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Sherpa Mustang 9500: 12-volt winch test

By Mark Allen, 26 Aug 2017 Recovery

Sherpa Mustang 9500 winch main

Contender 3: Sherpa Mustang proves looks can be deceiving.

WHILE you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the Sherpa Mustang looks to be the cheapest of the bunch, especially the squarish, non-ergonomic hand remote. It works fine, but it looks like a leftover from an industrial crane winch.

Check out more of 4X4's Ultimate Winch Test

On that point, it’s worth noting that the few people we had looking over the winches often pushed the wrong button to winch in, inadvertently winching out instead. It’s not totally clear, so perhaps a ‘re-sticker’ is in order.

Sherpa Mustang 9500 12 volt winch test kit.jpgHowever, it does positively lock into the plug point with no chance of it being pulled out. However, the rubber plug cover isn’t a great fit and we envision it falling out at times.

As with many of the winches, the Sherpa drum has a smooth finish, and we experienced the synthetic rope slipping under load. Even with more than the generally required wraps on, our retaining bolt snapped under load, forcing us to do a trackside repair to the rope and retaining method.

Unfortunately, given the rope is secured to the drum on the vertical walls (as opposed to the drum itself) and the aluminium crimp had been damaged, it did more damage to the drum when we continued to use it.

But this shouldn’t be seen as a strike against Sherpa. Many winches are of similar design, so we take responsibility for this, but it does show how much slip can be encountered with synthetic rope and the hassles you’ll have in real life to fix it.

Sherpa Mustang 9500 synthetic ropeOne disconcerting point noted was when we buttoned off the winching, with high load on the rope, the drum often rolled back part of a turn. It didn’t roll back much, but it was evident and captured on film.

The Sherpa was the slowest of all winches, depicted (partially) by the final gear ratio of 246:1 – the second slowest after the Warn Magnum at 261:1.

However, the Sherpa shines when you consider it has some of the lowest current draws (at least half that of some others), as well as good low motor and gearbox temperatures; though, it did crack 100 degrees on its seventh pull.

Sherpa Mustang 9500 testingThe Sherpa was the only winch needing seven pulls to reach our 20-metre pull limit, but at least it did it without fuss.

All good things take time and, given it’s the second cheapest winch on test, that’s a pretty damn good outcome.

Wired hand remote control; alloy hawse fairlead; open hook with spring-loaded safety catch and removable clevis pin; safety strap. 

Price $999
Warranty 5 years
Load rating pound / kg 9500 / 4309
Motor Hp 6.0
Gear ratio 246:1
Gear train type 3 stage planetary
Brake type Automatic in gearbox
Synthetic rope size (diameter x length) 9mm x 28m
Solenoid Albright heavy Duty 800 amp
Clutch slide ring gear
Fairlead Aluminium hawse fairlead
Drum size (diameter x length) 64mm x 224mm