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Rugged Ridge Spartacus Heavy Duty 8,500 lb. Winch w/ Steel Cable

Item J103420
ExtremeTerrain no longer carries the Rugged Ridge Spartacus Heavy Duty 8,500 lb. Winch w/ Steel Cable. Please check out Jeep 8000-10500 Pound Winches for an updated selection.

    Review & Installation Video

    I'm Ryan from, and this is my review and installation of the Rugged Ridge Spartacus Heavy Duty Winch, fitting all 1987 and up Wranglers. This winch is available in 8,500, 10,500 and 12,500-pound pulling capacities, and each of those pulling capacities is available with either a wire cable or a synthetic line. Today we're gonna talk through the installation of this winch, which is a very simple one out of three wrench installation. Even if you're somebody who's not comfortable with automotive wiring, this is going to be very easy to get wired up. Of course, you will have to have a winch-ready bumper or a winch plate on your factory bumper to bolt up any winch. We're also gonna talk through the construction and a few of the features of this winch. A winch is a really nice feature to have on the front of your Jeep when you're out wheeling on the trail or even driving down those snowy back roads in case you were to have a situation where you got stuck. Of course, it's never a good idea to wheel alone, but even when you're wheeling with your friends, a winch can certainly come in handy, whether you're getting stuck in mud or you're getting high centered on the trail. Now, this winch in particular does come in a couple of different pulling capacities as I said before. The general rule of thumb for your weight capacity for your winch is about one and a half times the loaded trail weight of your vehicle. So, if you have a 4-door with tons of armor, a big, heavy roof rack, maybe you're gonna wanna look towards the 12,500-pound winch. If you have a 2-door with the light aluminum armor or not a lot of armor at all, then you could probably go with something closer to the 8,500-pound. Now, the main difference between a synthetic line and a steel cable is that the synthetic line, while it will still stretch like the steel will, it doesn't store energy. So, if the synthetic line breaks under load, it's not going to snap back, which can hurt somebody or cause damage. A steel line, unfortunately, if it breaks under load, will snap and can hurt somebody or damage some property. A couple other benefits of synthetic line are the fact that they are very lightweight, so it's easier to drag up a muddy hill when you're stuck, and the synthetic line isn't going to kink like a steel line will. However, a steel line is going to, in general, last a little bit longer, be a little bit more maintenance-free, you're not going to have to replace it as often as a synthetic line, and the steel cable is going to be less expensive to replace when you need to replace it.Now, in general, a Rugged Ridge winch is going to be a little bit less expensive than some of the other winches on the market. This is the Spartacus winch, which is their Gen2 heavy duty winch. They've redesigned the solenoid box a little bit, but in general, these are going to be for those of you who are hitting the trails, maybe once a month or so. You may have to use your winch a couple of times a year, but you're not going to be doing those long hard pulls. If you are out there hitting the trail every single weekend doing some really long hard pulls, you're going to abuse your winch, and maybe you wanna go with one that has some additional features that is most likely going to be a little more expensive.As far as construction goes, the body of this winch is going to be very similar to a first generation Rugged Ridge winch. As I said before, the Spartacus Gen2 did upgrade the solenoid box a little bit, it's a little bit smaller and a little bit sleeker, but the body stayed more or less the same. Now, with these lower pulling capacity winches, you are going to get a five and a half horsepower motor, and if you jump up to the 10,500 or your 12,500, you are going to get a 6.6 horsepower motor. Now, the higher pulling capacity winches also have a lower or numerically higher gear ratio, and that is just to give the winch a little bit more mechanical advantage and allow it to pull a little bit of additional weight. It's also going to lessen your line speed a little bit, which is why if you do have a wider rig and you don't plan on doing a lot of really heavy pulls, the lighter pulling capacity is a little bit better, because it is going to move a little bit quicker for you. Along with the winch body, as we said before, this does come with the Gen2 redesigned Spartacus solenoid box, which you can go ahead and mount that right up here on top of the drum. There are a couple of different mounting locations for that solenoid box, but, of course, you do have to get to it to plug in your remote. It does come with a traditional weather-proof remote on a 12-foot cord, which allows you to get far away from the winch while you're actually operating it and doing your pull. This is a steel cable winch, so it comes with a roller fairlead, but, of course, if you got the synthetic line, you would be getting a hawse fairlead. And the roller fairlead here does have a couple of holes drilled in the top of it so you can mount some lights right there on the fairlead. It gives you some additional light mounts, which is a pretty nice feature. Getting any winch installed is going to be a very simple process. Of course, you are going to need a winch-ready bumper or a winch plate on your Jeep before you can get these bolted up, but all in all, you're only looking at about an hour's time. The first step in the process is to connect the solenoid box wires to the body of the winch. There are a couple of different connections, some on the bottom, some on the back, so go ahead and mount your solenoid box wherever you wanna mount it on the winch and wire it into the winch itself, also attaching the longer leads that are gonna go from the solenoid box all the way up to the battery. From there, you can mount your fairlead, whether it be a roller or a hawse, and then mount your winch body with the solenoid in place. Once that's bolted down, it's really just a matter of pulling the two long cables from the solenoid box up to your battery and connecting it to the positive and negative terminals, and that's it. As I said, these are very easy to install. Even if you don't have any experience with automotive wiring, getting this wired up is very simple. There's just two connections out of the battery and a couple of color-coded connections here at the winch box.As I said before, this winch is going to come in at a little bit less expensive than most of the other winches on the site. This one in particular is the 8,500-pound with the steel cable, so this is going to be the less expensive option out of all of the Rugged Ridge Spartacus heavy duty winches that we talked about today. But it's still going to get the job done. This is still going to get you out of a sticky situation if you are out on the trail and you get yourself stuck. Now, again, if you're doing those really long hard pulls every single weekend, maybe you want some additional features, and you want a winch that's going to be even more powerful but also more expensive. But for the occasional user, this is going to save you some money and still get the job done. So, if you're looking for a self-recovery winch to get you and your buddies out of a sticky situation out on the trail, you're gonna be using it a couple of times a year, this is going to be a great option that will save you some money over those top-tier winches on the market. So, that's my review of the Rugged Ridge Spartacus Heavy Duty Winch, fitting all 1987 and up Wranglers, that you can find right here at

    Product Information

    Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation


    • 8,500lbs Single Line Pulling Capacity
    • 94 Ft, 3/8 Inch Steel Cable
    • 5.5 HP Series Wound Motor
    • 3 Stage Planetary Gear Box
    • Powerful 172.8:1 Gear Ratio
    • Includes Roller Fairlead
    • Optional Solenoid Mounting Positions
    • Weight: 85 lbs
    • For 1987-2019 Jeep Wrangler Models


    Superior Recovery. Take along the Rugged Ridge Spartacus Heavy Duty Winch to conquer off road recovery. Designed with a 172.8:1 gear ratio, this winch has all the power you'll need to pull your Wrangler, or others, up, out and away from the roughest hazards or deepest holes off road. This kit includes everything you'll need for installation on most after market bumpers or winch plates for a complete package to get you out of the muck.

    Powerful Design. The Spartacus winch incorporates a unique solenoid that allows mounting over the motor or the cable, so you can upgrade without interfere. It features a tough 3 stage planetary gear system and a 5.5 HP Series Wound motor for superior power and performance in all conditions. Each kit includes a roller style fairlead which boasts two universal mounting tabs for even more upgrade mounting options.

    Steel Cable. The included 3/8 inch steel cable measures 94 feet to give you the advantage at any angle or distance. It includes a heavy duty steel hook for optimum recovery access.

    Application. The Rugged Ridge Spartacus Winch is designed for use on all 1987-2019 Jeep Wrangler YJ, TJ, JK and JL models equipped with a winch mount.


    CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm -


    Customer Reviews (15)

    Write a Review

    Ratings Summary

    4.9 out of 5 overall rating from 15 customers

    Installation Time: Afternoon

    • February 01, 2018

      5 2005 Wrangler - DavidS Installation Time: Afternoon

      Rugged Ridge Winch

      Very easy to install. Took about 1 1/2 hours to complete the install. Multiple positions for solenoid is a nice feature. Would highly recommend

      Helpful (6)
    • December 20, 2017

      5 2017 Wrangler - FrankR

      Great winch for the price

      Very nice winch for the money, have used a couple times and it works great!

      Helpful (8)
    • November 18, 2017

      5 2017 Rubicon - BajaBob Installation Time: Afternoon

      9500 lb Winch

      Good fit and good looking. Have not put it to the real test yet.

      Helpful (8)
    • October 20, 2017

      4 2005 Wrangler - JeremiahK Installation Time: Afternoon

      Worth its weight in gold

      Winch is worth the money easy to install on my aftermarket bumper. Couldn’t wire it up the way I wanted wires were little short but for my 05 tj ive used it more oriole times works better than I had hoped for

      Helpful (9)
    • June 28, 2017

      5 2017 Wrangler - MattH

      Great Winch

      For the money I don't really see how you could go wrong.

      Helpful (7)
    • May 16, 2017

      5 2006 Wrangler - LauriL Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour

      06 Jeep

      fast service great fit . was very simple to install took me under 1 hour to have it done and working.

      Helpful (9)
    • February 10, 2017

      5 2016 Wrangler - RB Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour

      Female install

      First Jeep. First Winch. First Winch install. I was able to do this in just under an hour!! The instructions were awesome!

      Helpful (8)
    • January 13, 2017

      5 2003 Wrangler - Firefrey Installation Time: Afternoon

      Great Winch

      Great Winch for the money and it was easy to install.

      Helpful (7)
    • December 13, 2016

      5 1995 Wrangler - James Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour

      Spartacus winch

      Been very happy with the winch, very easy to install

      Helpful (8)
    • December 03, 2016

      4 2017 Wrangler - Beast Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour

      Not bad for the price

      The free spin feature on the clutch is tight so, you almost have to keep the clutch engaged and payout your cable (don't try to payout with the clutch off, it can ruin the clutch brake). And the hardwired positive cable from the controller on the winch is just barely long enough to reach the battery terminal. To the point of having to run it straight through the grill instead of under it and it's still diagonally across the top of the battery to reach. Other than that, I'm impressed with it!

      Helpful (10)

    Questions & Answers (5 answers)

    5 Top Rated Questions

    Are the battery cables long enough to reach the battery if you have grill inserts? Also, are you just running the cables under the grill as apposed to through the frill if you have inserts?

    • Yes, you will have plenty room with running the cables underneath the grille as opposed to through it and they will be long enough with some slack left as well.

    Helpful (1)

    What is the difference between steel able and wire rope, and which is preferred? Does this fit on an AEV Bumper?

    • Hello, yes, this winch will fit on an AEV bumper. Steel cable is a bit heavier and more dangerous to operate, precautions are needed when using a steel cable. Synthetic Rope is lighter and not as dangerous when operating with. We do recommend using a cover for any winch, but especially for the Synthetic rope, as the weather conditions can start to wear out the rope and affect its strength.

    Helpful (1)

    Hi, I have a Barricade Adventure Bumper for a TJ. Will the mounting holes line up with the Rugged Ridge winch or do I need to go with a Barricade winch as well? Asking because Rugged Ridge may suit my needs better.

    • You would be able to run the Rugged Ridge winch on the Barricade Adventure Bumper without issue, these both have a standard universal bolt pattern. The bumper can support a winch up to 12,000 lbs 

    Helpful (0)


    • Hello, the holes on the fairlead do not have an exact measurement for a light bar, they are meant to accept single off-road lights.

    Helpful (0)

    What's the difference between this "Spartacus" Winch and the similarly specced and same priced "Heavy Duty" 10500 winch by Rugged Ridge?

    • The main difference between the Rugged Ridge Spartacus Heavy Duty 8,500 lbs Winch w/ Steel Cable (87-17 Wrangler YJ, TJ & JK) and RUGGED RIDGE HEAVY DUTY 8,500LB. WINCH (87-17 WRANGLER YJ, TJ & JK) comes down to cosmetics. The solenoid location differs, as well as the fair lead and a few other options. They are both the high quality product you can expect from Rugged Ridge.

    Helpful (0)
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    Installation & What's in the Box

    Installation Info

    What's in the Box

    • (1) 8,500lb winch
    • (1) Roller fairlead
    • (1) Control
    • (1) Solenoid
    • Wiring kit
    • (1) Hook
    • (1) Flag
    • Hardware

    Tech Specs

    Winch Specifications
    ManufacturerRugged RidgeLine Capacity8,500lbs
    Motor Specs5.5 HP Series WoundLine Type94ft Steel Cable
    Gear System172.8:1, 3 Stage PlanetaryWarranty5 Year Limited

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