Next, we found a way (with more help from Roadless Gear) to control the new winch without breaking out the winch controller from the accessory bag. They provided their new Dash Mounted Winch Controls so that we would have full control at our fingertips without leaving the drivers seat. The control panel is prewired and features an on/off/on momentary toggle switch for running the line in or out. There is also an arming switch to make sure you don’t accidentally engage the winch when you least expect it. The control panel doesn’t come with any fancy mounting brackets, but that is because of the many different mounting possibilities that there are. There were a pair of mounting screws included, but it is up to the installer on how they are used. We just used the switches themselves to hold the plate in place. The cabling from the control panel is routed through the firewall with the rest of the wiring harness and brought up to the winch along the fender using the stock wire retainers. At this point, you should make sure the winch is disconnected from the battery. You don’t want to short out the new winch, or your electrical system, or your nervous system, etc. To connect the control panel to the winch, you have to go into the case and expose the solenoids. This was done on this X8000i by just removing the two hex bolts in the top/rear corners of the control box. Now that we found where the wiring had to go, how did we get it into what was normally a sealed casing? We found an area where we could drill into the case while staying clear of the solenoids. After drilling the hole we added a rubber grommet and then threaded the cable into the case.
We made sure that cable/grommet combination was a tight fit so it would keep the elements out of the control box. Roadless Gear included some very detailed directions with the kit. The diagrams matched up with the guts of our winch exactly! This made it easy enough for anyone to wire the connections with a set of nut drivers.
As you can see, all of the terminations in this kit were done with solderless crimped connectors. The last thing we did before calling this installation complete was to solder all of the connectors for a more reliable connection. The completed installation makes for a really clean look. This vehicle had already had its optional switch area replaced with a CB radio built into the dash, otherwise the Dash Mounted Winch Control would have been install there. There was one last consideration we had to take care of. The state of Texas (where this vehicle is registered) has a law that says it must have both front and rear license plates. You may have noticed in earlier shots where the front plate had been temporarily moved up to the grill when the ShrockWorks winch bumper was installed. With the installation of the winch, the grill was almost totally obscured so it had to find a more permanent home. We found a kit that made use of the new roller fairlead, a set of mag light brackets and a license plate blank to relocate the plate to the front of the winch where it could be quickly removed on the trail if the winch was needed. Convenient AND legal. Cool. Source: