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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a search for winch, winch review, etc. on the forum and there are tons of posts with winches for sale and tons of winch bumper topics but I can’t find anything specific to reviews on winches themselves. Does anyone know of posts that would shed light on the various winch features, brands and models?

If not, can I ask for your feedback? I’m looking to buy a winch to mount on my 110. I plan to fabricate my own bumper and would like to set it up for use on the front and back. I don’t anticipate heavy use of the winch as I’m really not a very extreme driver but would like sometime for the “what-if” scenarios.

I watched a good YouTube video review of a bunch of winches filmed in Australia and the Runva winch came out on top. Any experience with this brand?

I’ve also seen a few random comments on other groups about the Terrafirma A12000. Any experience out there with this winch?

I of course know that the Warn seems to be the preferred winch out there and also the most expensive. Just trying to sort through all the options really having zero experience at this point. Thanks for the feedback!
 

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American made warn is going to be the best and most reliable.

Terrfirma is just a Chinese clone and it's quality is fine. I wouldn't bet my life on it in competition.

I have a Chinese made smittybuilt x2o winch with syn rope. It's light and powerful 12k. Never let me down , equivalent to the tf and pretty much any other chinese winch.

Go to YouTube for legit reviews or stay here for anecdotal personal exploits like above
 

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IMHO.. I have been using a super winch for 15 years (a lot) but they are not what they use to be. So I would pass now days.

The local group and the jeep group have been using the smittybuilt X20 - its a good winch at a reasonable price.
the step up winch is - the Comeup seal Gen 2 - also Chinese built (Taiwan though for this one) and they are the contract manufactures for most of the quality winches in china or the WARN higher priced winches (Zeon, 8274 if you can fit it) are generally really good as well.

American made, your choices are limited, Ramsey is the only one left I think, Warn Non-VR winches are assembled in the US, but use parts from all over, the VR is made in China

If it's your first winch, the X20 is a great place to start.
My next winch (soon actually) will be the seal Gen 2 or a red winch explorer 2 (a lot more $ however)
 
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This is just me but the idea of putting a cheapo winch on a fine Land Rover is just Jeepy. If you are going to the trouble of fabbing a new bumper just for the winch why top it off with anything less than a Warn or Mile Marker?
For your heavy vehicle, I would go with a minimum 9000lb. 10 or 12K if you can. I have a surplus military Mile Marker 12K hydraulic on my custom winch bumper that runs off the power steering pump. It was fairly simple to install but the connection to the pump was a little bit challenging but I eventually found the correct fittings.
I'd also choose synthetic rope over steel wire. It's just so much better in every way. Well, except in a fire.
 
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Warn M8000 for $600 on Amazon is the way forward. $70 for some 3/8 winch line and $25 for an aluminum hawse fairlead. $100 for the right cables to wire it up. You can always use a snatch block if you need more power.
Or buy a used 8274 warn.
 

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Only problem now days is that price does not determine quality any longer. 90% of winches are built in China or made with Chinese parts. Nothing wrong with that though it's where the factory's are now.

I’ve seen Brand new warn zeon’s and superwinch's fail on the first pull, and cheap winches run forever, as well as the reverse happen.

WARN Zeon, Come-up Seal Gen2, WARN 8274 are all quality winches.

Synthetic cable is 100% worth it - just make sure the winch can use it. I.e. it needs to have an external brake.

YouTube is great for winch reviews, just watch a couple on each one to get an idea.
 
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I guess it depends.

If you are actually going off roading and want a piece of equipment that'll get used, then I would be looking at a Warn winch. Winch speed is key, the faster the better. These slow cheapo winches are painful under full load. Either way, try to get solid state contactor solenoids and synthetic rope out of the box or budget for at least synthetic rope.

The Warn VR is their entry level. This is a good one to look at.

Warn Zeon is their premium line. I'd be looking at this.

If you want a winch, for having a winch sake, get the Smittybilt X20. It has great specs and very reasonably priced. Yes its probably (most likely) Chinese but they work really well and have all the upgrades you want (fast winch, synthetic line, solid state contactor solenoids). For the once every 2 years you'll use it, it'll work great.

Some will say, go with the 8274. I've got one in my garage that I've got to install on my 109. Yes they are great but are large and can be difficult to mount onto most winch bumpers. I'd say unless you are going straight up period correct, don't worry about the 8274. Also new, holy smokes they are expensive. Used, you are in the range of the smittybilt and low end VRs.

I haven't kept up with Superwinch but apparently their newer stuff is pretty solid.

Harbor freight and Mile Marker. LOL no. I'd get one for a trailer winch, that is it. Otherwise I would avoid all together. Or get if you just looking for some truck trinket to bolt on and never use.

I'd pass on hydraulic or PTO winches. Yeah they are cool but not particularly applicable to off roading. If you are setting your truck up as a winch truck and you sit at the top of one of those ridic hills in California, and just winch up trucks all day. Then YES. A PTO or Hydro would be the bees knees. But for once a month use or less, electric. PTO would also be good, once again, if you are going period correct and count rivets.

The hitch mount winches are useless for off road. First off, they are heavy and difficult to move around. They hang out in that basket out front and are prone to damage (yes you can break a winch casing if you hit it against a tree, this is a fun conversation to have Monday morning). Now if you need to use a winch in a farm/utility fashion, I can see one of these being appealing.

Overall it doesn't matter which winch you get, if you don't unspool it once every month or so, and do a full pull in. Or pull it apart every few years and re-grease it. If it sits outside all the time in the rain, it'll eventually rust up and it'll be worthless when needed. Yes they do need maintenance and it is great practice. Great to check for issues (I remember I had issues with a bad ground, easy to figure out on a Sunday morning in a parking lot vs. on the trail knee deep in water) and check cable/rope wrap.
 

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20 yrs ago I was building a budget minded off road only rig, I installed a no name 8k lbs. unit from harbor freight, yes it was slow and noisy due to low gearing and because of its gearing it was very powerful. so much torque and power where on a long sideways pull, it broke the side to side reinforcements and split apart due to cable side way bunch.
although it stopped reeling, the internal brake held the load of the vehicle up hill while other vehicle was rigged to finish the pull. eventually off road rig became a parts donor.
I had the housing re-inforced a second time and moved it to a trailer as a load assist. It went with trailer when trailer sold.
searching for parts I learned said winch had been fabricated by ramsey, sold by HF with out a name.
Currently I have a warn m8000, on a different vehicle, two winters ago I used it plus 2 snatch blocks, 1/2 inch heavy duty chain a tree and a 30k lbs strap as an anchor to pull a Gehl rubber track skid steer out of a muddy hole.
it was my first time using it in 10 yrs of owning said winch, needless to say I became impressed by it's performance. yes the 3/8 inch steel wire cable held well, I was afraid of damaging the truck's chassis but all seems to have held equally well.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some will say, go with the 8274. I've got one in my garage that I've got to install on my 109. Yes they are great but are large and can be difficult to mount onto most winch bumpers. I'd say unless you are going straight up period correct, don't worry about the 8274. Also new, holy smokes they are expensive. Used, you are in the range of the smittybilt and low end VRs.
I like the “period correct” thought for my truck so have been looking at some older Warn 8274’s. I saw one for about $550 but it looks pretty beat up and the seller isn’t very knowledgeable on it. Another for $1500 that looks better and the seller has tested it. Anyway seems pretty high but what do i know? Are there any in this forum for sale or does anyone know what a median price is for a used one? Not trying to cheap out but i want to make a smart buy and I’m not in a big hurry.

Also I’m assuming no problem converting to synthetic?
 

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If you're not going to use your winch offten and you do not need an 8274 it's an incredible waste of money. Also it blocks a ton of air going into the radiator. And like stated it also needs a custom mount .

Lots of street cred tho
 

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Warn M8000 for $600 on Amazon is the way forward. $70 for some 3/8 winch line and $25 for an aluminum hawse fairlead. $100 for the right cables to wire it up. You can always use a snatch block if you need more power.
Or buy a used 8274 warn.
^^^This.

I rebuilt my 20+ year old M10000 a couple of years ago, replacement parts were all readily available. I just picked up an M8000 for the Disco; I can use a snatch block with it if necessary.

I'd go with a USA-made Warn (not the VR series); I am a bit biased I guess since they're built nearby, and one of their employees is a member of the local Rover Club and can be counted on to help with issues.
 

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I like the “period correct” thought for my truck so have been looking at some older Warn 8274’s. I saw one for about $550 but it looks pretty beat up and the seller isn’t very knowledgeable on it. Another for $1500 that looks better and the seller has tested it. Anyway seems pretty high but what do i know? Are there any in this forum for sale or does anyone know what a median price is for a used one? Not trying to cheap out but i want to make a smart buy and I’m not in a big hurry.

Also I’m assuming no problem converting to synthetic?
Yeah just keep your eyes open. I bought mine about 3 years ago for $500. In good shape, needed solenoids but that is ok. Get on Craigslist and FB marketplace. Keep an eye open and don't be afraid to get in the car and go. Around $1k for a used one seems to be the going rate. Just checked, a few within a 100 miles from me on FB marketplace (NC). One is actually pretty awesome with many upgrades for $1k.

I guess that is the issue. Would you spend $1k on a 20 year old winch that probably needs $400 thrown at it to get it the way you want it or $500 on a new Smittybilt that is ready to bolt up?

Oh yeah synthetic is no problem on a 8274. I have friends who have run syn on 8274s for years. Good to go.
 
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