Today we bend up a bull bar / hood protector for the bumper and wire up the winch with a quick disconnect safety switch.
We left off part 5 with a pretty sweet looking skid plate. Time to wire the winch up and add some more tube to the bumper!
Bending up a main hoop
Not sure what to call this… could be a bull bar, hood protector, main hoop, stinger, etc. Whatever we call it, it will help me see where the end of the front bumper is from the drivers seat. It should also help if I ever run into something or flip the truck over by protecting the hood/radiator and winch.
Well, for one thing I think it looks kinda cool. It has a purpose yet is not huge and obnoxious. Keep in mind, the bumper is not done yet. It will blend in more after I finish it out.
The main reason I put it on though is because I can see exactly where the end of the bumper is when I am wheeling on tight trails. It also has the side benefit of being a great step / grab bar when your rig is stuck in the mud and you are trying to reel out the winch without sinking into the mud yourself.
Wiring up the winch with a battery disconnect
While I could have wired the winch directly onto the battery, I just couldn’t bring myself do it. I used to connect the winch positive wire only when wheeling on my last rigs, but I wanted something more convenient this time.
Why do I want to be able to disconnect the winch?
This is a HUGE wire going from the winch to the battery. It would be very bad if you ever got into a situation where either the winch shorted out and wouldn’t shut off or chafed through the insulation on the wire and shorted on the frame/body.
I had a flaming river kill switch leftover from work about 10 years ago. They threw it in the trash because when at tech was removing it one of the terminal studs broke off. Not one to waste, I fixed it by smoothing the head of a bolt and putting it inside to replace the broken stud. These switches are simple but super tough (as long as a dorkus with a wrench doesn’t snap the studs off).
These disconnects are like insurance. You hope you never have an emergency where you have to use them but are better off having them just in case. They are a lot cheaper than a rig on fire or anybody getting hurt.
There you have it. We made a winch / hood protecting bar and wired up the winch in the safest manner that I could possibly think of. Next stop is outer tubes wrapping around to the fenders which will finish off the bumper. Hope this helps, and gives you some ideas for your project.