Investing in Jeep winch is an excellent idea for the off-roading world. Imagine the days you go off-road and find yourself with complex issues, and you need to be winched. This is why most wrangler owners spend big bucks to purchase a winch. But when it comes to buying, you need to consider the durability and size of a winch. You need one heavier than your Jeep, which means it should at least be 1.5x of your Jeep’s weight.
What is a Winch?
A winch is a hauling machine that you mount on your Jeep with a winch rope or wire cable for pulling purposes. A jeep winch comes in handy in various situations when operating your vehicle in an outdoor setting. You can opt-out of multiple winches, but a larger-sized winch is always the best.
Rule of Thumb Winch Size
Your winch size should have a pulling capacity of 1.5-Times your vehicle’s gross weight in this rule. If you’re wondering how you can get this GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), check on the doorjamb, owner’s manual, or even on a sticker underneath the hood of your Jeep.
Another option would be weighing your Jeep at a local station when it’s fully loaded with all the gears you carry for off-road trips. This way, you can get the accurate weight to help with winching installation. Now, you can install the proper winch, which is heavier and more powerful to make pulling easier and more effective in mud or on a slope cannot be a nightmare for you.
Why Rated Line Pull Isn’t Always Dependable
The manufacturer usually determines Rated line pull when using several conditions, which may not always be achievable. They use the below conditions to test the rated line pulls.
- Straight Pull
- Perfect Power
- Single Wrap of Cable
Using a winch in a completely straight line makes it stronger. So, it’s always good to pull as straightforward as possible when using your winch to prevent it from losing its power. But, you may never achieve this perfection each time you’re stuck in an off-road situation. So, you should ensure your winch is powerful by purchasing one that can pull more than your jeeps’ GVWR.
The manufacturer obtains the rated line pull through perfect wiring, a good battery, and a stable alternator. When the alternator cannot produce enough power for your winch, it switches the battery.
If your alternator fails, you may not have adequate power to make the winch work properly. The battery where you connect your winch must be in excellent condition to provide optimal pulls. The charge must also be sufficient. There should not be any sign of damage, corrosion, or rust.
The wiring should be flawless and secure. The cables must be in good condition, and all terminals should be spotless.
Single Wrap Cable
When there is only one layer of cable wrapped around the winch drum, the winch is at its most powerful. But this may not always be the case when you are stuck in a ditch, for instance. You lose 10% of your winch power for each extra wrap, meaning the more you keep wrapping on your drum, the weaker your winch gets.
To solve the single wrap challenge, focus on finding an anchor point far enough from the winch to maximize the power of your winch.
Types of Winches
There are various tons of options when it comes to winch types that include:
Electric Winch Motors
An electric winch is famous for its many trail uses. Electric recovery winches are fueled by the vehicle’s battery and a separate battery that can operate free of the vehicle battery. Operating the winch affects how any of your vehicle’s systems perform.
You can either buy permanent magnet motors or series wound motors. Electronic winches require minimal maintenance, but you should protect the winch and the components from outdoor elements like the sun. Exposure to such may degrade the engine, synthetic rope/cable, and the control unit.
- Permanent Magnet Motor
Have a stator made of strong magnets and a rotor made of copper coils and are highly affordable. But during cold seasons, they may overheat and lose their power. Permanent magnet motors have low amperage draw, making them perfect for light to medium-duty winches.
- Series Wound Motor
These are more popular, expensive, reliable, durable with extra power. They use field coils instead of magnets and have a high current draw than permanent magnet motors. If you often use your winch, you should go for a series wound motor as they are durable, superior, and prolonged service life.
Pros of Electric Winches
- Widely available
- Easier to install
- Contain a separate battery to help run independently without relying on the engine
- Faster line speed
Cons of Electric Winches
- Permanent magnet motors are susceptible to collisions.
- t can quickly drain the battery if you use the winch when the engine is turned off
- It has a significant strain on the electrical system
A hydraulic winch is attached to a vehicle’s engine via a hydraulic pump that powers the hydraulic motor. It operates when the engine starts and is fully submersible. It’s more expensive than electric winches and contains a 100% duty cycle, meaning they can constantly run with no adverse effects if you’re dealing with substantial off-road events. Hydraulic winch is ideal for you and pretty reliable and effective for commercial uses.
Pros of Hydraulic Winch
- Highly reliable
- You can use it all day with no adverse effects
- Excellent for daily use
Cons of Hydraulic Winch
- Complex installation
- It relies on a running engine to operate
Using Steel Cable
If you have ever operated a winch, you know that traditional steel cables are durable, strong, and rugged. It’s wrapped around new factory gears. Wire rope is made of carbon steel strands, and it’s a traditional choice for a winch line. However, when using a steel cable, you should be extremely careful by wearing protective gear as steel cable stores a high amount of energy. This means that it can snap and slice you in half.
Pros of Steel Cable
- It’s cheap and has a low maintenance
- Heat resistant
- Less prone to fraying
- Not affected by exposure to chemicals and UV light
Cons of Steel Cable
- Heavy and rusts easily
- If it snaps, it can injure you
- Difficult to spool and repair
Use of Synthetic Cables
This is popular and safe, even in heavy water, unlike steel cable. In addition, it stores minimal kinetic energy, so it’s less likely to cause severe injuries if it snaps.
Pros of Synthetic Rope
· Easy to clean, repair, and light
· Stores less kinetic energy
- Floats on water and very flexible
- Crush resistant
Cons of Synthetic Rope
- Less resistant to abrasion
- It can easily be damaged by heat
When it comes to winch size for Jeep, it’s best to go for a larger winch as they are more powerful and heavier than your wrangler. Winches weighing 8000-lb winch or more are suitable for Jeeps. Ensure you remember the rule of thumb: Always go for a winch that can pull 1.5 times the weight of your Jeep. Lastly, having recovery ropes with you doesn’t hurt but may be extremely useful for recovery purposes.