Badland Winch Review & Testing

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JacobF

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Harbor Freight sponsored the Jeep with a 12,000 lbs Badland ZXRWinch to do product testing on in an Overland environment to see how it holds up.

I received the winch yesterday and installed it on a 2017 Jeep JKU with the Rugged Ridge XHD Modular Front Bumper.

The installation is very straight forward.

1. Mount the fairlead
2. Mount the controller box to the winch
3. Mount the winch to the winch plate on the front bumper
4. Feed the cable through the fairlead
5. Run the wiring to the battery
6. Enjoy the winch

I had an issue with the ground wire that attaches to the controller box being loose. I spoke with customer service and they explained how to open up the controller box. It was an easy fix and they were very friendly and helpful!

The next step is to put the winch to the test!
 
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JacobF

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As you can see the nut is loose and in the top left corner. Its easy to re-attach it.

To separate the controller box there are four screws on the bottom of the box.
 

4xFar Adventures

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Please make sure you re-spool the entire winch cable under tension before using it for your first recovery! This will help "set" the steel cable to the curvature of the drum, and prevents the cable from slipping between gaps on lower layers. This can cause binding and crush the cable, possibly deforming it to the point where it needs to be removed from service.

First, free spool out all the cable except for the last 3 wraps around the drum, and attach to a solid anchor. When winching under normal loads with steel cable, no less than 5 wraps should be on the drum, and an entire layer for synthetic rope. You can also use a pulley block and attach the hook to your bumper if there's not enough distance for the whole length. Winch yourself up a small incline, or if you're on level ground, apply some foot brake (or e-brake). You want about 500 lbs of pulling force. Guide the rope side to side across the drum so it's packed nice and tight against itself. Don't let the cable slide through your GLOVED hands. Hold it and go hand over hand, staying at least two arm lengths away from the fairlead. Someone should sit in the driver seat to use the winch controller, and steer if needed. Tension can also be increased or decreased with the brake

Doing this can be a p.i.t.a. with new steel cable because it's so springy. It needs to be under constant tension or it will uncoil off the drum and you'll need to start over.

This process should be repeated after the winch is used (tension at least the same amount of line spooled off the drum), whether you have steel or synthetic line.
 

JacobF

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Please make sure you re-spool the entire winch cable under tension before using it for your first recovery! This will help "set" the steel cable to the curvature of the drum, and prevents the cable from slipping between gaps on lower layers. This can cause binding and crush the cable, possibly deforming it to the point where it needs to be removed from service.

First, free spool out all the cable except for the last 3 wraps around the drum, and attach to a solid anchor. When winching under normal loads with steel cable, no less than 5 wraps should be on the drum, and an entire layer for synthetic rope. You can also use a pulley block and attach the hook to your bumper if there's not enough distance for the whole length. Winch yourself up a small incline, or if you're on level ground, apply some foot brake (or e-brake). You want about 500 lbs of pulling force. Guide the rope side to side across the drum so it's packed nice and tight against itself. Don't let the cable slide through your GLOVED hands. Hold it and go hand over hand, staying at least two arm lengths away from the fairlead. Someone should sit in the driver seat to use the winch controller, and steer if needed. Tension can also be increased or decreased with the brake

Doing this can be a p.i.t.a. with new steel cable because it's so springy. It needs to be under constant tension or it will uncoil off the drum and you'll need to start over.

This process should be repeated after the winch is used (tension at least the same amount of line spooled off the drum), whether you have steel or synthetic line.

Thanks for this description. I agree. Its very important before putting it to use.
 

JacobF

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ditto

Is it the camera angle or is the fairlead not lined up with the spool. Looks like there is no way to wind line all the way to the right.

Doug

The winch body is a bit large for this bumper set up so in order to mount it with the controller box on the top I had to offset it to the right. Once I test it out I will modify the grill or put shorter bolts on the fairlead to be able to mount the winch where the wires are hidden.

Part of it is the camera angle, its only offset slightly this picture makes it look completely out of alignment.
 
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JacobF

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Today I went back in and was able to flip the bolts holding the fairlead on which gave me clearance to line up the winch properly with the fairlead.

Next will be putting it to the test!


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