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Discussion Starter #1
I've been considering the addition of a winch to my front bumper. This would be just for safety. I've been using the FJ for about 2 years and only once I had to be winched out by another vehicle, but in that case, having my own winch would not have helped. I don't intend to do anything that would require a winch from the onset. I'd only use it when I fucked up or got too confident.
Truthfully I wheel alone most of the time (yeah I know many will say that answers my question). However, I am super conservative. In the above situation I got stuck because there were 4 jeeps behind me (although it took a 4runner to eventually get me out). I bring maxtrax, tow strap, snatch strap, and a Hi-lift everywhere I go.

I currently have...

Demello Evil Eye Steel bumper and a full set of Ricochet aluminum skids. This is on a set of 885 OME springs.

The front bumper weighs 120 lbs. I don't know the weight of the front skid, but It's something like 30 lbs I'd guess.

So, these two components are about 150 lbs. The springs I have are something like 170 lbs additional constant weight.

I'm considering a Smittybilt X20 synthetic line. Some places say it's 67 lbs and others say 99 lbs. Either way, it puts me over the 170 lbs.

I've been reading a lot about 886 springs, but there are a lot of mixed reviews. Some people say they destroyed their front end or left them inflexible. Others say they were a huge improvement over the 885 springs considering they lost 1" after adding a winch. I would also loathe having to replace the springs because of the cost and time.

I currently have 12" of clearance between the center of my front skid and the ground running stock tire size.

Thoughts?
 

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I have a ComeUp winch that I've had for about 6 months and I've used it twice for myself and a few times for other folks. I have Radflo 2.5"s with remote resi's & 650lb springs that handle the weight of my setup well. The first time I could have dug myself out but I have the winch so that was easy.. the second time I could have backed down the spot on the trail that was too slick to get up but the winch allowed me to get up and continue. I did have a side by side that I got stuck in some thick snotty clay/mud years ago that took DAYS to get out and I would've killed to have a winch then.. So it was an easy decision for me when it came to the FJ.

I think you may want to consider your specific risks, i.e., do you wheel a lot by yourself or with people that don't have winches? If so, then I'd say the weight/cost is well worth it.. if you're always wheeling easy trails and/or with other people that have winches then you can probably continue to get by without one.

Another thing to consider is where you live & travel with the FJ - if it's possible that either you or other people in your area might be sliding off of the road, especially during the winter, and it's a rural area - then having a winch can be nice.
 

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I've been considering the addition of a winch to my front bumper. This would be just for safety. I've been using the FJ for about 2 years and only once I had to be winched out by another vehicle, but in that case, having my own winch would not have helped. I don't intend to do anything that would require a winch from the onset. I'd only use it when I fucked up or got too confident.
Truthfully I wheel alone most of the time (yeah I know many will say that answers my question). However, I am super conservative. In the above situation I got stuck because there were 4 jeeps behind me (although it took a 4runner to eventually get me out). I bring maxtrax, tow strap, snatch strap, and a Hi-lift everywhere I go.

I currently have...

Demello Evil Eye Steel bumper and a full set of Ricochet aluminum skids. This is on a set of 885 OME springs.

The front bumper weighs 120 lbs. I don't know the weight of the front skid, but It's something like 30 lbs I'd guess.

So, these two components are about 150 lbs. The springs I have are something like 170 lbs additional constant weight.

I'm considering a Smittybilt X20 synthetic line. Some places say it's 67 lbs and others say 99 lbs. Either way, it puts me over the 170 lbs.

I've been reading a lot about 886 springs, but there are a lot of mixed reviews. Some people say they destroyed their front end or left them inflexible. Others say they were a huge improvement over the 885 springs considering they lost 1" after adding a winch. I would also loathe having to replace the springs because of the cost and time.

I currently have 12" of clearance between the center of my front skid and the ground running stock tire size.

Thoughts?
The rule of thumb is to have a winch that will pull 1 1/2 times the weight of your completely loaded and fueled up vehicle, possibly including a small trailer if it's unhitchable. Chinese winches start anywhere from $300 and up, the good ones with pure copper wound motors with rebuildable components generally start in the $850 range. I've only ever used Warn premium winches as I grew up on them. Having said that, I also have a small Superwinch for my large car hauler. The Warn VR series are the cheapos and everybody is making a version of the Chinese one now so do your homework. Not that the cheaper ones won't work, they just typically don't have the duty cycle that the premium models have or better quality internals for that matter so if you plan on doing a lot of winching, get a good one. If it's only for emergencies, a cheapo is better than nothing and will likely do the job, it just won't last as long.
 

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All depends on what kind of off roading tracks you intend to do in general. I presume you have already used traction boards. With my MT tires and the traction boards I have so far observed it gets me out of any slippery spots I have faced so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I guess I was more concerned about ruining the front suspension I have and being forced to upgrade the springs to a higher weight.

In the end, I decided on a Smittybilt 10k x20 comp. I'll just monitor the resulting loss in front ground clearance and decide what to do from there. If I gain 1" of sag like others then oh well I guess I will pay for an upgrade from OME 885 springs to OME 886 springs.

Yes

Conservative as in cheap or conservative as in frugal?
🤣
Conservative as in I'm careful off-road.

My dad often says "Well if Zach drove it, it wasn't that bad".
 
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