X-BULL and other import winches... - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 48 Old 10-20-2019, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
fishadventure
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X-BULL and other import winches...

So before we start talking get-a-Warn and all the drama over cheap imported winches, that’s not what I wanna talk about. I know you get what you pay for and going cheap doesn’t work out....there’s source and quality control…and also checkbooks.

I local guy that trucks A LOT recommended x-bull months ago and I just checked them out. Shocking price! So I wanted to hear from anyone that’s bought and used one four wheeling

Along the same vein of super cheap witches, is anyone running the harbor freight recovery winch? Same deal. How’s it doing and for how long?

Lastly, a local guy bought a Late model jeep with big plans, and bought a winch for it, but then got other interests and sold the Jeep. He wants to sell me his new in the box barricade winch. I’m not buying it for new price for sure, but if he takes my low offer I might pick it up.

It appears the Xbull doesn’t have any bad reviews out there?! I’ve looked around and can’t seem to find anybody that has quantifiable hate, but ya know... it’s a cheap winch.

HF Badland has some forum support, but I’d like synthetic and their pricepoint is out of line maybe? ($800.00)

The price of the X-Bull is tempting at the same time leaving me feeling suspicious. But after an hour or so of reading around I’m leaning that way.

Post up if you have one of these AND USE IT. I’m not looking for diss, I’m looking for actual review from real users. I’m already quite very familiar with what you get with a Warn...tell me stuff I don’t know.

(I was going to put a Bulldog on because we sell them at work. I just learned last week I’m getting laid off and no call-back date so I feel strongly disinclined to promote bulldog anymore.)


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post #2 of 48 Old 10-20-2019, 03:02 PM
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Whats aftermarket support like? Can you get replacement parts for an X-bull? Thats half the battle for me when buying off brand stuff. If it seems like you can get parts for it in 5 years or so I say go for it.
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post #3 of 48 Old 10-20-2019, 03:16 PM
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My thoughts are kind of the same as Bigskyj. I would first get online for the owners manual and see what kind of availability there is for replacement parts and at what cost. If they don't sell things like the solenoid and remote I would stay away unless the return policy is like five years 100% covered. If it doesn't I would most likely stay with the extended warranty that HF offers. Is Smittybuilt and Warns VR series too far out of the budget fish? Other then that I have never been around any of the ones your looking at, sorry.

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post #4 of 48 Old 10-20-2019, 03:27 PM
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After looking them up I say go for it. $270 for a 12k winch with remote and synthetic rope is an awesome deal. The solenoid box on that winch looks similar to the warns. That tells me you could get replacement universal solenoids if need be or just go with an albright contactor if the need or want arises. as far as remotes go there is always the in cab winch rocker switch that you can build.
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post #5 of 48 Old 10-20-2019, 06:17 PM
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For under 300 and 12,000 lbs, it's disposable.
My guess is there is only a couple discount brand winches and they are labeled differently.
I remember reading a winch shootout a while back.
All the winches performed as they should until they intentionally started breaking them.
One never made it because they submerged them overnight before the test. Stupid. I remember wanting to know how that one did.
They should have tested them first before drowning them.

Here it is. It was the HF one they broke prior to the test. My winch will never be submerged overnight. I don't take my Jeep through water. Hell, I'll go around a 6" deep puddle.

http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/12...inch-shootout/

You have to read between the lines of the review, it's biased as hell. They picked the Warn even though it failed. They weighted the scoring and it won with something like, they liked the color or packaging or some crap. But the data is there. By the data, it looks like a discount winch, T-max, actually should have won.



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post #6 of 48 Old 10-20-2019, 06:23 PM
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The test.
Exterior labeling was worth 30 points, a stall, which completely ruined the Warn (broken internal parts) was worth 10. Huh?
The label was worth 3X more than a wrecked winch?

So read the results and ignore their picks.
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post #7 of 48 Old 10-20-2019, 06:34 PM
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I've had my HF Badlands 12k winch for about 5 years. Used it wheeling and for other things around the yard and so far it's been great. The wireless remove is nice but has a small amount of lag. It's not the fastest, but came through when my buddy's Warn died on the trail.

Also. If you go for the HF. Make sure to get the one with the spring loaded cable tensioner/hold down . The 3/8" cable without it can be a pain.

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post #8 of 48 Old 10-20-2019, 06:35 PM
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Sometimes the price point of something reputable vs having a good warranty is the key. Sometimes it is simply price point.

My Snap on 3/8 drive electric impact currently retails at $739 in their retail "sale" fliers. It will make good power for no longer than one year if used regularly and from there on be a POS. My Ridgid Impact has less power to start but has lived well beyond that same time frame. But. I can buy seven ridgid impacts for the price of one snap on.

Value can be a crapshoot.

If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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post #9 of 48 Old 10-20-2019, 07:04 PM
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The main issue i had with the HF was line speed. ridiculously slow. it was a sub 300$. I use the winch a lot as well. speed might not be an issue for some but it does get old wait 2x longer to real it in. Im not sure how they measure wires in China as well. i will say it did work for about 4 years and how it broke was all my fault. shock loaded it and blew the planetary out. I was doing fence work with it and pulling cemented posts out and one was PITA. must have been half a yard holding that one in. snapped the steel pole and destroyed the winch. any winch would have been ruined as well.

The warren i bought a 10s. the wires are thicker and much more pliable. come with chafe guards on the hot one. the lever on the free spool or locked is like clock work the HF was loose and clunky, it worked just saying. I like the way Warren has made it so the rope can not go off the end. It is locked into the spool by a wedge and loop system. so if you did go to the end it will just wind up the other way.


main reason i paid a arm and a leg for that warren, its made here. coitus china.........

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post #10 of 48 Old 10-21-2019, 09:34 AM
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I had a mile marker for a few years and it was fine and saw pretty heavy use but one trip I ended up having to pull cable full length about three times and got sick of how slow it was to reel back in so I started searching craigs list and found a warn a few month later for a sweet deal. I still have the mile marker and keep meaning to mount it on my trailer. I am usually the leader of our group so don't usually have a spotter so end up in some odd jams.
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post #11 of 48 Old 10-21-2019, 05:31 PM
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Mark,

FWIW, By far the hardest I have ever used a winch was the SW tigershark... over all pull and speed its great along with low maintenance and free spool clutch etc... its great... on sale it can be had for under $500, lower some times. I have had 2, on different rigs...and would be my first choice again. BTW I used the winch, almost constantly for 8 hrs straight (litterly from tree to tree) in sub 30* weather on my LJY while pulling a GC on a snatch line from my bumper thru 36" Maine snow...

I have a HF one in a cradle for rear hitch and trailer use... No complaints for the $$ I would consider it disposable.

I had a mile marker that was strong but slow as crap... and CS was terrible when the solenoid went.

I tried Rugged ridge and RC winches and both failed in less than 9 months in NE weather. water intrusion...

Warn 9500Ti that lasted 10 years w ith no maintenance till solenoid crapped out. Internal pack so it was a PIA to replace... If it wan't for new pricing I'd do it again...

If you like a winch but still need synthetic (which I swear by) you can also buy the rope later on Ebay / web sales etc for a decent price...

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post #12 of 48 Old 10-21-2019, 08:25 PM
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I have a champion winch from sams club on the front of mine since the early 2000s (less than $300). I don't use it a lot, but it still works every time I do use it...slow as Christmas.

With that said, the only thing to scare you on a cheap winch is your pride...you are strapping it on point of your prized possession!
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post #13 of 48 Old 10-22-2019, 06:37 AM
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I've got the Speedmaster 12k winch. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Speedmaster...4165bec7c97c4d

It's pretty cheap but I got a screaming deal and managed to score it for $190 with an ebay coupon 1.5 years ago. I used the steel cable twice and hated how it would unspool into a birds nest and then kink so I bought a 3/8" synthetic rope later for $68 off ebay as well. I've probably used the winch 10 times since then. So far it's never let me down but I do keep it covered. I've seen Badlands winches fail and I've seen Warn winches fail. Yes the Warns are rebuildable but most cheap winches are replaceable for nearly the rebuild price. Ultimately, I wanted some added security if I got stuck by myself. In a group, if 5 people have cheap winches and 3 of them fail, the other 2 are still going to get you out.


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post #14 of 48 Old 10-22-2019, 07:18 AM
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I've ran a Badlands and a Rugged Ridge winch. I forget what weight the Badlands was, the RR was a 8000 lb I think. Both performed just fine for me. I'm not a competitive off roader or anything, I don't mind throwing in a snatch block if needed even if it cuts my line speed in half. I just know it's faster than a HiLift or come along haha.

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post #15 of 48 Old 10-22-2019, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisnvegas View Post
For under 300 and 12,000 lbs, it's disposable.
My guess is there is only a couple discount brand winches and they are labeled differently.
I remember reading a winch shootout a while back.
All the winches performed as they should until they intentionally started breaking them.
One never made it because they submerged them overnight before the test. Stupid. I remember wanting to know how that one did.
They should have tested them first before drowning them.

Here it is. It was the HF one they broke prior to the test. My winch will never be submerged overnight. I don't take my Jeep through water. Hell, I'll go around a 6" deep puddle.

http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/12...inch-shootout/

You have to read between the lines of the review, it's biased as hell. They picked the Warn even though it failed. They weighted the scoring and it won with something like, they liked the color or packaging or some crap. But the data is there. By the data, it looks like a discount winch, T-max, actually should have won.



If you want one, buy what you can afford at the time. You can always upgrade down the road when the timing is better.

They're sponsored by WARN. No way they're going to jeopardize that money over a winch test. It was so obviously biased I'd hope anyone reading would see though it. They're the same way over their other sponsors like Rugged Radios.
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