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Old 05-14-2017, 12:39 PM
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Winch Question?

Hi all,

Hoping for some experienced answers on a quick question. I just bought a winch for my 2017 JKU Rubicon Recon. Jeep not going to show up till 5/22.

Will I need a leveling kit after installing the winch?

The jeep is a stock JKU Recon otherwise. The winch is a WARN 97035 VR12-S Series 12,000lb. Gen II Winch. It weighs 62 pounds.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-14-2017, 02:18 PM
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:23 PM   #3
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I would install it and then decide if you think it needs a leveling kit. I put a winch on my stock bumper and it didn't make it sag much if anything. I think it would most likely be fine without it, the Recon has a half inch lift over the standard Rubicon correct?
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:44 PM
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I would install it and then decide if you think it needs a leveling kit. I put a winch on my stock bumper and it didn't make it sag much if anything. I think it would most likely be fine without it, the Recon has a half inch lift over the standard Rubicon correct?
As far as I understand there may be a half inch increase due to the springs. I am not 100% sure. I didn't even think about this till a buddy mentioned it. I'd rather keep it stock if the winch doesn't change the ride.

62 pounds doesn't seem like that much, but it is at the very front of the jeep. Just wanted to hear what people have experienced.

There are 2 teraflex leveling kits one with springs and 1 without. Was looking at these on quadratec. Wouldnt mind it looking a little more aggressive, but dont want to screw with stock springs and geometry, which are probably pretty good to begin with.
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:55 PM   #5
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As far as I understand there may be a half inch increase due to the springs. I am not 100% sure. I didn't even think about this till a buddy mentioned it. I'd rather keep it stock if the winch doesn't change the ride.

62 pounds doesn't seem like that much, but it is at the very front of the jeep. Just wanted to hear what people have experienced.

There are 2 teraflex leveling kits one with springs and 1 without. Was looking at these on quadratec. Wouldnt mind it looking a little more aggressive, but dont want to screw with stock springs and geometry, which are probably pretty good to begin with.
I would think that it'll be fine. I like the spring leveling kits better but you could always just add spacers up front to keep the stock suspension. Wouldn't need a spacer in the back if you are just wanting to level it.

Either way you can install the winch first and then make the decision, it's not something that has to be done at the same time.
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:02 PM   #6
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Will I need a leveling kit after installing the winch?"

I measured my own JK 'sag' from pre to post height on the closest frame member to the ground.

By tape measure, maybe 1/2" with winch & Warn bumper. By visual cue: none.
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:26 PM   #7
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I put a front bumper that weighs around 50lb and a 8,500lb Super Winch that weighs around 75lb on my 2016 JKU Sport. Not sure about the difference in springs from a Rubicon and sport but mine did sag a bit. I replaced the springs and shocks with the Teraflex spring leveling kit and some Fox 2.0 performance shocks and they made a huge improvement in the looks and ride.
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:54 PM   #8
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Sit on your bumper and see what happens.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:53 PM   #9
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I can spot a stock jk with a winch from quite a distance. Looks like something is wrong with it on the front. Looks like the stock tires will rub.

If you can do a recon with a 12k winch(!) I would splurge for the better front springs.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:45 AM
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Sit on your bumper and see what happens.
I weigh about 150 lbs more than 62 lbs, so I'm not sure if that would be accurate.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:46 AM
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I can spot a stock jk with a winch from quite a distance. Looks like something is wrong with it on the front. Looks like the stock tires will rub.

If you can do a recon with a 12k winch(!) I would splurge for the better front springs.
Thats just it though, I think the "better" springs are the ones that are already on it.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:02 AM   #12
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Thats just it though, I think the "better" springs are the ones that are already on it.
I'm not sure if the lift on the Recon is due to the springs or a spacer but if you dont want to mess with the stock suspension then I wouldn't buy a leveling kit in advance. Maybe put a 60lb weight on the front and see if you notice a difference.

I had a leveling kit before i put my winch on, but after installing the winch I didn't notice any sag. I didn't measure it but couldn't tell anything just by looking.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:23 PM   #13
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Will I need a leveling kit after installing the winch?
A beginner question - will the weight of equipment you will have to inevitably carry with you offroad in the trunk not easily balance out the weight of the winch?
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:36 PM   #14
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The New VR series have a lot of user complaints. Cheap plastic cover, Rusted housing bolts, cheap grade mounting hardware, fitment issues with hawse fairlead, and best of all ... Warn recommends to replace the synthetic line every year.

If I were to do the VR series, I would 3m the plastic cover, replace the housing/ mounting hardware, get a new hawse fairlead, and get the steel version of the winch, and purchase a spydura.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:44 PM   #15
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I weigh about 150 lbs more than 62 lbs, so I'm not sure if that would be accurate.
You are a smart person though, you can see what I am getting at.

Maybe find a small child. Or some weights.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:26 AM
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The New VR series have a lot of user complaints. Cheap plastic cover, Rusted housing bolts, cheap grade mounting hardware, fitment issues with hawse fairlead, and best of all ... Warn recommends to replace the synthetic line every year.

If I were to do the VR series, I would 3m the plastic cover, replace the housing/ mounting hardware, get a new hawse fairlead, and get the steel version of the winch, and purchase a spydura.
Here I thought I was getting a good product. Seriously, you have to change synthetic rope every year? I thought it would be more durable.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:45 AM   #17
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Here I thought I was getting a good product. Seriously, you have to change synthetic rope every year? I thought it would be more durable.
As far as I know the cheaper Warns are made in China with only the Zeon line of winches being made in the US.

As everything in life, synthetic has pros/cons here are some pros and cons of steel and synthetic.

Steel cable
Pros
• More durable
• Longer lasting
• Dissipates heat from internal brake drum
• Less expensive than synthetic

Cons
• Heavy
• Stores more kinetic energy
• Difficult to handle
• Develops barbs
• Difficult to field fix
• No load wraps can unspool to a bird’s nest
• Can rust
• Can kink

Synthetic
Pros
• Lightweight
• Stronger than steel (when new)
• Floats
• Comes in pretty colors
• Easy to handle
• Simple to field fix
• Won’t rust

Cons
• Doesn’t dissipate heat, which can affect the winch brake
• Subject to abrasion
• Strength degrades at 150 degrees
• Can get heat aged by repeated overheating of brake drum
• UV degrades it
• Sand and dirt can cut internally
• Needs a sheath for protection from debris and sunlight
• More expensive than steel
• Needs to be cleaned of mud, sand, and debris
• Can retain water and freeze
• Lots of cheap imitations on the market



Steel Cable Or Synthetic Winch Rope?- 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 15JKUR View Post
As far as I know the cheaper Warns are made in China with only the Zeon line of winches being made in the US.

As everything in life, synthetic has pros/cons here are some pros and cons of steel and synthetic.

Steel cable
Pros
• More durable
• Longer lasting
• Dissipates heat from internal brake drum
• Less expensive than synthetic

Cons
• Heavy
• Stores more kinetic energy
• Difficult to handle
• Develops barbs
• Difficult to field fix
• No load wraps can unspool to a bird’s nest
• Can rust
• Can kink

Synthetic
Pros
• Lightweight
• Stronger than steel (when new)
• Floats
• Comes in pretty colors
• Easy to handle
• Simple to field fix
• Won’t rust

Cons
• Doesn’t dissipate heat, which can affect the winch brake
• Subject to abrasion
• Strength degrades at 150 degrees
• Can get heat aged by repeated overheating of brake drum
• UV degrades it
• Sand and dirt can cut internally
• Needs a sheath for protection from debris and sunlight
• More expensive than steel
• Needs to be cleaned of mud, sand, and debris
• Can retain water and freeze
• Lots of cheap imitations on the market



Steel Cable Or Synthetic Winch Rope?- 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine
should i return for this?

WARN 89611 ZEON™ 10-S Winch with 100' Spydura Synthetic Rope and Hawse Fairlead
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by wranglin cats View Post
should i return for this?

WARN 89611 ZEON™ 10-S Winch with 100' Spydura Synthetic Rope and Hawse Fairlead
I am a fan of the Zeon winches, I have the 10-S Platinum. If I were in the market for a winch I would be going for any of the Zeon series.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:26 AM   #20
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I would install it and then decide if you think it needs a leveling kit. I put a winch on my stock bumper and it didn't make it sag much if anything. I think it would most likely be fine without it, the Recon has a half inch lift over the standard Rubicon correct?
I had a 2017 HR before it got stolen, and now have a Recon. There is a half inch lift, and I definitely feel the lift itself however it is done makes it more level vs. other wranglers stock as well.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:48 AM   #21
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should i return for this?

WARN 89611 ZEON™ 10-S Winch with 100' Spydura Synthetic Rope and Hawse Fairlead
How much are you gonna use the winch? Every week? Get a Warn made in the U.S. lifetime warranty as I understand.

I have a quadratec 9000# synthetic lined winch. I've used half a dozen times in two years. Works great, holding up great. I keep a cover on it I buy from TSC for $20.

I just smh at the Warn only crowd. Reminds me of the pool forum I'm on, if your not playing on a $8000 Diamond table or a fully restored Brunswick Gold Crown your not playing on a good table, or the kayak forum I'm on where ppl say real fishing kayaks are Hobie's and anything bought for less than a $1000 is garbage.

My pool table is a Kasson I bought used in perfect shape for $150, fishing kayak is a Perception purchased for $450, Quadratec winch bought for about $400.

All work great, I play a pretty decent game of pool, I catch fish and I get unstuck when I need to.


As to lifting w a level lift for compensating for the extra weight, I'd say no. The best thing you could do, imo, measure the height of bumper, put winch on and remeasure. If you dropped a half inch and it bothers you, put a half inch spring spacer up front and be done.

This will keep your stock drive feel. Then if you want to lift, go after a complete lift.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:46 AM   #22
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should i return for this?

WARN 89611 ZEON™ 10-S Winch with 100' Spydura Synthetic Rope and Hawse Fairlead
Yes! a 12k winch is overkill. I run an M8000 with no issues.

I think the decision between the 2 comes down to how much you are going to use your winch. If you are going to use it a few times a year, get synthetic. If you are go years in between using your winch get steel.

Synthetic takes regular maintenance, regardless of use. You need to unspool wash and re-spool it about every 6 weeks depending on where you live and how often your jeep gets wet. If you don't you will go to use the rope and it will break very easily. Steel can sit on the jeep for years and when you need it you just unspool and use it.

I use synthetic, but I do not leave it on my winch. When I am going to use the Jeep off road I spool it up. Then when I get home I unspool, wash, dry and store it until next time. My rope still looks brand new.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:47 AM   #23
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How much are you gonna use the winch? Every week? Get a Warn made in the U.S. lifetime warranty as I understand.



I have a quadratec 9000# synthetic lined winch. I've used half a dozen times in two years. Works great, holding up great. I keep a cover on it I buy from TSC for $20.



I just smh at the Warn only crowd. Reminds me of the pool forum I'm on, if your not playing on a $8000 Diamond table or a fully restored Brunswick Gold Crown your not playing on a good table, or the kayak forum I'm on where ppl say real fishing kayaks are Hobie's and anything bought for less than a $1000 is garbage.



My pool table is a Kasson I bought used in perfect shape for $150, fishing kayak is a Perception purchased for $450, Quadratec winch bought for about $400.



All work great, I play a pretty decent game of pool, I catch fish and I get unstuck when I need to.





As to lifting w a level lift for compensating for the extra weight, I'd say no. The best thing you could do, imo, measure the height of bumper, put winch on and remeasure. If you dropped a half inch and it bothers you, put a half inch spring spacer up front and be done.



This will keep your stock drive feel. Then if you want to lift, go after a complete lift.


This!

How much are you actually going to use the winch?
If you really want a warn, go zeon anything else is just as good as a smitty, engo or quadratec winch except your paying 500 more for the w up front
If you are constantly putting long hard pulls on the winch then the zeon is good for you, weekend warrior that will put a handful of pulls then a smitty or of likes is good

No sense dumping so much cash for a name brand, and yes I run a warn too lol


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Old 05-16-2017, 12:10 PM
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Good replies; thanks everyone. I am going to return the one i bought for now. I am just getting into off-roading, but I see the winch like I see guns; its better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it. And my general M.O. is to buy high quality up front so things work well and last a long time.

When I do get one I will get the Zeon synthetic I think.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:13 PM
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Yes! a 12k winch is overkill. I run an M8000 with no issues.

I think the decision between the 2 comes down to how much you are going to use your winch. If you are going to use it a few times a year, get synthetic. If you are go years in between using your winch get steel.

Synthetic takes regular maintenance, regardless of use. You need to unspool wash and re-spool it about every 6 weeks depending on where you live and how often your jeep gets wet. If you don't you will go to use the rope and it will break very easily. Steel can sit on the jeep for years and when you need it you just unspool and use it.

I use synthetic, but I do not leave it on my winch. When I am going to use the Jeep off road I spool it up. Then when I get home I unspool, wash, dry and store it until next time. My rope still looks brand new.
Is rust a big problem with the steel?
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:26 PM   #26
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Good replies; thanks everyone. I am going to return the one i bought for now. I am just getting into off-roading, but I see the winch like I see guns; its better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it. And my general M.O. is to buy high quality up front so things work well and last a long time.

When I do get one I will get the Zeon synthetic I think.
On super rare occasions, 4wp had the zeon 10S on sale for 899 for a day. It happened twice in January so keep a look out. I got my zeon 10 for 820 and purchased a spydura synthetic a week later.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:16 PM   #27
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Is rust a big problem with the steel?
No, not a big problem. Once you abrade the steel on a rock or something, it will get some surface rust but that will not change the performance. To put it in perspective, that same abrasion to do enough damage on steel would destroy synthetic.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:20 PM   #28
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There is a rebate program going for the zeon right now as well, I just ordered mine. I agree with you though, better to have a dope winch and not use it. Plus the zeon is cool bling for the front of your Jeep. If you're already buying a recon what's another thousand bucks
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:35 PM   #29
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Great choice on the Warn Zeon. I completely agree on buying high quality, buy once cry once. The current rebate would give you $100 off of the 10-S, currently going on until May 31st.

https://www.quadratec.com/sites/defa...ebate-form.pdf
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