Want to buy a new winch


JK Enthusiast
Sep 3, 2022
Morning everyone. Was wondering if I could get some opinions on what brand and what size you all are running on your front bumpers? Some of the threads are a few years old, so apologies for starting a new one. Pictures would be helpful. To be honest, chances are I will probably never use it, but you never know right? Lol. Thanks!
Having a winch is a great idea, even if you never get stuck. Because it means when your buddies get stuck, you get to pull them out. And that means you have the indisputable right to give them a rash of **** about it for months.

I've had winches from MileMarker, SmittyBilt, and Badlands, in both hydraulic and electric, and I honestly cannot say there's any real difference in quality or performance.

Hydraulic winches are a bit more complicated to install, and place a heavy load on your power steering pump so upgrading it might be a good idea. I had hydraulic assist steering with mine. On the other hand, hydraulic winches can be much faster than electric, and they do not overheat during long pulls. And obviously, they don't work if your engine isn't running.

Electric winches are easier to install, and although they will work without your engine running, they will kill your battery in short order. So adding a second deep cycle battery and a high output alternator might be a good idea. Both of our current winches are electric.

Synthetic lines require a bit more maintenance than steel, but they're safer in the event of failure. I've got synthetic on both our winches, along with soft shackles.

For self extraction, the traditional formula for pulling power is 1.5 times the weight of your vehicle. So for a 4,000 pound JK, an 8,000lb winch is fine. But you can never have too much power. And if you run with friends (as you should), the formula might be better expressed as 1.5 times the weight of your heaviest buddies vehicle. The ones I'm currently running are 10K and 12K. I tell our friends that my goal is simple. If we can't pull them out, we will have enough winch power to rip their vehicle into pieces small enough to carry out...

Along with the winch, you'll also need to get, at a minimum, a tree saver. My recovery bag has a couple tree savers, some snatch blocks, soft shackles, and a couple of kinetic ropes. I have gotten rid of all of the traditional tow straps; as with steel cable, I think their time is past.
@Dirty Dog summed it up pretty good. I am running a Badland Apex 12,000 with synthetic rope. Yes, I know most will talk 💩on them and that's fine. I had other Badlands on other vehicles with great success. I also carry a tree savor, snatch block, soft shackles, thick gloves, and kinetic rope.

Thanks, having an extra battery never crossed my mind. Is there any good places to mount one? Do you have to buy the nylon cable separately?
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Thanks, having an extra battery never crossed my mind. Is there any good places to mount one? Do you have to buy the nylon cable separately?
There are dual battery kits available, but I have no personal experience with them. It's something I've considered but haven't done yet.
You can order winches with synthetic ropes. I think it's probably harder to find a steel cable these days.
We have a Smitybilt and two Badlands, they don’t get a lot of use but haven’t had any issues with them.
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I have a warn (synthetic) currently, and have had smittybuilt and badlands. I have no complaints about any of them, they always got me out of whatever I was stuck in. With that said, I love the spool speed of the warm. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is nice when using the winch.

I think synthetic line is the way to go. If you ever have to handle a lot of cable while slipping in mud, you will know what I mean. Also as mentioned, soft shackles are a great upgrade.

Also a wireless remote is a great thing, and usually available on all winches while not being very expensive. Much easier to just flip a couple of switches than to plug it in and drape it across your hood.
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Thanks for all the replies! I think Harbor Freight carries Badlands. Think I'll swing over there this weekend!
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Thanks for all the replies! I think Harbor Freight carries Badlands. Think I'll swing over there this weekend!
FYI if you’re interested in the wireless remote, both badlands we have messed with failed. The solenoid box is not water proof and fails over time. I’m not knocking their winch, just the add on remote.
Stopped into harbor freight and bought this winch this morning. I've never mounted one, but assuming I need to remove these access plates. Will I need any adapter brackets?


Yes those plates need to be removed. Assuming the aftermarket bumper is equipped for mounting a winch it should be good to go. If not you’ll need a winch mounting plate. You might need to relocate the brake booster pump, if so you will need a relocation bracket. There are different types out there. Some people relocate it up to the engine compartment area.
I removed the plate and no mounting provisions. I set the winch on the bumper, and it's way to big unless I start making some major cuts. Thinking I may have to return it and get a smaller one ugg

You may need to remove that bumper to mount the winch. I don't think I've ever mounted a winch with the bumper in place.
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Man if anyone has any pics of the mounting, I'd appreciate it. I think it will slide in, but still may have to trim the bumper
I bought one of those universal winch mount brackets. I'm going to have to cut it down in order for it to fit. Will it hurt to offset the winch in the opening a little to clear the sway bar lock?