So to start from the beginning, I bought myself a Champion 9500lb winch about 2 Christmas’ ago – I wrapped it up and shoved it under the tree and surprised myself Christmas morning. Back then, I had a stock 97 4Runner Ltd. which I had every intention on building up. So now I had this “cool” winch but no where to mount it – an ARB for my 4Runner would have costed me about $1400… as I had already blown my budget on lift and tires, that was going to be out of the question. I returned the winch knowing that I would never have another realistic opportunity to own my own winch again. Some pics of my old 4Runner for reference 🙂
So now 2+ years have passed, the 4Runner is gone and the (newer) 95 FZJ80 I bought came with an ARB winch bumper – sweet! Now I could maybe think about getting a winch again. Of course, wanting to get a winch and actually getting one were 2 completely different things. So I looked, asked around for a bit with no “actual” intention of buying one.
I debated for the longest time whether a brand new Champion 10,000lb winch would suit my needs, or if I would be better off getting a slightly under powered, USED, Warn M8000 – they were both in the same price range at the time and I just could not decide… Some suggested the 8274, but I didn’t bother to give it much though. I went on my first run with the RMLCA (Christmas tree run 2008) and this kinda changed everything. I saw Herb’s setup and after the breif 2 minute explaination on how easy it was to make this winch fit on the ARB, I was sold.
The next day, I sent out an email looking for a used Warn 8274, just poking around for some price suggestions – and wouldn’t you know it, Herb hit me off list and mentioned that he might have one for sale. Nice! I can’t remember at what point my wife hinted that I may get a winch this year for Christmas (2008) and asked what a “good” winch was… to make an already long story short, I got Herb’s old 8274 (which used to be Jim’s, which used to be Warren’s I believe).
So after 2 months after getting the winch, I finally installed it – here is my write up on how I got the 8274 to fit on my ARB with Herb’s great advice and my father-in-law’s help:
My father-in-law wasn’t convinced it would fit without having to hack off the entire middle portion of the bumper… It took a LOT of convincing before he would agree to just cut the one bar that runs across the middle (he was ready to cut the entire middle section out and weld in new plates). We were able to put the winch on a jack and lift it into place, after some last minute trimming on the triangle plate, it slipped in perfectly. I did have to remove my Toyota emblem in the front of the grill for it to fit though, that’s how close it was. I am still missing the roller fairlead and finishing off the end of the cable, but happy that the bulk of it is done.
The cuts were made to each side of the light mounts on the front bar, I don’t think where you cut the bar matters, it just seemed like a good place to me. I also chose to cut the plate that’s mounted underneath the front bar where the top fairlead mounts, only because this was less cutting. We found some 1/4″ plates that seemed to fit perfectly, so we cut a 1/4″ on the 2 sides still on the bumper, then welded the old bar back on tilting it about 45 degrees so that the bottom fairlead cut lines up. I have no intentions on mounting any lights (yet) so I thought the slight angle made the bumper “aerodynamic” 🙂 After everything was welded back together, I took hold of the grinder and started going at it.
The only thing I would do different is welding the bar back on BEFORE bolting the winch into place. This made welding and grinding a bit tough around back. I would also wait till my FIL was a bit less hung over as well as he admits the welds he did were not that great and ended up going back into the house to sleep the rest of it off while I spent the next couple of hours grinding (hence not wanting to lower the winch back down by myself). FIL probably should have removed some of the powder coating on the ARB as well before welding as I was standing there with an air hose getting ready to put out the flames. These are all amateur mistakes I’m sure. Overall, I am extremely happy with the outcome, the 8274 looks good on the ARB. I could lower the winch back down and finish grinding the back to clean it up more but it’s not that noticeable and doesn’t really bother me much for now. I tried to take pictures as I went but like most people who usually intend to take photos to do a write up, don’t end up taking enough pictures.
After all the grinding, I sprayed the exposed metal with primer and then paint.
Many thanks to Herb for his proto-type/advice/help/spare parts, it saved me a lot of guess work, mistakes, and probably a ton of headaches.