Which Winch??? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 28 Old 03-17-2021, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
YJ94SBC
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Which Winch???

I’m thinking it may be nice to have a little extra security while offroad, so I’ve been looking at winches.

I do not know a lot about winches, but I’m thinking something in the 10-12k range with a synthetic rope, and wireless control is a good start.

One of my friends told me to check out the Badlands Apex 12k, at HF. The moment he said HF, I just dismissed it. Couple weeks into looking, he mentioned it again, so I took a look. Incredibly, I could hardly find a bad-word online about the winch. I don’t “plan” on needing it often, but like firearms, when you need it to work, you REALLY need it to work... so I’m still a little skeptical. At $600 it’s really tempting to at least try out...

Does anyone have any experience with a Badlands Apex 12k?

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post #2 of 28 Old 03-17-2021, 10:19 AM
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If you plan on it working on the 'Planning to not need it until you do', skip the wireless crap. you will always fight bad batteries and then have to fight with reconnection. find a good sealed container to store the controller in, I have found that the plastic containers that coffee comes in works well, the controller and cord will coil up and fit in nicely and keep out of the weather.

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post #3 of 28 Old 03-17-2021, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fourtrail View Post
If you plan on it working on the 'Planning to not need it until you do', skip the wireless crap. you will always fight bad batteries and then have to fight with reconnection. find a good sealed container to store the controller in, I have found that the plastic containers that coffee comes in works well, the controller and cord will coil up and fit in nicely and keep out of the weather.
Good suggestions! I’ve read/watched reviews on some wireless controls and heard similar. Apparently the Apex comes with a waterproof wireless control, as well as the wire that plugs-in, to make it wired...
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post #4 of 28 Old 03-17-2021, 10:56 PM
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12K is a tad overkill for a jeep IMHO
8K will do just fine, toss in a snatch block just in case

There are alot of 'good' or 'ok' winches out there, just gonna "Warn" ya
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post #5 of 28 Old 03-18-2021, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mousejockey View Post
12K is a tad overkill for a jeep IMHO
8K will do just fine, toss in a snatch block just in case

There are alot of 'good' or 'ok' winches out there, just gonna "Warn" ya [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/JeepForum_2016/smilies/tango_face_wink.png[/IMG]
I agree 12k is probably more than my YJ would need. I was originally looking at10k winches...Then I saw the specs on the Apex and it had me reconsidering, especially for the price.

I’m still finding the Apex reviews hard to believe...it just seems crazy, that for a 1/3 of the price I can get a winch with all the features I want and a 12k limit. I have no problem paying for quality, but paying 3 times for what appears to be a (well-made) carbon copy has me thinking...
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post #6 of 28 Old 03-18-2021, 08:21 AM
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What you need is directly related to what you do.

Constant heavy wheeling, vertical pulls, wheeling with heavier vehicles, deep mud, sand, etc requires bigger, more reliable winches.

Occasional wheeling, fireroading, fishing, hunting, snow, etc allows you to lean toward smaller winches. Smaller winches (2 and 4K) also allow for ball mounts which give you the opportunity for pulling backwards. A snatch block doubles their pulling power. They can many times be removed for storage, keeping them clean and out of thieves hands.

Winches can be very dangerous. Frayed cables can slice flesh. A snapped cable can (literally) take off a head. A hand guiding a cable can get sucked into the spool. Be sure you study all the hazards before you use one.

You will need to maintain it, especially if you don't use it.

You will also need basic equipment. Leather gloves, eye protection, and a snachblock and short strap to start. It is a good idea when using cable to have a weight hanging on it in case it lets go. A paint can full of cement is a cheap way to do this.

Paperwork will ruin any military force.
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-18-2021, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeepdaddy2000 View Post
You will also need basic equipment. Leather gloves, eye protection, and a snachblock and short strap to start. It is a good idea when using cable to have a weight hanging on it in case it lets go. A paint can full of cement is a cheap way to do this.
Thanks Jeepdaddy2000! I have heard a lot of horror stories over the years about winching. Probably part of the reason I’ve never got one. From what I’ve read, using synthetic line, and soft shackles can help to reduce some of the hazards.

I was just reading about using some type of weight to reduce the likelihood that a winch line will come flying back at you. Not sure where I saw it, I think it was the Factor55 winch guide, but it suggested a heavy weight towel or similar. The concrete paint can would probably do a better job at stopping a line quicker. Not sure if that still applies to synthetic line...
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post #8 of 28 Old 03-18-2021, 05:17 PM
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I know very little about synthetic rope myself, although I just purchased a truck with rope in the winch.
I would take a close look at how you are going to use your winch. As I stated earlier, most winching situations don't require much to get unstuck. I've used a 4 ton come-a-long literally forever for recovery.

Paperwork will ruin any military force.
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post #9 of 28 Old 03-19-2021, 07:56 AM
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Cable vs synthetic line. Depends on where you might need your winch. If you are primarily in rock, cable is usually a better choice. Cable takes abrasion better than synthetic line.

I run synthetic line and wheel in both rock and dirt/rock trails. I'm going to need to replace my line soon, it's got 5 years of hard use on it and is just starting to get frayed. Synthetic is lighter and you can have more on a spool than cable. I went from 65' of cable to 100' of synthetic line.

A jacket, blanket, etc will work to snub a cable, you don't need a can of cement. Rope doesn't need a snubber, it will just drop if it breaks as rope can't store energy like cable can. A buddy snapped a steel cable last year. He has a sweatshirt on it and the line just dropped instead of snapping back.

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post #10 of 28 Old 03-19-2021, 05:08 PM
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Rope will never last as long as well kept cable. Most people do not know how to spool cable let alone keep spooled. I have seen SO many rats nest. But well cared for in reality a cable could go decades. Rope does cut easy its rope. I have seen many break. But I have seen cable break and Cable will kill quick. Ropes i would bet after say 5 years may lose strength. My warrens rope is on its 5th season. The first 25 feet, the "working end" shows wear. But on a Warrens rope you can use ever foot it can not come off the spool if you went that far out it would start to wind up again. So i can use it all never tend to need more then a 100 feet. it breaks of at 30 feet i have a 70 left. Rope is very light too. you could carry extra easy.

Now the thing about rope i tend to have less trust as to will it hold. Would I winch say a 90 foot vertical wall with a rope, only if it was life or death to need to get over that wall. Other wise i would feel much better with a cable.

what size, well if a 12k fits. My winch is down between the frame a bit, sunk. the 10s warren is at max width in there and be able to bolt up the frame/ bumper. it was so tight you cannot get wrench to hold the back of the inside bolts so I had to fab plates for the bolts and weld them on so the stuck out to the front and wont spin. Their 12k would not work and have the inside bolts.

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post #11 of 28 Old 03-19-2021, 05:22 PM
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post #12 of 28 Old 03-19-2021, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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I watched a vertical lift video with the Apex, but nothing like that video... that’s crazy, but does look fun! I can’t imagine any circumstance when I needed to vertical lift that high, but I guess it’s good to know it can do it.

The safety factor alone is reason enough for me to go with synthetic line. It sounds like there are some drawbacks, but overall I think that is the direction I’ll go, that and some soft shackles.

I plan on bolting it to a winch plate that sits on top of frame. So I guess I need to figure out which winch plate I want to run next...
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post #13 of 28 Old 04-06-2021, 12:27 AM
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I just bought a Smitty 9.5K XRC Gen3 winch from 4wd.com at $429 and free shipping. 4wd.com is giving a free Dring attachment accessory for the cable thats better than using a hook. After doing quite a bit of searching and agonizing over a large purchase, I finally went with the Smitty. Whatever you buy, make sure its at least rated waterproof for a short time as many times your front end may be under water. Ratings of 67 are good, 68 better. The XRC Gen3 doesnt have wireless control and comes with wire cable and a roller fairlead, basically everything you need. Make sure you spool it ot initially and load wind the cable with the 1K LB load to get the cable set on the spool. Otherwise you will have a birds nest and knots of cable on your first pull. ANy dangers from a wire cable can be negated by placing a loosely filled sand bag on the cable as you winch. A well maintained cable is key as it is with syntho. Buy a cover for the winch as well to protect it until you need it. A $20 investment goes a long way in keeping your rope/cables in good shape.


Put together a winch bag with tree saver straps, Drings, snatch block, gloves and anything else you may think of. An extra flashlight, extra batteries if you buy a remote control, rags and a sand bag either with some sand in it or an empty one to fill with on site dirt. It doesnt take a lot to keep the cable from whipping dangerously



Bottom line is most winches from any manufacturer are made in China anymore. You just have to hope the parent corporation makes sure their specs are being met. I talked with abuddy in a local Jeep club quite a bit and he has a Warn Xeon his girlfriend bought him for his birthday. They are well above the Smitty's cost, maybe made in America. He told me that 90% of the guys in the club either run Warn or Smitty.


Good luck. The old adage of "Buy once. cry once" applies.
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post #14 of 28 Old 04-06-2021, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Well HF put the Apex 12k on sale today for $499, and I applied for one of their cards so I got it for $450... I just had to do it for that price. All of the features, wireless controller, and I can mount the top of it under the hood.

I’ve started making a list of what I’ll need in a recovery bag/box. I think I’m going to go with soft shackles in a couple sizes, over D-rings. I’ve been watching a lot of off-road recoveries on YouTube, and it seems like they do the same job as steel Drings just safer and they weigh less.

Once I have it ready, I plan on heading to my fishing/shooting club, we have a bunch of things I can use to practicing winching to.
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-19-2021, 07:57 AM
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My Winch Recommendation - BADASS!

My wife has a 2011 Jeep Rubicon Call of Duty, I bought this new winch for her and its badass!!!!! The logo even lights up as well plus its a COMP with synthetic rope. The best looking winch IMO.

amazon.com/gp/product/B07B3M8JF7/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creat iveASIN=B07B3M8JF7&linkCode=as2&tag=photograp0fe0-20&linkId=b7764d261aa172599c000c933d34c489

Last edited by ARMYJEEP320; 05-19-2021 at 08:45 AM.
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