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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the recommended capacity winch for a JKU. I know that we many of us think 'Bigger is better'. Just wanted to know what the difference was between a 9000lb Capacity vs. an 11,000lb Capacity winch. Will there be moments when the 9000lb leave me stranded? what difference does the 2000lb in capacity make?

Thanks!
 

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MnMario125 said:
What is the recommended capacity winch for a JKU. I know that we many of us think 'Bigger is better'. Just wanted to know what the difference was between a 9000lb Capacity vs. an 11,000lb Capacity winch. Will there be moments when the 9000lb leave me stranded? what difference does the 2000lb in capacity make?

Thanks!
You could buy a snatch block and now your 9,000lb winch is an 18,000lb winch. I don't think either would leave you stranded. How stuck you you plan on getting?
 

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I have a 9.5 Warn. I don't think you'll ever need more than 10,000. You will not be stranded with a 9.
 

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At Warn, we recommend Gross Vehicle Weight Rating x 1.5 = minimum pulling capacity. I believe the JK Unlimited has a GVWR of 5,700 (Rubicon). Multiplied by 1.5 you get 8,500 lbs.

We typically recommend 9,000 lb.+ winches and greater for the JKU.

- Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the response. Wasn't planning on getting that stuck, just wasn't sure how much difference the 2000lb capacity difference really meant on the field. I didn't know about the snatch block, so that gives me an added piece of mind. One last question? which is better, synthetic rope or cable.

Sorry for all the newb questions!
 

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I have 2 warn m 8000 winches 1 that is 10 years old on my Chevy truck with steel cable and a new 1 on my jeep with synthetic rope. The one on my truck has been used thousands of times, my jeep only 3 times. I can't tell you which one is better both work well. In the water the rope floats if you drop the hook it's easier to find and not as scary about the rope braking and whipping something or you. With the newer winch I wanted to try the rope if it wasn't so expensive I would change it on my truck. Which one is better will have to be answered by someone else. Doesn't really help ya does it. I think there are pros and cons to both.
 

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If you can afford it, get synthethic. For a given thickness it is stronger and doesn't store energy. It also doesn't have metal frays that a steel line can. Went wheeling in Texas over the weekend. 9 trucks, 8 had winches - probably 6 or 7 of those had synthethic line. Since I was spotting it made the winching (a fair amount) much better. In the end you'll get all kinds of responses, but I've yet to see someone go from synthethic to steel.
 

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My rule of thumb is to get one big enough to handle anyone in the group you go off road with. Sure, a Samurai would only need a 6000 pound winch but if he's trying to pull a 3/4 ton pickup out, it's going to be a little more than difficult.

I got to winch a full size pickup (with a flooded engine) out of a pretty good mud hole using a 9000 pound winch (Warn XD9000). I had to double back the winch cable to the bumper and strap my Jeep to a tree to keep from pulling myself in with him. He had dropped off a shelf into a hole and you couldn't see more than half an inch of the top of the 38" boggers he was running. And it was that really thick and gooey Texas clay mud. That winch was working pretty hard but it eventually got him out. I wouldn't have wanted to try that with anything less than a 9000 pound winch.

Now, that doesn't mean that you need to go out and get a 16.5K winch for your Jeep. But 8000 pounds is the absolute bare minimum you should consider. And anything 9000 pounds or over should make your short list.
 

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8000lbs is the 'smallest' you'll typically find in the full-size winch capacity. I have the Warn VR8000, which is plenty for the odd self-rescue. If you expect to be using it a lot, then you'll want to look at their higher-end models. For < $500, it is meant to compete with the off-shore brands that are flooding the market.

Spec-wise, they are all similar. Look at the warranty you get and what support you will get from your local reseller... Also, just what kind of 'stuck' do you expect to be? Needing a boost over a rock/log and a dead-lift out of 3 feet of muck are totally different... also, a big winch is going to need big power to pull at capacity... so you might be looking at a 2nd battery...
 

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That's another good point. Battery capacity.

Big winches draw 400+ amps at full load. Your alternator is not going to come anywhere near close to being able to supply that. I've seen more than one perfectly good winch crap out because the owner was running a cheap, old, worn out POS battery.

Your battery will absolutely make or break your winch. There's a lot of debate on who makes a good battery these days and I'm not going to start that argument. Getting one good quality battery or two average batteries joined together with a high capacity isolator switch is mandatory for me when considering a winch installation.
 
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