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2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
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Hey y’all,

I’ve just recently bought my first Jeep, a gladiator rubicon, and I’m wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a good quality winch for a reasonable price.

I’ve scoured the forums but most of the posts are quite dated and the prices are starkly different than what is out there today.

My Jeep has a stock steel bumper I bought from the dealership, so I believe I need a mounting kit as well. I’m looking to start off reading and everyone I’ve talked has mentioned I need one. Also, a lot of the off-road clubs here in southern Ontario either recommended or mandate one.

please help!
 

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A direct fit winch is a Warn Zeon. Others can be made to work with some mods to the bumper itself. You will need the Gladiator specific winch mounting plate which runs $300-$400.

If you don't mind modifying the bumper to make a less expensive winch fit, the HF Apex is a decent winch at a reasonable price.
 

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The warn is a really nice quality unit. I have owned everything from harbor freight to warn and really one of the biggest factors is your budget. Harbor freight makes a nice unit for the price however Warn is an industry leader because of their track record for reliability. As far as more budget options it would be between the smity bilt x20 and the harbor freight apex.

Which ever winch you decide on I would recommend synthetic line especially with you being a new user. Also in addition to mounting, plan on buying a tree saver, snatch block, and at least 2 shackles. These items can all add surprise cost if you do not budget accordingly.
 

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X2 on smittybilt but just put on an Xbull. Not a fan off the bat but it may prove itself.

Stickers were peeling when I unboxed it and the clutch is super finicky to re-engage from free spool. Also sounds pretty unlubed in the clutch area.



Sent from my SM-A015A using Tapatalk
 

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I’ve run winches for 50 plus years and you get what you pay for. I’ve never run rope but I plan to give it a try on my next winch I buy for my Gladiator. I’ve done a lot of wheeling in various parts of the country and have used my winches regularly but it seems more often it is to help others. I’m glad I have it.

As for as brand specific I have never had a Warn winch fail me. I use to do some extreme wheeling with several friends that alway bought the Chinese winches and many times under hard use I have seen them fail for multiple reasons, one actually broke in half and the drum was flopping loose. I am sure that these winches are much better than they use to be but when they fail is when you really need it.

My wife and I are off road a lot by ourselves so it is Warn all the way (I also carry a High Lift Extreme jack with me as well). I still have the first Warn winch I purchased back in 1975 and it still works great. My first experience with winching was back in the sixties with a Belview 6000 winch, it was the predecessor of the famed Warn 8274 winch and the roots of the Warn Industries. We got 3’ of snow fall up in the Colorado Flat Tops over night and out if five vehicles we had the only one with a winch (the Belview 6000). I pulled more line in two days than I cared to do again. Great experience and that winch never failed up. We put snow on top of it to cool it down so not to burn the motor up and it melted like you dropped it in a hot skillet. That old winch started out on a 1965 Land Rover and was used on several vehicles before it was sold with the last truck it was on, a 1978 F250 CC. No Chinese knock offs for me even though I rarely have needed either the winch or the jack but I’m to old to stack the odds over a few or even many dollars. good luck with your decision.
PS sorry for writing a book but some memories for me.
 
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