Review & Install Video
Ryan: This RedRock 4x4 12,000-Pound Winch is for anyone with an 1987 all the way through the most current model your Wrangler that are looking for an inexpensive no-frills winch. This is going to be pretty basic, doesn't have a lot of extras that some of the more expensive winches on the market are going to have, it's just going to be a winch that's going to work for you. This is going to be a pretty easy two out of three wrenches for the installation, a little bit of wiring to do. But winches, very, very simple to get wired up, you're really just making a couple of connections from the solenoid box to the winch body and to the battery and we will show you how to do that in just a second.
So when you're shopping for a winch, you're gonna have to make a couple of big decisions right off the bat and the first is the pulling capacity of your winch. You're going to find winches from 9,000 to 12,000 pounds and that's usually the range for a Jeep. And the rule of thumb is that you want a winch that will pull one and a half times the loaded trail weight of your vehicle. So if you have a big heavy four-door armored up JK, getting buried up to the axles in mud every weekend you're going to want a 12,000-pound winch. If you have a light TJ and you just get high centered every once in a while you just need a little bit of a tug to get you off from an obstacle then you can get away with a lighter winch which is also going to be less expensive.
Now once you decide what kind of pulling capacity you're looking for, you also need to decide what kind of line you want on your winch. This is, of course, going to be a steel cable and this is very traditional, this is what you're used to seeing on a winch. And there are some benefits to a steel cable. It's a little less expensive, it's very abrasion-resistant and just, in general, doesn't need a lot of maintenance so it is going to be a great choice for somebody who just wants that sort of no-frills winch that's just gonna be there when they need it.
However, there are a couple of advantages to a synthetic line which is one of the newer options for a winch cable. So a synthetic line is going to still stretch like a steel cable will it's under load but it doesn't store that energy so if the line were to break it will fall just gently to the ground instead of flying through the air which can cause damage or worse even injury. Now a synthetic line is going to be less abrasion-resistant, needs to be changed more often, is more expensive and just generally needs a little bit more maintenance, so definitely some pros and cons there. For a winch like this which is a little bit more budget-friendly, you would expect to see it with one of these steel cables on it and that's what this one is going to have.
Of course, you're going to have everything you need to get this winch installed on your Jeep. You're going to have the winch body itself with the pre-wound steel cable on it, over here you have your hook and also your little strap here which keeps you from having to loop a finger through the hook, that's just a safety feature that you'll see on most if not all winches. This is going to be the solenoid box for your winch. This has a bunch of wires coming out the back of it, some of those are going to go to the winch body, others are going to go all the way up underneath the grille along the inside of the fender and up to the battery to make that connection.
Here you're going to have your remote that's going to get plugged into the solenoid box here when you're using it. And this is gonna have a nice long leader on it so that you can be far away from the danger zone while you're actually using it to winch. It's a nice compact remote compared to a lot of the other ones that you see on the market but it's still has a really nice satisfying click. It feels robust enough that it's going to last for you. And again, just be there when you need it which is really what a winch is all about.
And then over here you're going to have your roller fairlead. Now traditionally a roller fairlead goes with a steel cable, a hawse fairlead goes with a synthetic cable. Some of the newer winch companies are actually shipping versions of a hawse fairlead with steel cable. But again, this is a pretty traditional pairing that you would be used to seeing.
So as I said before, this is going to be a good little winch, it's just not going to have a lot of the extras that some of the more expensive winches on the market have. You can have winches that have spots for 12-volt accessories to be plugged in, that have wireless remotes, that have light mounts, that have all sorts of different stuff on them. This isn't gonna have any of that and because of that, it is going to be a little bit less expensive coming in at right around that $300 mark.
Overall, I still think that's a pretty good deal for you if you're looking for a winch for occasional use to get you out of a sticky spot when you're out on the trail with your friends. So this is going to be a two out of three wrenches for the installation. Let me show you how to get it done.
Man: Tools required for this installation: a nice set of gloves, three-eighths-inch wrench, quarter-inch wrench, various extensions, some Phillips head screwdrivers, an 18-millimeter wrench, 19-millimeter socket, 16-millimeter socket, 10-millimeter socket, a half-inch socket, universal swivel is very helpful, very sharp knife, diagonal cutters, as well as needle-nose pliers, optional is an impact. All right, so with any winch installed we're gonna start off with our fairlead and we're gonna be using the biggest hardware out of the kit. So I'm just going to start the bolts in the front. And in the back I have a washer followed up with that 19-millimeter nut. This side on. In the front, it's an 18-millimeter bolt head, in the back, it's a 19-millimeter nut.
All right, so before we get this winch onto our bumper, there is a little bit of installing we have to do. Starting with our controller, we'll mount that to the top of our winch and then wire up that control box. So these have two little half ridges here that we're just going to line up, starting with the front there, make sure it is on center. And you can adjust this one way or the other however you like it, I'm going to center it up. Press down until it seats and then you're gonna finish off the clamps with these other half-moon looking guys. Then we're gonna take the Phillips head hardware with the lock washer and thread that on.
All right, next up we're going to wire up these three posts on the top of the motor. We're gonna start by removing the nuts, and then first making contact with the longest one which is going to be the yellow. I'm just going to snug it down hand tight first, followed up by the ground for our control box and motor. And our positive. Now these are a half-inch nut and I have this on a three-eighths-inch drive. And then you can slot these boots over to make these nice and weather-resistant.
All right, now we have to connect our battery ground, so we're gonna flip the winch onto its side. And then this is another ground for your motor. So we are going to put that on first, followed by the ground for...that goes right to our battery. I'm going to go underneath, make sure that the terminal end is facing the right way, the orientation, as you can see how it steps down there. Tighten this up, again it's a half-inch. And then put your boot over. That's gonna complete the wiring, now let's mount it.
All right, now we're gonna bring the winch into place lowering it slowly being careful not to pinch any of these wires underneath the feet, like I'm about to do. So I'm gonna grab onto the wires back there, make sure they're not in the way, and again, slowly lower this into place. I'm going to tuck these wires back here, it is a little bit of tight of a fit depending on what style bumper you have. And we're gonna make this work. I'm just seeing what holes I need to line my feet up with. So that's gonna be there. So I'm gonna put these wires off to the side here. And next, we're gonna go underneath and run some bolts into the bottom of this winch.
All right, now we're going to be installing the hardware onto the bottom of our winch through our winch plate. And this is a little tight in some applications especially this bumper here but just take your time, be patient and make sure you get all four bolts in there because this is what secures your winch and takes that load. So it's very important you get these nice and tight and make sure that they are thread properly. So I'm just gonna make sure this is threaded on there nice. Gonna gonna start another one, start impacting them down. So if you're having a tough time finding the threads for your bolt, I like to use a long Phillips head screwdriver and just stick it up in there and pry in a couple different directions and you may be able to get that winch to move over a little bit and find those threads, it looks like I got them there and now I can start my bolt.
All right, so now I have my impact with a 6-inch extension, a universal swivel, and my 16-millimeter socket, I'm going to tighten up my hardware. All right, so our next step is to cut free our cable from the top of the winch here and then we're going to free-spool and pull that cable through. As you can see, I do have a little wire here that I'm going to wrap up in my needle-nose pliers. So I can use that as a handle to help pull that eye through. So I'm going to set this to free-spool which is gear lever right here. Cut my zip tie holding the cable in while holding a little pressure on here. Be careful not to free-spool too much because this wire will come loose on that drum. So I'm going to guide this wire through. Again, use my pliers as a handle. All right, so as you see my wire broke, I'm going to use my Philips head screwdriver now as my handle and help pull that through, just like that. Get a little extra slack because we're gonna put our hook on next and that should be good right about there.
So now holding tension on it because again, this is going to cause that to free-spool a little bit on the drum, we're going to attach our hook. All right, so here's our hook here, I'm just going to place it over the eye. Grab the pin, set that in there, flip it around and you'll see the hole that our cotter pin now has to go through. And you're gonna want to bend one of these tabs back. All right, now we can move on to wiring.
All right, so one of the last steps is to wire up this winch and there is a really nice spot right behind your passenger side marker light in between your front grille and just in front of your radiator and pull them right through. There is our power followed up by our grille. Now we're going to connect these two to our battery terminals and we can test out our winch.
All right, we're gonna start off by connecting the positive side of our winch and you can see there are three accessory terminals here on our battery. We're gonna take a 10-millimeter socket and utilize one of these posts, remove the nut, slide your terminal end over, tighten that backup. And next, we can make our ground connection. All right, so again, there is an accessory post to our negative side, we'll utilize that.
All right, so one of the last steps is to test out your winch. And on the side here you'll see your plugin for your controller. It can only go one way, there is a nice little tab there. And you can see we have a little slack in here, I'm just gonna tighten that up, make sure it doesn't rattle along when we're on the road. So you have an in and an out feature. We're gonna go in, make sure that nice and tight and not going anywhere. So that's gonna wrap up my install of the RedRock 4x4 12,000-Pound Winch. And for all things Jeep, keep it here at extremeterrain.com.