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Integrated Vs Non Integrated Winch Comparison, Differences and Winner

From tires to lift kit or lockers, choosing the right mod for your 4 x 4 vehicle could be a tough choice. But when considering overall performance, a good winch is the best mod you can go for.

As there are different types of winches, you will most likely be confused about choosing between integrated vs non integrated winch. Picking the wrong type of winch can still do your vehicle no help when stuck in the mud.

So we have gathered the important features and pointed out the differences between integrated and non integrated winches so you can have the best pick.

We will look at the two types of winches based on their components –

  • Solenoid
  • Rope

1. Solenoid

Both integrated and non integrated winches have a solenoid pack or box placed at the top. The solenoid is used to activate the motor of the winch so that the current from the car battery flows to the solenoid to turn on the winch.

2. Rope

Steel cable and synthetic ropes are the options available for both types of winches, whether integrated or non integrated. It depends on what you are comfortable with.

Differences Between Integrated and Non Integrated Winch

There are several notable differences between an integrated and non integrated winch. We will discuss them in terms of their –

1. Size and Appearance

Typically, integrated winches have a bigger build compared to non integrated ones. The reason for this is that the solenoid pack is fixed on top of integrated winches, making the overall size bigger.

Integrated winches are also sleeker in terms of looks and design. And since the solenoid is already integrated with the whole tool, it does not need to be mounted externally. This, in turn, provides a cleaner look.

2. Solenoid Removability

Integrated winches have the prefix “integrated” for a reason. This means that the solenoid pack is attached to the whole winch and cannot be removed. Such winches are usually designed based on specific car models for a perfect fit.

However, companies like Warn Industries make relocation packs for the solenoid. It allows the solenoid to be unbolted so that the Warn Zeon winch can still work in the bumper.

In a non-integrated winch, the solenoid box can be removed and relocated to a different spot in the vehicle. This design provides versatility based on different models of bumpers.

3. Ease of Use

Based on many community forums, most users have claimed that installing an integrated winch is easier. The number of steps is lesser, mainly due to the solenoid box being already attached to the winch. So it is a good option for beginners or bumper owners with lower experience in terms of installing car mods.

A lot of users have confirmed that installing a non integrated winch takes about 30 minutes longer.

4. Cost

Comparatively, the price of integrated winches is higher compared to non integrated winches. As stated above, this type of winch is generally created for particular 4 x 4 vehicles, and it contains a fixed solenoid and the whole package.

But in case of non integrated winches, the overall cost can also be high based on separately purchased rope or steel cable. Otherwise non integrated winches cost lesser.

5. Load Capacity

Most of the time, integrated winches are designed to carry a heavier load than non integrated ones. But this particular feature depends on the brand. So there are some non integrated winches in the market that allow a greater load capacity.

Integrated Vs Non Integrated Winch: Which Is the Winner?

Although an integrated winch might seem like the winner based on the differences and overall convenient design, non integrated winches provide certain perks that the former type does not. In fact, both types of winches have good and bad qualities to them.

Challenges of Integrated Winch

The structure of integrated winches allows the solenoid box to be mounted only on top of the winch. This, in turn, makes the overall size and build bulky.

Not all integrated winches are compatible with winch bumpers because of their specific build. Some are too big to be mounted inside the hood, which serves as a disadvantage for smaller trucks.

Advantages of Integrated Winch

Internal components of an integrated winch are well protected. The solenoid is secured in a sealed case which is more resistant to water and corrosion compared to non integrated winches.

Another great thing about the integrated type is that it can hold a longer length of the line. Integrated winches are built with special construction, which does not require anchors, thus leaving more space to hold more lines.

Challenges of Non-Integrated Winch

Non integrated winches have two anchors over the drum structure, which takes up a lot of space. Not only that, the presence of separate structures makes the whole setup process lengthy for non integrated winches.

Advantages of Non-Integrated Winch

As the solenoid box is detachable, the winch can be mounted on the grille or under the hood. This way, a lot of space is saved and creates more areas for you to work with the winch. Versatility is ensured for this type of winch.

Non-integrated winches are also designed to be compatible with a lot of winch bumpers available in the market. So in that case, you wouldn’t need to worry about the size of your bumper and the winch not fitting.

And since you have the option of mounting it under the hood, chances are it will be better protected and the extra weight can be placed behind the wheels. When considering buying spare car parts, the non integrated winch will be the winner.

Final Words

For the integrated vs non integrated winch battle, the winner depends on your personal preference.

If you don’t handle multiple vehicles and just stick to a certain model for a bumper, then hands-down, the integrated version is for you. It is also a better choice if you don’t like the hassle of complicated and lengthy installation.

For more experienced truck owners and those who know their way around bumpers very well, a non integrated winch will be very convenient. Not only is it versatile, but the extra space it gives you when mounted will provide you with enough area to work on other parts of the car simultaneously.

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