I was just wondering what size winch i will need for my jeep. I will rarely use the winch for this is my DD and not many trails around here. Will a 8,000 or 8,500 lb. winch work just fine? Im looking for something under $500 for sure and found a couple that fit my budget.
Spend the extra few bucks on the Warn...you go cheap and it'll most likely leave you stranded that one time you need it most. And then once you pay the bill for the towing company to winch you out, you'll realize it would have been cheaper to have bought the Warn which will last for years.
I believe the Warn M8000 is $539 shipped from http://www.winchdepot.com only $39 over your upper limit and it won't leave you stranded.
One thing to keep in mind with winches..you get what you pay for. Buy a cheap winch, the quality/reliability is going to reflect that.
"We don't build great brakes because we think you don't know how to drive, we build them for the guy on the road in front of you that doesn't." - Black Magic Brakes
I would stick with warn M8000. Everytime I have been out wheeling about 90% of the jeeps are running a warn winch of some sort which has to say something. Everyone wants to save money but you want it to work the time you need it to. I picked up mine for under $600. Save up and by one you can trust...
It really won't matter what tires or wheels you run if you still can't get out of the mud. If you NEVER go offroad, then get wheels/tires first. If you plan to get into offroading, then get the winch first. If you decide on that first trip to "test your limits", you'll be more than glad you've got that winch mounted!
A winch plate can be made pretty cheap or purchased for around $75. I got the smittybilt winch and im really happy with it. They have redesigned it from the first model. Now it has a series wound motor rated at 5.5hp i believe. To me I couldn't justify spending the extra $400 on a superwinch when I was only going to use it a few times a year. Just something to think about.
Another thing, I bought the smittybilt XRC front bumper also. Got it pretty cheap from autoanything.com and it has an intergrated winch plate. Just throwin it out there.