Winches question from newbie

MauiSteve

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I’m waiting for delivery of my 2021 JL two door Rubicon, stock bumpers, to be delivered to Maui from Portland. I’d like to install a winch.
1. will the stock bumper accept a winch? I’m thinking not, I didn’t opt for the steel bumper group due to some negative comments here.
2. are any winches made in USA?
3. whose winch bumpers do folks like? I’m looking at a short bumper.
4. I’ll likely need to compensate for the weight up front, a spacer kit perhaps?
thank you for any help

Back in the day I’d automatically say Warn was my choice but I see they are now Chinese winches!

this is my third Jeep. My first was a 1967 C101 Commando I restored. My second was a 1997 TJ SE. I liked them both But the Rubicon is the holy grail of Jeeps. Plus, my wife wanted it, who am I to object?





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Whiskey 13

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LOD makes two series bumpers, Signature and Destroyer both are very well made and look great. You can get a standard, mid and stubby version. They come with winch plates that will support up to a 12K winch and you can also order frame tie-in adapters for added strength.

If your stock bumper is plastic you can't put a winch in that. and with the addition of the bumper and winch weight you should not need any other mods unless you have changed from your stock tires.

For winches, good luck finding affordable American made. I put a Smittybilt 12K with synthetic rope on my LOD Mid Width Signature Series bumper and it works great for my needs. I use my winch for many things besides recovery.
 

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I’m waiting for delivery of my 2021 JL two door Rubicon, stock bumpers, to be delivered to Maui from Portland. I’d like to install a winch.
1. will the stock bumper accept a winch? I’m thinking not, I didn’t opt for the steel bumper group due to some negative comments here.
2. are any winches made in USA?
3. whose winch bumpers do folks like? I’m looking at a short bumper.
4. I’ll likely need to compensate for the weight up front, a spacer kit perhaps?
thank you for any help

Back in the day I’d automatically say Warn was my choice but I see they are now Chinese winches!

this is my third Jeep. My first was a 1967 C101 Commando I restored. My second was a 1997 TJ SE. I liked them both But the Rubicon is the holy grail of Jeeps. Plus, my wife wanted it, who am I to object?
1) not without mods, and a modded plastic bumper to accept a winch looks terrible. You should have gotten steel bumpers. The mopar front bumper is really nice and light. you also get a more heavy duty suspension to support the weight of steel, so it would support aftermarket bumpers better.
2) Warn has a series made in the U.S.A. They are all very expensive and over $1,000. Warn chinese bumpers and smittybuilt are pretty good though. Keep in mind, the bigger the weight rating, the heavier the winch. I am going to buy a smitty XRC 9.5k synthetic as soon as they go on sale.
3) I really like the rugged ridge arcus. It has solid recovery points, comes with a winch plate, looks really good and the whole package weighs less than 70lbs or something like that. Really light, but it is made in Taiwan. All the other bumpers I looked at were too heavy, and I am building a light rig and intend to keep oem rubicon suspension + stay under payload.
4) If you dont upgrade your suspension your rig will most likely sag with a bumper+winch because you didnt get the steel bumper group. Might be a whole inch or only 1/2, depends how heavy you go with winch+bumper. Just get bumper+winch, measure before and after install and get spacers accordingly.
 

bryan8379

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Ace Engineering and Fabrication makes a stubby front bumper that wont break the bank, but I don't know if they would do free shipping to Hawaii.
The Zeon series winches by Warn are still USA made, the VR or Evo series is not as far as I know but I could be wrong.
 

jessedacri

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Absolutely love my OEM steel bumper in stubby mode and winch. The rear steel bumper sucks and flexes up into the body if it gets hit while you're out wheeling, but the front one is great and keeps the nice OEM look. Can't please everyone.

If you want to opt for made in USA, any Warn winch outside of the VR (made in china) lineup is USA made, but expensive IMO. I personally went with the VR EVO 10S as I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg for a winch and didn't like the fancy controller on the higher end Warns. Love my VR and has pulled out a few rigs already.

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Frezski

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I agree with the other posts above. I would either go with a take off rubi steel bumper and get the winch plate, or go aftermarket to your taste. As far as sagging goes, measure the height pre install. You can put spacers to assist in that. There are 1/2" and 3/4" depending on how heavy you go. Unless you go Warn Zeon, I doubt you would find any US made winches. People have been using the Smittybilt X20/XRC and Warn VR series with great success.
 

Whiskey 13

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Just for additional information with the LOD Mid width and Smittybilt XRC 12K I had less than 1/2" sag. Don't remember the weight but I put it on by myself without any trouble and believe me, I am a beer drinker not a body builder.
 
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MauiSteve

MauiSteve

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I’m thinking Warn stubby bumper with a Warn VR Evo 10k winch and the little skid plate that firs it.
I looked at aluminum bumpers but I can’t find any reviews. They are lighter but how strong?
 

jroman

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Warn VR on an LOD Destroyer bumper. My rope did get f up on the first use tho. Heads up lol

AECA171C-9CA4-4026-AC5C-B39F3BFEFB09.jpeg


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runningshoes

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Something to think about based on advice I recently received from the owner of a local shop that does a ton of Jeep mods. The point of connection for the wired controllers to the winch is usually built with 6 or so pins that are relatively thin and have a tendency to corrode when exposed to harsh elements (in your case the salt in the air or in my case the crap from winter roads). Make sure you get a really good plug for the connector and a wired/wireless option.
 

Hayseed_JLUR

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I look at the winch like skates and helmet - do not skimp and get the best you can afford. My wife an I do trails alone. We only go where I know we can recover (and not break). Needless to say, I use my winch for ourselves and anyone else on the trails who need it. I have winched a 6000lb land rover stuck axle deep in mud up a hill with my JLUR and it did not even hiccup.

I use the Warn Zeon in the JL and the Superwinch in the JK. Both expensive but you get what you paid for. Do not fall into the "I will buy cheap and if it breaks I can by a second one and still come out ahead" crowd. You need to it work all the time and it is not the same as a power window switch breaking.

Also, runningshoes is right on with the connectors. They will corrode and should be checked in a preflight manner. Do not wait until on the trail to find an issue.

I went with a Rock Hard 4x4 aluminum bumper to compensate for the heavy winch. No sagging. Also stay with synthetic rope - that save quite a bit of weight (in addition to all the other benefits).

Watch many reputable videos on the different ways of spooling the winch and also the different techniques/safety. Have all the gear with the winch too (snatch blocks, bubba ropes, tree savers. etc.).

They are not difficult and a good one will be used like your air compressor. Do not be afraid to put yourself in a position to use one - practice makes perfect. A few weeks ago, we were on a trail I know well but do not do it by myself incase I cannot get it out). My wife was with me and I said something to effect of let's see if we can through this and we did - with the winch.
 

Pepe My Little Mule

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I have been running a made in the U.S. of A. Warn XD9000i on my '98 TJ, the one with a STEEL cable - since 2000 with no problems. I unspool it to inspect and "clean" the cable with WD-40 once a year. Other than the aluminum oxidation and paint peeling that sucker hasn't missed a beat and I have never had to repair or replace any component!

Hated the high initial cost until it saved my bacon on a foolish solo run in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Got me unstuck from the middle of nowhere a few times before and after that too. Ironically, I have used it more for landscaping chores around my house over the years more than vehicle recoveries.

There is a whole debate over steel vs. synthetic line, but if you know what you are doing and are safe go for it. Wreckers and roll backs use steel cable on their winches umpteen times a day all over the this nation with very few if any reported injuries.

For the JLU winch I am sticking with Warn, probably the Zeon with steel and corded remote - just don't trust the cordless option. As for bumpers I am steering towards the ARB shorty, but too each his own.

Good Luck!
 

JSFoster75

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I’m waiting for delivery of my 2021 JL two door Rubicon, stock bumpers, to be delivered to Maui from Portland. I’d like to install a winch.
1. will the stock bumper accept a winch? I’m thinking not, I didn’t opt for the steel bumper group due to some negative comments here.
2. are any winches made in USA?
3. whose winch bumpers do folks like? I’m looking at a short bumper.
4. I’ll likely need to compensate for the weight up front, a spacer kit perhaps?
thank you for any help

Back in the day I’d automatically say Warn was my choice but I see they are now Chinese winches!

this is my third Jeep. My first was a 1967 C101 Commando I restored. My second was a 1997 TJ SE. I liked them both But the Rubicon is the holy grail of Jeeps. Plus, my wife wanted it, who am I to object?

EAG bumpers are quite nice, I've enjoyed mine, found it on eBay here:
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr...311&_nkw=eag+bumper+jeep+wrangler+jl&_sacat=0

I got a rough country 9,500lb winch, it fit the EAG bumper perfectly.
 
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Hayseed_JLUR

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I’m thinking Warn stubby bumper with a Warn VR Evo 10k winch and the little skid plate that firs it.
I looked at aluminum bumpers but I can’t find any reviews. They are lighter but how strong?
I have the Rock Hard aluminum front and rear. Very strong. I have winched heavy stuff out of mud and no effects on the bumper. Have it on things and just scuffed. Besides being crazy light and strong - it will not rust. Expensive but worth it.
 

Hayseed_JLUR

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I have been running a made in the U.S. of A. Warn XD9000i on my '98 TJ, the one with a STEEL cable - since 2000 with no problems. I unspool it to inspect and "clean" the cable with WD-40 once a year. Other than the aluminum oxidation and paint peeling that sucker hasn't missed a beat and I have never had to repair or replace any component!

Hated the high initial cost until it saved my bacon on a foolish solo run in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Got me unstuck from the middle of nowhere a few times before and after that too. Ironically, I have used it more for landscaping chores around my house over the years more than vehicle recoveries.

There is a whole debate over steel vs. synthetic line, but if you know what you are doing and are safe go for it. Wreckers and roll backs use steel cable on their winches umpteen times a day all over the this nation with very few if any reported injuries.

For the JLU winch I am sticking with Warn, probably the Zeon with steel and corded remote - just don't trust the cordless option. As for bumpers I am steering towards the ARB shorty, but too each his own.

Good Luck!
Lot of going back and forth on synthetic vs steel. Both have plusses and minuses. Some love steel and would not use anything else - some the other way. Personally, I have used synthetic for 5 years and will never go back. For me there are no downsides. Research and decide for your self.

The wireless remotes are great in theory but I have not heard of one working twice in a row without an issue. I have never used one myself, though.

The ARB bumpers would be n my short list as well. The biggest issue I have with them is their weight - they are heavy. but one of the best built bumpers on the market.
 

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