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Old 07-09-2014, 12:03 PM   #1
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winches

So... I'll start off by saying i've searched the forum for my answer but didn't find the results I was looking for.

In the next month or so i'll be purchasing a winch which I plan to install on the factory bumper (maybe migrate to a new bumper in the future). My question is simple... What classifies a good winch? Any winches I should absolutely stay away from?

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Old 07-09-2014, 12:11 PM   #2
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So... I'll start off by saying i've searched the forum for my answer but didn't find the results I was looking for. In the next month or so i'll be purchasing a winch which I plan to install on the factory bumper (maybe migrate to a new bumper in the future). My question is simple... What classifies a good winch? Any winches I should absolutely stay away from?
There is no right answer to this. The right winch is the one that works when you need it. Warn is a reputable company for self recovery, but there are other less expensive winches that have worked for some people.

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Old 07-09-2014, 12:13 PM   #3
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I'll leave the theory to others who wish to chime in, and just tell you to get a Smittybilt XRC9.5 Comp for $450-ish and a Maximus 3 OEM bumper winch plate, configured with either/or/both light mounting tabs and bull bar, and be done with it. Easy install, cheap buy-in cost, and even though I've only had it on for six - eight weeks it's saved me twice. Spools fast in both directions, requires nothing extra of your battery, has been submerged in a creek twice, and just does its job without fanfare.



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Old 07-09-2014, 12:22 PM   #4
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I'll leave the theory to others who wish to chime in, and just tell you to get a Smittybilt XRC9.5 Comp for $450-ish and a Maximus 3 OEM bumper winch plate, configured with either/or/both light mounting tabs and bull bar, and be done with it. Easy install, cheap buy-in cost, and even though I've only had it on for six - eight weeks it's saved me twice. Spools fast in both directions, requires nothing extra of your battery, has been submerged in a creek twice, and just does its job without fanfare.
And I have seen 3 almost new ones fail on the trail.....
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:34 PM   #5
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Going with a budget winch is a great idea if you are only going to use it every now and then. Its when you use them constantly and make hard pulls on them that you have issues.

As long as your not dragging yourself or another jeep up cliffs and ledges all day then a budget winch will be fine, just dont kid yourself and think that you got such a good deal on it only because of the name thats not on it.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by coleblk View Post
So... I'll start off by saying i've searched the forum for my answer but didn't find the results I was looking for.

In the next month or so i'll be purchasing a winch which I plan to install on the factory bumper (maybe migrate to a new bumper in the future). My question is simple... What classifies a good winch? Any winches I should absolutely stay away from?
From a technical standpoint the pulling capacity, line speed, gear type, housing materials and cable will change from Winch to winch. Warn is generally known to make some of the best out there. There have been a few different torture tests that show some cheaper brands performing well. I believe ENGO finished well in at least one of these tests.

I'd be happy to get you a quote on whichever brand you decide on!

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Old 07-09-2014, 02:29 PM   #7
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And I have seen 3 almost new ones fail on the trail.....
I've certainly read that before. I wonder if all the ones you saw were "Gen 1" failures? The Gen 2 has only been out for about 3 or 4 months, iirc.

As for "pulling people up cliffs" and the like, let's be honest: the vast majority of winch owners will never even unspool the thing. Of the subset that will, 90% will use it maybe five times a year, for pulling themselves or other people out of mud holes, sand and snow. This generally requires about a six-to-ten foot pull to get them clear. I suspect the cheaper brands will perform just fine for that sort of duty cycle.

If I were going to be pulling people up cliffs every weekend, as you describe, or if I suspected the person who asked the question and doesn't know the first thing about winches was going to be doing so, I'd probably be looking at something even higher grade than a consumer-grade Warn.
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:49 PM   #8
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I've owned a few dozen winches, and used them on Jeeps, pickup trucks, ATVs, and UTVs. Of the winch problems I have had, one was a Ramsey winch that failed after water immersion. The solenoid shorted and the winch motor went up in smoke. Another winch failure was also a Ramsey winch, and I broke the winch in half trying to pull my Jeep out of the Little Sluice on the Rubicon Trail. The third winch failure I had was an Arctic Cat winch that I had on a side by side. The winch shorted out in a car wash, and the motor on the winch burned up before I could get the power disconnected from the battery. No one was even in the side by side, or touching the winch controls. The water from the car wash was enough to short it out. That was pretty lame. All of the other few dozen winches have been Warn winches. I've never had a problem with a Warn winch, and have been using them since 1980
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:15 PM   #9
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I have a Smittybuilt XRC 8 with synthetic rope, and a Warn 9.5cti with wire rope. No comparison. The Warn is so much smoother, and the motor runs cooler. For a retail of twice the price it darned well should be. I was lucky enough to find it on eBay for $700 delivered, through a Chrysler dealership back east.

If I did the Smittybuilt again, I'd go with the XRC 10. It is geared a little lower for less amperage. Contact tips on this winch are a bit light for the kind of current the motor pulls.
I also would not do synthetic rope again. But that is strictly a personal choice.

The downside to the 9.5cti is that it is fast. Real fast! Not sure I'd want it for my "first" winch. Maybe the M8000, or the good old 8274 (I love that winch!).

Good luck with your choice.
Also consider upgrading your battery, or go to a dual battery setup. A good high output battery is the foundation for winch longevity.

Warn 9.5 cti kit mounted on the Jeep:


Smittybuilt mounted on "old faithful".

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Old 07-09-2014, 03:36 PM   #10
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I have a Smittybilt and although I don't use it often, it has functioned flawlessly for me every time.
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:48 PM   #11
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Check this out
Massive Multi-Winch Shootout - Four Wheeler Magazine
I personally with with ENGO due to the reviews and cost. I do not plan on using it a whole lot. I couldn't justify spending 2-3 times more for something that will not be used often.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:32 PM   #12
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I've got a Smittybilt on mine also, the first Gen XRC8. While I have yet to use it to save myself, it has pulled several others out with ease...including a Crewcab Dodge Dually who's owner thought he could drive on the beach with it. I've had no issues and feel confident it'll be there when I need it to.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:14 PM   #13
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Check this out
Massive Multi-Winch Shootout - Four Wheeler Magazine
I personally with with ENGO due to the reviews and cost. I do not plan on using it a whole lot. I couldn't justify spending 2-3 times more for something that will not be used often.
Same here. I have the Engo 10000s and it's a beast. So far so good. I'm not a heavy user so it's been great for me.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:29 PM   #14
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I have the x20 Smitty Gen2. Although I have only had it a short time, the gen2's seem to be much sturdier and more powerful than the Gen1. I like the wireless remote feature. It is fully submersible (ip68) and even though mine is wire I like the out of drum braking if I ever decide to switch to synthetic. For $350 I don't think it can be beat. I have every reason to believe it will serve my needs well.

That being said. If money wasn't tight I would have a Warn on the front of my Jeep.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:44 PM   #15
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I have a warn on the front of mine. I've used it once in a difficult self recovery and it worked as intended. I don't believe I'll use it often, but when I do, I imagine it will work every time. I was a able to nab it for half price, otherwise I doubt I would have bought it.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:44 PM   #16
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So... I'll start off by saying i've searched the forum for my answer but didn't find the results I was looking for.

In the next month or so i'll be purchasing a winch which I plan to install on the factory bumper (maybe migrate to a new bumper in the future). My question is simple... What classifies a good winch? Any winches I should absolutely stay away from?
If you plan on 4 wheeling, first I would buy a good winch capable bumper (AEV would be my choice), & then buy a top quality winch-WARN.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:55 PM   #17
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Even if you "dont use the winch often" when you need it, you NEED IT. How bad would it suck to be stuck on some trail in the middle of nowhere with a failed chinese winch? Even if You only "need" the winch once, its still gotta work! I trust Warn. Thiers a reason Warn winches have the best reputation. Thats one area of my jeep where I wont go for the "cheapest" option.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:13 PM   #18
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Had a Warn M8000 on an old full-size Chevy Blazer. It worked great! Silly me, when I sold the Blazer, I let the winch go too.

I went without a winch on a Dodge pickup I had for 10 - 12 years. Dang. Really needed that old winch a time or two...

When I got the JK two years ago, Mama and I both agreed that it needed two things right away: good tires (BFG AT's were my choice) and a good winch. I reluctantly agreed to the 10k Engo with the synthetic line due to the enthusiastic endorsement by Rockridge 4wd, my local dealer.

Turns out that winch is excellent in function. It could look a little better, but for pulling power & reliability, it's been terrific. Used it a few times, sporadically, clearing the trail for the most part. It moves and breaks fallen trees very well. Freed a stuck Jeep with it, easily. Then this spring I blundered into a deep, soft snow drift and needed SEVEN pulls with SEVEN anchor points to get my doggone JK out. The Engo got hot, but it got me out of the mess I'd driven into...


Yeah, sometimes I'd still rather have a Warn. American made. Nice finish, and I just plain like Warn... But the Engo was a bargain and has proven itself to be a very good winch.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:47 PM   #19
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If you plan on 4 wheeling, first I would buy a good winch capable bumper (AEV would be my choice), & then buy a top quality winch-WARN.

If skydiving were your thing, would you buy a cheap parachute?
I'm not trying to start a pissing contest, but that's a bad analogy.... A parachute is a guaranteed use when jumping, a winch is not a guaranteed use when off road. same is said for the 50" light bars, they are only used when needed. that's a whole other discussion.

That said. nothing man made will work every time you need it, but some things have a better chance then others. this discussion can go on hours and pages. I do agree with buying a quality winch, but to push one brand over all others, is argumentative. I have used Warn's and Mile Markers (hydraulic), even f'd with the Superwinch a time or two. My opinion on the three doesn't matter. If you want to get a winch that works, has limited issues and gets/has more use then you or myself will ever see in a winch. talk to several tow truck drivers, you might be surprised at the answers.

Again, this is not a personal attack. just saying, open the mind a bit and ask the actual working force that use them on a daily basis.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:01 AM   #20
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Amazon.com: WARN 26502 M8000 8000-lb Winch: Automotive

Is this a good deal? Warn M8000 for <600 + $200 in accessories from Warn?
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:10 AM   #21
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Amazon.com: WARN 26502 M8000 8000-lb Winch: Automotive

Is this a good deal? Warn M8000 for <600 + $200 in accessories from Warn?
Whee I entered my jeep info, it said it isn't compatible
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:59 PM   #22
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I have two Warns on my two Jeeps - well, one on each. On my TJ I run a Warn PowerPlant HD (12k lbs w/wire rope.) It's surprised me with its capability. The one on my JKU is a Warn VR10000S - just last weekend I pulled it to pull a VERY large oak out of a road. We did a double pull with wrapped straps and a snatch block. It moved the tree effortlessly once the top was past the trees it was hung in (the flexibility of the large limbs against other larger trees is incredible and HEAVY.)

I bought my two Warns because they've been around at least as long as I have (39 years) and they are the trusted name. I've had them on work trucks and they never failed. Since I've had mine, they've never failed. Did I pay more initially? Sure, but I simply trust it more than another brand. It's your own personal choice...my VR10000s was around $700 while my PowerPlant HD was around $1300, and they're both worth every penny when I need them.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:55 PM   #23
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:13 PM   #24
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Im in the same market looking to buy and mount to stock bumper .ive been eying up the warn m8000s
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:49 PM   #25
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Buy our winch and bumper at KOoffroad.com you can get both for the price of one warn winch and we offer synthetic line and all winches come with wireless remotes. All front bumpers come with recovery points, D-rings and Winch plates. Both are covered under a 1 year warranty, the winch is a 12,000 lbs winch for $360 and the bumper shown below is $465.

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Old 07-11-2014, 05:23 PM   #26
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Winches fall into the same category as Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge, Alabama vs Auburn etc. Personally I have a Warn xeon 8s. I decided to go with warn because my dad had good luck with them on his 4x4's and they have a pretty solid reputation. I've used it a couple of times and it has worked flawlessly and has great line speed and pulling power. I'd buy it again but I am debating on swapping it out for the zeon 10s just because it has a higher weight rating. If I do that I'll give this one to my dad for his :jaw drop: H3. Still trying to convince him to get a wrangler instead.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:01 PM   #27
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I'm buying a Engo 12000 with synthetic line
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:08 PM   #28
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The tuff stuff winches are nice, cheap and have a great warranty and customer service.

http://truckandwinch.com/tuff-stuff-...-lb-winch.html
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:38 PM   #29
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So, no idea how other winches (or Warn winches for that matter) would perform, but I have had my Warn 9.5cti since April, and thus far it has pulled me out three times and another vehicle once.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:02 PM   #30
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I'm buying a Engo 12000 with synthetic line
Changed my mind at last minute and bought a New Gen2 Smittybilt 9500 XRC comp 6.6hp with synthetic line--decided 12000 was overkill and a lot heavier and slower line pull.

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