Are Smittybilt winches any good? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 177 Old 03-18-2009, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
ct-snoman
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Are Smittybilt winches any good?

Just got the latest issue of Quadratec - they list a new item by Smittybilt -the XRC-8 winch.

I've been looking at getting a Superwinch (8500#) which retails for around $400, but for the same price I can get the Smittybilt XRC-10 (10000#) or the XRC-8 (8000#) for $300.

How does Smittybilt compare to other winches out on the market, and in particular to Superwinch? Is Smittybilt a reliable product?

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post #2 of 177 Old 03-18-2009, 10:02 PM
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For the money I have heard they are pretty decent. They switched both motors awhile back to the series wound and I think it alleivated most of their problems. My superwinch is great, have done a few pulls and it has worked flawlessly. If you are on a strict budget I dont think you could go wrong with the smittybuilt, but if you have a little extra money I would def. upgrade to the superwinch.

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post #3 of 177 Old 03-18-2009, 10:02 PM
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post #4 of 177 Old 03-18-2009, 10:33 PM
flexsaharatj
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get it... i did i love it others will say it's not a warn... best bang for the buck honestly... it's a good winch and has not failed me yet (knock on wood).

just make sure you get the extended warranty and you've got nothing to worry about
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post #5 of 177 Old 03-19-2009, 08:51 AM
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flexsaharatj View Post
just make sure you get the extended warranty and you've got nothing to worry about
Warranties aren't worth the paper they're printed on if it fails on the trail and you're then left unable to recover yourself. In some situations, a winch failure can be flat out dangerous.

I'd rather save up and pay a little more (and I did) for a winch brand that has a better reputation. Some items can be skimped on because if they fail it's no big deal... like a cheap impact wrench. But a winch?

When you have a choice, buy American made.

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post #6 of 177 Old 03-20-2009, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanx for the info...I'll hold off and save up for the Superwinch.


As for this reply:
Quote:
Originally Posted by wes19d View Post
EPIC FAILURE
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post #7 of 177 Old 03-20-2009, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Warranties aren't worth the paper they're printed on if it fails on the trail and you're then left unable to recover yourself. In some situations, a winch failure can be flat out dangerous.

I'd rather save up and pay a little more (and I did) for a winch brand that has a better reputation. Some items can be skimped on because if they fail it's no big deal... like a cheap impact wrench. But a winch?
some mans junk is another mans treasure??? personally i just bought the xrc-8 with a lifetime warranty and i used it a couple of times just to see how it worked and i saved alot of money and it works perfect on my rig .. sorry had to put in my 2 cents as a matter of fact a buddy of mine has a warn and mine works just as well and i think its alittle faster ..
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post #8 of 177 Old 03-20-2009, 11:01 PM
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Warn is pretty much the best winch money can buy, we know. If I had my way I would be running a 5.5" treks y-link longarm with a rear coilover conversion on top of dynatrac 60's. However, money is an issue so I've got a 6.5 incher from rough country on my stock axles. I also have a smittybilt XRC10 that has treated me pretty well. I got my winch bumper from Nate's 4x4 and my winch with a lifetime total coverage warranty for just a hair under $700. I did my research, not enough about Nate's 4x4 would have avoided him if I had known, and I couldn't find a bad review about smittybilt winches other than they are loud and the line speed is kind of slow. For way less than half the price of a warn I can live with having a winch made in China.
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post #9 of 177 Old 03-21-2009, 02:42 AM
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i have been pulled out by mile marker, and smitty built winches.. but with those winches i have noticed that everyone has a love hate relationship.. i have no first hand experience with either or. but i have noticed problems which both. either you have had no problems with cheap winches or all problem... i have no problem with budget builds or anything of the sort. but i really do believe with what jerry said.. you can go cheap on one thing but others you really should do it right the first time.... and a winch is not one of those "i'll get the cheapest ones" i have had super winches my parents 4 wheelers and had problems with all 3. moved to warn on 2 and have not had a problem. i have a warn on my xj and my flat bed and i have made alot of hard pulls with every winch i have used and it seemed like warn has came out on top. for me i like knowing if i need to use a winch every time i plug that controller in i get results in stead of problems... i'm not knocking on every super winch out there.. i'm just saying.. don't cut yourself short on such an investment as a winch..

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post #10 of 177 Old 03-21-2009, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Whoa! Didnt mean to start a winch war here

I have no interest in buying Warn. From talking with some other folks, they are overpriced. Excellent products, yes, but like Sony, you pay a little extra for the name.

Hence the reason I was told to look into Superwinch. I've heard some people like Mile Marker, and even know one guy with a Chicago Electric 10K# from Harbor Freight, which he says, besides being loud and slow, was a steal at $350 and has served him well for years.

I dont do a lot of wheeling, as my jeep is my DD. Just looking for something more recreationally, which is why I kind of like the Superwinch LP8500, which seems to be a nice entry level winch.

Again, what type of problems are Smittybilt and Superwinch more prone to, if at all? I'm sure I can find some who have had problems with Warn winches as well.
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post #11 of 177 Old 03-21-2009, 10:55 AM
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This is a pretty good article

http://www.moabjeeper.com/articles/g...?articleID=353

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post #12 of 177 Old 03-21-2009, 12:07 PM
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Half my club has Warn, the other half (myself included) have the Smittybuilt. A year after purchasing, it has been used on virtually every run to either get me or a winch-less buddy out. None of all the Smittybuilts have failed, or even shown that can't keep up with the Warns in our club.
I have a TON of videos and pics on my club's website-www.outhouseoffroad.com, as well as a tech write up on how to make an in-cab winch control for the Smittybuilts.

Customer service --
After about 6 months of use, I had a winch controller with a cable that sometimes had to be wiggled right at the plug to get to work. I checked the plug, one of the screws had been overtightened at the factory and stripped, making the wire not stay connected. I needed a new plug, nothing more.
I called Smittybuilt. Without any qualms, proof of purchase, receipt, or serial number, 3 days later a whole new winch controller showed up at my door.

They work, and when I had a very minor issue, I was taken care of immediately.
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post #13 of 177 Old 03-21-2009, 12:09 PM
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Comparing an American made winch like from Warn, Ramsey, or Superwinch's American made models (some are Chinese import) to one of the Chinese imports like from Chicago Electric (Harbor Freight Tools), Milemarker's electric winch line, Smittybilt etc. is like comparing a Yugo to a Ford/Chevy/Dodge truck. The Yugo make get you around town for a while but when the going gets tough, I'd rather have the truck. Those who cry about the couple hundred extra bucks for something like from Warn/Ramsey/Superwinch that only looks similar to one of the Chinese imports are kidding themselves thinking it's only the "name" that is different. Of course some only buy their winch for the looks of having one on their mall cruiser. For those, I guess it really doesn't matter.

When you have a choice, buy American made.

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post #14 of 177 Old 03-21-2009, 01:32 PM
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Mall Cruisers? Yugos? Wow, you have some seriously negative opinions for something I'm guessing you haven't even tried for yourself yet.

To reiterate, half my club has Warns, the other half Smitty's. None have failed to operate, died, malfunctioned, or left the owner stuck. All have performed as advertised, pulling their owners out of mud up to the door sills, or buried up to the bumper in snow. They get used A LOT. None are "mall cruisers", as any of the videos or pics on our webpage shows--every one of them is dented up scratched up, and well used. Whether they're buried in mud, or in sub-freezing temperatures covered in ice, ALL of the Smittys have worked EVERY time.

I understand you're a moderator, but maybe try giving one of the Smittys a fair shake ON YOUR RIG and see how it does for yourself. You're doing your members a great disservice by not giving the budget-conscious members a cheaper alternative.
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post #15 of 177 Old 03-21-2009, 02:15 PM
Jerry Bransford
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One thing in particular that is very good about America is that we are all entitled to our personal opinions.

When you have a choice, buy American made.

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