Thursday, October 27, 2016

EcoDiesel Winch Install - Part 2, Installation & Tips

None of the actual wrenching was difficult, but Warn could improve install time by including an identification “key” as to how many of each nut, bolt, washer, etc. there is and what they look like. What you get is a big bag on hardware with nuts & bolts that are very close in size.  I didn't take the time to label each bolt.  Warn's instructions are more than sufficient to get the job done, just make it easier on yourself and separate like parts out before you start wrenching.  Below are a few pictures of the 1st part of the Trans4mer kit installation (Warn P/N 90135)

While the schematic included in the instructions (see links in Part 1 post) gives some insight into what bolt goes where, it would be much easier if there was a key.  Since there is a mix of black and silver bolts/nuts/washers as well as metric and standard sizes, the hardest part of this install was figuring out what bolts go where.

The next part of the install is the Warn Winch Mount (P/N 88240).  This part of the install is so straightforward that there is no reason to repeat Warn's instructions.  Just a few more bolts that are easy to identify and boom, you are done.

Completed Install Below:

Here are a few tips:

FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS on the ORDER of what bolts to torque and when.  This is super important – like building a level foundation on a house.  Warn did a good job designing this kit as it is very robust and fits together well.  Just make sure everything lines up in the end and adjust if necessary.  I followed the instructions and noticed the tray was off by 3/4” on the passenger side.  After loosening a few bolts, I was able to adjust it correctly and get it straight.

Install and tighten all of your winch wire connections before installing the winch on the tray.  I did not do this, but could have saved a lot of time and frustration if I had done this prior to bolting it to the Warn winch tray.  There isn’t a lot of room between the tray and the stock bumper so it makes it difficult to install and torque the wires if you don’t do this beforehand.

Obviously optional, but I decided to paint the supplied tow hooks red before the install.  If you want these a different color, it is very easy to do before you install the winch tray.

The Smittybilt winch bolted right up to the Warn winch tray since it is pre-drilled for 10”x 4.5” mounting bolt pattern.  There are many holes drilled so I would assume that it has been designed to fit quite a few different configurations even outside of Warn's winch offerings.

The extra factory holes in the bottom and sides are PERFECT for adding accessories.  I had a lot of options for my Rigid Industries Dually spotlights and forward facing camera that links up to the Insight CTS2 monitor - more on that in the future.

$9.99 Amazon waterproof forward camera installed below (how-to post coming soon...)  This is a great option to have for parking.

Prior to the winch, I had Rigid Industry Dually spotlights mounted on the bumper using the existing license plate holes.  I moved them to the underside of the winch tray and mounted them utilizing predrilled holes.

My particular setup weight:

Warn P/N 90135 Trans4mer Gen II bracket = 80lbs
Warn P/N 80240 Winch Mount Tray – 47lbs
Smittybilt X20 12,000lb Winch w/SYNTHETIC rope – 63lbs

TOTAL ADDED WEIGHT = approx. 190lbs

I wanted the synthetic rope for a variety of reasons, but it is important to note that this options saved me over 36lbs as compared to the cable version of the same winch.  I have Bilstein 5100’s set to 2.1” of lift in the front and did not notice any change in stance with the extra weight.

No noticeable front sag (photo below)

Instead of cutting the black lower wind faring on the bumper as the instructions suggested, I decided to just remove the whole piece of plastic instead.  It is very easy to do and makes the stance of the truck look more aggressive.  If I decide to remove the winch and sell the truck in the future, I can put everything back to factory without having cut marks in the fairing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

EcoDiesel Winch Install - Part 1, Components & Coupon Codes

The goal was simple - add a very capable winch to a 2015 4th Gen RAM EcoDiesel for around $1,000.  Why do I need a winch?  Mostly just for work around our property (tree removal, bushes, etc.) and the occasional off road trip.  I don't wheel much anymore but with long trips to rural Virginia and Pennsylvania in the wintertime, having a winch can't hurt.

With my $1,000 all-inclusive budget, an aftermarket bumper was out of the question.  While my truck has a mild 2.1" lift (Bilstein 5100 leveling shocks up front), I don't think it has an "aggressive" enough stance to warrant an expensive aftermarket winch bumper.

I quickly learned that there were few bolt on options that where aesthetically pleasing to me that would work for this fourth generation RAM while retaining the stock bumper.  There are a few grill guard options starting at around $600.  The closest thing I found to the Warn setup was Fab Fours DR09N26501 Winch Mount that is in the same ballpark price-wise as the Warn Trans4mer.  I personally didn't like the way the Fab Fours option looked on the Ram. 

I stumbled upon the Warn Trans4mer 90135 - Gen II Bracket Kit and Warn 88240 Gen II Trans4mer Black Mid-Frame Winch Mount Kit.  And let me tell you, it was no easy task finding this combination and figuring out that it would indeed work on the 4th Gen RAM Ecodiesel.

At the time of the install, I was unable to find this combination listed on any purchasing site that stated this setup would actually fit my truck.  Hours of research later (and zero pics on the web of a 4th Gen RAM 1500 with this setup), I finally figured out this combination should work after checking with Warn.  One of Warn's PDFs (Warn's Application Chart LINK) verified everything once I stumbled onto the Gen II Trans4mer kit.

Here's what I bought:

1) Warn 90135 Gen II Bracket Kit (10/2016 Retail on Amazon = $332.96, paid $288.07 on using coupon code "Triple15".  Order fulfilled by "eCustomhitch" out of Florida.  Excellent service - delivery only took 2 days) 

Warn 90135 Gen II Bracket Kit INSTALL PDF LINK

2) Warn 88240 Gen II Trans4mer Black Mid-Frame Winch Mount Kit (10/2016 Retail on Amazon = $163.09, paid $160.54 through using coupon code "BUYNOW" which knocked off 5% on their price.  Excellent service - delivery only took 2 days) 

3) Smittybilt (98512) X2O Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch - 12000 lb. Load Capacity. Retail on Amazon = $649.99, paid $617.99 through using coupon code "BUYNOW" which knocked off 5% on their price.  Excellent service - delivery only took 2 days)

My out-the-door total for everything needed to do this project was $1,066.60.  Had I ordered everything through Amazon, it would have cost me $1,226.26 after tax using Prime.  A little bit of digging saved me roughly $160...not bad.

I really like the way this kit looks and the fact that it is modular.  If you want to add a grill guard, lightbar, etc., Warn sells many add-on components that give the user a lot of styling options.  For me, I just left it basic and bolted on my Rigid Industry Dually spotlights and a forward facing waterproof camera (more on this DIY project coming soon).

The build continues....EcoDiesel Winch Install - Part 2, Installation & Tips LINK