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Winch Or Locker - Choose...

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Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Dave-NvincibleT on 1/17/2016, 10:08 am

Just sort of trying to get opinions and ideas before moving forward.
Frame of reference: TJ with front locker.
Also, dont include current axle type or battery type in your descision, since if I was going to put a rear locker in, I would swap axles for a stronger setup anyways, and probably throw in Dual Batteries for a Winch.

If you had to pick one for now, a Winch or Rear Locker, which would you choose, or which would you argue is more important in New England wheeling?

If Winch, is there any type I should stay away from?

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated, been researching a lot and have ideas but would like others opinions as well. Thanks!

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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Mark on 1/17/2016, 12:46 pm

Thats kind of a toss up . A locker will get you into, and also out of, places that an open diff won't. But if you do you get stuck and you have a locker your usually Really Really stuck, because the locker can get you into some really bad places.

Myself, I purchased a winch first because jeeps are pretty capable without a locker and I have been in trouble when I wasn't with someone else who could get me out. You have to think about yourself Before you are out where AAA won't touch you.

On the other hand, if you always wheel with others, you could go for the locker first.
All said and done, you will be better off with both, obviously.

If you have a good battery like a Die Hard Platinum ( which is a rebadged Odyssey battery) or something like that, you will be just fine with one battery.



Last edited by Mark on 1/17/2016, 6:48 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Dave-NvincibleT on 1/17/2016, 1:20 pm

I actually have that Battery. Its not gonna be an issue, but id probably throw in a dual battery just because its not a hassle for me.
I was thinking winch, because its much more useful to assist others as well as solo wheeling. I dont really wheel alone, but Ive never duod with someone else with a winch either.
Likely, ill have both, but a winch is so much faster for me to setup than an axle swap.
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Posimoto on 1/18/2016, 6:36 pm

Winch, safety over performance.

When I was on Puoghkeepsei Gulch in Ouray CO climbing the "wall" last summer some guy following me couldn't make it so we pulled cable on his new, never used, badland 1000lb winch. Within seconds of the pull the winch blew it's 100amp fuse, no spare fuse so we hot wired it to finish winching him up. I'd say, stay away from the badland winches unless you plan to carry an extra 100amp fuse.

This is only one instance, doesn't mean their bad winches after we rigged up the fuse it pulled him just fine. Superwinch is made local good company to deal with, warn is good as well. Personally I have a 1200 Mile Marker hydro winch.
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Dave-NvincibleT on 1/18/2016, 6:46 pm

I am under the impression Warn is the king of Winches, and while the best is never unacceptable, its also generally skyrocket in price and designed to be used extensively. Because I dont expect to use it often, likely once or twice a year, I was looking at Superwinch, Smittybuilt, and because someone suggested it, the Quadratec brand. I was originally thinking Superwinch, after researching the numbers, on paper it was falling behind, so now I dont know. I will look into this Mile Marker Hydrowinch tho since I want to know all the options.

Planned a winch since installing locker in front upgraded axle. The rear locker part of the question was just in case im oblivious to something.
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Posimoto on 1/18/2016, 7:41 pm

Most don't use their winch much, all wheeling season (I go out often) I only used my winch twice, once to pull a bent tire rod on a rubi and the other to winch someone I let wheel my rig. But when you need it, you need it, so has to work for you.

You didn't say what numbers you used for evaluating the winches but Superwinch is a good winch for the money. My Mile Marker runs off the PS pump (hydraulic fluid), all case iron, and can do a full pull at idle, their pricey at over $2000.
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Dave-NvincibleT on 1/18/2016, 11:59 pm

I was comparing amp draw, line speed, load capacity, length of cable mostly. No experience or reference for reliability tho. Youre right, if i want it to work, it needs to work.

I was honestly looking to spend somewhere in the 400-700 range max for a winch. I looked up milemarker, saw how they worked, looks extremely efficient but more pricey than ive been looking for.
I guess since ive never been stuck myself, and have only had to help others, im probably not seeing the darkside of things.
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  RubiconBob on 1/19/2016, 7:56 am

I have to agree with the winch before locker. 1)'winch is easily transferable to any vehicle in case you replace jeeps and 2) it helps you get out of a mess and let's you help others too. Recovery, in my limited experience, seems much faster if using your own winch rather than arranging another vehicle to winch you instead. There are always exceptional circumstances, but that's a bit more rare.

I personally chose a warm synthetic because steel cable snaps scare me, wasn't concerned with money at the time, and prioritized reputational reliability above all. For best prices, sign up for zero.com's email list and you can get notified of some gear deals. Common to see 20-30% off flash sales and last year I know they offered warns during these sales. Not sure if they still do but worth a look. They also sell other winches.
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Mark on 1/19/2016, 12:33 pm

I for whatever reason can't find, zero.com.
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Dave-NvincibleT on 1/19/2016, 12:53 pm

I cant either haha. Are we typing it wrong? I searched for it, cant find any significant website searching for zero.
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Ryan McKee on 1/21/2016, 2:03 pm

My vote goes to the winch over a locker.

I run the Smittybilt 8k winch, and though it's loud and not exceptionally fast, it's never let me down. It has come in hand more times than I can even count in all different scenarios. We even used Andrew's this summer at MaBell to act as a suck-down kind of thing to keep his front axle from rolling back underneath the TJ.

Money's better spent there, hands down. And honestly depending on what kind of battery you run (I've got the Die Hard P4 Platinum) you don't even need a second battery to do it correctly.

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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  AquilesT on 1/21/2016, 3:15 pm

Mark wrote:I for whatever reason can't find, zero.com.
i think he meant zoro.com
i have a rubi so i didnt have to go through the locker vs winch decision (not that i have a winch either) but after wheeling some moderate trails over the past 2 seasons, i have seen open diff jeeps make it through the same stuff my jk has made it through (granted not as easily, but easy is not fun in most cases lol! ) I my self have been high centered once or twice o n a seemingly easy obstacle and have needed to ask for winch help.
so i'd say winch. Smitty is affordable and they have great warranties from what i hear as well as superwinch, and like anything else proper set up/maintenance should make it last for a while.
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  RubiconBob on 1/22/2016, 7:14 am

Sorry about that, autocorrect must have snuck in the wrong letter. It is zoro.com.

Http://www.zoro.com
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Andrew Miller on 1/23/2016, 4:08 pm

I'd go for the winch over the locker as well.  A locker is great until you get stuck, and if you are alone you are just stuck.  A winch would be a better purchase as you would have a wide range of applications that you can use it for. I ran my TJ on stock d30/d35 axles with open diffs and got around just fine without lockers and when I needed it, the winch was there to help me.  Plus you learn to be a better driver offroad with the throttle and trying different lines on obstacles. Just remember, lockers have their limitations.

As mentioned above, there are several different brands that sell great winches. I bought the Superwinch tiger shark 9500 and that ran for just under $400, and it has worked very well for me.

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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  pbeckwith2012 on 3/2/2016, 5:42 pm

I've been wheeling for less than a year and sought out a lot of advice before outfitting my first Jeep - a 2015 Wrangler.  The first two things I did was to lift it 2.5" and install a Superwinch 9500.  The JK came with a locking rear differential which provides some additional traction at times but is no locker.  I am not the roughest of off roaders but I did end up using my winch for the first time a couple of weeks ago to rescue to people I was out with.  I also got a rescue kit to go with my winch to I can extract myself if I do get stuck somewhere though I try to not wheel alone.  One newbie's opinion. Smile
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Re: Winch Or Locker - Choose...

Post  Mark on 3/3/2016, 9:32 am


I have been using a superwinch 9.5 for years and have never had an issue with it, chances are that you won't have an issue either.
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