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Farm Jeep: We Put Rough Country’s Stubby Winch Bumper And RS9500 Winch To Use

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on October 7, 2016
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In many areas, four-wheeling is part of the daily grind more than a recreational pastime. While farm equipment is meant to live in the dirt, many farmers often use more conventional trucks and SUVs for light-duty work. A great example of this can be found with our friend’s ’00 Jeep Wrangler. The compact wheeling rig is perfect for toting small trailers and servicing many of the minor to-dos on his family’s 400-acre farm.

The Jeep is a work in progress, and as such, it sometimes leaves him spinning in place. While we contend that differential lockers would certainly help his TJ’s off-road performance, a sturdy front winch and bumper could earn its keep quickly. Not looking to sell too many cows to purchase a new winch and bumper combo, our friend looked to Rough Country Suspension Systems to get a reasonably priced setup that would fit his needs.

Since Rough Country’s Stubby winch bumper is compact and lightweight, it serves the purpose of not only having a recovery point but increasing the approach angle of the Jeep off-road. Opting to pair it with the Rough Country RS9500 winch meant the Jeep could handle extractions around the farm beyond self-recovery. Installation of the setup only took a couple of hours and was an easy driveway install.

Read on for some highlights of how it went together and how it’s handling the workload.

One of the features we like most about Rough Country’s bumper is the modular design. Not only does this allow you to save a little money by buying only the pieces you want, but it allows you to customize the bumper to fit your needs. We were also impressed with the modest overall weight of the all-steel bumper.
To mount the bumper to the front of the TJ, you’ll simply remove and discard the six mounting bolts that attach the stock bumper. After you set the provided washers below the winch tray, you can set on the bumper mounting brackets. Tip: To ensure the front bumper will be aligned correctly, bolt the bumper on backwards and then tighten the mounting brackets on each side.
As we mentioned, Rough Country designed the TJ bumper to be modular. Optional equipment shown is the front stinger and D-ring recovery mounts. Everything ships with the black powdercoat finish and is designed to bolt together. We were able to install the bumper and optional equipment and then install the winch.
Rough Country’s RS9500 electric winch is perfect for the lightweight Jeep Wrangler TJ. It uses a 5 1/2hp motor and has been built with an IP67 water and dustproof rating, so you have less to worry about on the trail. For a little weight savings and ease of use, we opted for the synthetic rope version of the winch.
The total install took a little over an hour and can easily be managed in your driveway. Given the high-clearance approach of the Stubby front bumper, and the relatively light winch setup, we didn’t notice much front-end sag from the Jeep.
To control the winch, you have two options. One, is the included wireless winch remote. The other is the more traditional plug-in-style hand controller. Call us old fashioned, but we prefer the plug-in hand controller.


Pulling Weight

It didn’t take long for the Rough Country 9,500-pound winch to go to work on the farm. Whether it’s moving a downed tree or pulling the TJ out of the borrow pit, it’s definitely getting good use. While it has not failed or given any problems, we would classify the speed of the winch as moderate. Do you always need a lightning-fast recovery winch? Not really, but a little more line speed wouldn’t be a bad thing. Overall, the setup works extremely well, and we’ll keep checking back as the winch is sure to get a workout over the coming months.

PhotosView Slideshow

Sources

Rough Country Suspension Systems
Dyersburg, TN 38024
800-222-7023
www.roughcountry.com

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