Harbor Freight Winches

80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
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There was another down side where someone left it plugged in and the button got pushed in the glove box and destroyed the winch. I suggest unplugging the receiver from the winch control box when not in use.
Oh, hell yes!!! I just assumed folks were savvy enough not to do that. No one leaves their wired controller plugged in (I would think). But that's an excellent point. :cheers:
 

JamesR

 
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Oct 18, 2007
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Watkinsville, GA
I would avoid wireless controllers. They share frequencies. So if more than 1 stuck vehicle has the receive module, someone else, other than the owner, could control the winch.
 

80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
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I would avoid wireless controllers. They share frequencies. So if more than 1 stuck vehicle has the receive module, someone else, other than the owner, could control the winch.
Are you saying that from experience? To have more than one winch, let alone wireless winch running in close enough proximity to have that interference would be a rare situation. My experience with my wireless controller has been good enough to not worry about it. If one saw interference occuring, it would be simple and quick enough to switch back to the wired controller. The pluses definitely outweigh the minuses IMHO. The only thing that concerned me was the slight delay that would make control difficult in extremely short winch maneuvers.
 

JamesR

 
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Watkinsville, GA
I should have provided my references. I read a post in a Bronco forum discussing winches and a wheeling buddy of mine, whom I trust, told me he experienced that problem also. (So in a court of law this would be considered hearsay.) I have never experienced it. I either use my in cab control or my wired remote.
 
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PabloVTA

beside La Caja China
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FYI I installed Slee and Badlands 12k. I still have to run electrical and hoping that I don't need to "clock" the winch. As there are two bolts on the bumper, that with the winch installed took about 25minutes each. You need to use a ratcheting wrench and get "1click" per turn. But all looks good. All appears to fit well....I will update after running wires. Sent with my sausage fingers on phone

I will add that the fairlead looks a little goofy. Might have to replace it or paint it.
So I spent Saturday doing this Waterproofing mod and found out that I'll need to pull it back off and clock the gear side since the engagement handle hits my lower fascia plate.
My Shortbus has about 3/8" clearance from the front of the winch to the plate with the fairlead on it.

I also cut down the 3/8" synthetic line to 85' and taped the end for tapering it back into the hole on the drum and will use the set screw that came with it.
 
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If you want to get to the back 2 bolts easier, you need to come from the top. Remove the grill that's held in by 4-5 little screws and you can look down at those two bolts. Pretty easy to get your socket on them with a few extensions.
 
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Jun 19, 2018
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Seattle, Wa USA
I realize this is a fairly "dead" thread now, but here are some updates;
It seems like the fit/finish on the Badlands 12k (and maybe the smaller ones?) winch has been updated and/or upgraded. They are now more of a black anodized finish rather than the kind of painted gray. The clutch release lever is different now (rather angular and a bit longer),
I've noted several comments regarding the stiffness of the supplied wire rope. I guess mine seems somewhat stuff, but I have no basis for comparison.
For 2019, there have been 3 sales so far that have had the 12k for 289.99 One was a "huge parking lot sale," the others have just been typical "liquidation," or "tool disposal" sale. The "parking lot sale" flyers do state that "no other coupons or discounts can be used on parking lot sales items." The loophole here is that if you are polite and friendly with your sales person, you can usually get an additional 20% off because "Badlands" is not one of the brands in the fine print of the cupon.
When I picked mine up, I was out the door for 231.99 for just the winch.
My decision to go the "cheap" route was based mainly on the ARB bullbar. It takes a lot of cutting to get a Warn 8274 into this bumper. In my area (Seattle), I have only seen 1 or 2 8274's used for under $500 in the last year, and those looked like hell. I also really didn't want to drop 700-1000 on something I may use once or twice. (Warn 10-12k or Come-Up). For me, that savings is going into some Planted seat brackets and seats.
You will absolutely need to "clock" the gear side of the winch, and you absolutely need spacers so that the far left and right of the winch body clear the inside of the ARB. I also used the Rugged Ridge 3/4" winch spacers.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
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NC
I don’t have a Badlands winch, but my old YJ came with a neglected older model Rough Country branded winch.
The winch was missing the clutch engagement lever. I spoke with Rough Country and since my winch was an older model the Rough Country rep told me no parts were available. The winch worked and I could use a screwdriver to engage the clutch, but I did not like the idea of the big open hole on the top of the gear housing.
So, after trying unsuccessfully to find new parts or a cheap winch to use for parts I called Harbor Freight and ordered the clutch handle from the very similar appearing Badlands winch for about $15.
It took a couple months for my part to get to me from China, but when it did the clutch lever housing threaded right into my Rough Country winch, and the clutch lever works great!
So, yes, I sure would like to find one of those $200 Warn 8274s that all the guys on the web write about, but I have not been able to. My cheap Rough Country/ Badlands hybrid is doing it for now. I don’t have any idea if they come from the same factory, but parts seem to interchange and Harbor Freight has proven to me that they at least offer some (long shipping time) parts support for their products, which in my experience one other vendor of the cheap Chinese winches does not.
-rube
 

JamesR

 
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
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Watkinsville, GA
I've had a Badlands winch on my 60 for about 5 years. I remember the cable being very stiff. The winch has never failed to operate as it should. I did need to wd-40 the clutch lever earlier this week to make the engagement smoother. I would recommend these winches.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
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Location
Reno, NV
I've had a Badlands winch on my 60 for about 5 years. I remember the cable being very stiff. The winch has never failed to operate as it should. I did need to wd-40 the clutch lever earlier this week to make the engagement smoother. I would recommend these winches.
That's good news to me. I just put one of the Badlands 12,000lb ones on the FJ40. I'd picked it up at one of the parking lot sales a while ago and hadn't gotten around to putting it on.
 
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