The great Winch Debate

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MOAK

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Just my honest opinion, but I've owned 3 winches over the past 25 plus years and I must report that the best bang for my buck is the Superwinch Tigershark 9500 SR. I quit using steel cable years ago, so I did invest in the SR model.  I've also owned a Warn XD9000i, and last but not least I must confess, I  purchased a used, very noisy, but somewhat reliable Smittybuilt XRC8..
 

UKCRD

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I always have a winch mounted on my vehicles and have never had to use it to recover myself, yet. I like the Warn winches and twice now have purchased a used one for many of the reasons you mention above. I thing the 8000 I have now cost me about $500 here in the UK and it runs like a charm. For anyone who hasn't yet done one, a winch course is not a bad idea as it's very easy to make mistakes when winching and they can easily cost you a limb.
 
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expeditionnorth

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I finally have one, there are certain trails where I feared the worse & would stop & turn around at a difficult section for fear of what might happen

not that a winch is a fail safe, but at least I feel safer if something should happen if I feel the rigs limit is capable to the task

as said before, common sense should prevail
 

MOAK

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Good points gentlemen,, I might also add that even if we use our winches on the very rare occasion, one must use it on purpose at least once a month, just a quick in and out, just to keep them lubed up properly. If one doesn't, gravity works well and all the lubrication grease will settle in at the bottom of the gearset.  Wow.. 500 for a used Warn 8000 ?  Great deal.. thats almost impossible to find here in the 48..
 

Robert OB 33/48

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Well, here are my two cents.
I have two cars, and two winches. Both Dragon winch. It is a Polish company and they are fairly cheap.
BUT...... Russians, Polish people, or for that fact, all those former Eastern Block countries are going berserk about cars and competition with it. And there is trial and worse trial really big. And I just can see they do well with a Dragon winch.
So I guess Iam fairly safe with that one. Used it some times and I am very satisfied with them.

One has a steel calbe (my vans winch) and has 16.000 LBS and the other has a synthetic rope and does 14.000 LBS.

So that are my two cents about it.

Greetings from Robert
 

Razor65

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new to the forum, Looks like this topic may be a little aged, but here is my two cents.

I have a 2012 JKU Rubicon, I started out going the cheap route with  an inexpensive 12k  winch,

when trying to install on my ARB bumper it would not quite fit, the solenoid wires rubbed too close to the grill.So after some more research I found  a good deal thru Zorro.com on a  12k Warn Zeon, fit perfect and looked good.

My first trip out on the Quachita national forest had us on a old mountain trail and used the winch more than once  to move dead trees and stumps, and last weekend we crossed what looked to be a small mud hole on a trail; ended  up being about 30 inches of mud. Having the proper recover equipment,( especially the 12k warn) allowed us  to winch our way out with  real no issues.  I'm not sure if I had  a " bargain box winch" I would be able to say the same.

I'm not saying Warn is the best, but I am saying if you are buying a winch for recovery and not just to fill space on a bumper, do your research find a good one and spend the extra money on it.

JB
 

Robert OB 33/48

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The best brand..... well the best brand they say. Or The best known brand.
This is all really a bit of a talk in the dark. That is my opinion.
Yes, I agree completely, Warn is one of the best. So is Superwinch, Warrior and all the others in the top notch brand category.
But, they all started small and unknown. So, a new brand, completely unknown can be as good as well.
Just nobody knows.
When a new brand is coming onto the market, it can be good, but yet needs its recognition.
I know people that have Warn and all the other. And they never use them. I use my winches, not much, but I use them. And for me, the do the trick. Would a winch of a consolidated brand do it better? Well not sure? Because, I didnt test it.

I think, when you using your winch once in while you dont need a very expensive one. A good (please note the word good) but inexpensive one of an unknown brand will do the trick as well.

The best example I have about brands is always my first Hitachi cassette player.
In 1975 nobody, just nobody knew Hitachi. But it was cheap, it didnt consume all my savings at that time and I bought it.
In the end, it took me at least 10 years to let it go. It did its job more as perfect.
Nowadays, Hitachi is one of the top leading brands on Hifi. Not the biggest, but like Yamaha, B&O, Harman Kadon and such top notch niche market brands.

Here a little thing they do with the winch brand I have.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/10dWh5KGPeo[/youtube]

I think Iam safe with this brand. Never ever will I use my winches in that way.

So, just look before you buy, investigate what they do with a winch. Is it for pleasure, for work, for trial, or just ornamental?
And then decide what is best suited for you, your wallet and also your ego.

Greetings from Robert
 

Defender 90 Keith

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I am keen on getting myself a winch but the prices here in the UK are quite high. I will also have to exchange my bumper or modify it to accommodate the winch. I have researched several makes and I think when it comes to the crunch a Warn winch will be the option I go for.

I have also weighed up the choice of steel wire or synthetic rope. I think I'd go for the synthetic for ease of use reasons. any comments?
 

PNW EXPLR

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I am in the market for a winch in the US. My FabFours Elite bumper was build around a Warn 16ti. The problem is the price of the Warns. So, I am looking at the Smittybuilt 15k. Its half the cost, and still appears to be a quality product.
I had a 10k off brand on my old Scout and it did fine the couple times it was used. Just not convinced that Warn is worth the money for what, and how often it will be used.

Those Dragon Winches look pretty capable also. Not sure they are available in the US though.
 

ohiowrangler

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I have a couple of points, I have a warn 8274 on my jeep. I bought it used and rebuilt it, purchased for $150, parts 250. My truck has a Ramsey 12K, worm gear drive, slow but strong. My big trailer has a 12K Pierce, old but reliable. A friend of mine bought a harbor freight special, and had to use it the first time out after mounted. After this long story, the moral is: buy the best, biggest , most reliable you can afford. If you can rebuild it, It'll be less expensive. It can ride around with you for 3-4 years but the day it pulls you out with the wife in the passenger seat is golden silence. Ron
 

MOAK

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I am keen on getting myself a winch but the prices here in the UK are quite high. I will also have to exchange my bumper or modify it to accommodate the winch. I have researched several makes and I think when it comes to the crunch a Warn winch will be the option I go for.

I have also weighed up the choice of steel wire or synthetic rope. I think I'd go for the synthetic for ease of use reasons. any comments?
Synthetic rope is the way to go. However, it is a lot more expensive than wire rope. There are inexpensive synthetics out there, but they will last maybe 2 or 3 years without even using them as the cheapos are susceptible to UV rays and the elements.Here in the states we have either a Viking or Masterpull ( not sure what brand name in the UK, ) lines to choose from, both of which use "dyneema" rope line and will last for many years provided you perform regular maintenance on the line. ( ie- cleaning) .. Dyneema is what fishing vessels use. Also, be sure to buy a winch that is rated for synthetic line. Most winches have the brake located inside the drum causing a lot of heat which will melt the line. Synthetic line rated winches have an external brake resulting in no heat buld up on the drum. Some fellows still put synthetic line on the internally braked winches thinking they will never utilize the brake. All it takes is one time for melted line. Ask me how I know. LOL good luck..
 

Defender 90 Keith

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Synthetic rope is the way to go. However, it is a lot more expensive than wire rope. There are inexpensive synthetics out there, but they will last maybe 2 or 3 years without even using them as the cheapos are susceptible to UV rays and the elements.Here in the states we have either a Viking or Masterpull ( not sure what brand name in the UK, ) lines to choose from, both of which use "dyneema" rope line and will last for many years provided you perform regular maintenance on the line. ( ie- cleaning) .. Dyneema is what fishing vessels use. Also, be sure to buy a winch that is rated for synthetic line. Most winches have the brake located inside the drum causing a lot of heat which will melt the line. Synthetic line rated winches have an external brake resulting in no heat buld up on the drum. Some fellows still put synthetic line on the internally braked winches thinking they will never utilize the brake. All it takes is one time for melted line. Ask me how I know. LOL good luck..
Hey thanks for the info re: brakes. I have seen the price differente between the 2 types of wire / rope. I am an ex Royal Navy member so I am familiar with working with both and the maintenance routines for each.
 

bajatacoguy

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I always have a winch mounted on my vehicles and have never had to use it to recover myself, yet. I like the Warn winches and twice now have purchased a used one for many of the reasons you mention above. I thing the 8000 I have now cost me about $500 here in the UK and it runs like a charm. For anyone who hasn't yet done one, a winch course is not a bad idea as it's very easy to make mistakes when winching and they can easily cost you a limb.

What do you mean by "many of the reasons you mentioned above"?


—————————

Hey Now!

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Deadman Offroad

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I am a fan of Comeup winch. I had one on my FZJ80. It was an outstanding winch and for much less than Warn. Right now I am running a harbor frieght winch, it works but it doesn't instill confidence like the Comeup winch did. When I can I am switching it out for a Comeup.
 
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mase001

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I purchased a Smittybilt x2o comp winch with syn rope. I've read all sorts of stuff about them. Most of the positive reviews come from users and most of the junk comments are from people who
 

Tozovr

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I have a Warn 8000 that I picked up free, because the previous owner broke both drum supports and tie rods. For under $200 I completely rebuilt it with new Warn parts.

It's an easy job. The hardest part was cleaning the old grease out of the planetary assembly. It came with a near new Viking synthetic line and I have since added an Albright contactor, a dash mounted 12V Guy switch and a Warn Wireless Remote.

A friend just picked up a 9500 Comeup for his Defender 130 and I had the privilege of using my JKU as his anchor last weekend. Beautiful winch, fairly fast and it's wireless to boot. Chris is a dealer so I know he gers them at a good price, but from what I have seen, they're priced about the same as the Warns but outfitted with some nicer bits.

I guess this is my long winded way of saying to buy the most winch you can and learn to service it.

I think that's what I'm trying to say.



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Defender 90 Keith

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The only problem I have is "the wife". I have the money from my previous single life but now I am questioned by the Gestate if a new bit of kit is found attached to my Landy. It's not just a case of buying the winch but I'd have to buy a new winch bumper too.

Currently I have a "wish" list which so far amounts to a few thousand ££££££s and I'm not sure I will get away with spending that much.

fingers crossed eh
 
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Tozovr

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Synthetic rope is the way to go. However, it is a lot more expensive than wire rope. There are inexpensive synthetics out there, but they will last maybe 2 or 3 years without even using them as the cheapos are susceptible to UV rays and the elements.Here in the states we have either a Viking or Masterpull ( not sure what brand name in the UK, ) lines to choose from, both of which use "dyneema" rope line and will last for many years provided you perform regular maintenance on the line. ( ie- cleaning) .. Dyneema is what fishing vessels use. Also, be sure to buy a winch that is rated for synthetic line. Most winches have the brake located inside the drum causing a lot of heat which will melt the line. Synthetic line rated winches have an external brake resulting in no heat buld up on the drum. Some fellows still put synthetic line on the internally braked winches thinking they will never utilize the brake. All it takes is one time for melted line. Ask me how I know. LOL good luck..
While not a cure, we've always put a few wraps of thermal tape around the drum. 10 years and no melted lines yet.

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hollonm

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Reviving an old thread here...I'm curious if a Warn M8000 would be heavy enough for a new 4runner. I ask because I mostly see 4runner's outfitted with 10k winches, but I really can't find one I like. Most Warn winches are too expensive for me to justify. I've heard to stay away from Warn VR series. Smittybilt X20 seems well liked but the Smittybilt company seems hated. Comeup seems about as expensive as Warn, rather have a Warn. I just can't justify spending over $1000 when I may need it a couple times a year (Navy)...but I refuse to buy something that's unreliable