A review three years in the making
Here at Unsealed 4X4, we prefer our reviews to be thorough and real-world, not just a ‘slap it on and photograph it’ type job. Case in point – with this Bushranger Seal 9.5 winch review.
Winches are a bit of a painful mod to add to your vehicle. They’re heavy, affect your suspension, require maintenance, wear out your front tyres and need some solid amps to work well. But at that precise moment your wheels are spinning and you’re going nowhere, that painful accessory instantly becomes your No.1 best friend. If you want to go hard off-road, or travel into remote or unknown territory, a winch isn’t 100% necessary. But by jove, it’s a damned fine thing to have.
HAVE YOU REALLY EVEN USED IT?
I’ve been using the Bushranger Seal 9,500-pound winch now since early 2015. It’s been through water, stuck in mud and parked out in the elements the whole time. It’s been into the desert country (twice), down to Tassie and on heaps of trips closer to home. I’ve used it plenty, and haven’t had a problem. I haven’t raised a finger in maintenance or repair in that time – which means two things for me: 1. It’s a good winch. 2. It’s overdue for a service.
LET’S GET WET
Bushranger rates this unit to IP68 against the ingress of water and dust, and is actually one of the few aftermarket companies that honours a 1-year warranty against water damage. Not all winches are equal in this regard; so definitely ask this question when you’re shopping around. Have a good, hard look at the warranty… especially any fine print.
In terms of ratings, I haven’t had a problem with the 9,500-pound setup. Don’t forget that the difference between a 9,500-pound and a 12,000-pound unit is often just gearing; the motor makes the same power. The Defender 130 has a GVM of 3,500kg, which is 7,700 pounds in the old money. Getting seriously bogged in some filthy muck will easily outstrip the winch’s limit; but carrying a snatch block (along with some extra shackles and straps) addresses that problem.
WHAT I RATE:
Keeps working, and hasn’t let me down over the years. Plus, the unit seems to be bona-fide waterproof.
WHAT I HATE:
It’s fairly tough to pull out by hand in neutral, but that’s adjustable. You can also smash up the fairlead’s soft alloy with the winch hook.
- Capacity: 9,500 pounds
- Warranty: Lifetime mechanical; 1 year electrical
- Model number: SEAL9.5TH
- Line pull: 4,309kg/9,500lb
- 12V motor: 3,730W/5hp
- Gear train: 3-stage planetary
- Gear ratio: 159:1
- Free spool: Rotating ring gear
- Brake: Automatic, full cone brake
- Rope: 10mm x 30.5m (3/8-inch x 100 feet)
- Rope type: Dyneema SK-75 synthetic rope
- Drum size: 63.5mm x 227mm (2.5-inch x 9-inch)
- Mounting bolts pattern: 254mm x 114mm (10-inch x 4.49-inch)
- Winch weight: 28kg/61.7lb
- Gross weight: 40.5kg/89.1lb
For more info visit: bushranger.com.au