that direction” so I’m assuming if we disengage this, it’s meaning that I rotate the whole shaft that direction and it spools up around this. Now the instructions say that there needs to be 1,000 pound load on the rope while it’s being spooled up by the winch. Since I don’t have power to the winch yet, I’ll just spool it up by hand and then put tension on it later. I just need to get it out of the way so it’s not dangling around everywhere. And there we have it. The winch is installed and wrapped up – hopefully in the right direction. We have the wiring harness for the light bar in the front, and we have the power and negative for the winch. Last time you saw the winch it was on the underside of the bumper, and now it is installed in the truck.
We have the control box over here on the left with the winch here in the center which is good because there’s this huge metal bar here, keeping the control box from being placed in the center. We have the positive and negative cables up here running in front of the radiator. I’ll probably zip tie this up and make them cleaner later.
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We routed these around the back. One is tapped into the positive and the other one is here with the negative on the side of the truck. The truck is off currently, but the winch is working. So when you’re using a winch, you want to have the vehicle running. You can run the winch for about 30 seconds at a time. The amp draw, or the flow of electricity from your battery through the winch is a lot faster than the amps being replenished to your battery from your alternator. So basically have it running and don’t go more than 30 seconds at a time. Another thing that will help your winch to last longer, is don’t hit the switch a bunch of times in succession…don’t go bump, bump, bump.
It will make your contacts in your winch box wear out faster. And what happens if we were to press the winch button all the way in until the cable hits the guard? So winches are strong – strong enough to lift the truck. So naturally when you get up to the guard, you want to coast a little bit. You saw that continue to move. If your thumb’s in the way, you can smash your thumb. There are a lot of ways to die! There are a lot of dumb ways to die. So just let it coast in there. So if you’re going to bump, that would be an appropriate time. You don’t want it to rattle, but you don’t want to suck it into your fairlead and chew it all up either. So one cool thing about this winch which I will link in the video description below, is that it is self-lubricating. But in the instructions, it does say that it needs to be extended and retracted at least once a month to maintain that lubrication through all the moving parts. If you have any questions, leave them down in the comments. Brian will be here to answer them all for you.