I have heard the weak point on the badlands winches are the relays. Upgrade those if it gives you trouble. I have considered one my self but if i find a used warn i would go that route. Engo is pretty good to from the reviews.
My build: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/95-yam-project-1527472/?highlight=
My humble advice would be to look closely at the hard parts of the winch. Molded cases, stamped steel components, markings stamped or printed on the motor if visible. I'm afraid you'll find many of the winches are identicle. (Harbor freight (badlands), quadratech, engo, smittybilt. Most of the things you can get at harbor freight can be had elsewhere, usually at a higher cost. Tractor supply, autozone, Walmart etc sell the same tools, just with a different name than Pittsburg or central. In fact a lot of the craftsman power tools are the same, just molded or painted in a different color. Rebadging is the way it goes now.
I installed an 8,000lb rated Road Shock winch from Harbor Freight in 2010. I have never had any other type of winch to compare anything to, and I haven't really researched them either. My setup is just a parts store battery and alternator, and a Harbor Freight winch plate bolted to the frame.
It has done several easy pulls that were mostly convenience (easier than trying to use a snatch strap in the conditions), and a few hard pulls where a vehicle was basically hanging off the winch, single line. I used to run 31" All Terrains and I needed it sometimes in winter, the trails go from a 3 or 4 to a 7 or 8 with some ice and snow. One day it pulled me up a big climb, I couldn't go backwards and I could only move forwards a little before sliding back. It also pulled a JK Rubi backwards out of an icy water hole the same day.
It pulled a TJ up while we got it lined up so he could back down an obstacle, he was teetering sideways. He really was hanging off of my winch. It has always done whatever I told it to do, no problems
I dunno, if you're running 37's and black diamond rated trails every time, and folks are breaking driveshaft yokes you might need something more to pull a stranded vehicle up a trail like that. Shrug?
1995 YJ "Mabel", 2.5L Muncie SM465 np231j 4.88's HP30 Lockright JK 44 Detroit 33s CJ clip
Actually, it's pronounced "mill-e-wah-que" which is Algonquin for "the good land."
I run a badlands 12K winch and it works very well. As others have mentioned, the line spool speed is slow but thats no issue to me. I didnt bother using the relays that came with the winch. I wired in a circuit breaker with comparable specs as the relay. Got it on amazon for around 20 bucks. it is waterproof and mounts to the fender rather than that jenky battery post mounting system.
I bought one of the Badlands 12K winches on sale this weekend - I will report back how it works. Went wheeling Sunday but didn't get to install the winch prior, as I picked up the winch on the way to the trails...
1994 Jeep YJ off road toy
1981 CJ7 SBC 350
2005 KJ Libertyt 4x4 CRD w/ 2.5" Frankenlift DD
my thoughts: if you want 5000 lbs the 12000 ought to just work. If the winch was really worth 1500, then they would price it that way. I have 30 year old HF stuff, and stuff that broke during the first use, and a 50 amp battery charger that might just do 10 amps on a good day. If I use it once to save me a 500 tow bill, then 299 was worth it.
cost vs how much your gonna use it should be looked at.
I have never needed to use a winch, A simple tug has got me out when I have been stuck. I go wheelin with friends so purchasing a 450-1500 dollar warn was a hard sell for something I dont use. if my Engo dont work, I get heckled by my friends oh well. It worked when i set it up and pull my corolla up the road. I have no doubts it will work if I need it.
I have a friend who does take his jeep where needs to winch himself. he has a competition Warn that is awesome, I however for the time being have no need to pay that much for one. If that day comes Ill run mine till it breaks and get a warn.
95' YJ 4" lift 33"x12.5r15's D30/8.8 locked with 4:88's
USMC Jeep Club #6
"Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines."
Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918
The current version of the VR8000 is designed by us, manufactured overseas. All of our other truck winches are manufactured here Clackamas, OR using some parts that are globally sourced.
Todd Wright - Technical Service Representative
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