Best Jeep Winches: Top Models Reviewed

Having a winch on your Jeep Wrangler can be very beneficial. A winch is going to give you the ability to recover your vehicle if it gets stuck on the rocks or sand. It can be used for an abundance of other purposes as well. If you’re interested in investing in a winch, you’ll want to make sure that you get the right one from the very beginning. If you don’t you’re going to be disappointed and you’ll probably send it back. Within this guide, you’re going to learn how to choose the best winch for a Jeep Wrangler.

Type

First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with the different types of winches. There are three different types. They include electric, hydraulic and industrial. You most likely will not need an industrial winch. After all, they’re used for the most extreme situations. Therefore, they’re only required by commercial vehicles and military personnel. Electric winches tend to be the cheapest. They’re a good choice for people who go off roading from time to time and need a recovery winch infrequently. The winch will offer enough power to get your vehicle unstuck.

Hydraulic winches tend to be a little stronger and more expensive. This type of winch will actually connect to the vehicle’s power steering pump. In return, you’ll receive an immense amount of hoisting strength. However, your engine needs to be on to receive that strength.

Line Length

You also need to figure out precisely how much line you need. Having more might seem better, but it can be a curse sometimes. With much more line on the drum, you’re going to be far more likely to experience jams and kinks. This is why a lot of Jeep owners are going to stick with shorter lines. You can always carry an extension with you. This will give you the ability to reach further away places, without experiencing so many kinks. Try shooting for 100 feet on the drum and bring a 50-foot extension.

Drivetrain

You’ll also want to learn a little more about drivetrains. There are three different types, spur gear, worm gear and planetary gear. The drivetrain is definitely going to have an impact on the winch’s operation. The spur gear uses two gears. It will have a small one on the winch shaft and a big one on the motor shaft. These units are going to work rapidly, but the amperage draw for the line is going to be slower, due to the lower gear friction. There is only one spur gear winch still available, so it is best to stay away.

A worm gear is to be connected to the motor using spur gears. The motor will be placed under or beside of the gear housing. This specific type of drivetrain is great a load holding, without needing a lot of brake. The only problem is that they have tons of gear reduction. Therefore, they’re going to be slower than the alternatives.

The planetary gear is pretty similar to what you’d find in an automatic transmission. They’re great for several reasons. They’re compact, affordable and light in weight. In terms of friction and amp draw, the planetary gear is going to rest right in the middle of the others. Sadly, planetary gears can get pretty hot from time to time. Planetary gears are the most commonly made and sold.

Rope Type

Over the years, winch technology has improved immensely. Now, you can choose between two rope types. You have wire rope and synthetic rope. Wire rope will be made from carbon steel wire. It is very tough and flexible. Wire rope is able to resist abrasion better than synthetic. Synthetic is newer and lighter. It doesn’t snap as much when something breaks. It tends to be stronger than wire rope too. If you’re willing to pay a little more, you’ll definitely want to put synthetic rope on your Jeep Wrangler’s winch.

Load Capacity

Before you go out and purchase a winch for your Jeep Wrangler, you will need to determine what type of load you will need. This measurement will determine how weight the winch can pull. Some brands will offer a load capacity of 9,500 pounds, while others will offer a much higher load capacity. So, if you plan on pulling heavy loads, you will need to invest in a brand that has a high load capacity.

Installation

Installing a winch on your Jeep will not be the easiest thing you have every done before. However, there are some brands that offer easier installations than others. One thing is for sure, the winch must come with an installation kit, which will include all of the wiring and other components needed to complete the task. If you have never installed a winch before, you may want to take your Jeep to a service station for the installation. In this case, it is much better to be safe than sorry later on down the road.

Warranty

To avoid financial losses associated with damaged and improperly designed winches, you should only invest in a brand that offers a decent warranty. The top manufacturers will include warranties on different components of their winches. For example, they will back their stainless-steel products with a lifetime warranty, while only offering a 5-year warranty on the power coated products. These warranties will protect you in the event the winch is damaged during a pulling project.

Clutch

The clutch is a very important component of a winch. This device engages and disengages the power transmission. If it is not working properly, the winch will not function. A sliding ring gear clutch will endure the test of time, which is why they are found in the top brand winches. So, it will be in your best interest to only consider brands that are integrated with a sliding ring gear clutch.

Brake

Winches generally utilize a dynamic brake that is capable of sliding. The brake should be able to support the “hanging” load. And, if does not the item you are pulling will be damaged during the process. Now, with this said not every brake found in winches is designed to hold a heavy load or offer durability. An automatic in-drum brake is considered the best, as far as winches go.