Budget winch, yea or nay?

dentedvw

uıɐƃɐ ʇɐɥʇ op ʇ,uoʍ ı
Location
Bountiful, UT
Budget winches, yea or nay?
I have a several hundred dollar tracker I am putting together as inexpensive as possible. Doesn't weight much, clearly. But, a 13k winch on amazon is only just under $400 with synthetic rope. Would go on a $75 bumper I bought used, and modified to fit the tracker.
The whole thing will be ugly, cheap and made to rub on rocks. I haven't had a proper 4x4 for about four years, since I sold the TJ rubicon. Paint is terrible. Suspension is a wreck. Body mounts shot. I am working on all that. Was maybe worth the few hundred I paid for it. But, it runs and drove ok.
I'd still like to leave room in a budget for a locker, and getting budget winch would really help. No comps in my future. Just wheeling with friends, hopefully. In the past I've gone on day trips to five mile with folks from the forum here. Every couple of years I rent a Jeep in Moab and drive around some trails. But, I had an itch that only a beater 4x4 of my own would scratch.
I have had Warn, Harbor Freight and yes even a Ramsey. But I've never seen an Xbull winch before. Looks like just another dressed up china winch.
So, whattya say?
 

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I Lean

Mbryson's hairdresser
Supporting Vendor
Location
Utah
I agree, looks like most other Chinese winches. I'd risk it, for a project that doesn't matter. :)
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
I've got one. Had it for about a year. It's still in the box though, so I have no idea about how it actually works. But I took the risk on it.
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Location
Stinkwater
I go both ways on these kinds of questions. On the one hand, yeah it's a budget project, it's just a toy, you don't want a winch but you don't want to break the bank, seems like the right time to roll the dice. On the other, why not save up and buy a winch that'll last forever that you can put on every other project down the road and have 100% faith in when shit gets sketchy? Buy once cry once, right?

I go both ways. I've had both ways bite me in the butt. Flip a coin. :D
 
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dentedvw

uıɐƃɐ ʇɐɥʇ op ʇ,uoʍ ı
Location
Bountiful, UT
Haven't been able to source a used warn, or superwinch, etc.
I have the warn 15k on my van, it's holding up ok, I had a Harbor Freight winch on the old Rubi, and it was fine too, I thought. I used it five or six times per year, except the last year when I didn't even drive the Jeep. That's when I figured it was time to let it go.
 

YROC FAB.

BUGGY TIME
Location
Richfield, UT.
Austin has a couple of those on his buggy and one in his titan. The one in his titan is the only one that has been used. My shittybuilt has been rockin solid for 6 years in the weather. We use it 12-30 times a year when i put my boom implement on my buggy and move heavy things around yard. @YJ_Auzzy
 

dentedvw

uıɐƃɐ ʇɐɥʇ op ʇ,uoʍ ı
Location
Bountiful, UT

YROC FAB.

BUGGY TIME
Location
Richfield, UT.
Also on those cheap wenches of @YJ_Auzzy , he had one sitting on a tire after fitting it in the buggy and then he jacked up the axle and the tire spun and the wench went full speed into the concrete(46" tire), It broke the clutch lever off and he was able to get a replacement lever.
 

YJ_Auzzy

Stupidly Big Axle Buggy
Location
Richfield Utah
I've had a cheap one on my Titan and it's holding just fine and has a Amazon rope too on it. It's a tugsten 12000lb and it's the one that broke the handle when it fell off the tire with the cable etc on it but like yroc said the customer service sent the replacement right out from florida. I've used it multiple times to drag my Titan out and a bunch of others. Easily 12-14times this last winter
 

gatchmo5710

Active Member
Im 8 years on the smittybilt 8k winch for 299 shipped. Its not fast but to this day it hasn't stop turning. Paint and stickers are faded. Will kick out of gear if its not on load every now and then. I would buy again but in the 10k series.
 

dentedvw

uıɐƃɐ ʇɐɥʇ op ʇ,uoʍ ı
Location
Bountiful, UT
I chose the viper. It arrived, and looks ok. Won't get to test it for a few weeks, at least though. Sure is a lot lighter than the 15k Warn. :) Only has bottom mounts though, and the bumper I have only has two bolts for bottom. I am welding some additional plate on the bottom. Counting on the lightweight nature of the truck to not tear everything to bits when I use it.
 

Mouse

Trying to wheel
Supporting Member
Location
West Haven, UT
Have you tested the viper yet? Looking for something for our scrambler and don't want to steal the warn off of the other jeep.
 

Coco

Well-Known Member
Location
Lehi, UT
My old buggy had an Engo chinese winch on it, and it worked great for its purpose. I'll likely get one of the Smittybilt $299 ones for my GX.
 

TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
When it comes to buying a winch on an ultra-low budget, my philosophy is this: I'd rather buy a quality model with steel cable (to help keep the cost down) than a cheap Chinese unit with synthetic rope. After all, you can always upgrade from steel to synthetic in the future... and doing that upgrade will cost less than buying the quality unit later when the cheap one fails. Buying it cheap means buying it twice, as the saying goes.

On a related note, a couple weekends ago I severely overworked my poor little warn M8000 winch. I was winched to a distant tree (I had to unspool all of my cable, save for the first six wraps) so I could be an anchor point. One end of my 30' tow strap was attached to my rear bumper; to its other end was attached my 20' tow strap (which was run through the 30' strap's eyelet in a V shape). Each end of the 20' strap was attached to the rear bumper of a JKU. On the front of the JKU, his winch was unspooled and attached (via a snatch block and a chain) to a fat pig of a Chevy 2500 DuraMax CrewCab which was trying to slide down a ravine. Slowly, we were winching the Chevy up out of the ravine... until we started running out of winch rope on the JKU. The leader of the operation didn't want to slack the JKU's winch line to reposition everything, so he asked me to start spooling my winch instead. This means my M8000 was pulling my TJ plus the JKU plus the Chevy truck, all toward that tree 100 feet in front of me.

Amazingly, it did the job without failing.
 
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