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Old 01-18-2021, 02:31 AM #1
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Hidden Winch for 2014+ Limited

Whew, it took a village but we now have a reasonable option for 2014+ Limited's wanting a front winch!

Bad news first, I don't have install pictures but will post some finished pictures soon. Let me know if you have any questions, I can answer off memory (for now).

My Setup
  • Mount: BudBuilt Hidden Winch Mount*
  • Winch: Smittybilt Gen2 X2O COMP 10000 Waterproof Winch 98510 (wireless!)
  • Fairlead: Factor55 Hawse 1.0 (should have gone 1.5 due to size*)
  • Winch Hook: Factor55 FlatLink E (should have gone other due to size*)

Mount...while someone on T4R did use the 2010-2013 version, BudBuild is releasing a 2014+ Limited version 'soon'. You can call to order one until the website is updated. The new version comes with two recovery points (not light brackets) which is a huge plus for Limiteds.

Winch...picked up a used Smittybilt. With a little cleanup and a 180* rotation of the control box, the winch connector faces the clutch and drivers side of the car for easy access under the hood.

Fairlead...you want the deepest possible option. I saved a few bucks on the 1.0 online but the 1.5 version would be better. As I have ZERO interest in taking off my bumper again, it stays for now.

Winch Hook...while Factor55 makes bomb-proof gear, their links measure 4.25" wide and we need something a bit less unless you want to cut even more plastic. Their Flatilink-Expert does fit, but it is tight. Given how great the link is, I will deal with the tight fit for now.

(Front) Winch Line & Recovery Tabs...new front recovery points are great and likely don't require the bumper cuts I made. Test fit this better than I did! The fairlead, hook, and winch line will require plastic cuts in both the front and back of the bumper.The third grate from the top of the bumper is pretty easy to cut with a reciprocating air saw.

Top Winch Controls Access...for ease for clutch control or backup wired remote control, you can easily cut a hole in the plastic top radiator cover. I saw a video of someone who added a piano hinge and a magnet as a nice finishing touch...this is on my list!

Electrical...I plan to upgrade to an AGM from Batteries+ during one of their seasonal sales and add a Blue Sea HD Battery Selector switch as a hard off given this winch is wireless enabled. You will need some heavy gauge cabling to do this safely, but you can buy pre-crimped cables or DIY via an online kit for a few bucks. You don't need add the switch...but I am opting to for safety purposes.

Install Guide
Sorry, lost any helpful pictures.
  1. Park and block the vehicle. I didn't use ramps or jacks, but it may help if you don't have a large front lift.
  2. Pop your hood and remove the plastic cowl on the top of your radiator.
  3. Begin to carefully remove your front bumper. Remember there are a number of clips and screws, so go slow.
  4. Remove your fog lights and parking sensors before completely removing the bumper. I'd suggest using a single plastic clip at the top of the bumper to keep it in place. There are good guides online to help with this.
  5. Place bumper on its top side on top of a moving blanket.
  6. Loosen (don't remove) the bolts that hold your aluminum bumper bar to the crush cans.
  7. Remove the crush cans from the frame, 4 bolts each side.
  8. Clock your winch and control box for easy access...I went to the driver's side.
  9. Mount your winch to the winch mount, go easy on the winch's bolts.
  10. Now mount your winch & winch mount to the aluminum bumper assembly. The winch mount will sandwich between the crush cans and the metal bumper piece. A dead blow may be helpful to get these two together.
  11. Use two of the u-bolts to mount plate to the metal bumper. There are more holes but you cannot use them due to hole clearances. A dead blow and some muscle helped here too.
  12. I ended up removing the front vertical member for the horn and AFT line in front of the HVAC condensory. I wasn't sure if this AFT line was pressured and I ended up using my hands to make small, sweeping bends on the left and right sides to improve the angle and allow space for my winch. I loosened the AFT brackets on either side to help give resistance. This part sucked the most and others may be able to replace the line or disconnect it, but I opted for the safest route with what I knew.
  13. Hang the whole winch assembly back on the frame and begin to gingerly align bolt holes. This will suck a bit. I got all but 1 bolt to finger tight. I ended up wrench on this bolt and hoped for the best. Go easy and a SMALL amount of anti-seize would have been a better idea. I had a friend help me move the whole assembly while getting bolts in. If you have more issues, just enlarge the bolt holes on the winch mount to make your life easier.
  14. Temporarily replace the front bumper, begin cutting for your fairlead. I cut front and back in small sections before I got the right fit.
  15. Complete your bumper reinstall the reverse of your disassembly.
  16. Cut your access hole for the winch clutch and connect the wires to your battery.

Pictures





Final thoughts...
  • Winches are heavy. You are adding 30lbs for the mount and 70lbs for the winch. Ensure you have the right suspension setup to make this work.
  • The install took 12 hours of work and I still have some minor work to go. With these instructions and pictures, and higher competency, I bet you could do it in less.
  • Go easy on all the hardware...I learned not all grade 8 are made the same and most bolts are unforgiving. Go easy and don't tighten down everything until after you have all bolts started for each section of the install. This was evident with the winch bolts that I thankfully had replacements for.
  • To gain further front clearance around the winch...cut more bumper. To gain more vehicle clearance, cut the bottom of the front and back Limited bumpers too...I think this is the gaining popularity as the "lip" cut. It's similar to the "viper cut" you are seeing on non Limiteds.
  • With all the plastic to cut, I suggest a good paint marker, painter's tape, and a reciprocating air saw. Spend the $100 to make your life easier. Then you are ready for cutting your stock rocker panels for standard T4R sliders to fit.
  • This is the 'harder' way to add a winch to your Limited. I spent around $1200 for the entire setup, but if you have the funding...upgrade to a full tube or plate bumper. The good ones are nearly 2.5x the cost but worth it. For my use case, this works for now until a Moab oopsy.
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Coming soon...lighting & Platstidip

Last edited by generald; 03-02-2021 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 01-20-2021, 11:06 AM #2
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Where are the pics?
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:18 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drobs View Post
Where are the pics?
Just posted a few
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:21 PM #4
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Interested in the install guide...looking to perform this on my limited. You did mention to do a bumper replacement...short of going to a completely different 4Runner model front clip I’m not aware of any replacement bumpers for a limited without major modifications or ending up with a very odd looking front end.

Thanks,

Chris
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:02 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by generald View Post
Whew, it took a village but we now have a reasonable option for 2014+ Limited's wanting a front winch!

Bad news first, I didn't take install pictures but will post some finished pictures soon. Let me know if you have any questions, I can answer off memory (for now).

My Setup
  • Mount: BudBuilt Hidden Winch Mount*
  • Winch: Smittybilt Gen2 X2O COMP 10000 Waterproof Winch 98510 (wireless!)
  • Fairlead: Factor55 Hawse 1.0 (should have gone 1.5 due to size*)
  • Winch Hook: Factor55 FlatLink E (should have gone other due to size*)

Mount...while someone on T4R did use the 2010-2013 version, BudBuild is releasing a 2014+ Limited version 'soon'. You can call to order one until the website it updated. The new version comes with two recovery points (not light brackets) which is a huge plus for Limiteds.

Winch...picked up a used Smittybilt. With a little cleanup and a 180* rotation of the control box, the winch connector faces the clutch and drivers side of the car for easy access under the hood.

Fairlead...you want the deepest possible option. I saved a few bucks on the 1.0 online but the 1.5 version would be better. As I have ZERO interest in taking off my bumper again, it stays for now.

Winch Hook...while Factor55 makes bomb-proof gear...their links measure 4.25" and we need something a bit less unless you want to cut even more plastic. Their Flatilink-Expert does fit, but it is tight. Given how great the link it, I will deal with the tight fit for now.

(Front) Winch Line & Recovery Tabs...New recovery points are great and likely don't require the cuts I had to make. Test fit this better than I did! The fairlead, hook, and winch line will require cuts.The third grate from the top of the bumper is pretty easy to cut from there.

Top Winch Controls Access...for ease for clutch control or backup wired remote control, you can easily cut a hole in the plastic top radiator cover. I saw a video of someone who added a piano hinge and a magnet as a nice finishing touch...this is on my list!

Electrical...I upgraded to an AGM group 27 from Batteries+ during one of their seasonal sales and added a Blue Sea HD Battery Selector switch as a hard off. You will need some heavy gauge cabling to do this safely but you can buy pre-crimped options or DIY via an online kit for a few bucks. You don't need to do either, but I for safety and build-sake, I did.

Install guide coming soon

Pictures





Final thoughts...
  • Winches are heavy. You are adding 30lbs for the mount and 70lbs for the winch. Ensure you have the right suspension setup to make this work.
  • The install took 12 hours of work. With these instructions and pictures, and higher competency, I bet you could do it in less.
  • Go easy on all the hardware...I learned not all grade 8 are made the same and most bolts are unforgiving. Go easy and don't tighten down everything until after you have all bolts started for each section of the install.
  • To gain further front clearance around the winch...cut more. To gain more vehicle clearance, cut the bottom of the bumper too.
  • With all the plastic to cut, I suggest a paint marker, painter's tape, and a reciprocating air saw. Spend the $100 to make your life easier and then use it for your slider's install with stock limited rocker panels!
  • This is the 'hard way' to add a winch to yoru Limited. I spent around $1200 for the entire setup but at nearly 2.5x the cost, an aluminum bumper would be the 'right' way to do it. For my use case, this works, but learn from me and weight the decision here -- you get an easier, cleaner, stronger install with a full bumper IMHO.
Are they only coming out with a 14+ Limited one or coming out for one for all 14+?
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1996 T4R Limited: E-Locked l 285 KO2's l Toytec BOSS w Superflex l SS Panhard l Ultra Gauge l AIRAID MIT l Drifter CB Mount l AOF Sliders l Weathertech's l Hilux 167 Snorke l Cobra 19DXIV l Ditch Lights l Relentless Front Bumper l Superwinch Tiger Shark l Paranoid Fab Din Switch
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:33 PM #6
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Sweet looking setup, thanks for the post! One question, why is the chrome area just above your mount “grayed” out in your photos?
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:30 AM #7
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Sweet looking setup, thanks for the post! One question, why is the chrome area just above your mount “grayed” out in your photos?

Privacy. They don't want their reflection in the pictures
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:04 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRunner_87 View Post
Are they only coming out with a 14+ Limited one or coming out for one for all 14+?
I believe Bud Built already makes a hidden winch mount for non-Ltd 2014+ 4Runners. If they don't, then CBI, SDHQ, Demello, others do. They are all essentially the same concept. If you are looking for info on non-Ltd hidden winches I have an install writeup on a 2017 SR5 and a 2019 ORP on this forum.
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Old 02-24-2021, 06:48 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeefZah View Post
I believe Bud Built already makes a hidden winch mount for non-Ltd 2014+ 4Runners. If they don't, then CBI, SDHQ, Demello, others do. They are all essentially the same concept. If you are looking for info on non-Ltd hidden winches I have an install writeup on a 2017 SR5 and a 2019 ORP on this forum.
They only have one for the 2010-2013 4Runners. I was looking at the LFD one, so I was hoping they were coming out with one for the facelift 4Runners.
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2016 T4R SR5: Ironman FCP w/ Performance Springs l RAV4 Mirrors l TSO Pro Grill l TSO INCOG Front Bumper l Raptor Lights l 255/80 Falken WildPeak AT3W l CaliRaisedLED Ditch Light Brackets l Avid Sliders l Custom Drawers l R1 Concepts Rotors/Pads
5th Gen Build
1996 T4R Limited: E-Locked l 285 KO2's l Toytec BOSS w Superflex l SS Panhard l Ultra Gauge l AIRAID MIT l Drifter CB Mount l AOF Sliders l Weathertech's l Hilux 167 Snorke l Cobra 19DXIV l Ditch Lights l Relentless Front Bumper l Superwinch Tiger Shark l Paranoid Fab Din Switch
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:16 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRunner_87 View Post
They only have one for the 2010-2013 4Runners. I was looking at the LFD one, so I was hoping they were coming out with one for the facelift 4Runners.
Ah, my bad. I have the SDHQ one on my 17 and 19 and like it a lot. No recovery hooks / shackle mounts though.
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:16 PM #11
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As a quick update, I hope to get it wired up and finish the install soon(ish). I will post pictures of the access door and general wiring when done.

Also considering a front and rear lower cut to increase clearance. May wait until I start rubbing before I go through the effort. More time on my end but still cheaper than my preferred approach (if I had the funds to invest)...Hefty Fab's aluminum plate bumper <3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisb009 View Post
Interested in the install guide...looking to perform this on my limited. You did mention to do a bumper replacement...short of going to a completely different 4Runner model front clip I’m not aware of any replacement bumpers for a limited without major modifications or ending up with a very odd looking front end.

Thanks,

Chris
Sorry Chris, lost the photos in a phone replacement. I am happy to share help though as I remember most of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRunner_87 View Post
Are they only coming out with a 14+ Limited one or coming out for one for all 14+?
These are available through BudBuilt for both 5th generation versions. Others are available...I'd suggest Rago for their integrated recovery points but many, many others exist. I did buy a Rago to attempt...but too much cutting and sold it for a loss before going with Bud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcunning52 View Post
Sweet looking setup, thanks for the post! One question, why is the chrome area just above your mount “grayed” out in your photos?
Yep, privacy...I am no model xD

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeefZah View Post
I believe Bud Built already makes a hidden winch mount for non-Ltd 2014+ 4Runners. If they don't, then CBI, SDHQ, Demello, others do. They are all essentially the same concept. If you are looking for info on non-Ltd hidden winches I have an install writeup on a 2017 SR5 and a 2019 ORP on this forum.
^ This right here...wish Toyota made the internal plastics universal as the other versions out there are awesome.
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'16 LE: Metallic Gray; SSO Rack, FN (X) Pro Wheels, Falken AT3W Tires, ALL RCI (Aluminum) Skids, SDHW ABS Sensor Covers, Molle Rear Panels, ArcLight Red Light Mod, Ironman 4x4 FCP Stage 3 (2.5"/2"), RCI Sliders, BudBuilt Hidden Winch + Smittybuilt 10k WInch, AGM

Coming soon...lighting & Platstidip
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Old 02-28-2021, 03:34 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by generald View Post
As a quick update, I hope to get it wired up and finish the install soon(ish). I will post pictures of the access door and general wiring when done.

Also considering a front and rear lower cut to increase clearance. May wait until I start rubbing before I go through the effort. More time on my end but still cheaper than my preferred approach (if I had the funds to invest)...Hefty Fab's aluminum plate bumper <3



Sorry Chris, lost the photos in a phone replacement. I am happy to share help though as I remember most of it.



These are available through BudBuilt for both 5th generation versions. Others are available...I'd suggest Rago for their integrated recovery points but many, many others exist. I did buy a Rago to attempt...but too much cutting and sold it for a loss before going with Bud.



Yep, privacy...I am no model xD



^ This right here...wish Toyota made the internal plastics universal as the other versions out there are awesome.
I guess they must not update their website very often. I will have to get in contact with them then. Even still only thing listed is "$375.00 2010-2013 5th Gen 4Runner Hidden Winch Mount"

"Fits all 2010-2013 4Runner submodels
Does not work with 2014-2021 4Runners"
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5th Gen Build
1996 T4R Limited: E-Locked l 285 KO2's l Toytec BOSS w Superflex l SS Panhard l Ultra Gauge l AIRAID MIT l Drifter CB Mount l AOF Sliders l Weathertech's l Hilux 167 Snorke l Cobra 19DXIV l Ditch Lights l Relentless Front Bumper l Superwinch Tiger Shark l Paranoid Fab Din Switch
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Old 02-28-2021, 08:21 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRunner_87 View Post
I guess they must not update their website very often. I will have to get in contact with them then. Even still only thing listed is "$375.00 2010-2013 5th Gen 4Runner Hidden Winch Mount"

"Fits all 2010-2013 4Runner submodels
Does not work with 2014-2021 4Runners"
They have been 'updating' their site for a while now. Best to give them a call and order the new version.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:27 PM #14
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They have been 'updating' their site for a while now. Best to give them a call and order the new version.
That is good to know! They price is pretty good especially when compared to LFD.
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Old 10-29-2022, 04:03 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRunner_87 View Post
That is good to know! They price is pretty good especially when compared to LFD.
Subbed...thanks for the info
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