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tuffy bolt locks - long term review


Active Member
i've had enough of my stuff stolen, so when i can, i like to make it a bit easier for the honest people to stay honest. locking doors is great for stuff inside, but i needed to secure stuff outside. my wheels have locking lugs, so does my spare, my hi lift is padlocked to the carrier but what could i do about my winch? tuffy has bolt locks to solve that problem, so about seven years ago, i picked up a couple. i have no clue what ever happened to the second one, but the first went on my arb bumper to ensure that m15000 would remain mine. i guess since it's never been stolen, you could say it had done it's job. but....yep, i have to raise that flag.

i'm in the process of swapping bumpers and needed to get everything off the old bumper, including the winch. the lock was somewhat hidden behind my license plate, so i pulled that off to reveal a nasty rusty box where my former nicely powdercoated lock was. after multiple soakings with multiple penetrants, the lock would move, but not enough to unlock. it was as if the arms inside were bound. since the lock was rusted to heck anyways, i broke out the prybar and within three minutes, i had the lock off. not very durable. possibly partly because the inside bracket was also completely rusted out.

now, to top all that off, and while i can't prove it's related, all of the bolts came out beautifully and are still showing their zinc or whatever coating except the bolt that was under the tuffy lock. that bolt was a rusted rotten mess that snapped off in the winch when i tried to break it free. keep in mind, this bolt had also received multiple dosings of penetrant with the lock itself and none of the other three bolts required a drop for the bolts to crack loose and screw politely out.

not a product i would purchase again. overall, while tuffy has had a good niche market, if given another choice on most products, i would take it after having the locks, 2 center consoles, one overhead console and one rear drawer setup. the only product i have no qualms with is the center console. the rest of the products i've been either disappointed or considered it a huge waste of money (the overhead console).



Well-Known Member
That's an impressive level of rust on a Colorado rig. I haven't seen rust flake away something like that since I was at the space museum at Cape Canaveral in Florida where stuff has been sitting outside in the salt spray for the last 40-50 years.

Morris Yarnell

Well-Known Member
I am impressed with the amount of rust there.
I have thought about it myself and it might be easier to weld the nut onto the bolt and cut it off when/if I needed to remove it? Sure would look neater years later. I sold my Mog to a guy that had the 12.5 winch stolen.
Maybe weld a bit of the thread away from the nut so it couldn't be screwed off but would give distance to cut it.
Next vehicle will be my test case.


Active Member
no nut on mine. the bolt screws directly into the winch foot. which sucks cause now i have to drill out that one bolt