Before you hit the road, you have to make sure you have the very best winch present in your toolbox to help you haul the wheels should your Jeep/car ever get badly stuck in sand or mud. If you have to choose only one mod doesn’t go with tires a lift kit or lockers. The Most important thing for your 4×4 is to actually have a winch!
No matter how much you invest in suspension or traction you won’t improve your performance in the mud. You can still get stuck.
However, when it’s time to choose the right winch, there are many things to consider to find the best one for you and may be quite challenging. If you’re looking for the best winch for jeep, there are still a few questions you want to ask yourself like,
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- How much capacity is enough for a Jeep?
- What type of winch rope should be used? Steel or synthetic rope?
- Remote or integrated solenoid box which one is better?
- Electric vs. Hydraulic, which one is perfect for me?
- Which brand is the best to buy?
- How to select a Mounting plate and bumper?
- And finally how much do you want to spend?
Well, no worries! In this guide, we will guide you in 7 easy steps to choosing the best winch for your jeep. The most important one is
1. What Capacity do you need for a Jeep Winch?
The first important consideration Winch Capacity (Rated Line Pull). This is a combination of the mechanical capacity of the winch and the tensile strength of the line on the drum. The rated capacity is based on the first layer of winch cable (the one closest to the drum). Typically, there are three or four layers and that first one has the “lowest” gear ratio and the most pull.
Generally speaking, you want to get a winch that’s 1.5 times your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating but, that’s just a minimum recommendation since you’re planning on getting stuck in the mud. Because, we all get stuck in the mud, you’re better off with getting a winch. It actually has double your GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) in capacities.
However, heavy your jeep is you want to make sure your winch can pull double that once you’ve found a few new winches that meet your capacity. So, How much pull is enough? Just multiply by 1.5 with your jeep Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.
2. Steel or synthetic rope, which one is better?
Another great question is going to be, do you want steel or synthetic rope?
They both are rated for strength via diameter and the tensile strength of their materials. In the common 6,000-15,000 recreational 4×4 winch, cable diameters of 5/16, 3/8 and 7/16-inch are seen in both wire and synthetic ropes.
Synthetic Rope: The synthetic rope is the most popular option it off-road events. Because it’s lightweight and doesn’t become a projectile when it breaks but. On the advantage of Synthetic rope is light; a 120-foot roll with a hook weighs about 5 pounds. Synthetic generally drops dead with minimal “snap” when something breaks. It’s often stronger than an equivalent diameter wire rope and has appendage-friendly surfaces. It floats and in an emergency you can tie a knot into it. Knots do weaken it but if you perform a long splice at a break, it’s as good as new. Splicing 12 strand rope is lots easier than wire rope.
The synthetic rope also has a few disadvantages. It’s more susceptible to chafing than wire rope. It has a high initial cost, though it’s superior performance makes it a good value overall. Most winch manufacturers are offering a synthetic rope upgrade and you can buy the rope separately to upgrade most types of older winches.
Steel Rope: On the other hand, steel is durable. It is easy to maintain but it is the heavier of the two options besides the rope. On the plus side of wire rope is more resistant to abrasion than synthetic. It’s very heat resistant and relatively inexpensive. It’s relatively heavy; with a 120-foot roll of 5/16 cable weighing about 28 pounds with a hook.
3. Remote or integrated solenoid box, which one is better?
You also think about whether or not you’re going to have a remote or integrated solenoid box. If you get a remote control box it gives you more versatility but, an integrated box can offer you more preferable aesthetic and better waterproofing.
4. Electric vs. Hydraulic, which one is perfect for me?
The nest question is compare between electric winches vs. Hydraulic winch. Both have a good facility for a different purpose.
The electric winch can give you five minutes of full power pulling with a dead engine but seldom do electric winch-equipped Jeeps have the electrical system necessary for continuous use. If you do a lot of winching, such as with farm, ranch or commercial use, a hydraulic winch will do that job forever. For the occasional use most Jeepers subject a winch to, an electric is more than adequate. For high duty cycle, electric winching chose a robust worm gear winch.
On the other hand, the only hydraulic winches on the market come from Mile Marker. They are simply a planetary winch with a hydraulic motor that’s powered by the vehicle power steering pump. The most serious difference is duty cycle. You can winch all day, every day with a hydraulic as long as the engine is running.
5. Which brand is the best to buy?
Once you’ve narrowed down your winches, be sure to go with one that has a reputable winch brand name. You want quality here you don’t want to rely on some no-name brand to get your rig out of the mud. When you’re stuck out in the middle of nowhere brands like Warn, Smittybilt, X-bull, and superwinch are good places to start.
6. How to select a Mounting plate and bumper?
Now you’ve picked out your winch! Think about how you’re going to mount it you got to put that winch somewhere, if you’re planning on keeping your stock bumper. You can simply get a winch mounting plate but, you may also want to consider getting an aftermarket bumper that supports a winch.
Whatever mount you choose must be able to handle the pulling capacity of the winch. The weight of the winch and mount then becomes an issue. Too much weight may cause your front suspension to sag lower. In some cases stiffer front spring are necessary to carry the extra weight. How far the unit protrudes is part of the weight issue but also an approach angle issue. The farther it hangs out will multiply the load on the springs as well as reduce approach angle. A mount that seriously impairs your approach angle may be a net loss in the performance department, perhaps causing you to need the winch more.
If you’re going to have long plans for your 4×4/ jeep that new bumper and a winch so, here are the best jeep bumpers to start now that you’ve hooked up your Jeep with a winch.
7. How much do you need to spend for a jeep winch?
Finally, once you’ve narrowed down your winches now you might ask about what is the best budget winch! As you can see the different type of winches and their functionality so, the budget depends on your requirements. If you like to buy the best quality winch for your jeep so, check out this list below:
We compared quality, functionality, performance, popularity, and money on your best jeep winch.