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Unread 08-12-2014, 09:59 AM   #1
herrmc
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Winch For my CJ7 - Moderate Use

I searched some for this topic... found a few threads which were good reads... but they all seemed older. Thought maybe it would be good to get a "current" perspective from some with more up to date info.

My 86 CJ7 is moderately modified.... definitely not a serious rock crawler (nor am I )... It has no winch.....

- We just returned from a trip to Silverton, where we traveled several trails... (mostly a group of ATV's ... but I had my jeep).

- We attempted to descend PoughKeepsie.... we made it down to "the wall"... (and that was fun)... was on the fence, but finally decided to go back up (and not attempt going down the wall)... got me thinking I will add a winch to the CJ.

- I live in central Oklahoma.... My local ag store has a "grip winch (9500#)"..... but I couldn't find any reviews, and doubt it would be too good quality.

- So, I would like input on what winch to buy..... options to look for... pricing, where to buy etc.

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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:04 AM   #2
delirious1
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I put a the 12,000 pound Badlands on mine. I don't use mine much either. It frequently is on sale for 299.99 http://www.harborfreight.com/12000-l...ake-61256.html

Look for ads or circulars for that price. They also make a winch base. http://www.harborfreight.com/univers...unt-90476.html Mine will pull my jeep across the pavement when hooked to a sturdy tree. I can't imagine needing one of the more expensive units. If you use one all the time, maybe something else. I'm very pleased with mine. It has a remote that you can get for wireless use. Around 35-30 bucks. http://www.harborfreight.com/Wireles...rol-69229.html

read those reviews
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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:10 AM   #3
skizriz
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I use my HF a lot. A few of us run them, and have never had one fail yet. Have seen Warns and Smittybuilts not work when needed though.

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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:26 AM   #4
WindKnot
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I like my Warn. I can't honestly say that I would've gone out to buy one, but it came with my Jeep. Every time I've used it I've had no problem. Unfortunately I lost it in the garage fire. (The windings melted) I chose to replace it with another.

When buying a winch, understand that the rating is for how much it can pull on the first wrap of cable. Each layer over it can pull less. (significantly less) If ever the Jeep is stuck in mud, you will be pulling a lot more that the actual vehicle weight. besides the mud's weight, there is also a vacuum holding the tires fighting the winch. That's why a 10K winch is not unreasonable for a 3500 lb. vehicle.

Get a recovery kit as well with as many snatch blocks as you can afford. (You'll most likely need 3 or 4 to pull yourself backward with a front mounted winch. Yes, you CAN pull yourself backwards. Take a winching class!) Tree savers are better than chains, and buy gloves with some spares for the guy who may help you.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:34 AM   #5
CSP
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I just put this one on my 4Runner. It's not fast, but good bang for the buck. My CJs each have a Warn 8274, but that's overkill for occasional use unless you find a smoking deal on one. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to look for a used Warn.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Unread 08-12-2014, 11:24 AM   #6
NorCalTim
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I have a Smittybilt on our Eugene (84 CJ7) and haven't had a chance to use it other than testing it out. I had a Warn on my TJ and used it a bit though mostly for property work such as relocating large rocks, taking down trees, etc, rather than recovery. I also have a pre-Badlands Harbor-Freight winch that was on my equipment trailer that I used for loading/unloading a very heavy 56' Fordson diesel tractor with Wagner W7 loader and box scraper (using a snatch block) and the occasional car when helping someone out here and there by giving a tow/relocate. Based on my experience, I am not saying the HF is better or even equal to the mentioned brand names, but I will say for way less than I paid for the Warn I have put in lots of real-world usage with the Harbor Freight and actually will be mounting it on the CJ-7 because I trust this particular winch I own and don't know the history of the Smittybilt that is on there (it has a rigged up controller with two doorbell buttons using a flat-4 trailer connector anyway... opportunity for failure and potential history of who knows what sort of mis-use is high.) One thing I did do was buy the HF replacement warranty when I first bought the HF winch, but I never needed it despite me pulling *very* heavy loads with it. I have to say if the one I owned did die, chances are I'd go for another HF one and I'd probably do the replacement again just in case as after all it is HF and I can't shake that "luck of the draw" paranoia I have when I purchase from them.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 11:31 AM   #7
delirious1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalTim View Post
I have a Smittybilt on our Eugene (84 CJ7) and haven't had a chance to use it other than testing it out. I had a Warn on my TJ and used it a bit though mostly for property work such as relocating large rocks, taking down trees, etc, rather than recovery. I also have a pre-Badlands Harbor-Freight winch that was on my equipment trailer that I used for loading/unloading a very heavy 56' Fordson diesel tractor with Wagner W7 loader and box scraper (using a snatch block) and the occasional car when helping someone out here and there by giving a tow/relocate. Based on my experience, I am not saying the HF is better or even equal to the mentioned brand names, but I will say for way less than I paid for the Warn I have put in lots of real-world usage with the Harbor Freight and actually will be mounting it on the CJ-7 because I trust this particular winch I own and don't know the history of the Smittybilt that is on there (it has a rigged up controller with two doorbell buttons using a flat-4 trailer connector anyway... opportunity for failure and potential history of who knows what sort of mis-use is high.) One thing I did do was buy the HF replacement warranty when I first bought the HF winch, but I never needed it despite me pulling *very* heavy loads with it. I have to say if the one I owned did die, chances are I'd go for another HF one and I'd probably do the replacement again just in case as after all it is HF and I can't shake that "luck of the draw" paranoia I have when I purchase from them.
I'm going to have to agree with you. For as much as I use one. If the HF one went bad. I'd buy another at 299. I've been very temped to purchase another just to put in the bed of my pickup as a spare. Maybe buy that hitch attachment that goes into the hitch receiver. Would be great for raising and lowering deer blinds.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 11:55 AM   #8
delirious1
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If you do decide on the HF, it's 299 now on their home page. http://www.harborfreight.com/

Only $299.99 with coupon 72672482
Add item to cart to redeem coupon
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Unread 08-12-2014, 12:06 PM   #9
wm69
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Find an old Warn 8274 used on Craigslist. They're easy to rebuild if needed, but normally you can take them apart, clean them up, and use them. They are the standard for a winch, especially one going on a CJ.

I've gotten mine for $200-300 each. Be patient and you'll find a cheap one. You could buy a new china made one for that or a little more, or you could buy a Warn. Mine are 30+ years old and work better than any new winch I've seen.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 12:25 PM   #10
zillla
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Moderate use? Hmmm.. When you need it you need it.. I would pass on the entry level winches and get a good brand name winch. Ramsey, Warn, and I see Superwinches out there. Here's a bit of trivia. Make sure the motor is series wound and not one of those permanent magnet deals..


My first option would be to start cruising garage sales.. Found more than one good winch that way..




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Unread 08-12-2014, 03:35 PM   #11
scooby533
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I'm going to suggest the 8274 as well. It's easy to rebuild and I picked mine up for 250$. I put 300$ into it though with the brake rebuild kit, seal kit, controller, motor brushes and all new solenoids. Works fantastic and the build date was 1980.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 03:57 PM   #12
CrustySprings
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Food for thought...

I was in Ouray two weekends ago running some trails (California Pass, Hurricane Pass, Corkscrew and several others) with a friend in a nicely built LJ. He has a Warn Power Plant winch/air compressor on his Jeep but it wouldn't work when it was time to air up the tires. So naturally I happily aired up his 35's before I aired up my Jeep. I have nothing to base this on other than a gut feeling, but I believe his LJ looked much better on the road with CJ air in the tires! Ha

I know the Warn lover's will probably fry me but this was the second time his Warn winch failed him. Warn is awfully good but anything mechanical can fail.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 03:59 PM   #13
DanJeep21
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I'm on the lookout for an 8274 for the CJ I currently have. There is just something about this winch on a CJ. plenty of pulling power for the CJ. I've seen them as low as $400 on Craigslist in OK. Keep your eye out and you might find someone with one sitting around not getting used.


I'm not going to argue with those that have no problems with an HF winch. I choose to run a Warn winch on my vehicles. Either can fail when needed.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 04:47 PM   #14
firegod33
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I have the Warn VR8000 on mine. Good price, reliable, and powerful. The 8000 pound rating is conservative. Using it to winch a crew cab long bed 4x4 Ford (7800 pounds) onto a trailer, the truck hit the fenders of the trailer. Instead of popping over the fenders as planned, the truck started pushing the trailer and skidding the towing truck (crew cab Dodge 2500 4x4) sideways across the asphalt. Impressive, when you think about an 8000 pound winch dragging two very full size trucks and a trailer, without breaking a sweat.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 06:58 PM   #15
LumpyGrits
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wm69 View Post
Find an old Warn 8274 used on Craigslist. They're easy to rebuild if needed, but normally you can take them apart, clean them up, and use them. They are the standard for a winch, especially one going on a CJ.

I've gotten mine for $200-300 each. Be patient and you'll find a cheap one. You could buy a new china made one for that or a little more, or you could buy a Warn. Mine are 30+ years old and work better than any new winch I've seen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scooby533 View Post
I'm going to suggest the 8274 as well. It's easy to rebuild and I picked mine up for 250$. I put 300$ into it though with the brake rebuild kit, seal kit, controller, motor brushes and all new solenoids. Works fantastic and the build date was 1980.
Took the Warn 8274 from my Land Cruiser FJ40, and put it on my jeep when I bought it in 1985.
It's still there-rebuilt twice in that time.
Get a good winch and just move it to newer vehicles as time goes buy.
LG
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