I was all set to go to my local Hummer dealer to have a winch installed when I got this Jeep magazine from Sem that had the winch I wanted for 1/2 the price the dealer was charging. Something isn't right. So I decided to go back out and Google again and see what I could find. This time I landed at Hummer Solutions which had the winch for about $1000. The dealer wanted $2200 installed. I guess the trick is that the multi-mount for the winch has to have horizontal and vertical holes drilled for the H2. I ended up ordering a slightly better model, the Warn 9.5ti Thermometric Multimount Winch, than I would have gotten from the dealer. This is working out well.
I got all the parts and started in. The dealer claimed this was a full day install. He wasn't totally wrong -- it did take me a whole day but it was my first time doing this and I wanted to get it right and not break anything in the process. I started by mounting the winch on the multi-mount then fitting it on the back and front of the truck to be sure everything was going to work. Next, I had to snake the power line from the front bumper, up through the grill, and up into the car battery. I mounted the plug through the license plate bracket hole for now. I don't really like it but there aren't a lot of great spots to put it on the front of the truck.
Now the hard part -- wiring up the back of the truck. Here you have to run power from the battery all the way to the rear bumper. I started from the rear and worked the cable long the driver's side. There were some other electrical lines and some brake lines there so I just got on top of those. I had some slack left over so I just bundled that up inside the rear bumper.
For the rear power, Warn suggests putting an included solenoid and switch in place to control power. I love switches and more gadgets inside the truck so I was game. This turned out to be the hard part. There was no good place to mount the solenoid inside the engine so I ended up putting it up under the corner brace that holds the rubber hood post. Then I had to run a line from the engine into the inside of the truck. There was a single place in the firewall with a rubber boot that I could go through. I couldn't get inside of it or around it from inside the engine. So I went inside and up under the dashboard and found where it came through. I started feeling back inside with my fingers and thought it might go through. So I took one of the long zip ties that came with the winch and started shoving it through. After some wiggling, it went. I looked inside the engine and there it was. So I duct taped the wire to the end of it and then pulled it back through. I mounted the switch next to the parking break release and I was all set. A quick test to prove I didn't ruin anything and the job was done. Here is the rear power plug. Its the thing with the cable dangling from it.
The cheaper price on the winch allowed me some budget to get the truck skins that I wanted also. These are basically big refrigerator magnets that stick onto the side of the truck to protect the paint job from all the trees and brush as you go down the trail. I was already developing some nice "Rocky Mountain Pinstriping" from the trails.
Anyone who wants a winch for your H2 should consider doing it yourself. Its half the price and a pretty fun and easy experience. It just takes some time. Hummer Solutions will set you up.
Oh, and the quote of the day comes from Kim -- "Yeah, its looks good but you aren't going to leave it on the truck all the time, are you?". Um, Yeah!