Review & Install Video
Hi, I'm Kevin Tetz for ExtremeTerrain.com, and this is my review of the Rugged Ridge 8,500 pound and 10,500 winches. Now, we will never talk down to anybody that's just entering this hobby or needs a little bit of help deciding that they actually need to buy a winch. If you've ever been off-road and got stuck, well you need to know why. But if you get stuck in the mud or high sanded on an obstacle, that's when a winch comes in really handy. Not to mention the fact that a winch gives you extra confidence and inspiration when you're driving knowing that you can get yourself out of trouble.
Now, the basic rule of thumb is that you need about one and a half times the curb weight of your vehicle in pulling power when you're deciding about a winch. This JK behind me, the factory says the curb weight's about 4,100 pound times 1.5, that's 6,300 pounds. So either one of these winches rated at 8,500 pounds or 10,500 pounds will both do the job with some room to spare, because sometimes the weight ratio, well, you need a little bit extra pulling power, depending on what you're pulling yourself out of.
Now, you're not done just buying the winch. Obviously, you can't mount this big heavy winch into a plastic bumper. You got to buy a winch mounting plate, or what a lot of guys do is upgrade eventually to an integrated winch mount in an aftermarket bumper, and there's tons of choices for that. So let's start with the 8,500 pound winch. It's got a powerful series wound motor, and comes with its own fair lead, with two light mounts here. You can mount off-road lights on the front and mount the fair lead on the front of the bumper. This has got a powerful series one motor with five and half horsepower, with a 172.8 to 1 ratio for slow and steady torque.
What I like about the control mount box is that you can mount it on the top of the winch body itself, or you could remote mount to put it where you want to put it on your Jeep and customize it a little bit, keep a low profile on the top of the winch. Pre-terminated lines help and obviously it comes with a hook and a strap. Now the controls, it's a cable lead. There's nothing wrong with the cable lead. It's a long lead so you can get away from your winch, you can look and see what you're doing. But there's no frills here. This is a budget winch. It is user friendly. It is all business with no bells and whistles.
Now, the 10,500 pound rated winch, well, more is more. It's got power. It's still got the stainless steel fair lead, stainless steel hardware, the same winch controller hook, and terminated ends, as well as virtually the identical control box. Where this is different is that it's a 6.6 horsepower motor, and it's got 2,360 force line although it's still 94 feet. So it's going to be heavier, but it's also going to be stronger. It's got a 218 to 1 gear ratio, so it's going to feel like more torque. So the 10,500 pound winch, that's for the guy that's got a fully armored up four door JK or somebody, like we said, that's wants to do some recovery and help his buddies out. Or even somebody with a full sized rig and they just need that extra grunt for pulling power.
So if you've got an '87 to 2016 Jeep of any flavor, this 8,500 pound or the 10,500 pound winch will fit your budget and they'll fit your Jeep, depending on what you want to do. And let's face it, we all want to upgrade. If you want to upgrade down the road, you can always go to the website and get a winch with more bells, more whistles, more accessories. But that's kind of the fun part, isn't it? So this is my review of the Rugged Ridge 8,500 pound and 10,500 pound winches that you can get at ExtremeTerrain.com.