An age old argument is what to get first - winch or locker? Although we're not going to put an end to the argument, we will tell you about a great winch at a bargain price.
So here it is...
The Harbor Freight 8000 lb Winch
(shown with Redneck Rope, not included)
Cable: 100 feet X 3/8 Aircraft Wire Rope
Power: 12 VDC
Power Cable: 4 Gauge
Overall Dimensions: 20-11/16 (L) x 3-1/8 (W) x 6-15/16 (H) inches
Line Speed(ft per minute): 13 (no load), 11 (2000 lbs), 6 (6000 lbs), 4.5 (8000 lbs)
From the above line speed specifications, you can see it is not a fast winch, and in the head to head race with a Warn® there is no comparison. But before you walk away from considering this winch, consider the fact that most winchings are no more than a few feet.
So what is the down side to this winch?
Admittedly a series wound winch motor, such as Warn®, is a superior more durable winch motor, while the Harbor Freight winch is a permanent magnet type.
Who is this winch for?
This winch is actually ideal for 99% of us. Most will only ever use their winch 3 or 4 times in a year, and honestly, that is being generous in my estimation for most.
Who should not buy this winch?
If you use a winch as often as most people gas up their vehicles, then you are the kind of person whose usage would create enough wear and tear to invest in a series wound (motor) winch.
I'm not going to walk you through the details of installing a winch, the included instructions do that well enough. What I will do is point out a few highlights that are not included.
1. The power cables should be connected to the battery posts and NOT to the side mounts.
2. Don't draw the power cables tight, leave a bit of slack.
This handy little piece allows you to move your Jeep's top-mounted battery cables to the side mounts, allowing you to use the top posts for the winch.
Another picture of the battery connectors.
After a year of use, I can say this is a great winch for $300-$330. No it's not fast, no it doesn't have a big name on it, but it does deliver a big bang for buck without breaking the bank. And if you look closely, there are a number of other brand name winches that are re-badging this winch under their own name. I think that says something for this winch.