Wiring a winch is also very easy. Your only challenge will be routing the heavy-gauge posi
A winch can consume 400 amps of power or more during hard pulls. There are two basic types of electronic controls that manage the power and convert your push of the button into pulling action. The traditional setup of controls is a pack of solenoids. These usually resemble starter solenoids that you would find on an older Ford or Jeep. These work well in most situations, but they generate heat and can overheat in extreme conditions. Warn developed its solid-state M.O.S.F.E.T control pack as an improvement. This control pack uses solid-state electronics for a greater operating range and durability. Mile Marker also offers solid-state control for its electric winches, and it uses the technology to offer variable line speed.
One of the most lively debates in winching is over steel and synthetic rope. Steel is very durable in a harsh environment, while synthetic is very lightweight. Synthetic has become very popular with the explosion of rockcrawling competitions. In this application, being lightweight is a huge advantage in moving quickly and keeping overall vehicle weight down. Drag both types over an abrasive surface, though, and the wire will prove more durable; it’s also less prone to fail due to excessive heat. On the other hand, the synthetic line is safer in the event of failure because it stores less kinetic energy and will not recoil with as much force as a broken cable. Which one you choose is more about personal preference. Regardless of material, winch cables need to be inspected regularly and replaced whenever there is damage to maintain winching safety.
While it’s not required, upgrading your battery is a good idea if you anticipate using you
There are a few ratings that should be used to compare winches. Line pull is one of the most important ones—it is the maximum weight that the winch will pull. You don’t want a winch with a maximum line pull anywhere close to your vehicle’s actual weight. Here’s why: The maximum pulling power is only possible with one layer of cable on the drum. The line pull reduces significantly for each layer of cable left on the drum. A 9,000-pound winch, for example, has a line pull of 7,500 pounds with three layers of cable on the drum.
Another reason it’s important to choose the right line pull is amp draw. That same 9,000-pound winch will draw 460 amps with a 9,000-pound load, and 255 amps at 4,000 pounds. Unless you have two big batteries and two high-output alternators, you won’t be able to sustain 460 amps for long. And the winch will overheat even if you could provide that much juice.
So why doesn’t everyone just go with a 12,000 pound winch? The gearing, electric motor and everything else required for higher line pull ratings slows the line speed, which is the next key consideration in choosing a winch. Also, a 12,000-pound winch weighs a lot more: 135 pounds compared to 85 pounds for a 9,000-pound model. More isn’t always better.
The time-honored rule of thumb is to choose a winch with a line pull 1½ times that of your vehicle’s actual weight. An 8,000-pound winch is okay on most Jeeps, while nothing under a 10,000-pound winch should be on a Ford Super Duty pickup.
One very popular option is using synthetic rope instead of steel. It’s about 30 pounds lig
This has long been a measuring stick for people to brag about their winch. Like racing, a faster line speed is better, and I’d like mine to be faster than yours. Line speed is simply how fast (measured in feet per minute) that a winch can spool in cable. There are two measurements that winch manufacturers advertise: speed at zero line pull and speed at maximum rated line pull. Some winches are pretty good without any weight, which is nice for a quick spool-in when you’re done winching, but you could rebuild an axle while it’s spooling in under load.
We’ve used a lot of winches over the years. In addition to bragging rights, a quick winch makes off-roading more enjoyable for everyone—especially if you’re on a trail or with a buddy that requires a lot of winching. A 30 percent faster line speed means 30 percent more time wheeling.