“Stealth” hidden smittybilt H2O 12k winch install on Maximus-3 winch plate

Mx5red

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Stealth hidden smittybilt H2O 12k winch install on Maximus-3 winch plate and Rubicon Steel bumper
Solenoid relocation.
2df89a3a-c3e8-4ec5-9027-8cdaecd97d0f-jpeg.jpg


12k H2O winch and Maximus-3 winch plate were easy to install (as I had learned on this forum) :like:
I wanted a clean “hidden” install and did two things: clocked the gearbox 90’ backwards to clear the clutch lever from the bumper/delete plate; and, I mounted the solenoid behind the right side of the bumper like @Moregone
hash-189f03930bb1622ea5c3a059aec00cf9-jpg.jpg


notes:
There is so much room left after install that even if you screw up the order of install of fairleads and such (me:headbang:) you can still unscrew things and remount winch lines, etc. very easily.
The 12k h2o winch must be smaller than 10k Zeon winches.
You can also see from his pics that he routed the wires from the solenoid to the winch over the front frame rail; this is probably the cleanest way to do it.
Also, I couldn’t find it in instructions and had to google it. The rope loops behind winch and back over the top to attach to the drum. If your winch hook can’t fit through the bumper or fairlead then it’s easy to just mount the rope after mounting the winch.
e5bcef1a-0cb9-4e3c-a243-623fcb85a497-jpeg.jpg


Install:
1. Remove trim/skid/bumper. Easy, google good directions.
2. Mount Maximus-3 winch plate. Also good directions online like quadratec.
Maximus sent extra nuts and skipped the front temporary bolts, no big deal. FYI those front temporary bolts are not important, you still need to retighten things after the bumper goes back on at the end because the bumper and the front part of the plate both bolt onto the front of the frame rails. So you can use anything like zip ties to hold front of plate up until you tighten the back nuts then retighten when you put the bumper back on.
It was pretty easy nonetheless, and I have no comparison, but seems like a well engineered plate.
3. Clock winch gearbox 90’ backwards. Very easy with hex key, think it was 5mm.
23483451-8b06-4521-bba3-36697d047c82-jpeg.jpg

4bf9d4e8-f93c-4c29-b2ab-78235ed5df4c-jpeg.jpg

There is plenty of room behind winch to reach and turn clutch lever. Not an issue.
4. Figure out wiring, and then mount winch. I like uncluttered OEM appearance and saw people that had relocated the solenoid so I tried hiding mine. Thanks @Moregone for the idea.

https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...oid-relocation-help-needed.24408/post-1053984

I wasn’t sure from his pics if I could still replace the winch delete plate for a true hidden install, but it worked perfect!

I plan to rewire/remount the solenoid up a little higher like Moregone but was tight on time. I routed the short wires forward around/under the frame rails. I didn’t have time to take the feet off the solenoid but it didn’t seem like it would fit anyway; after looking at his pics, it’s clear he had room after removing the brackets. Whoops!
1c79bc79-1fb5-4183-a164-2937faed6bc6-jpeg.jpg

I’m still not set on the the wiring up to the battery. I could not feel/see a route inside of the grill and frame rail that didn’t pass pretty close to hoses and stuff that I worried could cause a major failure later. So I tucked mine outside of that rail, but it pulls the wires into/under the fender liner. I worry that they could rub the tire, especially if tires bigger than oem are fitted.

fbca8393-7406-4212-bd88-bdf6d6d55162-jpeg.jpg


I plan on keeping this route and adding a hose clamp or zip tie close to the frame to keep the wires as far from the tires as possible.
As others have shown there is an easy route up by the air box on the inside, I did remove mine to see better.
On the inside, I pulled it laterally to run underneath of the air intake, up in front of the battery and through a little bracket between the fender and the battery. I’m pointing at +\- wires, negative I ran in a plastic loom.
69a79ff3-3972-468b-a4df-fa270cd02b1c-jpeg.jpg

cc480493-c652-48c8-b414-a347485553b4-jpeg.jpg

5. I plan on mounting a shutoff switch like this close to the battery:
d70f4c48-7e03-4923-a5b6-e42f5e574a4d-jpg.jpg

I don’t like having constant power to the bumper. Didn’t want to use aux switch for relay and don’t think it’s a big deal to raise hood to turn on winch, or turn on winch before a big trip.

6. Mount bumper.
Not terrible but passenger inner bottom nut was hard to reach through wiring.
It wasn’t bad with some mcguyvering.
92b0e660-282c-4c20-94e0-2197bd1eb003-jpeg.jpg

For that bolt I had to hold the impact under the bumper.
bc199318-8aab-473b-8e84-de02889a20f4-jpg.jpg


I also could still mount my oem rubicon skid plate despite winch plate moving the bumper/skid forward 1/4”.
I loosely started all bolts, but one towards driver side didn’t fully seat and I was worried about stripping the rivnut so I left it kind of loose. It’s a pretty weak skid plate so whatevs.
7. I plan on hiding hook behind a flip-up license plate bracket, didn’t have time to mount it. One question I have is, even after tightly wrapping the winch line under tension, I’m not sure I have room left to wind the nylon protective winch wrap into the drum. I see other people with it barely sticking out so it must be able to be wound inside? I may just un-Velcro it and keep it with the remote and put it on as needed instead of winding it in, I’m afraid of cutting the line on the inside of the winch frame if it’s too large inside. (I had smashed the rope a little when I loosely wound it at first. Gotta wind it under tension just to have enough room!
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SleepEatJeepRepeat

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This bad ass, I have always resisted a winch because I think it’s poser city, but this one is so low profile, I love it!!
 
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Mx5red

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Came out great!

Great post, with pics and everything!
Thanks for the idea!
Now that everything is together and I see your pics again, I plan on rerouting the short wires over the top of the front frame rail like you did.
Have you had any issues with the route of the long wires to the battery? No rubbing in the wheel well?
 

NBB

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I like this look as well - nice.

General questions -

Does the Maximus plate set the winch lower than the Mopar/Warn plate?

Hard to tell from specs on the net, but I wonder if the Zeon with contactor relocate kit would also allow the winch cut-out cover to be re-installed - as was done here?

Basically - can the same thing be done with a Mopar plate and Zeon winch?
 
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Mx5red

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I like this look as well - nice.

General questions -

Does the Maximus plate set the winch lower than the Mopar/Warn plate?

Hard to tell from specs on the net, but I wonder if the Zeon with contactor relocate kit would also allow the winch cut-out cover to be re-installed - as was done here?

Basically - can the same thing be done with a Mopar plate and Zeon winch?
Sorry I can’t answer the Mopar plate questions. I think the Maximus plate looks pretty low fwiw.
I assumed based on pictures and comments that the zeon winches are just so big they wouldn’t fit under the delete plate..
I mean there is plenty of room around the 12k smittybilt, so when people say they can’t get at things putting it back together it must be significantly bigger.

If the plate didn’t fit back on, I was prepared to either flip it and bend the sides up so that the depression in the delete plate went up instead of down to give another 1/4-1/2” of clearance..
OR, make another plate out of kydex and nutserts.
 

Moregone

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Thanks for the idea!
Now that everything is together and I see your pics again, I plan on rerouting the short wires over the top of the front frame rail like you did.
Have you had any issues with the route of the long wires to the battery? No rubbing in the wheel well?
No problems at all. I have used the winch a couple times now and jave been surprised how convenient it really is. There is no reason to have it on the top with configuration IMO.

I wished I had taken the time to index it like you did. If I ever take apart the front end for whatever reason I will do that.
 
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Mx5red

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No problems at all. I have used the winch a couple times now and jave been surprised how convenient it really is. There is no reason to have it on the top with configuration IMO.

I wished I had taken the time to index it like you did. If I ever take apart the front end for whatever reason I will do that.
I didn’t think of that until I was about to mount it, because I couldn’t put the delete plate back on since the clutch handle would get in the way. I thought for a few minutes about drilling holes and all kinds of nonsense before I just realized I could clock the gearbox.

I don’t know about your setup, but mine is really easy to reach and maneuver..
I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the skid plate and unscrew the four bolts that mount the winch to the winch plate.
Then you could probably tip the gearbox end of the winch up enough to unscrew the Allen bolts and clock the gearbox 90’. You probably wouldn’t have to undo any wires or remove the bumper!
 

cnapierala

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Stealth hidden smittybilt H2O 12k winch install on Maximus-3 winch plate and Rubicon Steel bumper
Solenoid relocation.
2df89a3a-c3e8-4ec5-9027-8cdaecd97d0f-jpeg.jpg


12k H2O winch and Maximus-3 winch plate were easy to install (as I had learned on this forum) :like:
I wanted a clean “hidden” install and did two things: clocked the gearbox 90’ backwards to clear the clutch lever from the bumper/delete plate; and, I mounted the solenoid behind the right side of the bumper like @Moregone
hash-189f03930bb1622ea5c3a059aec00cf9-jpg.jpg


notes:
There is so much room left after install that even if you screw up the order of install of fairleads and such (me:headbang:) you can still unscrew things and remount winch lines, etc. very easily.
The 12k h2o winch must be smaller than 10k Zeon winches.
You can also see from his pics that he routed the wires from the solenoid to the winch over the front frame rail; this is probably the cleanest way to do it.
Also, I couldn’t find it in instructions and had to google it. The rope loops behind winch and back over the top to attach to the drum. If your winch hook can’t fit through the bumper or fairlead then it’s easy to just mount the rope after mounting the winch.
e5bcef1a-0cb9-4e3c-a243-623fcb85a497-jpeg.jpg


Install:
1. Remove trim/skid/bumper. Easy, google good directions.
2. Mount Maximus-3 winch plate. Also good directions online like quadratec.
Maximus sent extra nuts and skipped the front temporary bolts, no big deal. FYI those front temporary bolts are not important, you still need to retighten things after the bumper goes back on at the end because the bumper and the front part of the plate both bolt onto the front of the frame rails. So you can use anything like zip ties to hold front of plate up until you tighten the back nuts then retighten when you put the bumper back on.
It was pretty easy nonetheless, and I have no comparison, but seems like a well engineered plate.
3. Clock winch gearbox 90’ backwards. Very easy with hex key, think it was 5mm.
23483451-8b06-4521-bba3-36697d047c82-jpeg.jpg

4bf9d4e8-f93c-4c29-b2ab-78235ed5df4c-jpeg.jpg

There is plenty of room behind winch to reach and turn clutch lever. Not an issue.
4. Figure out wiring, and then mount winch. I like uncluttered OEM appearance and saw people that had relocated the solenoid so I tried hiding mine. Thanks @Moregone for the idea.

https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...oid-relocation-help-needed.24408/post-1053984

I wasn’t sure from his pics if I could still replace the winch delete plate for a true hidden install, but it worked perfect!

I plan to rewire/remount the solenoid up a little higher like Moregone but was tight on time. I routed the short wires forward around/under the frame rails. I didn’t have time to take the feet off the solenoid but it didn’t seem like it would fit anyway; after looking at his pics, it’s clear he had room after removing the brackets. Whoops!
1c79bc79-1fb5-4183-a164-2937faed6bc6-jpeg.jpg

I’m still not set on the the wiring up to the battery. I could not feel/see a route inside of the grill and frame rail that didn’t pass pretty close to hoses and stuff that I worried could cause a major failure later. So I tucked mine outside of that rail, but it pulls the wires into/under the fender liner. I worry that they could rub the tire, especially if tires bigger than oem are fitted.

fbca8393-7406-4212-bd88-bdf6d6d55162-jpeg.jpg


I plan on keeping this route and adding a hose clamp or zip tie close to the frame to keep the wires as far from the tires as possible.
As others have shown there is an easy route up by the air box on the inside, I did remove mine to see better.
On the inside, I pulled it laterally to run underneath of the air intake, up in front of the battery and through a little bracket between the fender and the battery. I’m pointing at +\- wires, negative I ran in a plastic loom.
69a79ff3-3972-468b-a4df-fa270cd02b1c-jpeg.jpg

cc480493-c652-48c8-b414-a347485553b4-jpeg.jpg

5. I plan on mounting a shutoff switch like this close to the battery:
d70f4c48-7e03-4923-a5b6-e42f5e574a4d-jpg.jpg

I don’t like having constant power to the bumper. Didn’t want to use aux switch for relay and don’t think it’s a big deal to raise hood to turn on winch, or turn on winch before a big trip.

6. Mount bumper.
Not terrible but passenger inner bottom nut was hard to reach through wiring.
It wasn’t bad with some mcguyvering.
92b0e660-282c-4c20-94e0-2197bd1eb003-jpeg.jpg

For that bolt I had to hold the impact under the bumper.
bc199318-8aab-473b-8e84-de02889a20f4-jpg.jpg


I also could still mount my oem rubicon skid plate despite winch plate moving the bumper/skid forward 1/4”.
I loosely started all bolts, but one towards driver side didn’t fully seat and I was worried about stripping the rivnut so I left it kind of loose. It’s a pretty weak skid plate so whatevs.
7. I plan on hiding hook behind a flip-up license plate bracket, didn’t have time to mount it. One question I have is, even after tightly wrapping the winch line under tension, I’m not sure I have room left to wind the nylon protective winch wrap into the drum. I see other people with it barely sticking out so it must be able to be wound inside? I may just un-Velcro it and keep it with the remote and put it on as needed instead of winding it in, I’m afraid of cutting the line on the inside of the winch frame if it’s too large inside. (I had smashed the rope a little when I loosely wound it at first. Gotta wind it under tension just to have enough room!
What did you use to hold the solenoid to the bumper frame? Any pictures?
 
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Mx5red

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What did you use to hold the solenoid to the bumper frame? Any pictures?
I haven’t finished, so it’s been hanging by the thick wiring. I was planning on using a hose clamp like @Moregone did. Search for his pictures to see, he mounted the box to a hose clamp tied around the frame. The second and third pictures from the side are his pics (note sting-gray Jeep not my red one) but I think he had one of the box with the hose clamp screwed to it.
 
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Mx5red

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Updated pics.
I finally rewired the solenoid over the frame like it should’ve been. Bought the biggest hose clamp at Lowe’s I could find, sorry didn’t take a pic. Just drilled a couple holes to screw the solenoid to it and tightened the hose clamp over the frame. There was enough room once I pulled the fog light wiring loom mount out of the frame and pinched it further back behind the solenoid.
Now the solenoid sits tighter and wires still fit well. Love the look
d4e140e3-7300-4954-9f77-fe1beafb5182-jpeg.jpg

b6ca0932-0cd1-4a39-83a1-17784dac086d-jpeg.jpg

4ae15a9b-eddf-4261-818b-7464dc7f33f8-jpeg.jpg

@CarbonSteel did a better job than I did mounting my shutoff switch, so copy him instead :LOL:
75e0910e-fb4d-4adf-bad9-409e4bea3605-jpg.jpg
 
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Mx5red

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His shorter positive cable is much cleaner but I just ordered one off Amazon. Wish it were shorter but couldn’t figure out how to source one or make one without spending way too much time doing it.
Exell Battery 1/0 AWG Interconnecting Copper Cable, 18-Inch Length with 3/8-Inch Lugs (Red) https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07HGKX...abc_F53W6V16EBHHTT1WAHDJ?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
I copied him and made a thinner, jankier plate out of two layers of 22g steel from Home Depot.
If you do it like me you can use about 18in or slightly less , I did it differently and bent the plate down to lower the switch instead of using washers to level it.
8dc0ae66-766b-4bf2-94be-1ba0271f9ee9-jpeg.jpg


6662d2d7-58c1-4bd2-aa75-35bd5e1e5179-jpeg.jpg


a1d21741-6c6e-4483-b5f6-d837f4f2386d-jpeg.jpg


07fb43bd-5c0f-46de-b982-697f240c4520-jpeg.jpg


I’m sure the guys with machining experience are throwing up, but hey you do what you can with a dremel and a drill :rock:
 

CarbonSteel

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His shorter positive cable is much cleaner but I just ordered one off Amazon. Wish it were shorter but couldn’t figure out how to source one or make one without spending way too much time doing it.
Exell Battery 1/0 AWG Interconnecting Copper Cable, 18-Inch Length with 3/8-Inch Lugs (Red) https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07HGKX...abc_F53W6V16EBHHTT1WAHDJ?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
I copied him and made a thinner, jankier plate out of two layers of 22g steel from Home Depot.
If you do it like me you can use about 18in or slightly less , I did it differently and bent the plate down to lower the switch instead of using washers to level it.
8dc0ae66-766b-4bf2-94be-1ba0271f9ee9-jpeg.jpg


6662d2d7-58c1-4bd2-aa75-35bd5e1e5179-jpeg.jpg


a1d21741-6c6e-4483-b5f6-d837f4f2386d-jpeg.jpg


07fb43bd-5c0f-46de-b982-697f240c4520-jpeg.jpg


I’m sure the guys with machining experience are throwing up, but hey you do what you can with a dremel and a drill :rock:
@Mx5red - I tweaked mine a little more (replaced both cables) and am happy with it now. The cables have two layers of PET sheathing on them for protection from abrasion. Your solution works just as well--you have to make do with what is available.


BH8SP2.jpg
 
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Mx5red

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@Mx5red - I tweaked mine a little more (replaced both cables) and am happy with it now. The cables have two layers of PET sheathing on them for protection from abrasion. Your solution works just as well--you have to make do with what is available.


BH8SP2.jpg
Very clean!
Where did you source the cables, or did you make all that from different parts?
I almost started buying terminal crimpers and what not, but found a short cable and just bought it. Custom would’ve fit better though :headbang:
 
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