So you have your RalliTEK lift and you installed a good set of All-Terrain tires on your Subaru and set out for your first off-road adventure. The car is doing great handling everything that you throw at it but you soon find the limit and wind up stuck. While you are digging yourself out, you keep thinking that there has to be a better way to get unstuck so you start researching when you get home and you come across winches. Many questions immediately enter your head, “which manufacturer do I select?”, “what size winch do I need?”, “once I do get my winch, how do I mount it to my Subaru?”
Just like with tires, there are a lot of brands of winches on the market so choosing which one to go with can be somewhat confusing. Price point is typically the number one deciding factor on which brand to choose but if you can afford a premium brand winch; WARN, Come-Up, etc., you really can’t go wrong. After price point, you will start looking at things like available winch capacity, warranty terms and even customer service reviews. Extensive testing procedures and component quality will increase the price of the winch but also remember that you get what you pay for.
You selected the brand you want to buy and you start looking at their product line and notice that there are winches for Jeeps and trucks and then winches for ATVs and UTVs, how do you select which style to go with? To properly size a winch for your Subaru, there is a simple calculation that you can do to determine the capacity that you will need; VEHICLE WEIGHT X 1.5 = WINCH CAPACITY. For a real world example, the RalliTEK Outback weighs right around 4,000 pounds. 4,000lb X 1.5 = 6,000lb meaning you will typically want to find a winch that is at least 6,000 pounds. That formula was developed to provide a winch heavy enough to recover the vehicle at the highest extreme without stalling the winch motor or applying unneeded stress to the internal components. In some cases, you can bend the rule a little bit but you don’t want to choose a winch with too little capacity.
The RalliTEK Outback is fitted with a WARN ProVantage 4500-SSD which translates to a 4,500 pound winch with synthetic rope and a shorter drum width than the standard ProVantage 4500. If you remember from the earlier calculation, you will notice that we are 1,500 pounds shy of the winch we should have installed. While this is true, we picked that winch because its small size made it easy to mount behind the factory bumper and knowing that we will rarely get the car stuck enough to need the 6,000 pound capacity. If we ever get the car stuck to the point of needing a larger capacity winch, we will use a snatch block and run the winch line back to the tow hook under the car. A snatch block is a pulley that is used at the winch anchor that doubles the capacity that the winch can pull essentially making it a 9,000 pound winch. The Subaru drivetrain also limits wheel spin so likely you will never find yourself needing the full 6,000 pound capacity winch that we calculated earlier.
I hope you found this blog informative but if you happen to have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by either email or phone!