Which Winch?

Mar 2, 2016
20
7
Lexington, SC, USA
#1
I am looking for advice on what model winch I should run on my TJ. It is my daily driver that is also my mild trail runner. I have a M8274 that is complete as well as one that is in parts but my dad has been trying to talk me into a smaller winch for the additional weight savings and he thinks there is a faster winch being built. What I want to know is what winch would you run if you could and why? I see a lot of people looking for the best bang to buck ratio but no real answer as to what they would like to have. I know the M8274 is tried and true and everyone wants one, but would it be well suited for a TJ? Or would I be better off with a different model. I tend to follow my dad's advice because he's usually right and has been instrumental in the TJ being built, but that being said he's not always right and I have been given bad advice. I just want to do my homework on this before I make a decision as to what I do with the winches that I have. Thanks y'all, Ashton
 

JeepZilla380

TJ Enthusiast
Ride of the Month Winner
May 30, 2017
932
847
Atlanta, GA
#3
For as much as we spent on our Jeeps and Jeep parts, I went with a m8000 about 5 years back with steel line. Saved me a few hundred dollars, and when funds allowed upgraded it to some synthetic line from winchline.com. Based on feedback on the m8000, it could end up being the last winch I ever own.
 

Fouledplugs

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Jun 19, 2017
1,668
1,453
Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, South Carolina
#4
I am looking for advice on what model winch I should run on my TJ. It is my daily driver that is also my mild trail runner. I have a M8274 that is complete as well as one that is in parts but my dad has been trying to talk me into a smaller winch for the additional weight savings and he thinks there is a faster winch being built. What I want to know is what winch would you run if you could and why? I see a lot of people looking for the best bang to buck ratio but no real answer as to what they would like to have. I know the M8274 is tried and true and everyone wants one, but would it be well suited for a TJ? Or would I be better off with a different model. I tend to follow my dad's advice because he's usually right and has been instrumental in the TJ being built, but that being said he's not always right and I have been given bad advice. I just want to do my homework on this before I make a decision as to what I do with the winches that I have. Thanks y'all, Ashton
You have the fastest most reliable winch on the market. Its the best IMO and if I were you I would keep it. It also has the longest line I believe at 150 ft
 

Mr. Bills

TJ Enthusiast
Nov 24, 2017
522
700
Area Code 530
#6
I had an 8274 on my CJ-7. Great winch. I wish I still had it.

One thing to keep in mind - the 8274 mounts differently than most winches. The design of your front bumper may dictate whether mounting your 8274 will be practical.
 

Drizit

TJ Addict
Feb 18, 2018
1,081
713
Canada
#7
You have the fastest most reliable winch on the market. Its the best IMO and if I were you I would keep it. It also has the longest line I believe at 150 ft
Yep this, if it's not fast enough for you it's an easy mod to install the motor used on the warn 9.5xp. It's a 6.5hp motor vs the 2.5 or 4.5hp (depending on age) that came on your winch. Those also run at 5k rpm, the 9.5xp motor runs at 6k rpm. If you look at giglepin you will find out just how far you can take this winch preformance wise but it becomes unnecessary for regular non competition use. The free spool is easier to pull than most low mount winches and it's gear set is very beefy. I've now owned a no name Chinese winch, a warn M10000, a titan tw12, and this 8274. I've also preformed recoveries with a runva, a few champions, a couple smittybilts, a warn m8000, 9.5ti, 9.5xp, zeon 10000, and power plant winches (probably a few others I'm not thinking of) I won't be putting anything different on the front of my jeep any time soon. I'd consider a zeon but they are big bucks and you already have its equal for free.

Also as to weight, install synthetic line and that will make a bigger difference than any low mount winch, it's not that heavy.
I had an 8274 on my CJ-7. Great winch. I wish I still had it.

One thing to keep in mind - the 8274 mounts differently than most winches. The design of your front bumper may dictate whether mounting your 8274 will be practical.
Or if you can weld, several companies make a weld in fairlead mount for the 8274 you can put on just about any bumper.

--
There must have been a time
when we could have said no.
 
OP
OP
Ashton Keiffer
Mar 2, 2016
20
7
Lexington, SC, USA
#8
Alright, thanks guys for the reply's! I just wanted to see what y'alls thoughts were before I made any decisions. Based on what I'm hearing it sounds like my thoughts about the situation line up with everyone else. I'll plan on using one of the M8274 and run a synthetic line on it to cut some weight. That being said, does anyone have suggestions on what brand line, what diameter and length, and what I should do as far as a fairlead is concerned? I appreciate you guys taking the time to help me out
 

Drizit

TJ Addict
Feb 18, 2018
1,081
713
Canada
#10
I really like having a thimble, make sure you get one with a wide shackle opening as it gives you more options for how too hook things up. The 8274 was designed for 150ft, bring all the line you can fit and afford, again it gives you more options. There are guys who mod the drum to be wider and smaller diameter so they can pack on even more. Personally I went with a 125ft 3/8" master pull line. I went with that length due to it being the max my M10000 would take, it's rated for 21700lbs so it gives you plenty of extra strength to support the use of a snatch block or two.

--
There must have been a time
when we could have said no.
 
Aug 20, 2018
90
71
Northeast
#11
The M8274 is a fantastic winch, it was between that winch and my 9.5 CTI. I chose the lower profile lay down winch over the M8274 based on how big a M8274 really is on the front of a TJ... It really takes up some room!! If you can get past the looks it's one of the best. I wouldn't replace it with a subpar Winch.
 
Likes: Fouledplugs

FireJeep

TJ Enthusiast
Jan 4, 2018
286
212
Virginia
#12
I have an XD8000 Warn on my LJ, as others have said if I could have found an 8274 for a descent price, that is what I would have put on. As for the amount of line, keep in mind that the more layers on the drum when you begin your pull the less pulling power the winch will have. The pulling power of a winch is based on the first layer (closest to the drum). Every layer after that the pulling power drops off. There are distinct advantages of having a boat load of winch line (steel or synthetic) available, but if your in need of the full power of the winch due to how your jeep is stuck you will need to off spool that much more line to get to that first layer. Of course there are alternative ways to increase pulling power, ie. creating mechanical advantage through the use of snatch blocks. Just some more info for you to consider, not saying any of the above advice is wrong, just some other things to look at........
 
Likes: JMT
Aug 20, 2018
90
71
Northeast
#13
If you need the full power of a winch you better be utilizing a snatch block or two to begin with. It wouldn't be a smart move to pull 8,000+ lbs on a single line pull.

Having the line to rig up multi line pulls is part of the advantage, especially if your nearest anchor is a reasonable distance away or if you need to rig the front winch to pull you backwards.

Also working winch line gets damaged in use, it's nice having extra line on the drum to work with should you damage a section and have to remove a length of wire and repair it.

IMO steel is still superior to synthetic but that is another debate.
 
Likes: Fouledplugs

FireJeep

TJ Enthusiast
Jan 4, 2018
286
212
Virginia
#14
If you need the full power of a winch you better be utilizing a snatch block or two to begin with. It wouldn't be a smart move to pull 8,000+ lbs on a single line pull.

Having the line to rig up multi line pulls is part of the advantage, especially if your nearest anchor is a reasonable distance away or if you need to rig the front winch to pull you backwards.

Also working winch line gets damaged in use, it's nice having extra line on the drum to work with should you damage a section and have to remove a length of wire and repair it.

IMO steel is still superior to synthetic but that is another debate.
I do not disagree with you about setting up a mechanical advantage via snatch blocks if you need to pull that much but there are times when this is difficult or not possible..... at any rate my main point was having a bunch of line on the winch is both an advantage and a disadvantage depending on the circumstances. For example, on the fifth layer of cable a 8,000 lb rated winch is only capable of pulling approx. 4,600 lbs. so the more cable you have on the drum (and subsequently the more layers) the less pull you have unless you unspool down to which ever layer affords you the pulling power you need for your current situation. Granted, setting up a mechanical advantage by using a snatch block and creating a 2:1 will double the available pull on the particular layer (and also halves your cable speed, which is not always a bad thing either). I am not saying you are wrong or that your advice is not valid, I am simply stating that there are compromises to be considered.

Oh, one other thing to think about, creating more than a 2:1 mechanical advantage can be pretty dangerous, there are few components on a Jeep that can withstand the forces a winch can generate at a 2:1 let alone anything above that.....
 
Aug 20, 2018
90
71
Northeast
#15
I do not disagree with you about setting up a mechanical advantage via snatch blocks if you need to pull that much but there are times when this is difficult or not possible..... at any rate my main point was having a bunch of line on the winch is both an advantage and a disadvantage depending on the circumstances. For example, on the fifth layer of cable a 8,000 lb rated winch is only capable of pulling approx. 4,600 lbs. so the more cable you have on the drum (and subsequently the more layers) the less pull you have unless you unspool down to which ever layer affords you the pulling power you need for your current situation. Granted, setting up a mechanical advantage by using a snatch block and creating a 2:1 will double the available pull on the particular layer (and also halves your cable speed, which is not always a bad thing either). I am not saying you are wrong or that your advice is not valid, I am simply stating that there are compromises to be considered.

Oh, one other thing to think about, creating more than a 2:1 mechanical advantage can be pretty dangerous, there are few components on a Jeep that can withstand the forces a winch can generate at a 2:1 let alone anything above that.....
I didn't disagree with you either, I was just adding that I think greater line capacity is more of a pro than a con with different rigging. I have been winching vehicles out of nasty situations for over 20 years, and in that time:

I have never said to myself: "I wish I didn't have all that cable on the drum!"

But I have said (more than once): "I don't have enough cable to reach that tree over there, that really sucks!!!".

And: "I just repaired my cable last week and lost 30 feet, I hope I have enough!".

The additional 2:1 or 3:1 rigging is more about reducing the load on the winch, simply changing directions, or pulling indirectly in most situations, it's usually not about utilizing max theoretical capacity. You are realistically not going to be stuck enough in a TJ to need anywhere remotely near 24,000 pounds of pull in a triple line rig. Hell you probably don't even see 6,000 pounds of stiction to recover in most situations...

Sometimes you (or your buddy) just get stuck in some really dumb places and you need that cable to play with. Or sometimes you need to move an object out of the way and it takes 2 or 3 snatch blocks to put it where you want it.

Comparing layer strength across winch platforms and applying it to this is kind of discussion is in a way futile effort.

A lot of these winches that come with a lot of extra cable on the drum are also much stronger layer by layer.

My 9.5 CTI with 125' of steel cable on the drum has a rated 7000 pound pulling capacity on the 5th layer, realistically I am going to be on the 4th layer in most situations putting me closer to 8000 pounds capacity on a single line pull (not that id use it in that manner, id double rig it back to the vehicle first).

So in my case I have the cushion of 125' of cable to work/rig with and plenty of pulling capacity even without pulling a tremendous amount of cable out.

Sometimes the reduced speed is a good thing, it allows you to have more control over certain situations.

Also when using synthetic line you need to maintain twice the amount of minimum wraps around the drum than steel.

Something to consider when shopping winches.

Picture for attention (the wife) :lol::

snatchblock.jpg
 
Last edited:

FireJeep

TJ Enthusiast
Jan 4, 2018
286
212
Virginia
#16
All valid points for sure.
I have not been in the vehicle recovery business for 20 years +, I have, however, been in the technical rescue business for 20 + years. Like you stated I have never run out of winching power but I have run short on cable (although there are a thousand different ways to extend anchors, move change of direction pulleys, etc.). Like most things in life there is a hundred different ways of doing things and as many different opinions on what is a priority..... Thank you for the discussion!
 
Likes: TehHeep
Aug 20, 2018
90
71
Northeast
#17
All valid points for sure.
I have not been in the vehicle recovery business for 20 years +, I have, however, been in the technical rescue business for 20 + years. Like you stated I have never run out of winching power but I have run short on cable (although there are a thousand different ways to extend anchors, move change of direction pulleys, etc.). Like most things in life there is a hundred different ways of doing things and as many different opinions on what is a priority..... Thank you for the discussion!
Yeah man all points are valid and its helpful for those reading to read them all.

They get to read each perspective from different people who have been through different situations.

You can also carry line extensions (which can be very handy too when you need them), it just requires more work and more space.
 
Likes: FireJeep

RubiconMike

Member
Supporting Member
Oct 25, 2018
40
43
Santa Cruz, CA
#20
I run a MileMarker 10,500lb hydraulic winch, I've had it since '03 and prefer the advantages over an electric winch. I think of it as a "PTO" winch, since it requires the engine to be running to use it. It's more expensive than a cheap electric, but around the same price as a premium electric.

Hydraulics have several advantages: No "duty cycle" - since they don't get hot, you can run them continuously - they also won't melt your synthetic rope. They only draw 2 amps (which is why they don't get hot) so you don't need a bigger alternator or dual batteries. They are sealed and can operate completely under water. Lighter and lower profile so they don't block the radiator. Hardly slows down even under full load.

There are also disadvantages: They run off the power steering pump, so if you don't have power steering or think moving the hoses on the pump is too complicated.... They require the engine to be running, so if you roll upside-down, you can't use it.

I don't want to start an "us vs. them" argument on which is best, they both have advantages/disadvantages. The OP wanted advice on which winch to buy, I just wanted to throw another idea into the mix.

Here is a nice review: http://www.4x4review.com/mile-markers-10500-lb-hydraulic-winch/

(note: I am not in any way connected with Mile Marker or any winch company. Just your normal Jeep nerd who does a lot of research before I buy anything, and don't always buy what everyone else does)
 

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