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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking into getting a winch now that I've got my bumper installed. I've heard mixed reviews on Smittybilt winches, but it happens to be in my budget right now. I know you get what you pay for, but I'd love to hear your experience with them. I want to be able to get out once this snow melts away and not have a fear of being stuck with no way out. Anything helps.
 

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I bought a 9.5 Comp (Synthetic line) in May 2014. Easily installed it myself on Maximus3 Winch plate onto stock bumper.

I've had to pull myself out of stuck over a dozen times since then. I've also had to pull a friend's Frontier back onto its tires after a roll. I've partially submerged the winch twice for deep crossings. It's been operated during a fairly heavy rain.

Needless to say, no problems whatsoever. I make a point of testing it in the driveway before every wheeling trip but that's just because I'm a double-checker; nothing's ever been wrong.

From what I've read, people had a fair amount of trouble with the Gen1 XRC's. The Gen2 is a different design; the XRC8.0 was replaced by the 9.5 (there was no 9.5 in Gen1, so you don't need to worry about getting an old Gen1 if it's a 9.5). Every thread where the XRCs are discussed (and there've been many on here) guys come on and report that they've read about trouble with Gen1s. But I've never seen any thread where an actual Gen2 owner came on and admitted he'd ever had a problem with it. I'm sure with thousands of them out there somebody's had a problem -- it's a man-made product so there will be errors/lemons made. But I've yet to come across one.

Sorry to sound like a shill for SB -- I generally only buy "the best" and don't try to cheap out on things. But at $450 the XRC wasn't exactly cheap ($250 is a cheap winch), so I didn't feel like I was trying to get into the winch game as cheaply as possible.

That's my experience with the 9.5.

Here it is with my homemade aluminum cover:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Looking good! A lot of the people up here run warn and smittybilt so I'm torn. Thanks for the info though. It'll definitely be helpful in deciding. Good to know that the gen 2 hasn't had many problems. That will make me feel more at ease of I buy it. This is my first wrangler so I'm sure I'll have plenty of trial and error!
 
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