Review & Install Video
Hey, what's up, guys. Ryan here from ExtremeTerrain and today I'm here with the Smittybilt Gen2 X20 10,000-pound winch with synthetic rope and wireless control. Now, this is gonna be for those of you that are just looking for an easy to use heavy duty waterproof winch to add to your Jeep. Now there's a ton of options out there and prices are all over the place and I think that this is a great option to go with. It's a very heavy duty durable winch and it's coming in right around $430. Now, as far as installation goes this thing is pretty easy to install. I'm gonna give it a very easy two out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter. Of course, you will need either a factory Rubicon bumper that is gonna accept a winch or an aftermarket bumper that is winch cable. However, you should be able to get this thing on to your bumper in about two hours.
Now, a winch is a great thing to have for when you venture off pavement. This can come in handy whether you're off-roading with a group or if you're going out there solo because you know that if you get stuck of course you have the ability to pull yourself out which will give you some additional peace of mind to go deeper and further into those trails knowing that when you lose traction, you have something that's gonna get you unstuck. Now, this 10,000-pound winch features a wireless remote control for ease of operation. No more hopping out of the Jeep, plugging that thing in, having a cable in your way to operate it. But of course, if the batteries in your remote die you always have that cable as a backup to plug it back in and operate the winch. Now general rule of thumb for a winch is going to be one and a half times the weight of your vehicle so a 10,000-pound winch is gonna be perfect whether you have a two or a four-door.
Now if you're one of those guys who gets stuck in really deep sticky mud or in rocks then, of course, you might want to step it up and go with a 12,000-pound winch. However, this thing is gonna do everything that you need it to do. Now this which features a 6.6-horsepower amphibious series wound motor with a three-stage planetary gear set. It's one of the strongest options on the market as far as torque goes and it has a very quick pulling speed. Now, this comes with a synthetic line and that line is almost 100-foot long, around 98.5-foot. That's gonna give you plenty of length to snatch onto the nearest tree or vehicle that you're off-roading with. Now, this has a lever to free spool it so when you want to pull that line out really quick you don't have to actually use the motor to unwind it, you can free spool it, pull it out as far as you need, lock it back in place and then start to reel it back in. Now, this thing is fully waterproof. sealed up tight. It has an IP rating of 68. This is gonna allow you to submerge it underwater without doing any internal damage and that's gonna be perfect for those of you that eventually have to go through a water crossing. This has a very nice design, it has a great look to it. It has a very nice black powder coating. Of course, that adds to the aggressive styling of it and it's gonna blend right into your bumper.
Now overall I think that this is a great winch for any off-roading enthusiast. There's a lot of pros to a synthetic line. Now a synthetic line is much lighter than a steel cable. It's more pliable than a steel cable. It's not going to rust. It floats on water. Now when you're pulling it has the same amount of tension as a steel cable but if a synthetic line breaks it's just going to fall to the ground, unlike a steel cable which can actually whip back and cause a lot of damage.
Now there are a ton of other pros but there are also some cons as well and there are some things that you need to know and make sure that you take care of. First off, when these things get dirty you need to clean them. So you need to do proper maintenance every once in a while and that's pretty easy to do. Also, you want to keep this thing out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time. That sunlight and those UV rays is really gonna break down that cable. It's gonna cause it to fade and of course, that can weaken the whole structure of the system. Now of course, when you're winching you need to be cautious of fraying. Unlike a steel cable, dragging these things across rocks, trees, so on and so forth can cause that cable to fray and that's something you just want to keep an eye on when you're out there and winching. When you get back home you want to reel that line all the way back out, make sure that there's no excessive fraying. You want to clean it really good, let it dry out, and then reel it all the way back in. Now overall I think that a synthetic line is a much better option over a steel cable. Like I said there are some pros and cons but overall this whole design, this whole system and the synthetic line with the wireless remote I think is an excellent choice and it comes at a very great price. So with that being said let's hop into our install so I can show you how to get this wired up and installed on your Jeep.
Tools we used for this install: 19-millimeter socket, flathead screwdriver, three-millimeter Allen, 18-millimeter socket, 16-millimeter socket, 10-millimeter socket, five-millimeter Allen key, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, quarter-inch ratchet and a 3/8 ratchet.
All right, guys. So before we get this winch installed, there is some assembly that we need to do. Of course, we have to put the rope on but the first thing we're gonna do, we're actually going to install the control box. Now, this is the control box here, this funky thing with all these wires coming off it and the nice thing about this is you can actually mount this in two different ways. So you can mount it over top of the drum right here in the middle. It has some pretty good amount of adjustability, you could slide it back and forth, kind of like center it wherever you want to. Also, you can mount it on the side over here by the motor. Smittybilt gives you brackets to do that as well. So if you're in a tight spot, you can mount it here, you can always mount it to the side and vice versa. Now, this thing came with these aluminum brackets pre-installed and it even has these little black brackets on the backside. So these two feet up here and the X20 is actually gonna face forward. What we're gonna do, we're gonna sit that front in there and then we're just gonna make this thing drop down inside of there. We'll get these back little black feet to hook on and then we'll tighten them up.
So once you get this control box on what we want to do we want to get this black bracket to go inside of this channel right here. So you need to loosen up that bolt a little bit, kind of mess around with it, get it to go in there. Once you get it in you can go ahead and just tighten that screw up and that's gonna be a three-millimeter Allen Key. So we got that one in, we're gonna try to get the other side in and then we're actually gonna wire this control box on to our motor on the side.
All right. That should be good. So let's spin this thing around and we'll wire it up. Now to wire this thing up is relatively easy. You're gonna see that all of these leads they all have a letter on them and they're all labeled right here on the side of the motor as well as color coordinated. So we're just gonna go one by one and wire all these things up. You want to take the nut off that's on there and the washer and the lock washer. Then we just slide that on, put the washer, lock washer, and nut back on.
The last one is this little thin black wire right here. This gonna be A and this is gonna go on this little side terminal right here. If these are stuck on here just take a half-inch socket or wrench, loosen that up. All right. So now we're gonna go around. We're just gonna tighten them all up, use a half-inch socket or a wrench. Now what we want to do is just crush that little lock washer. Gonna take all of our boots, slide all of them over. All right. Now we have one last cable. This one is going to be labeled A as well so these two are gonna go right on the same terminal.
So the next thing we're gonna do, we're gonna drop the winch down and on into the bumper. So you want to lift it up. Make sure you get all your cables out of the way. Lower it down, fit it in there. So the next thing we're gonna do, we're gonna work on bolting the winch down to the bumper. If you don't have a bumper that's easily accessible, you may want to take your bumper back off and then bolt this thing on and put the whole thing back together. And we're gonna install these little square nuts. These square nuts are gonna go in these little slots down here. You have four of them so one by one we're just going to install these in here and this is actually what the bolts thread into from the bottom to hold it to the bumper. So now get all the square nuts in the bottom of the winch you may want to do it before you put the winch on the bumper. However, they tend to slide around and fall out. But once you get everything lined up what we're gonna do is start putting these bolts in the bottom. So once again, if you can access the holes for the winch plate while the bumper is on the vehicle you can do it with it on. But if you can't, you should take the bumper off. Now we're gonna use these gold bolts. They are gonna give you four gold bolts. Each one is going to get a lock washer, a flat washer. Now what we're gonna do is just line this thing up, put all these bolts in.
All right. So you're gonna have four bolts total. You're gonna have two on this side. You can see I have one kind of partially in, one's back there. Once I put my hand in there you're not gonna really be able to see it but you just want to thread these in. Get both of these on on this side so we're going to go to the other side and do the same thing. So now we're gonna go and tighten all these up. We got all the bolts in, We're gonna use a 16-millimeter socket on a ratchet.
All right, guys. So the next thing we're gonna do, we're gonna pop the hood because we're gonna run the cables up through the engine bay and wire them up to the battery. So you want to pull both of your hood latches. Obviously, this one's got some fancy ones and we'll put that hood all the way up that way we can get plenty of light in there. And then we're going to run our cables up. So we got to unwind them from the zip ties and them we're gonna pass them up somewhere around here.
All right. So like I said the next thing that we are going to do is pass the wires and the cables up through here. Now we want to make sure that we keep them away from any hot or moving parts. And if you want to take your air cleaner out it's not really something that you need to do. You can do it without it, it's gonna make it a lot easier. You're just gonna have one band clamp right here. Use a flathead screwdriver. You have to pull that off, pull the tube out of there, and then you're just gonna have three feet out of here. That box is just basically gonna pull out of there then you can set that aside, it will give you a lot more room to work with. We're gonna take our cables, we'll cut these zip ties off, unravel them. And now we need to take them underneath of the Jeep so I'm gonna drop these back down all the way through there.
All right. So what I'm doing, I'm going over the sway bar and then I'm going in between the radiator and this frame rail here, gonna try to keep it away from everything. And once we get into the engine bay now that we have a nice clear shot we can just pull these all the way up and through. Like I said you can route these wherever you want. You just want to make sure that you're keeping away from anything that's gonna get hot, anything that's gonna be moving. It's going to burn these cables, wear through the casing, anything like that. And then after we get these hooked up and we power this thing up, of course, we'll go back through the lines we'll zip tie everything out of the way. So all you need to do is just hook these cables on. So you have this little pin right there. You don't want to take this nut off because that's what actually holds this terminal on to the battery. So we don't want to loosen that up. Since I didn't have a nut on this stud I went and got one out of my toolbox. Now we're gonna take one of these nuts over here off. Once again we're not gonna loosen the one that actually holds the terminal tight. Take one of these other ones off. And now, of course, positive is going to go to the positive. That's the red wire, two red wires and then black is gonna go to the negative so we got all that squared away. I'm gonna go grab some zip ties and then we'll get the rest of this just out of the way and safe and secure. After you grab a handful of zip ties like I said we're just gonna go along, we're gonna try to keep all these wires in place.
All right. Next, we're gonna put our fairlead on. That's gonna be this aluminum piece right here. Obviously, there's some lettering on the front. You want to face that upright. Now we're gonna use the last bolts that we have left in the hardware kit. They're gonna be the stubby little fat bolts and these are gonna go through the outside and then on the backside, we're gonna do a washer, a lock washer, and then we'll do a nut. Make sure that you do them in that order so a washer first. So once that's together I'm gonna kind of center it a little bit, then we're going to use a 19-millimeter wrench for the nut and then we'll use an 18-millimeter socket for the bolt head. I'm gonna snake my wrench in there just like that.
All right, guys. So we got the winch bolted down, we got it wired up. The next thing we're gonna do we're actually gonna mount this rope then we're gonna work on spooling it up. So what you want to do on the side of this drum, there's gonna be a little Allen head screw and we're gonna need to take that out. So on the driver side, you can switch this handle right here to free spool. And that way you can spin this around. And we want to get that sitting right about there and you can lock it back in place. Now we're gonna take our rope, on the one end you're gonna have this little aluminum bracket right here and that's what the bolt's actually going to go through. So we're gonna pull that bolt out then we're gonna pass our rope through here and then we'll put that bolt back in. So we're gonna take the line, we're gonna pass it through our fairlead, we're gonna place it up against that drum then we'll just put that bolt back in. Now once you get that back in, you'll need a five-millimeter Allen key. I'm just gonna use one on a socket and we'll tighten that up. Just so I can get it angled properly. Get that back, we want to align to the side.
All right, guys. The next thing we're gonna do, we're gonna spool this line up and we're gonna set the tension. Now what you wanna do is you want at least 1000 pounds of tension when you're pulling this line up and you want it directly in front of the vehicle centered as best as possible. The reason that you want to set the tension is because when you wrap this whole thing up, you wind all this rope up, you got to do a recovery, you want it nice and tight because when you are doing that recovery one of these wraps going around that drum can slip in between a couple other wraps and we don't want it to get stuck any...cause any issues. So you want to set at least a thousand pounds and a good idea is to just hook it to a tree or another vehicle that you have and that way when you're winching it in you just let your Jeep roll, it's gonna set plenty of tension. And you want to make sure that that coil winding is going back and forth nice and easy and very evenly. Now, this is a wireless winch. However, Smittybilt recommends that for the first couple uses, the first use, that you actually have it plugged in. So we have our wire installed in this already, it's already plugged in. And on the side of your control box is going to be this little rubber plug. So you just want to pull that little rubber plug up there. We're gonna plug this winch in. We're gonna turn it on and then we're gonna extend this line all the way out. We'll hook it up to something, put a little bit of tension on it and then we'll wind this thing in. Now of course when you're winding it in there's a lot of rope that we need to go through so you want to make sure to let it cool down, let it break in and cool off a little bit intermittently.
All right. So you're gonna have this little release switch right here. This is actually going to face up. So we're going to plug that in. If it's a little hard to get in you don't want to push really hard on it. After that on the side, we're gonna turn the winch on. This is gonna light up. That's powered up. That's gonna be you're in and out. So now we're gonna stretch out this line, we'll hook it up to something and then we will reel it in. Now while you're reeling this thing in you want to make sure that it's staying out of the dirt, you're not getting it...you're not dragging it through anything.
All right. We'll let it cool for a little bit. So while you're doing this you want to make sure that these coils are nice and even. They're going all the way across, they're not bunching up and you want to make sure that this, of course, is not dragging on anything.
All right, guys. So now that we have this winch completely installed, wired up, operational and functional on the Jeep, next thing you want to do is go get a winch cover. We offer a ton of winch covers for these and you really want to cover up that synthetic line because like I said, it does break down in sunlight and that's something that you simply don't want to happen. However, that is gonna wrap it up for my review and install. For more videos and products like this, keep it right here at extremeterrain.com.