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Recovery Winch
December 27, 2017
4:53 pm
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Tony45
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Anybody into off-roading here? What brand of winch do you use on your rigs? I am looking for one for my 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara. Should I just go for a Warn Winch? I read so many good reviews about it. Please help me out.

December 27, 2017
8:51 pm
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Josh
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I run a Warn. I’m happy with it. Their are lots of brands to choose from. You will hear a lot of opinions. I would just say to buy one that is rated to pull twice the weight of your vehicle. A winch is a good investment for your rig.

Semper Fi

December 27, 2017
9:43 pm
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Mike G
Newcastle, CA
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I have a warn for my Suzuki build but on my current rig I'm running a Badlands 12k winch from harbor freight and I have no complaints on it yet

December 27, 2017
10:59 pm
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BKGM Jeepers
El Dorado Hills

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Buy something waterproof, from a company that will stand behind your purchase.

December 28, 2017
6:14 am
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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You also need to decide if you want to use a steel cable or synthetic rope winch line. Rope is safer but I use my winch for things other than vehicle recovery so I prefer steel cable.

December 28, 2017
6:55 am
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bear_dog
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I run warn on both of my rigs, I have a steel cable on my Jeep and a synthetic rope on my Tacoma. I have had no issues with them.

December 28, 2017
10:02 am
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kris_olof
El Dorado

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I have a preference for Warn and Ramsey because they both still have American made lines. (I believe super winch does too) But you don't need to spend all that money if you only plan on using it a half dozen times before selling the Jeep.

Many here have had luck with the Chinese made winch offerings (smittybilt, quadratec, traveler, badlands to name a few). The biggest difference with these winches is they are generally significantly slower when unloaded (35ft/min for the Warn Zeon 8k vs 13ft/min for the harbor freight 8k).

I would suggest going with synthetic for the line. Safer, lighter, easier. Not as durable and needs to be protected from the sun  but since you have been doing fine without the winch you likely won't have any need for the steel.

Whatever you get, be sure to put together a winching kit with properly rated shackles, tree saver, line damper, leather gloves, and snatch block.

x2 on the winch load rating. 2door Jks are fine for 8k winches but the 4doors really need a ~10k class.

December 28, 2017
10:39 am
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JohnDF
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kris_olof said
Many here have had luck with the Chinese made winch offerings (smittybilt)...

I would like to hear these stories of bad luck from the people here, specifically on the Smittybilt winches.

 

Tony45 said

What brand of winch do you use on your rigs? I am looking for one for my 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara.

Most of my experience has been with the Warn M8000. It's probably a little light for the four door Jeep, but I had amazing performance from that winch on my lighter Jeep TJ. And the price can't be beat for the performance you get.

I used to wheel a lot. . .

December 28, 2017
5:42 pm
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Gilbert & Betty
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I use a smittybuilt Xc9500 and have had for almost 3years. It's been very reliable and the only problem if you want call it that.  Is a low amp power light came on once.  But after a little RPM's it went away.  Also I only pulled line twice, once to help with a vehicel recovery and to move a fallen tree off the trail. The latter had the over amp draw.  That's another question you need to ask your self.  Are you going to use your winch for self recovery only to aid others and trail maintenance.  And as Brad said make sure it's water proof or at least water resistant.  And that it has a good manufacturers warranty, very important. 

Are there better winches out there yeah absolutely. But that's the next part of the equitation is cost to purchase and maintain. I bought my winch at show and got a killer deal on it. Also ease of installation.  The xc9500 was straight forward and easy.  It did not require a circutbreaker.  But I would recommend using one "cheap insurance." One last comment if you chose wire over synthetic line.  Make sure you have good leather gloves in your recovery kit. 

Overall I like my xc9500 winch it's been strong, fast and reliable. I would rate this product five stars whatever that means lol. 

December 28, 2017
6:33 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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Ideally, if used for off-roading purposes only, you rarely need to use your winch. And if you off road with others who have winches, straps and other recovery equipment, the chances that you will have to depend on your own winch are greatly reduced. I have a Warn 9.5ti on my TJ. Don't hesitate to get a less expensive winch as suggested by others if cost is an issue. You can also find some good used winches on Craigslist if you're patient.

December 29, 2017
10:36 am
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kris_olof
El Dorado

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JohnDF said

kris_olof said
Many here have had luck with the Chinese made winch offerings (smittybilt)...

I would like to hear these stories of bad luck from the people here, specifically on the Smittybilt winches.

 

I said "have had luck", not bad luck.  Only bad luck i know of personally was my neighbor had one harbor freight DOA.  Took it back and they gave him a new one that worked fine.

December 30, 2017
5:48 am
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JohnDF
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kris_olof said

JohnDF said

kris_olof said
Many here have had luck with the Chinese made winch offerings (smittybilt)...

I would like to hear these stories of bad luck from the people here, specifically on the Smittybilt winches.

 

I said "have had luck", not bad luck.  Only bad luck i know of personally was my neighbor had one harbor freight DOA.  Took it back and they gave him a new one that worked fine.  

Ha, that's why I teach Math and not Language Arts.

That's good news. I have a Smitty now and wanted to know what misery I had to look forward to. Lol

I used to wheel a lot. . .

January 4, 2018
11:48 am
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Tyler - K6TLR
Rancho Cordova
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I run a Warn 9500lb. I second the 1.5x your vehicle weight for your winch rating. Also second that most winches will be decent and do the job. The more expensive ones will be faster, and more weather resistant. If you spend less on a winch, definitely spend a little extra money on a good cover for it... especially if you are going to run synthetic line.

I actually just posted an article this morning on Steel vs Synthetic winch lines. Dunno if you are at that point yet... but feel free to browse it over: https://myoffroadradio.com/index.php/2018/01/04/4x4-off-road-recovery-tips-steel-winch-cable-vs-synthetic-winch-line/

 

Like Kris said, once you get a winch, invest in properly rated recovery equipment as well. Shackles, snatch block, gloves, damper, tree strap, etc. The main point to hunting all of this is to get the correct working load rated equipment for what you will be using it for. Outside of that, budget and perceived value is the other concern, and that's up to you 😛

If you are curious about Gross Vehicle Weights or Working Loads vs Breaking Strengths, and how they relate to recovery equipment check out this article: https://myoffroadradio.com/index.php/2017/12/06/4x4-off-road-recovery-basics/

Let us know what you end up getting!

January 5, 2018
6:18 am
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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Tyler - K6TLR said 
  
I actually just posted an article this morning on Steel vs Synthetic winch lines. Dunno if you are at that point yet... but feel free to browse it over: https://myoffroadradio.com/index.php/2018/01/04/4x4-off-road-recovery-tips-steel-winch-cable-vs-synthetic-winch-line/
   

There's also an article on steel versus synthetic winch line in the January addition of ORA, the 4 Wheel Parts magazine.

January 5, 2018
7:52 am
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JohnDF
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I think the bottom line is; If a Warn winch is in the budget, then you really can't go wrong with that choice.

I used to wheel a lot. . .

January 5, 2018
2:48 pm
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buckallred
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Stating the obvious: check craigslist for winches. There are pretty much always several for sale in this area, and I think a whole lot of them have had little or no use. I got a Warn 9,500lb that I am 99% sure was driven around on the front of a vehicle for a few years, but never (or almost never) actually used. I think I paid $600 and it cost like $1,300 new . . .

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