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1998 2.8GU wagon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm deciding on whether or not to fit a winch to the new rig & if I do, what brand. Won't be getting an expensive Warne or such, as it's highly unlikely it'll ever get used, it will be for "just in case". In nearly 40 years of 4 wheel driving I've only ever needed to be recovered, using a snatch strap, around half a dozen times.
After people's opinions on some of the cheaper ones out there.
 

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Y2KGUII ZD Wgn
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In 40 years of 4x4ing I've never owned a winch, I have however winched my way out of a creek by wrapping a snatch strap around a wheel and tying off to a tree with another then cranking it out.
I have no desire to put all that extra weight on the front, not having a winch doesn't stop me from doing what I really want to do one way or another.
My 2 cents worth.
 

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I'm in the same boat mate I have a winch bar and wouldn't mind one in the off chance it's ever needed and always see cheap ones for sale and wonder if it's worth it but being 90 percent of my off roading is dunes/beach I can't justify an expensive one however don't wana cheap out then it fail on me if it's needed!!!
 

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2016 BT-50 2011 Hyundai iLoad.
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Bought an ebay winch for $350 around 9 years ago had it on my GQ used twice and then on my GU used 3 times. Unless doing some serious 4x4ing I wouldn't bother with a winch at all.
 

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1989 GQ TD42 wagon
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The problem with the cheap winches is their inconsistency. Lets take Aldi & Kings as two cheapies (because I have heard reports first hand about them -- not somebody's second cousin's mate).

Aldi: A bloke I used to go camping/4WDing with sometimes bought an Aldi winch. Cheap as chips, winched as well as a Warn, never died no matter how much he abused it. On the strength of this, a mate of his bought one. Couldn't pull the skin off a custard, died halfway through its first recovery. Mechanical, not electrical. He got a refund, refused to exchange.

Kings: I've heard more bad than good, but some gold nuggets have somehow slipped through the quality control system and made it into the hands of the public. Similar to above: if you get a good one, it will winch hard, and be reliable.
 

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nissan
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Second @dkril, Had a kings winch for 4 years and it was good as gold, only replaced it as a precaution after it got abused. On my second one, used it once and no dramas with it. On the flipside there are YouTube videos of them failing on their first use.

As with most cheap Chinese 4X4 gear, there is too much variation in quality and minor details which is very annoying.
 

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I had this conversation with a mate of mine recently. If I was out playing 4wder with my mates, trying to get up hills for fun, then a cheap winch would be somthing I would consider. If it stopped, then I would have help anyway.

But I don't do that stuff. I tend to travel with one vehicle a lot though. And I do my best not to get stuck. But if I got stuck somewhere on my own, then I would want the best winch I could get, as insurance.

I had a cheap soleoid originally. First time I went to use it, it did not work. Lucky I was at home, not in the boonies somewhere. Learning my lesson, I now have an Albright.
 

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I had a cheap soleoid originally. First time I went to use it, it did not work. Lucky I was at home, not in the boonies somewhere. Learning my lesson, I now have an Albright.
Another mate replaced his solenoid pack with an Albright. Which chit the bed the next time he went to use the winch.

Thankfully it happened in a situation where it was fairly easy (and safe) to move his car out of the way and use my winch instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've noticed a big range in prices for Warne winches, from around $1250 for the EVO up to over $3k. Are the cheap Warnes any better than similar priced ones from other brands?
 

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Nissan MK,GQ & now GU.
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If you are going to travel solo then a winch should be considered. Budget and winch should probably not be used in the same sentence. New car I would spend more and get a reputable brand. Even then they can fail. A spare solenoid(s) or pack is a must.

But you then need all the winch accessories. Add that to your GVM along with the winch itself.

The best thing about warn is parts availability.

I still have a M8274 sitting under my bench. It came of a ex police GQ patrol wagon. It then sat on the front of my GQ patrol for years with a lot of abuse from being fully submerged to having it stall under load. It was still working when I finally stripped it for a rebuild and found it was in surprisingly good condition.

I am trying to swap it for a new Runva for my Dmax. Hardly need a winch anymore but did need one the other day, and the warn is still worth something.

Runva have 5 year mech / elec warranty



 

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Another mate replaced his solenoid pack with an Albright. Which chit the bed the next time he went to use the winch.

Thankfully it happened in a situation where it was fairly easy (and safe) to move his car out of the way and use my winch instead.
Albright is a quality product. Surprised it failed at first use.
 

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2004 Nissan Patrol GU Y61 ZD30 DI
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I personally reckon a winch is essential as I go out on my own or just with a passenger more often than not. I have had two cheapos; a kings dominator on a pj ranger which got me out of trouble about half a dozen times over 3 years, and an BCF xtm winch on a pajero which I used frequently. Never had an issue with either of them and was going to go the same way with my patrol except I had trouble finding a 4x4 shop that would even fit one of the cheap brands as they have had too many warranty claims with them. Ended up getting a VRS fitted and have used it once and couldn’t tell the difference between it and the $350 ones I had. So my opinion is if wanna save coin and you can find somewhere to fit it go the cheapo. Otherwise have a look on marketplace there are quite a few people selling decent brand winches for $500-600
 

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NISSAN Patrol N-TEC 2016
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I have really never needed a winch to recover but have used for other jobs so when I got the ZD30 decided I would fit one but not expensive just the piece of mind as I travel solo, so after looking around purchased from BCF a XTM 7.2HP 12000Lbs thinking BCF may be better reputation wise than some of the dodgy ones. Have tested by pulling the 3 ton Patrol up a hill seems to work OK at this point $499.00. If you are interested I made a video as I installed it here -
 

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I think all the Chinese winches are of similar quality, and I think they are ideal for someone who doesn't want top drop 3 grand on a Warn. A couple of points I think are important to note with cheapies: It doesn't matter how waterproof they claim to be they still get water in them. If you do water crossings you absolutely must maintain them. I pull my Runva apart yearly and it's always gross inside. Second, they are prone to overheating. Never run them for more than 30 sec under load without a 30 sec break and ideally upgrade the wiring so run fast and don't stall. Would not hurt to carry a spare solenoid either.

My Runva, which is just a cheap Chinese made winch with slightly better QC and warranty, has always worked for the 5 years I've owned it, but has definitely been in a bad state inside when I've pulled it apart after a lot of water and mud.
 

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Horses for courses really.
I think of it as cheap insurance.
I've got a few cartoons over the years for winching out fools.
I've had a warn and a xtm from bcf.
The xtm is in the trol.
 
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