Gorilla Winch Install


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April 16, 2008
By: Dustin Tenney, Jacob Stock

The 3,000 lb. Gorilla winch (part 1)

We recently picked up a 3000 lb Gorilla winch to replace an aging Warn 2500 on our grizzly. The price simply can't be beat, so we were curious to see if it would hold up under serious use/abuse. Subsequent articles will focus on performance during our ongoing field tests, but this first piece of the three-part series will cover installation.


gorilla winch parts Looking in the box, we were immediately surprised at the amount of hardware. One of the first things we noticed while unpacking was the inclusion of a contactor. After a cursory look at the directions, we were quickly able to get to work on the install.

gorilla winch mounted The first thing you will need to do is mount the winch. If this is your first winch, you'll need to get a mounting plate. Since we had our trusty Warn already installed, we just reused that plate. This is the easiest part of the install. We removed our front skid plate to access the mounting holes and bolted it on.

gorilla winch contactor The next step is to mount the contactor. Gorilla really gives you some flexibility when installing these other components. I am sure a large part of this is to allow it to fit on many ATV models. Deciding where to mount the contactor is the first step. They recommend close to the battery in a clean and dry location. A typical location would be under the seat or your rear storage box. Not wanting to lose any space in our storage box, we decided to mount it upside down from the top near the back of our storage box. The only disadvantage to this placement is the visibility of the bolts. To our dismay, the shiny new bolts really seem to stick out. Despite that, the mounting is very simple. Drill four holes and bolt it on.

gorilla winch switch Next you will need to install the switch to the left side of your handle bars. Here again you have some flexibility where and how to mount it. Just be careful not to mount it over any wires or hoses. The switch does come pre-assembled, but it's not exactly in an ideal configuration for every situation. You will likely want to use some of the other washers to get a tight fit. We opted to mount the switch just above our other switches.

Wiring is the most difficult part of the installation, but even this is not terribly difficult. Wires run from the battery to the contactor, and to the winch. Make sure you route these so they are out of your way. We tried to run them in parallel with other wires already on the ATV. You also need to run the wires from the switch to the contactor. The last thing to do is to splice final switch wire into the key controlled ignition wire. We opted to overlook this last step. Instead we extended this wire to the positive terminal on the battery. This allows us to run the winch even if the ATV is off. It also made for a cleaner installation since we did not splice into our factory wiring. We can't really recommend splicing into the OEM wires, especially with the non-sealed "trailer" splices they suggest, as there is some risk of corrosion by splicing the wiring in this way. They do make waterproof wire splices which are encased in gel. These, along with something heat shrink-wrapped could provide an adequate solution if someone wanted to wire the switch to the ignition. gorilla winch wiring

Final thoughts

The main improvement we would like to see is a better, more detailed instruction pamphlet. The instructions were often unclear, and the print quality left a lot to be desired. One possible solution is to visit their website and look at the more detailed PDF. We also got quite a bit of "extra" hardware that we didn't use. As long as everything works, we're not likely to complain.

Overall, installing this new Gorilla winch was fairly easy. A semi-technical person with a little experience and the right tools can expect to finish it in just a couple of hours.

Read Can the Gorilla survive a summer of punishment?

Gorilla Winches

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