Badland ZXR 12000 lb Winch Review 2024 (Jeep)

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Is the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch just a Chinese winch with a sticker on it? Read through our honest Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch review to find out!

We have been using the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch on our Jeep Wrangler for the last two years when we first bought the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch, the packaging had the winch itself, front roller assembly, automatic braking system, and a wired remote. Installing the Winch on our Jeep Wrangler, we had to buy the mounting spacers and brackets to install the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch on our Jeep Wrangler front bumper.

We were looking for a cheap Jeep winch that would get the work done, and offer recovery muscle when we are rock crawling or stuck on off-the-grid Jeep trails, The Harbor Freight Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch was the winch we settled on and installed on our Jeep Wrangler.

Looking to enhance your off-roading adventures even more? Check out our related guides on Jeep Wheeling – Pretty Basic Off-Roading Tips

We’ve put the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch to the test for the past four years, and we’re here to share our honest experience. This review dives into the winch’s features, highlights both its strengths and weaknesses, and delivers our final verdict.

Badland ZXR 12000 lb Winch Review

Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch packaging box content
Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch packaging box content

We have had the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch for the last two years, and not only does it look good on the front bumper of our Jeep Wrangler, and using it on our Jeep recovery, I can tell you that Harbor freight has made one of the best winches for the Jeep.

The Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch works flawlessly, however, the weight of the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch is 89 lb, which is a little heavy compared to other aftermarket Jeep winches, you would need a bigger front bumper for your Jeeps to fit it because the winch is a little big, Luckily, we have a heavy-duty steel bumper that is rated for and configured to accept a mounted winch.

The aircraft-grade winch cable and gear maintenance have been one of the major things we have had to maintain in the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch, there is nothing wrong with the gears and winch so far, but we have had to maintain them using fluid film to make them last longer.

Looking at the duty cycle time of winching, the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch can operate at a maximum load for about 45 seconds and let it rest for at least 14 minutes, 15 seconds after every 45 seconds of continuous winching.

The cables that come with the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch are 65 ft long with three layers, the first layer is for 12,000 lb pulling, the second layer is for 9,500 lb pulling, the third layer is for 7,886 lb pulling, the fourth layer is for 6732 lb pulling power.

Badland ZXR 12000 lb Winch Packaging

  • 6hp motor.
  • 6ft cable
  • 12ft corded remote.
  • Auto load brake.
  • Cable Tensioner.
  • 4.4 FPM line speed.
  • Plugin Controller.
  • (Supposed to be put in line with the battery cable)

What We Like About The Badland ZXR 12000 lb Winch

The Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch was easy to install on our Jeep, however, being a big Winch itself we would recommend having a front bumper that will support the size and weight of the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch.

The Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch has four standard bolt mounting options underneath, to help you mount the winch to your front bumper.

Jeep Wrangler Badland ZXR 12000 lb Winch Review Mounting Brackets on the Jeep
Jeep Wrangler Badland ZXR 12000 lb Winch Mounting Brackets on a Jeep

We also needed to buy some additional mounting brackets to fit the winch perfectly on our front bumper we would recommend you check on your front bumper winch mounting slots to make sure the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch will fit perfectly on the front bumper.

The modification on our Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch ended up requiring ½-inch spacers made to go in-between the bumper and the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch, is our bumper issue and your bumper might be a perfect fit for the winch.

You will be surprised that there is not enough content on the installation of the manual, the manual contains a lot of information regarding the operation process and skim on the operation stuff just because a lot of people have different frontal bumpers for the installation of the winch and there is no one fit all manual.

The Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch has 3 stages planetary gear system, The three-stage gear is obtained by increasing the length of the ring gear and adding another planet stage, that offers a high axial and radial capacity.

The wires that came with the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch packaging were very solid and sturdy, and long enough to move them anywhere I want within the frontal bumper.

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What We Hate About The Badland ZXR 12000 lb Winch

The Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch duty cycle needs to be improved, we were once on a mud trail and got stuck hardcore in the mud, and after running the winch for several minutes, the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch got very hot. The process of winching and letting the winch cool down is one of the reasons why our Jeep gets its battery drained when using the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch.

Badland ZXR 12000 lb Winch on a Jeep Wrangler
Badland ZXR 12000 lb Winch on a Jeep Wrangler

The Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch is not a fast-pulling winch, it pulls very slowly compared to other winches, when following the winch duty cycle the recovery process of your Jeep is prolonged. However, this is not a bad thing, because the slowness of the winch allows us to take a closer look at the winching process and get enough time to react.

The Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch is also one of the winches we have found drains the battery of our Jeeps if you winch without idling the Jeep, however, you can winch for a long time while idling your Jeep, we have installed two batteries in our Jeep, this is because we are off-roaders, we have found that having two batteries is one of the solutions to making sure your winch does not dry out your main battery when in recovery situations.

After we purchased the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch we pulled a lot of stuff with it, however after upgrading to a synthetic winch rope, we finally understood this is one of the features that is wrong with the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch, installing a synthetic rope makes it easy to maintain and you don’t even have to use gloves when using the winch.

It’s worth noting that the steel winch cable is applicable in most off-road recovery situations, and is more long-lasting than a synthetic winch rope, however, the safety of the user is one of the things that made us consider a synthetic winch rope over a steel winch cable when upgrading our Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch.

Badland ZXR 12000 lb Winch Upgrade Options

There are various upgrades we would recommend that you install on our Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch review to improve the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch performance and provide you with a better user experience.

The first one is to buy an aftermarket circuit breaker, the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch comes with a 150 amps breaker that is supposed to be put in line with the battery, however, this option is not good, and you would need a LENKRAD 150 Amp Circuit Breaker 12v with Manual Reset Switch Button, you can use our recommended circuit breaker to make sure there is no power in the Winch to make sure your winch is disconnect from power, and you can easily switch it on when you need it.

We recently swapped the steel wire cable with a synthetic winch rope. Maintaining and inspecting the Badland ZXR 12000 lb steel cable is one of the things we didn’t like about the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch, and we would prefer to leave those tasks to experienced “Winchers”, for us (most off-roaders) the synthetic winch rope is one of the best upgrades to the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch, just unspooling, washing accumulated dirt now and then is simpler than greasing the gears and the steel cable.

Our Final Verdict

Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch review featured Image

Based on our likes and dislikes of the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch, the Winch can winch anything other heavy-duty aftermarket winches do, we have used the Winch for the past two years and the only major complaint we have is the slowness of the winch, the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch does great for your first winch or budget build, and will do great, so don’t be afraid to buy it.

This concludes our Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch review, we have written this review after two years of using the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch on our Jeep, we believe by reading our Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch review you will be able to make an informed decision regarding the purchase of the Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch.

We have included an instructional video we have found useful on how to wire a Badland ZXR 12000 lb winch below:

Sources

Last update on 2024-06-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

James Ndungu - Jeep Runner Writer

Author: James Ndungu

James is an Automotive Service Writer, I4WDA certified trainer, Jeep enthusiast, and shop owner specializing in Jeep parts, accessories, and Electric Vehicles Charging Station Installation services. His interest and first-hand experience in electric vehicle charging technology motivated him to achieve certification through the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP).

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