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Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winches - 8,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs - Wire Rope

Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winches - 8,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs - Wire Rope

Item # BDW20234
Our Price: $53.56
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Shipping Weight: 2 lbs
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Bulldog Winch Accessories and Parts - BDW20234

  • Electric Winch
  • Rigging
  • Rope Tensioner
  • Bulldog Winch

A wire rope tensioner helps make handling and management of wire rope easier.


  • Spring-loaded tensioner to hold wire rope in place
  • Prevents accidental unspooling
  • Great for hidden mount locations


  • Fits Bulldog Winch 8,000 lbs - 12,000 lbs Standard Series truck winches

20234 Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winch - 8,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs - Wire Rope

California residents: click here

Video of Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winches - 8,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs - Wire Rope

Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information.

Video Transcript for Review of Bulldog Winch - Electric Winch - BDW20234

Today, we're going to take a quick look at the Tensioner for Bulldog Winches Standard Series Truck Winch. Now, this is designed to sort of pre-tension the wire on your winch, so that whenever you go into free spool, it doesn't all come out at once and get kind of in a bunch. A lot of times whenever you're free spooling and that wire starts to get unraveled, it can bunch up and cause a bird's nest and just overall tangle up and cause some issues.So, this is going to prevent that. It's going to put some tension on that, so as you pull it out, it won't get all bunched up. Also prevents any accidental unspooling, makes a really handy mount for any hidden mount locations where it's harder to get to that barrel to unspool it or untangle your wire. It just helps to hold your wire rope in place.

This is going to fit your Bulldog Winches Standard Series Truck Winches and it's going to work with your wire rope. As far as dimensions, it's about 8 1/2 inches wide on the bracket side. From the outside of each spring, it's about 10 inches long. Overall, it's about four inches wide and it's going to sit about an inch and a quarter tall.It's made of a durable steel construction, has kind of a hammer finish on these black pieces. It comes with instructions to let you know how to get that installed step-by-step with pictures, so that makes it a little bit easier to see exactly how to do that.

That's going to do it for our look at the Tensioner for Bulldog Winches Standard Series Truck Winch.

Customer Satisfaction Score:

Customer Reviews

Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winches - 8,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs - Wire Rope - BDW20234

Average Customer Rating:  4.2 out of 5 stars   (40 Customer Reviews)


I have an "X-Bull 12000 steel cable winch ...this item works but you need to move the cable mounting from the side of drum to the "spool" part ..Drill and tap for 1\4 28 x 3\8" button head and re-crimp cable with a #1\0 battery crimp lug. Some work but worth the effort ...Regards Fred

by: 06/04/2021

Assembly went very easy to follow instructions. This was on a Bad Land 9000 winch with control box mounted to top of winch so had to reverse control box mounting strips in reverse so as not to interfere with tension plate movement.


Bought for my superwinch tiger shark 11,500lb winch - fits perfect and works well, make sure to wrap a complete layer of cable before to let it tension to avoid bending the plate on the cable.

Second one I bought for a champion 10,000lb and it looks good for fitment but will require washers on each side as the opening is 1/4” wider than the replacement tie bar.

Nice kits and has already prevented the cable from binding due to uneven wrapping around the drum.

So far so good, helps keep tension while spoiling my winch cable in. Not to tight which allows for reasonable free spool effort to pull it out. My specific which I had to grind some of the mounting bar that replaced the original tie bar but it was negligible. Highly reccomended to make life easier.
Simon - 12/03/2021


It works well but requires special attention. After installation I wound in the cable and damaged the tensioner when the corner of it caught on the cable securing lug. No biggie, I just trimmed the bent corner. Next I wound too much cable on one side and broke the mounting bolt that holds the two winch halves together on either end of the drum. This is the main bolt that the tensioner mounts to. I posted a video on YouTube about the installation under my user name "tinkering fox" in my opinion it's a decent product and the damages were both caused by operator error (my fault).


Well made with good tension, a must for steel cable. Before spooling up cable care should be taken that the lower corner plate of the tensioner clears where the cable attaches to the spool. Would definitely buy it again.

have used the winch about a dozen times. the tensioner works fine. keeps the line tight when free spooling out. would still buy again.
Lenny - 08/05/2019
have used the winch about a dozen times. the tensioner works fine. keeps the line tight when free spooling out. would still buy again.
Lenny - 08/05/2019


Works great (with a little modification) on my badlands 12k winch.


Largely ineffective for the Harbor Freight Badland 12K winch. The product fit perfectly, but spring tension isn't where it needs to be to keep drum from misbehaving during free-spool. The springs look to be a unique design, so I can't just add heavier ones. I may just try adding a rubber strip on the plate where it makes contact with the cable to see if that helps things.

I doubt this tensioner works any better on the standard series 12k 'Bulldog' winch (one of the winches it's meant to work with) as they both use 3/8" diameter cable of similar length. Lower rated winches which use smaller cabling, however. will probably work much better.

Product was shipped out very quick, but was not packaged well. Parts were falling out of box when I picked it up and a few apparently got lost in transit. I was fortunately able to source what was missing at a local hardware store.


The product itself appears well made. I have not yet installed it on the badlands winch. I was dismayed to find the screws had come loose but at least they were still in the bag. I'll update the review once it's installed.


Product is well made and easy to install. How ever DO NOT get this for a Superwinch LP10,000. Because of where the cable attaches ty the drum it will not work. I bent the plate, had to take it apart, straighten the plate, grind a corner off and reattach. After a few tries I finally got it to work.

Per our product description, this item is a fit for Bulldog Standard series truck winches. We cant guarantee fit on other winch models.
-- Etrailer Expert Mike L - 07/03/2019


If you winch on a regular basis you need one of these. The cable doesnt lay perfect but it keeps enough pressure to prevent the rats nest and damage to the cable.

I put this on a 10,000lb Superwinch and it fit like a glove. The springs are zip tied to the plate out of the box and directions say "dont remove" the zip ties until its installed. However the springs were attached backward to the directions picture right out of the box. I had to switch the left and right springs. DONT over tighten the screws that attach the metal plates as they will strip (I found out the hard way). You have to unspool the cable to attach but after attached DONT just start spooling as where the cable attaches to the spool can catch and damage your new tension plate. Use a large screw driver and piece of 2x4 to hold the spring loaded plate back while assembling. Dont get your fingers in there if you want to keep them.


Tensioner did not work.Appeared to have plenty of tension but not enough to keep cable from unraveling completely on free spool.Also plate interferes with cable mounting bolt.Total waste of time and money.I really wanted it to work and tried it with full,partial and one line spool,same issue when on free spool as without tensioner —bird nest mess of a tangle!!!


The device hit the attachment bolt for the cable and had to be ground away. It was not very effective in keeping the cable tightly wound. had a severe cabling bird nest that damaged the winch.

This fits a Bulldog 8,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs Standard Series truck winch. Is this what you have?
-- Etrailer Expert Sierra K - 12/14/2021


I installed this on a Smittybilt winch and modified the cable retaining plate to a longer and wider one to fit my application. The tensioner works GREAT very pleased with the quality and strength of the parts. I'm looking at upgrading to an even larger winch and will buy this tensioner again for it.

After a year and the tensioner still works good. Very happy with the quality.
t39racer - 01/01/2020


Easy to install and works as claimed

Exceeds expectation, no more cable all over the floor of the trailer.
Fred - 07/27/2022


Cost effective design to make ya grin watching it work a neat treat. Caliee will check in to ask if ya like it or not of course. My winch was older rather robust design with too wide side plates for tension springs to straddle so beware of that factor. I was able to modify by attaching my own springs on bottom of rub plate. Wound up 150ft of heavy cable neat and tight like i'd never seen before even with the springs not fitted for full tension as designed.


Product worked better than expected for my traveler(Tractor Supply) 12k winch especially since this piece is made for a different brand it holds the cable in place and removes the rats nest.


It does work like it should, however the screws keep backing out of the plate.


The product gave a little hassle on installation but otherwise it works well.


It did exactly what I needed it to do, highly recommend
I used it on a 9000 lbs Badlands winch


Is perfect. Works great. I highly recommend it to anyone with a winch that it fits. No more birds nest in your cable.


Great item


Just as described. Product great, shipping maybe a little slow getting sent. Thanks

Just fine.
j - 01/19/2018


Very nice add on to my winch easy to install and
Took all the back lash out of my winch


Great item... worked great for my application


Put it on HF12k winch, works good
Darrell - 01/25/2022

Show More Reviews

See what our Experts say about this Bulldog Winch Accessories and Parts

  • Bulldog Tensioner and Spring Replacement Availability
    The springs of the # BDW20234 are not available separately. Only solution will be to go with the # BDW20234 to replace all of what you have. This does match what you sent in a picture of.
    view full answer...
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  • Will The Tensioner For Bulldog Winches Work On A Smittybilt 9500 XRC Winch?
    The Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winch - Wire Rope, # BDW20234, is a confirmed fit for all Bulldog standard series truck winches. However, it is compatible with many other winches. Although I can't confirm the fit on your specific winch, I have attached a picture with measurements in millimeters for you to check mounting compatibility.
    view full answer...
    Image 1 for
  • Will Bulldog Winch Wire Rope Tensioner Evenly Wind Cable on Spool
    The Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winch # BDW20234 will help in evenly putting the cable on but you would still want to watch it and make sure it is spooling up the right way.
    view full answer...
  • Overall Length of the Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winch BDW20234
    I spoke with my contact at Bulldog Winch and he informed me that the overall length of the # BDW20234 measures 8-1/2 inches. I attached a picture that shows all of the other dimensions of it in millimeters for you to check out as well.
    view full answer...
    Image 1 for
  • Can Bulldog Winch Tensioner # BDW20234 Be Used with Synthetic Rope
    I reached out to my contact at Bulldog and he said that the Tensioner # BDW20234 can be used with synthetic rope. The reason it's labeled for use with wire rope is simply because it might not add much benefit when using it for synthetic rope. It's going to do a nice job of keeping it tight and in place but when it comes to actually forcing the rope to the lower area it's not going to be as effective due to the flexibility of synthetic compared to the rigidness of standard wire rope. I...
    view full answer...
  • Winch Tensioner Compatibility with Smittybilt X20 10,000 lb Winch
    The Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winch - Wire Rope # BDW20234 or the ComeUp Cable Tensioner for DV-12, DV-15, and DV-18 winches # CU881087 are the only options for that size a winch. We have not tested them on a Smittybilt x20 however I have attached a picture with measurements in millimeters for you to check mounting compatibility of the Bulldog. The ComeUp has the roller being about 8-1/8 inches long and the roller bracket at 7-1/4 inches long.
    view full answer...
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  • Winch Tensioner Compatibility with Badland Winch
    The Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winches - 8,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs - Wire Rope # BDW20234 and the Cable Tensioner for ComeUp DV-18 Off-Road Winch # CU882038 are similar but they are designed for different weight capacities and the ComeUp is really designed only for that specific winch. I haven't seen the ComeUp Tensioner used on any other winch so I recommend going with the Bulldog option (if it fits your capacities) as it is more of a general fit that will work with...
    view full answer...
  • Will the Bulldog Winch Tensioner BDW20234 Fit a Traveller 12V Truck Electric Winch
    The Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winch part # BDW20234 is designed specifically for Bulldog Standard Series Winches part # BDW10041 for 8K, part # BDW10042 for 9.5K, or part # BDW10043 for 12K. Therefore, I cannot confirm it will work for your Traveller 12V Truck Electric Winch. However, I have attached a dimensional drawing of the Tensioner for Bulldog Winch Standard Series Truck Winch in millimeters for you which you should be able to use to determine compatibility...
    view full answer...
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Do you have a question about this Accessories and Part?

Info for this part was:

Employee Tyler C
Edited by:
Tyler C
Employee Jameson C
Expert Research:
Jameson C
Employee Kathleen M
Installed by:
Kathleen M
Employee Matthew S
Written by:
Matthew S

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