The other day the winch on my '06 Rubicon went south. When I originally purchased the ATV, I had a (POS) Bear Claw winch installed. It sounded like an old grain truck but the only reason I needed a winch was to raise and lower a snow plow.
Having once again learned the bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweet taste of low price is forgotten, I purchased a Warn XT 15. After pulling out the wiring of the previous installation, it soon became obvious to me life would not be simple. According to the instructions the control module needs to be installed in a relatively 'dry' place. Also, the length of wiring from the module to the toggle switch limited the location to the front of the ATV "someplace". This was not the case with the previous installation which placed the module to the rear storage compartment with plenty of wiring to reach the toggle switch.
And so it began. In order to get to a place to locate the module the tupperware had to come off. First the front rack, then the side panels, then front body panel, then the headlight bezel. Trying to locate all the screws and snap connectors was really fun. (I sure wish there was someplace I could reference that describes the process on removing the body panels.) Eventually I located the module in a small area on the left side between the fuel tank and the left side fender storage compartment.
This may not seem to be much of a problem but for a 66 year old creaker, crawling around under the ATV was a little more exercise than I expected. And then, to make matters worse, I inadvertently unplugged the connectors from the control module to the toggle during reassembly which I did not notice until everything was put back together. Fortunately, I was able to remove one screw under the left fender and bend back the plastic where I mounted the module to reconnect the separated wires. A more secure connector would have come in handy here instead of the bullet type connector provided in the kit.
In summary, the project was more than I expected. I reinstalled the Cycle Country fairlead mount from the previous installation because I felt it distributed the load across the front frame better. The existing winch mounting plate matched up perfectly with the Warn XT 15 bolt pattern. The wiring from the winch back to the battery is adequate. There is a separate wire from the module that Warn recommends splicing into the key switch 'someplace' which only activates the winch when the key is turned on. I ignored that part and ran a wire right back to the battery. There is no way I was going to do a cut and paste in that boars nest of wires.
I don't know all there is to know about the 30XT but I understand it has a remote control feature. If this unit helps one avoid tearing the ATV apart for installation, it would be worth the extra price, at least from the perspective of a retiree. I can understand the need to run two wires back to the battery to power the winch motor. However, in this world of advanced electronics, there is no need to hard wire the toggle switch to the control module. I mean, somebody at Warn, as well as the other winch manufacturers, must know how a remote garage door opener works.