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Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty 8,500 lb. Winch

Item J12663
ExtremeTerrain no longer carries the Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty 8,500 lb. Winch. Please check out Jeep 8000-10500 Pound Winches for an updated selection.
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    Review & Installation Video

    Hi, I'm Kevin Tetz for, 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

    Product Information

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


    • Series Wound Motor
    • Extra Pulling Power for Towing
    • Light Mount Roller Fairlead for Easy Mounting of Up to Two Off-Road Lights
    • Weight: 84 lbs
    • 94 Foot of 5/16" Diameter Wire Rope & Latched Hook
    • Includes Stainless Steel Body Screws and Bolts
    • No Drilling Required
    • Universal Application


    Function. The Rugged Ridge 8500 LB Winch is driven by a 5.5 HP series wound motor that delivers sufficient pulling power for towing. Featuring a tough three-stage planetary gear box with a gear ratio of 172.8:1, it offers a powerful performance and includes 94 feet of 5/16" diameter wire rope and a latched hook.

    Easy Mounting. This Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Winch features special mounting brackets that allow you to mount the solenoid in multiple positions and angles for versatile use. Stainless steel body screws and bolts are durable and resist corrosion. You can easily mount up to two off-road lights by using the light mount roller fairlead that comes with the winch. The fairlead saves you the effort and hassle of drilling.

    Compatibility. The solenoid can be tilted to accommodate most winch bumpers.


    CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm -


    Customer Reviews (51)

    Write a Review

    Ratings Summary

    4.7 out of 5 overall rating from 51 customers

    Installation Time: Afternoon

    Installation Cost: $100-$250

    • July 23, 2019

      5 2010 Wrangler - denaree Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour

      great product

      easy mount, fits on new bumper great..super easy to install great buy and makes my jeep feel better!

      Helpful (0)
    • November 11, 2018

      5 2012 Wrangler - RayS Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour

      rugged ridge 8500 lb.

      so far excellent winch for the price. will be buying a few more for my other jeeps and trailers

      Helpful (3)
    • July 01, 2018

      5 2018 Wrangler - JohnS Installation Time: Afternoon

      Nice winch

      Pretty easy install. The instructions aren't great, but it's still easy. I did the install with the bumper on my wrangler. It was pretty difficult to install a couple of the bolts. It would be MUCH easier if you put the winch on with the bumper removed.

      Helpful (4)
    • November 23, 2017

      5 2017 Wrangler - Climber Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour

      Winch review

      I really like this product, and it is the 2nd one I have purchased. Just a note, be sure to hookup all the wires possible before installing the winch to the plate. It will save time and bad words. The elevated control box mounting works best for the electric cables. As with my previous winch, the controller connector cover should be rotated 180°. The wind will keep it blown open. °°°

      Helpful (6)
    • November 06, 2017

      4 1995 Wrangler - ReggieM Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour


      looks nice havent used yet guess thats a good thing

      Helpful (5)
    • October 03, 2017

      5 2009 Rubicon - ValarinaL Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour


      Love the way it fit on our Jeep and the remote is easy to use

      Helpful (4)
    • September 23, 2017

      3 2014 Wrangler - Jonathan B Installation Time: Afternoon

      Great products

      The power wire came up short,would make it to the battery. But All in all seams to be a good product. Guess I will find out on the trail

      Helpful (4)
    • August 29, 2017

      5 2014 Wrangler - MannyE Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour


      I used it to get my truck off a slippery hill and it moved it with ease. That one time made it worth it and saved me money and time.

      Helpful (4)
    • August 16, 2017

      5 2012 Wrangler - Phil Installation Time: Afternoon

      Gives me confidence on trails I used to skip

      Now that I have this winch I push my ability a bit more than when I didn't. It's pulled me out about five times so far all with ease. Once through two feet of thick, heavy snow. Make sure you tighten down the rollers in the front before installing the actual winch. It's a huge pain trying to get to the bolts once the winch is mounted.

      Helpful (5)
    • June 30, 2017

      5 1993 Wrangler - ZachR Installation Time: Less than 1 Hour

      Fair price and it works

      For the price it's gotten me and my friends out of a few situations. Works great and easy to assemble and mount

      Helpful (4)

    Questions & Answers (10 answers)

    5 Top Rated Questions

    I have the Rugged Ridge XHD Modular front bumper, do I need a plate or can I mount directly to the bumper?

    • A winch plate would not be required for installation of this winch.

    Helpful (0)

    Will this winch fit my 2017 Rubicon Wrangler?

    • Yes, this will fit as long as you have a bumper or a winch plate that supports a winch with a 10x4.5" mounting footprint.

    Helpful (0)

    Will this winch fit my stock 2001 TJ se steel front bumper?

    • The Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty 8,500 lb. Winch will require a winch plate, or a bumper with a built in winch mounting solution.

    Helpful (0)

    The winch plate on the front of my 2001 TJ has predrilled holes roughly 10" by 4.5 - 5", will I need to do any modifications for this winch?

    • Thank you for your question! If you currently have a 4.5"x10 bolt pattern on your winch plate you should not need to do any modification to the winch plate, and this winch will fit.

    Helpful (0)

    Will this winch fit on my Jeep with a stock front bumper?

    • Thank you for your question! If you have the stock Hard Rock steel front bumper this will be able to fit. If you have the ABS plastic front bumper this will not fit, or be strong enough to winch off of the bumper.

    Helpful (0)
    Post Your Question
    5 More Questions
    Hey, I have a quick question...Last year, I bought this bumper: RedRock 4x4 Rock Crawler Front Grille Guard - Textured Black (87-06 Wrangler YJ TJ). Will this winch, with the right winchplate fit om my bumper. If so, what winch plate do you recommend that I get? Thanks. Pete 1 answer
    Will this winch fit on an arb bumper? 1 answer
    Hello will this winch fit the Barricade Trail Force HD Front Bumper? I would like to order both of these products for a 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Mountain Edition and I am curious if these items will fit my Jeep? 1 answer
    Will it fit on the stock YJ front bumper? 1 answer
    Can you install this on the Smittybilt SRC stinger front bumper without a winch plate or is that something that would be required on installation? 1 answer

    Installation & What's in the Box

    Installation Info

    What's in the Box

    • Winch and Steel cable
    • Solenoid box
    • Roller fairlead
    • Wiring kit
    • Remote lead
    • Cable hook
    • Red indicator flag
    • Hardware

    Tech Specs

    Winch Specifications
    ManufacturerRugged RidgeLine Capacity8,500 lbs
    Motor Specs5.5 HP, Series WoundLine TypeWire Cable, 94' x 5/16"
    Gear System172.8:1 PlanetaryWarranty2-Yr Winch/1-Yr Electrical