Finishing the Defender winch install – long power cables to reach the battery under the passenger seat

My COMEUP Winch 9.5si came equipped with roughly 3 to 4 feet of 2 gauge, positive and negative power cables. While these lengths were sufficient for the Jeep Wrangler, in which the winch was originally installed, this wasn’t remotely enough length to reach the battery under the passenger seat of my 1991 Land Rover Defender 110.

COMEUP Winch 9.5si installed on a Rovers North winch bump. It looks done, but it still needs to be wired!

I started by unbolting the winch and dismantling the plastic solenoid cover to identify the power cable attachment points. This is where I identified that the winch utilized 2 gauge, and measured the ring terminals to confirm 5/16″ diameter.

Not quite sure what is under the winch solenoid cover. Let's see how the positive cable is wired.
Ring terminals are 5/16" so that jives!

Online research indicated that I would need power cables around 13′ in length to make the distance from the front bumper to the battery compartment. Also due to the longer run, a larger wire size should be used rather than the original 2 gauge.

The new 1/0 welding cable used to attach the winch to the battery. I won't need all 15' but 12 to 13' instead.
Found this 1/0 welding cable on Amazon. A good bit beefier than the 2 gauge but still nice and flexible and should be easy to work with.

I ended up going with two lengths (one red and one black) of 15′ flexible 1/0 welding cable, with copper 5/16″ ring terminals, and ordered everything through Amazon.

What do we need?

Let’s get started!

After the parts had arrived, I crimped the ring terminals onto the winch-end of the 15′ lengths of welding cable, and installed the heat-shrink tubing.

I didn't have a battery cable crimper so I had to get one of those too. I kept it cheap since I'll only need it once in a blue moon.
The inexpensive crimper from Amazon did a good job. This ring terminal isn't going anywhere.

Then, I attached the new cables to the winch; the positive cable to the solenoid assembly and the negative cable to the electric motor itself, just as I had removed the former wires.

The positive cable ring terminal at a winch had a good 90 degree bend in it, so I replicated with my new cable.
The negative power cable connected to the underside of the winch motor. It was easy to get to once the winch was unbolted from the mounting plate.

To provide additional protection for the positive power cable, I fed it through 15′ of 3/4″ split wire loom, which fit the beefy 1/0 welding cable with little room to spare.

A lot of juice flows through the winch power cable, so best to protect it from abrasion as much as possible.

Routing is a little bit tedious

While replacing winch power cables is a relatively easy project, the tedious part is almost certainly routing the 15′ of welding wire to the battery compartment located under the passenger seat. I did so by running both power cables along the top of the passenger side frame rail, which provides a direct, protected, and mostly-unobstructed route.

I ensured that both wires were clear of sharp edges, away from heat sources, and were securely fastened.

Once the power cables were fed into the battery compartment, I cut the excess wire, which yielded about 3′ of scrap for each wire. Then, I crimped on the new 5/16″ ring terminals and installed shrink tubing.

Once the cables are routed, the hard part is over and all that's left is to connect them to the battery terminals.

The Antigravity lithium battery installed in the Defender is fitted with threaded posts, which makes it easy to cleanly attach other 12V accessories, especially with the assistance of brass stand-offs, which are helpful for decluttering, but not necessary.

A tidy battery compartment

I wasn't planning on brass stand-offs, but they showed up in my feed on Amazon and were only a few bucks.
The finished winch wiring. I'm not finished working in this battery compartment with other accessories, so it is bound to get a bit more cluttered in the near future.

This “last hurrah” of wiring the winch was a bit of a project, and the new welding cables were more costly than I would’ve preferred. But now it’s done, the winch works great, and I can move on to other things!

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