Thoughts about winches

cosine

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I have a Smittybilt Gen 3 12K with synthetic rope that its sunk down into a LOD mid width bumper. It is a great setup. I have been driving 4X4 vehicles for a long time, I have had a few Warn M8000 winches and they were great I have also had many Smittybilt winches from 8K to 12K and have yet to experience a winch failure. I have had to replace cable that I have damaged but have never had a motor or switch failure.
go you have pics of your lod mid width bumper and winch setup. i'm looking at the mid width and full width bumper and cant deiced which one i like. lod and arb are my top 2 choices for bumper right now and trying to figure out which way i want to go.





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DirtyCreeker

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My winch story covers a few things asked about on here.... Used to have an '02 TJ, all stock, no winch. Went most everywhere I wanted in it. Managed to get it stuck one time in a wallered out mud hole. If I had a winch or lockers, I'm sure I could've gotten it out myself. After getting rid of it, I swore that if I ever got another one, it was going to be a Rubicon and I was putting a winch on it.

Fast forward to 2021, ordered my JLUR. First weekend I had it, I put a new bumper and winch on. Went with the Rough Country 12000 lb winch. The next weekend, took it out on it's maiden voyage on what would normally be a easy to moderate trail. But with the recent snowmelt, it was fairly muddy. Got it stuck again in a wallered out mudhole. Tried the lockers and had all 4 wheels just spinning. Used the winch and got it unstuck. Actually used it twice to get it unstuck and then pulled in a direction to avoid what looked like worse conditions ahead.

In using the winch, it wouldn't re-engage after free spooling. I had to pull out more line to get the gears to line up, I guess, to get it to re-engage. Being my first winch, I didn't know if it was normal or not, so I contacted Rough Country and asked. Was told that it was not normal and after sending a video of the issue to show them, they're sending me a new one. There was no pushback or anything from them. In fact, I didn't even ask them to replace it, or even how to fix it. All I asked was if this was normal. So for the customer service aspect, I'm sold on Rough Country.
 

Pepe My Little Mule

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In using the winch, it wouldn't re-engage after free spooling. I had to pull out more line to get the gears to line up, I guess, to get it to re-engage. Being my first winch, I didn't know if it was normal or not, so I contacted Rough Country and asked. Was told that it was not normal and after sending a video of the issue to show them, they're sending me a new one. There was no pushback or anything from them. In fact, I didn't even ask them to replace it, or even how to fix it. All I asked was if this was normal. So for the customer service aspect, I'm sold on Rough Country.
Great to hear whenever a company stands behind their products... even greater when they take your word for it and just send out the fix to get you back up and running!

This is why I chose Warn for my 98 TJ back in 2000 when I added their XD9000i and haven't looked back. Now, I never experienced a failure out of the box and no failures of any other kind, yet... BUT in the event I do, I know that I can swing by any one of their service partners across this nation and Canada and have it repaired as they still produce this model winch and other parts - 21 years later!
 

Dusty

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It's an insurance policy. The idea of insurance is you're protected if things go haywire. Same with a self-defense gun, paying taxes for police and fire; it's about having a spare tire, a recovery strap, carrying extra drinking water, bringing a first aid kit: bailing yourself out of a crappy situation.

My winch is a Smittybilt Gen 3 9000 lb with a synthetic rope (less weight). It cost nearly $600, but if I'm in the middle of Nevada with no cell service, and make a bad choice, it's my insurance policy.
 

ifonline

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I have the Warn VR Evo 10-s on my 19 Moab.
Is that the factory steel bumper? What winch plate did you use? This is the winch I am looking at, but I am finding conflicting information on what exactly I need to get this installed on my 2021 Unlimited Rubicon with the steel bumper. The other issue is I can get the winch in days, and other parts seem to be delayed by weeks. Fun times.
 

Pepe My Little Mule

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Is that the factory steel bumper? What winch plate did you use? This is the winch I am looking at, but I am finding conflicting information on what exactly I need to get this installed on my 2021 Unlimited Rubicon with the steel bumper. The other issue is I can get the winch in days, and other parts seem to be delayed by weeks. Fun times.
You can call Warn directly, they will tell you what works and give you tips for install.
 

ifonline

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Got it. Thanks.
 

Burt

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Bought a Warn 8000 lb winch in 1980 for my JC7, sold my CJ and bought a new TJ IN 2002 and put that winch on my TJ, sold my TJ IN 2019 and the 40 year old winch still worked..(and during the TJ years was used often)

When I bought my JL of course I bought another Warn winch-VR10. only have had to use the VR a couple of times, but so far, has worked great.
 

hingedthinker

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Is that the factory steel bumper? What winch plate did you use? This is the winch I am looking at, but I am finding conflicting information on what exactly I need to get this installed on my 2021 Unlimited Rubicon with the steel bumper. The other issue is I can get the winch in days, and other parts seem to be delayed by weeks. Fun times.
Hi, yes the Moab comes from factory w the steel bumper as the option on a rubi. The mounting plate and DRings are all from Warn.
 

ifonline

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Excellent. Thanks.
 

Sta Nisia

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Light bumper like Rockhard4x4 aluminum (mine weighs 37.1 lbs) and winch with a synthetic line to reduce that weight as well will mean a minimal negative impact on steering and braking especially in emergency maneuvers . I've seen people adding a couple hundred lbs leveraged way out forward of the front wheels, which significantly reduces safety.

As far as fused links, breakers, marine race switches, heavy duty quick disconnects, secondary heavy solenoids at battery with an in-cab cut off, each has, forgive the pun, negatives and positives.

When people say "well your starter isn't fused," I have to say I have been working on cars since before the internet, bsack when you often went ot junkyards to get parts, and I have seen a number of moderate impact to full wreck accidents and it is rare the starter area is involved and compromised -- but very common common to see lots of damage where the hitch and its wiring positions are involved.

Virtually every vehicle maker that includes winches has them fused and does so for a reason.

What I do, after looking at all the alternatives, is keep my winch disconnected from power at the positive battery lead. At any given time I have between three to five tools (socket set, wrench set, adjustable wrench, visegrips, simple pliers) to connect up that lead to the positive in half a minute. That significantly protects from an impact related short and possible fire. also protects against winch being triggered by an accident which can chew up winch and even bumper. Remaining risk is mostly electric fault at the winch, from overload, age related issues, etc, but it is at the winch that the winches own solenoid and breaker give some protection against that turning ugly.

When we talk about risk we have to separate and consider both incident rate risk, ie the risk a problem will occur; and consequence risk, the harm caused by the event. A vehicle fire can be low occurrence rate, but a high consequence event, not only easily destroying an entire vehicle, but also involving risk of severe injury and death.

As far as fuses and breakers, your problem is going to be that 500 is probably way to high and 250 could be way to low given the broad range of draw on can see on the same winch under different conditions. Also with heavy fuses you are going to need to carry spares that are way more expense than a wrench to connect and disconnect.,

I recommend a very heavy duty marine switch or if your use is rare, say half a dozen times a year for actual use and another few times a year for test and maintained, and for most of us that is the case, leaving the positive disconnected except when needed.

I do not think leaving it stock is irresponsible. But you do reduce some risks by leaving it disconnected until needed.

Lastly, I do not have the data, but my educated guess is your and others' elevated risk of harm with a winch is probably being struck by cable or connecting device, or entanglement. I think the primary safety measure should be, no matter how much you think you know, watching some youtubes on winching safety best practices and being slow and methodical. Like anything with high leverage you can use it hundreds of times without incident, or you can kill or maim yourself or someone else by making just a minor mistake
 

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