Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review and installation of the Barricade Winch, fitting all 1987 and up Wranglers. These winches are available in a few different configurations. They're available in a 9500-pound and a 12,000-pound pulling capacity, with a steel cable or a synthetic line, and the 9500-pound are also available with a wireless remote if you decide to go that route.
Today, we are going to talk through the installation of one of these winches, which is a very simple one out of three wrench installation. You do have to do a small bit of wiring. However, it's a very simple process of just hooking up to the positive and the negative battery terminals on your Jeep. As far as getting this bolted down, you will need a winch plate. But other than that, there's just four bolts that hold it into place. You should be able to get this installed in under two hours. But we'll talk a little bit more about the installation in a second. We're also going to talk about the construction and a few of the features of these winches.
A winch is for those of you who go off-roading and get yourself into a situation where you might get stuck and want to be able to recover yourself easily. You can take a winch line and go around a tree, using a tree saver of course, or to another vehicle to get yourself out of any sticky situation, whether that's deep mud or high centered. Now, a winch does have some benefits over a tow strap or a snatch strap, and they can also be used in conjunction with each other or in different recovery situations, but having a self-recovery winch like this mounted on your vehicle does give you a great option when and if you do get yourself stuck.
Now, there are, as I mentioned, two different lines available on these winches. You can get these with a steel cable or with a synthetic line. Now, the steel cable does hold up really well out in the elements. There's no need to really keep that steel line covered. However, there are a few drawbacks to a steel line. One, it can be a little bit heavy and cumbersome when you're dragging it around, trying to get it hooked up to that vehicle or that tree or whatever you're hooking up to. It can also get kinked, it can fray. But most importantly, a steel line will store energy. When it's under load, when it's stretched, it's storing energy. And if that line does break, it'll snap back and it could hit somebody, cause an injury, or hit a vehicle causing damage.
Now, that's really the main benefit to a synthetic line. It still stretches just like that steel cable does, however, it doesn't store the energy. So if a synthetic line breaks, it just falls to the ground harmlessly. It's not going to snap back, injure or damage anything.
Now, synthetic line has come a long way. It is still recommended that you keep your synthetic line covered because the U.V. rays can damage it. However, it's not as big of a concern as it was when synthetic lines were initially introduced. Now, a synthetic line is also something that does require a little bit more upkeep. You're gonna wanna make sure you keep it clean. And the life expectancy of a synthetic line is shorter than that of the steel cable, and a synthetic line is more expensive to replace than a steel cable. So this is very much a pros and cons decision. You have to decide what's best for your Jeep, for how you plan on using your winch, and for what your budget is because synthetic line, again, is going to be a little bit pricier.
Now, as far as the pulling capacity of your winch goes, the general rule of thumb is you want your winch to be able to pull two-and-a-half times the loaded trail weight of your Jeep. So that's loaded down full of fuel, how much does your Jeep weigh, and multiply that by two-and-a-half, and that should be the pulling capacity of your winch. Now, when you're using a winch, you can go to a snatch block and back to your vehicle, halving your line speed but doubling your pulling capacity. So there are some additional tricks. But again, that is a good general rule of thumb.
So if you have a nice, light two-door, maybe you don't have a lot of armor or you're utilizing aluminum armor, 9500 pounds might be the way to go. If you have a big, heavy steel armor, four-door and you like to get it buried up to the axles in thick, sticky mud, then maybe the 12,000 pound is a better option for you. Either way, you're going to get a really strong high-quality winch that is going to save you some money over some of the others on the market.
Now, if you're somebody who's going out on the trail and you're using your winch for long, hard pulls every single weekend, then maybe you do want to spend a little bit more for one of those winches that has been around for a long time, that is really strong and tested, and has a bunch of additional features built into it. However, if you are more of the occasional user, if you're not gonna be doing those long, hard pulls, if this is only gonna get used a couple of times a year, you'll have somebody else out there on the trail with you just in case you need some additional assistance, then this is a really nice way to save yourself a little bit of money over those top quality winches that have those additional features but still have a self-recovery winch mounted on your vehicle.
As far as construction goes, these are steel-bodied winches. The 12,000 pound has a 6.6 horsepower, and the 9500 pound has a 5.5 horsepower motor. Both use a three-stage planetary gearset, with different gear ratios depending on whether you're going with the bigger 12,000-pound or the 9500-pound winch.
Now, the synthetic line winch, of course, comes with the synthetic line I just pulled on it and a Hawse fairlead. The line that you have the steel cable on will come with steel cables pulled up and a roller fairlead that you can use with that line. All of these winches will come with a handheld remote that has a near [SP] in and near [SP] out, which will plug directly into the top of your solenoid box. If you do have one of those winches that has the wireless remote option, you'll also have a switch on your solenoid box that will switch it from wired to wireless mode, and you'll have a separate wireless remote that of course is battery operated, and you will want to keep some fresh batteries in it. But the good thing is you always have the option to go wired as well. If you do run out of battery or if for some reason you lose your other remote, that is a really nice feature of the wireless winch that is both wired and wireless. You don't lose the wired functionality if you purchase the wireless winch.
Now, as with a lot of winches that have their solenoid box separate from the winch themselves, this box will get wired into your winch, and it is designed to mount right up on top here. However, you can certainly remote-mount your solenoid box if you choose to. It does have electronic components inside of it, you will want to keep it somewhere where it's not going to pick up a lot of heat. But if you want to keep it off the front of the Jeep to keep it out of water, to keep it out of your moisture, to keep dust out of it, you can certainly remote-mount that solenoid box if you choose to. Of course, you'll have to have access to the top of it to plug it into your remote. But you can always remote-mount that if you choose.
This winch does, of course, have your engage mode and your free-spool mode. It has a clutch mechanism built right into it. When you pit it into free-spool mode, you can very easily pull line out at high speed, instead of having to walk the line out very slowly by powering it out.
And of course, this winch does come with your standard winch footprint. It comes with the bolts that you need to get this bolted down. In fact, in the bottom of this molded in, it does have a spot for a captured nut that you'll be able to install in the winch body itself. So when you're installing the winch, you can just install the bolts up through the bottom of your winch plate, into the winch body. You don't have to try to get a wrench on top of it because it can be a little bit tight in there. Of course, as you can see here, you get a hook with either one of those winch lines, regardless of which type you choose.
So right out of the box, you are going to have everything you need to get this installed on your Jeep, assuming you have your winch plate already or a winch-ready bumper. That is one additional piece that you're going to have to make sure you have. There are winch plates that will go right onto your factory bumper. If you have an aftermarket bumper, a lot of them are winch ready, or they have a winch plate available from the manufacturer that you can purchase for that specific bumper.
Now, if you're just looking at the specs of one of these winches versus something like [inaudible 00:08:31] winches which are known to be some of the highest quality winches on the market and also the most expensive, this will have a slightly higher line speed and a slightly more powerful motor when you look at it from the horsepower perspective, which generally would be a good thing.
However, this winch weighs in at around 44 pounds when some of the [inaudible 00:08:51] winches can weigh 30 pounds more than that. And I think that is where the biggest differentiating factor is. With this winch, again, it's going to be great if you want it only for those occasional weekend uses. However, if you are going to be doing a lot of really long hard line pulls, maybe going with one of those more expensive winches that does have some additional features would be a good idea.
As far as the installation goes, again, I'm giving this a very simple one out of three wrenches. You can do this in under two hours. All you'll need to do to get this bolted up is, of course, have your winch plate already installed on your front bumper. From there, you'll install the captured nuts onto the inside of the casting of the winch itself, making the installation all that much easier because you won't have to hold the nut that'll be captured in the body of the winch.
Now, a little tip for installing these. After installing a few of them, I've realized that taking a small piece of electrical tape to hold that captured nut inside the body of the winch while you're moving it around and getting it onto the bumper is a great idea. Otherwise, it's gonna keep popping out on you and it can be very annoying.
So, save your captured nuts into the body of the winch, tape them into place, set your winch on top of your winch-mounted plate, and use the included hardware to get it bolted down. After that, decide where you're mounting your solenoid box. If it's going to be on top of your winch, you can simply mount it up on top and then you're ready to start wiring your winch.
This does come with all of the long cables and leads that you're going to need to get from your solenoid box all the way up into your battery. So you'll just stretch those through your grille, along your inner fender, and attach them onto the battery, as well as attaching these shorter leads onto these posts on top of the winch and this one post underneath the winch. After that, you'll have your fairlead installed, whether it be the roller or the Hawse, depending on whether you have synthetic or steel line. You'll install your hook, and you're gonna be ready to go. That's really all there is to it. Again, installation is going to be very, very simple. You'll need your traditional hand tools, and you can get this done in under two hours.
What I would consider to be the baseline Barricade winch, the 9500-pound winch, with the steel cable, with the wired controller, comes in around $350, which is fairly inexpensive for a 9500-pound winch. And that winch is going to do a lot. It's going to be great for those occasional users that are going to use your winch every couple of weeks or a few times a year and want to have a self-recovery winch while saving themselves some money. Of course, if you go up to the 12,000-pound winch with the synthetic line, you're going to be at a little over $500, which is still pretty affordable for a self-recovery winch. As I said before, these are good for those occasional users. These are good if you're gonna be using it a couple times a year. However, if you are somebody who does a lot of really long, hard pulls, every single weekend you're out on the trail, you're using your winch, then one of those more expensive winches with a few more features may be a good idea.
So if you're looking for a self-recovery winch that will get you out of a sticky situation when you're on the trail, whether it be deep mud or high centered, these are going to save you some money over those top tier winches on the market and be great for those occasional uses. So that's my review of the Barricade winch fitting all 1987 and up Wranglers, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.