Smittybilt x20 10k Winch Install & Assembly – Loose Hand Spooling and Setting up
Whether you are mounting a winch to a custom bumper, or a pre-fabricated bumper you are going to need to first, assemble your winch.
We are adding the Smittybilt X2O Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch with a 10000 lb Load Capacity to our C4 Fabrication Lo Pro bumper. I wanted to throw this installation and assembly overview together on a separate page as to not clutter the main bumper installation page.
If you have any questions about the installation of the C4 Fab Lo Pro, check out that post and if you need to refer to any images for the winch, you will find that here.
The Smittybilt X2O assembly is incredibly straightforward. Smittybilt provides each wire you will need to successfully assemble this winch.
They color-code all of their wires as well, which is basically error-proof.
Once fully assembled, you can quickly mount the winch to your bumper or platform of choice.
This is not going to be an overview on winches at all, strictly a reference guide for someone assembling this specific winch. However, at the bottom of the post, we do cover some tips and tricks for maintaining your winch. Be sure to check that out, it’s solid information.
2021 – Smittybilt X2O 10K
- Smittybilt X2O (Amazon): Check Price
- Smittybilt X2O (4WheelParts): Check Price
- Upgraded Fairlead: Check Price
- Upgraded Winch Hooks: Check Price
2022 – Smittybilt XRC Gen3
- New for 2022 XRC GEN3 9500lb (Amazon): Check Price
- New for 2022 XRC GEN3 9500lb (4WheelParts): Check Price
There are lots of other winches and upgraded accessories for winches out there. Do your research, you will find some cool stuff.
We choose the Smittybilt X2O 10k with a Synthetic rope over steel because Steel rope is heavier than synthetic, can develop rust, and can also develop sharp burrs.
There are many other reasons for and against both, leave your comments below.
Step 1: Smittybilt X2O Package
Start by unpacking all your parts. Get an idea of what you have and make sure your package arrived with all the goods.
Step 2: Unwind Smittybilt Synthetic Rope & check for Bind
It is very important to check for rope bind and damaged edges. If your product was shipped with a damaged rope, call Smittybilt asap as you do not want rope failure on the trail. The longer they sit, the worse they get. If I would have known this from the start, I would have un-spooled my rope sooner.
Step 3: Layout Solenoid Box and Wires
Step 4: Connect Solenoid Box and Wires
- Terminal A (Thin Small Black Wire)
- Terminal B (Short Black Cable) Red Jacket
- Terminal C (Short Black Cable) Yellow Jacket
- Terminal D (Short Black Cable) Black Jacket
- Positive (+): Long Black Cable Red Heat Shrink
- Negative (-): Long Black Cable Black Heat Shrink
As previously mentioned, everything is color-coded to make your life simple. Match all your wires up to the corresponding terminal and loosely connect everything down.
Step 5: Lay Winch on Side and Tighten down Solenoid Box
This is a tricky one. The bottom black clamp where the small allen bolt threads through is finicky. Hold the bottom plastic backing piece in place while you thread down the allen with a key. If you don’t hold the backing plate in place, it will swivel out and around the tie-road causing the clamp to come loose.
Step 6: Tighten Solenoid Box to Tie-Rods
Step 7: Connect Solenoid Box and Wires to Winch Motor
Depending on when and where you are going to mount your winch, you may want to tighten your cables down now. Or, you might want to wait until after your mount your winch in order to position the direction of how wires mount to the terminals. It really depends on your build.
Step 8: Starting to Hand-Spool Winch
Step 9: Hand-Spool Winch with Remaining Rope
Step 10: Finish Rolling Synthetic Rop on Drum
You WILL ABSOLUTELY RE-SPOOL THIS LATER. This is just a hand spool to get everything set up for a one-person job.
Once you have the winch set up on a bumper or your mounting point of choice, you can re-spool with real pressure against a tree (self-winching).
1000lbs of resistance is recommended, and although I don’t think 1000lbs on the money is 100% needed, it does help to keep the spool around the drum very tight for your future recovery efforts.
Winch Operation Warnings (YOU SHOULD READ THIS)
The Smittybilt x20 10k Winch is not designed to hold or lower loads and is not recommended for trailer use.
This winch must be directly connected to a battery and the battery must be under constant charge (truck is running) when operating a winch. A minimum of a 650 CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) battery in good condition is required for winch use. Inadequate, or weak batteries can cause erratic operation and may damage the winch, battery, and or charging system.
Many factory batteries do not have enough capacity for winch use. Check your battery and if your battery is lower than 650 CCA, consider a battery upgrade for your 4Runer. If you are looking to run the most power you can to your winch, find the highest CCA rated and MRC (minute reserve capacity) that will fit in your truck. Higher MRC ratings mean that your battery can power the winch for longer periods of time before the battery dies or the performance of the winch begins to fall off.
With continuous winch amp draw, you will deplete a fully charged battery rapidly if not connected to an adequate source of charge (Alternator while the truck is running).
If winch power leads need to be extended, zero gauge or thicker must be used. If the winch is using a remote location battery must be located as close to the winch as possible with as short of a run as possible to the winch. Your battery must receive at least a 90 amps or higher charge when wenching.
Winch in small increments to allow battery voltage to recover. When winching, the battery discharge is faster than your alternator can charge it. Take a break every minute to reduce the load on the battery and keep up the charge. Low battery voltage will damage the winch and may damage the electrical system and battery.
Failure to comply not only voids the warranty on your Smittybilt x20 10k Winch but can cause serious property damage or personal harm. You should really consider following all installation instructions and note all of these warnings.
Keeping your Winch Happy (Spooling and Maintenance)
On a monthly basis or at least once a quarter, you should be re-spooling your winch. Always remember the worst thing for a winch is lack of use. Cycling in the winch helps to keep the internals properly lubricated and will prevent a build-up of moisture inside the winch.
Proper Spooling and Common Maintenance
- Start by powering out your synthetic rope 15 feet.
- Then a free spool out another 15 feet of synthetic rope.
Always make sure you have at least 10 wraps of synthetic rope around the winch. Put your winch in gear and re-spool the winch line. As you are re-spooling the synthetic rope, inspect every inch as it feeds into the spool. If there is anything on your synthetic rope line, knock it off or correct it before feeding back into the drum.
It is required that you have at least 1000 pounds of tension when re-spooling your winch line. You can use a tree to help you re-spool your winch line as well. This will also give you some “behind the wheel” experience as well.
Proper re-spooling prevents the rope from pinching its self during recovery, it pre-stretches the winch line and will help the cable spool correctly on the winch drum.
The Break-In Process
During the break-in process, your winch line may be difficult to spool out. This is normal as the gears and brake system go through the break-in process it will become easier to free spool.
Difficult to free pull the cable out?
Power out winch cable with the clutch engaged. Do This in short bursts of approximately 15 feet at a time until the winch line is extended down to the last layer of the drum.
Allow the winch to cool down one in two minutes in between 15-foot bursts. This will help break in the gearbox and brake assembly.
Do not power out the entire winch line without a few cooldowns (let the winch rest for a moment – 1min intervals). As damage to the gearbox and brake assembly can occur.