What winch to buy

Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
109
Location
Charlotte, NC
I have read a ton off threads and done bunch of research and I still can't make a decision on what winch I should get.

I'm going to almost always be traveling with other people, so the extreme reliability of warn doesn't make it worth the crazy price. I plan to take a trip out west next summer and thats the only time I might not be in a group, but I don't think I'll be doing the hardest trails out there anyways.

I'm looking to spend under 500, and the cheaper the better, as I still have a bumper and other stuff I have to buy. I'm looking into engo and Smittybilt right now, and I'm not sure how good either of those are. Also, is it worth getting a say 10k winch that might be second in the lineup with steel cable vs a 9k that might be third in the lineup with synthetic? I would imagine the 10k would be better as I will be using a dampener if the line happens to break

Any insight is helpful, there's just so much to consider I don't really know what direction to go.
 

subzali

 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
3,471
Location
Denver CO
I love me my used Warns on Craigslist. There are good deals on Superwinches though too through amazon and elsewhere.
 

1911

chupacabra
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
5,389
Location
Parker County, Texas
I have read a ton off threads and done bunch of research and I still can't make a decision on what winch I should get.

I'm going to almost always be traveling with other people, so the extreme reliability of warn doesn't make it worth the crazy price. I plan to take a trip out west next summer and thats the only time I might not be in a group, but I don't think I'll be doing the hardest trails out there anyways.

I'm looking to spend under 500, and the cheaper the better, as I still have a bumper and other stuff I have to buy. I'm looking into engo and Smittybilt right now, and I'm not sure how good either of those are. Also, is it worth getting a say 10k winch that might be second in the lineup with steel cable vs a 9k that might be third in the lineup with synthetic? I would imagine the 10k would be better as I will be using a dampener if the line happens to break

Any insight is helpful, there's just so much to consider I don't really know what direction to go.
When you get into the lowest price points of winches, you're dealing exclusively with the Chinese made ones. A lot of these seem to be all the same design (maybe even come form the same factory?) with only cosmetic differences between brands over here. I don't have any experience with these myself, just an observation. The Chinese can make good stuff, if it's spec'ed that way, but when you're at the lowest possible price point, you're not going to get the same quality as better winches. Just the way the free market works.

Again, if price is your most important criteria, then wire rope is always going to be cheaper than synthetic line.

Your LX is a heavy vehicle, but how much power you need in a winch is also dependent on how you're likely to use it. Pulling it over a ledge or out of a tight spot when the wheels can roll requires only a fraction of the power that pulling it out of axle-deep mud would take, for example. Even then, you can double the pulling power with a single snatch block and some elementary rigging. If you're not likely to be self-recovering from deep mud or the proverbial "hanging from a cliff", then there won't be a significant difference between a 9K and a 10K winch in my opinion.
 
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
109
Location
Charlotte, NC
I texted the guy about the one in Charlotte. Would a 9500 with stew cable for 650 be a good deal? I’m gonna see if I can get him down to 575-600
 

subzali

 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
3,471
Location
Denver CO
Will it fit whatever bumper you’re running? Not sure what mounting pattern it uses. I would try to talk him down some. Looks like that winch was ~$750 new
 

subzali

 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
3,471
Location
Denver CO
Just did a Google search and ran across this shootout. 7 years ago these guys thought the Warn did better overall than the Engo, and if you look at quality aspects like power cable and controller the Warn seemed to rate better. So unless Engo has changed in the last 10 years I would guess yes? I guess Smittybilt wasn't around back then or else it probably would've ended up in the test? Some of those winch brands I've not heard of.
Massive Multi-Winch Shootout - Four Wheeler Magazine

Pretty good price on a Superwinch too in Charlotte: Superwinch was 2nd in that shootout and they are reported to have great parts support and customer service: ~~~~~~SUPERWINCH EPi9.0 Winch~~~~~~
 
Last edited:

1911

chupacabra
 
Joined
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Messages
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Parker County, Texas
Will a 10 year old warn be as good as a brand new engo or Smittybilt?
I currently have two Warn winches; one (M8000) I bought new on sale, the other (8274) I bought used, 33 years old at the time. It ran fine. I rebuilt it anyway just to be sure. I have maybe $6-700 in that winch, they go for $1,800 and up new. It's now 40 years old, but I would rather have it than any new winch of any other brand - I wouldn't take any number of new Engos or Smittybuilts for it. So I guess that's my answer.

If the 10-year-old 9500 is not rusty and runs good when you jump it with a battery, I would buy it. You can take it apart and clean and grease it. Warn still sells parts for my 40-year-old winch; I imagine they still have them for a ten-year-old model.
 

John McVicker

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
2,631
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Big Pine, CA
Totally agree with @1911 regarding the reliability of the Warn winch...no matter if it's bought new or used. Buy a used Warn, rebuild it if necessary and you will have a reliable winch for years to come. Parts are always available...from Warn and you can get great technical advise from them over the phone.

My two 8274's get frequent use, bought them both used, with the oldest one being manufactured in 1975. I've replaced 2 solenoids, changed out the oil and generally cleaned them up. Have no more than $800 in either one.

There're other good winches out there for sure, but it's often a crapshoot going with one. Not so when you go with a Warn. There is a valid reason the majority of people are leery of items 'Made in China'. It's not a fabricated concern. Can they make good stuff?? Yes of course they can...but they often do not. Crapshoot!
 
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
109
Location
Charlotte, NC
Warn XD9000i winch

This one just came up on CL and I'm calling him in a few minutes and I'll probably buy it. Looks to be in great condition and over 500 off retail price, plus it'll fit the shortbus with no modifications
 
Joined
May 4, 2016
Messages
706
Location
Vancouver Canada
ComeUp also makes a great winch. They are the OEM for Superwinch and a based in Taiwan. They have been around since the 70's. Yet to see an owner say anything but positives, and they make the best waterproof winches hands down.
 

LandCruiserPhil

Peter Pan Syndrome
Supporting Vendor
 
 
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Mar 10, 2004
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23,898
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Scottsdale Arizona
I bought a Warn M8000i 23 years ago with the Warn accessory kit. Over the years it has been mounted on the front and rear on several vehicle.It has done nothing except work every time (mostly for someone else) I needed it. This week Im installing another winch on our LX470. Guess what it is?:) Yep I found another Warn M8000i
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
2,526
Location
Oregon
This is probably not going to be what is popular, but here goes. I've had Warn winches on rigs from before they were Warn. However, I also have a Smitybilt on my 80 and have run with lots of people that run a variety of the Chinese winches such as Harbor Freight. My experience with my Chinese Smitybilt has been excellent. I personally would buy a Smitybilt 10K or similar (Harbor freight 12K), either with Synthetic rope or replacement synthetic rope, and still save a few dollars left over before I bought an old, used Warn. That is, unless it was a 8274 or very cheap. Especially in the situation that you describe. JMHO and my experience.
 
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