Superwinch Close-Up - 2012 Jeep Wrangler Long-Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler Long Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler: Superwinch Close-Up

May 15, 2012


Here's the winch that will soon grace the front of our 2012 Jeep Wrangler. It's a Superwinch with 9,500-lb capacity, and it goes by the code name Talon 9.5iSR. If you hadn't guessed already the "SR" stands for synthetic rope. A traditional steel cable version is also available.

Some one asked me how much weight one of these adds to the front bumper. Good question.


My trusty bathroom scale tells the tale: 57.2 pounds. The 80-foot length of 3/8-inch synthetic rope weighs just 3.2 pounds and brings the total up to 60.4 pounds. Interestingly, that's about 25 pounds less than the steel cable model, the 9.5i. 

Add in four mounting bolts, the steel hook at the end of the rope and the fairlead we saw before and we're talking in the neighborhood of 65 pounds of added bumper weight. Superwinch specs claim a 67-pound installed weight for the synthetic rope model, but I'm thinking that includes the remote control unit that lives in the glove box until needed.

The synthetic rope, incidentally, has an average strength of 19,600 pounds and a minimum strength of 17,600 pounds -- we're more than covered. Beyond that, the Talon 9.5iSR's electric motor puts out 5.2 horsepower, its solenoid is submersible and there's a gear reduction of 148-to-1 between the motor and the spool.

They get $1,602 for one of these, and for that you get lifetime mechanical and three-year electrcial warranty coverage. The steel cable version is cheaper by just under $500.


Figuring out which winch fits which bumper is not something you can easily look up on a website. Turns out the bumper makers don't necessarily keep abreast of every winch out there, which is odd considering their symbiotic relationship. The 10-by-4.5-inch mounting hole spacing is standard, but housings and such vary.

So I made a few measurements. Looking at this again I see that I missed an important one.

At this point I've narrowed my bumper choices down to two or three that I like and now I'm simply trying to find the right price, availability (at least one is back-ordered) and confirm winch clearance dimensions.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 15,583 miles  

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