MotoAlliance has built a nice reputation in the UTV/ATV market for their affordable yet high-quality winches…add on the two year warranty that comes stock with their Elite series, and you’ve got a great value. But why add the winch so soon? It may not appear to be a high priority, but bigger tires and more suspension only means you are stuck further into the boonies…self-recovery can be a requirement.
The Viper Elite EX4000 model was chosen for the synthetic line, remote control, snatch block and aluminum hawse…all included in the package. 4000# should be plenty for a 1000# RZR, and the snatch block is right there should more power be needed.
Installation is time consuming, but not difficult. Start by removing the hood cover and the ‘glove box’ below. Then remove the front bumper cover plate (4 screws) and adding that to your growing collection of never-to-be-needed-again parts. I also opted to remove the entire front headlight/grill section…my fat fingers needed the space. Don’t forget to unclip the headlight wiring…do NOT remove the bulbs, just disconnect the wires.
MotoAlliance has a RZR-specific mounting kit, and it fit perfectly. Two angled rails locate immediately above the front diff…two bolts vertically in the back, two bolts horizontally from the front, and mount the angles so they face outside (easier to get to the nylocks). If you check thru the install gallery, you’ll see duct tape on the 9/16″ combo wrench…unless you are more nimble than me, that trick will allow you to position the nylocks and washers MUCH easier. The front hawse plate also gets mounted at this time…installing the hawse on the plate first meant less fat-finger issues..
Next is the winch itself…4 bolts mount up from below. Again, if you’ve correctly installed the rails, you’ll have little issue installing these bolts…if not, well now is the time to correct your mistake.
With the winch installed, you’ll notice the heater hoses are tight against it…fluid leaks are never good, and you’ll see in the photos where I used some plastic covering to help protect the hoses from wearing. Zip tie those into place so they don’t wander off. I actually used lots of zip-ties in the install to keep things properly routed…much nicer than electrical tape (which always turns gooey after a short time).
MotoAlliance includes a nice line stopper…which of course isn’t installed on the cable. I remove the entire line from the winch and shortened it. WHAT?!? Yes, you read that correctly…the EX4000 ships with 40′ of Amsteel synthetic cable. It’s tightly wound on the drum and takes up every bit of space on there….if you fail to wind in the line correctly (ie: lazy like me), you’ll find yourself with too much on one side and it will bind against the winch body. Additionally, winches are rated at the BOTTOM layer of line, not the top layer….the more you spool out, the more likely you are to be at the maximum pulling power of the winch. I always run between 75% and 80% of the maximum line capacity on my winches. To shorten, I simply cut the line with a scissors and used a short piece of electrical shrink tubing to re-cover the exposed end. The leftover 8′ is now decoration on the shop wall. (I need to order a 25′ extension…next on the shopping list).
The Amsteel line on the Viper Elite also comes with a hollow nylon tube sleeve/protector. I cut this in half so I have two sections on the line…more often than not, there are two ‘rub’ points that occur during recoveries, and abrasion is one of the weaknesses of synthetic cable…may as well offer the option of protecting the line as much as possible.
Next up is running the power cables. The Elite ships with a very nice sealed solenoid box, a cabled switch, and two remote-controls as well. It is however a universal kit, and most UTV owners seem to prefer to locate their solenoid box under the dash rather than close to the battery. To do this, you simply reverse the instructions for the Blue and Yellow wires with those for the Red and Black. In my case, Red > Blue on the winch, and Black > Yellow. Make SURE you wire the solenoid box correctly per the new cable colors. I used the Yellow > Black to the battery, and then used a Sharpie to color the battery side of the Yellow cable to help idiot-proof my install.
The solenoid box mounts nice and tight up high on the firewall..the connector can be seen and reached with the hood cover off as well. The cabled switch comes with a nice handlebar-type mount, and fit great on the firewall cross tubing immediately left of the steering wheel…very easy to reach from the drivers seat OR from outside the vehicle. There is a switched-hot wire that needs to be connected as well…with this mounting setup, that red wire is VERY close to where the OEM 12v outlet is located on the dash…pull those two wires and you will notice a spare hot wire just waiting to connect up your winch switch.
The final step is running the two cables to the battery. I know a few folks have zip-tied these to the radiator lines, but I opted to instead allow them to rest on the skid plate…they are zip-tied to the front tube on the firewall and run inside a few underside mounts points…there is nothing under there for them to contact, unless the skid plate is completely torn away. Note that I opted to removed center console to gain access…you can see the front driveshaft there, the cables rest a few inches below that. DO NOT zip tie to the shaft…seriously…lol
While I’ve yet to use the winch on the trail, both remotes worked perfectly and the winch runs smooth and quietly. I’m now looking forward to my friends getting stuck so I can test the capabilities of the Viper Elite EX4000!