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We have a new 2011 FJ, for which I've bought a set of recovery gear (Hi-Lift Extreme with all extras, shackles, tree saver, chain, swing block, Kinetic recovery rope). Wheels are OEM steelies, tires are 265/70-17 BFG All Terrain TA/KO, no lift kit is installed.

We intend to use the FJ on the easy to maybe intermediate ORV trails in the Tillamook State Forest, and to go touring and camping in the Eastern Oregon desert, sticking mainly to dirt roads. I don't foresee any rock crawling. In fact, I'll avoid it.

I'm now facing the decision about whether to buy a winch and bumpers. I definitely like the LOOKS of the end result, especially with Warn bumpers. But I am not sure I really need the winch, and everything that comes with it. When we do go to the desert we will be accompanied by at least one other vehicle. In the TSF we will go it alone on the easy trails, but will be accompanied on anything else.

With all that said, do you think I really NEED a winch?

Your thoughts and advice will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris
 

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As with many things in life, needs and wants are apples and oranges if you know what I mean. I've always been of the mind that it's better to be safe than sorry. Always be prepared. Did I really need a winch? Probably not. Did I want one? You bet. So, did I get one? Absolutely. You must decide for yourself. The only time I've had to use it was getting a few other vehicles out of snow filled ditches. That was worth the expense to me.
 

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I am of the be prepared mind set. I've never looked at a winch as an option on a vehicle I am going to take off road. First thing I put on my ATV, first thing I put on my FJ after I built the bumper.
 

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Need vs want as mentioned above is fickle. The way I look at it is that you have answered this when you said, easy trails alone. This is where it's better to be prepared (over prepared) than just getting by.
 

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Chris,

If it's in the budget I suggest it if you are going alone on the trails in Eastern Oregon. Up in the TSF you will find another truck coming along but most likely will have another one with you up there. The winch is a form of insurance policy that when you need it, can pay for its self. I cant tell you the number of times we have used a winch not extracting a stuck truck but keeping it from getting damage on the trail.

In fact when we did the photo shoot with Toyota in TSF with the prototype 08' TT we used our winch to keep the one of a kind truck from wiping out its door to get the shot they used under Cedar Tree.

Hope to see you on the trail here in Oregon. Congrats on the new ride! Stop by the shop sometime and say howdy.

Mark
 

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For me personally, i had one on the FJC and i used it 4 times in two years. They were all to recover other people.

IMO, if you are always wheeling with others, and someone else has a winch, i wouldn't make buying one a high priority.

I am always out with a group and haven't needed one yet. But then again i like the "bunny slopes" :)


I am of the be prepared mind set. I've never looked at a winch as an option on a vehicle I am going to take off road. First thing I put on my ATV, first thing I put on my FJ after I built the bumper.
Chris,

If it's in the budget I suggest it if you are going alone on the trails in Eastern Oregon. Up in the TSF you will find another truck coming along but most likely will have another one with you up there. The winch is a form of insurance policy that when you need it, can pay for its self. I cant tell you the number of times we have used a winch not extracting a stuck truck but keeping it from getting damage on the trail.

In fact when we did the photo shoot with Toyota in TSF with the prototype 08' TT we used our winch to keep the one of a kind truck from wiping out its door to get the shot they used under Cedar Tree.

Hope to see you on the trail here in Oregon. Congrats on the new ride! Stop by the shop sometime and say howdy.

Mark
^^^^These guys know there stuff!!!
 

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Peace of mind...I remember driving a Bronco into a sand pit and all the digging got me nowhere! I was twenty something then and damned near killed myself...I'm pushing fifty now and the winch is part of my everyday gear...don't leave home without it.
 

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im curious also because so much has been said about the weight once added to a new bumper and the complaints of cracking fenders or stress on the frame ,thats alot of wt.
 

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We have a new 2011 FJ, for which I've bought a...
Dude...make the 45 minute drive and get to know all the great folks at Metal Tech! They have answers and all kinds of goodies for your FJ.
 

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you can use your hi lift as a winch if really needed...
Yes just plan for it so you have the right amount of gear. You will need a way to hold tension on the truck as you reset the jack. You will get about 3' pulled with a typical 42" Hi-Lift between each reset. The easiest way to do this is a heavy chain w/ hook ends like a log truck binding chain. (I know we are in Oregon and not everyone has log truck binding chains laying around) The chain allows being able to adjust and take up slack each time you do the reset. Draw back of this is they are heavy!
 

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I have to agree. If it's in the budget, I would get one. I have one but never used it but it's nice to know it's there if I need it. Don't forget the second battery option if you spring for the winch.:)



Chris,

If it's in the budget I suggest it if you are going alone on the trails in Eastern Oregon. Up in the TSF you will find another truck coming along but most likely will have another one with you up there. The winch is a form of insurance policy that when you need it, can pay for its self. I cant tell you the number of times we have used a winch not extracting a stuck truck but keeping it from getting damage on the trail.

In fact when we did the photo shoot with Toyota in TSF with the prototype 08' TT we used our winch to keep the one of a kind truck from wiping out its door to get the shot they used under Cedar Tree.

Hope to see you on the trail here in Oregon. Congrats on the new ride! Stop by the shop sometime and say howdy.

Mark
 

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What about a come along as an emergency replacement if you don't want to spring for a full winch setup?
 

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I'm another one of those who have a winch and have never used it, but am glad I have it "just in case" I have to use it.

If you're going to get one, it actually makes more sense to just install a hitch in front and mount the winch on a hitch plate w/appropriate connectors, so that it can be used either front or back because you never know when you have to winch forward or back.

You can do a reverse haul w/a winch but you need at least 3 (preferably 4) snatch blocks and at least 3 (or 4) well-placed trees, 3 (or 4) tree protectors (and/or tow/yank straps), cable blankets (if you're using wire) and enough winch line to set up and make it safe. That said, it's much simpler to just use a hitch mounted winch that you move to the back to do a reverse pull.

And, if you do get one, it's also best to have a dual battery set up w/isolator so that you can run the winch off the back-up (rather than primary) battery. I've got one of those too and have actually used it when I mistakenly left my auxiliary lights on, which were (and still are) wired to and drained the primary.
 

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I have a winch that I rebuilt out of 2 used warn m8000 and some new parts and have an allpro bumper.
I have used my winch 2 times to pull myself out and being a trail guide and having a son with a bronco and 36's used it every time I wheel to pull somone out.If you spend alot of time offroading you will use it.I also carry a highlift jack on my roof rack. Gear UP!:ninja:
 

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Hand Winches - Off Road Vehicle Recovery



Not sure how it will do with something as big as the FJ, but much better than a typical come-a-long.
Im not sure about that one but we use the same kind of thing just bigger to drag around and secure crashed aircraft, something like 50 thousand pounds. They are heavy and the cable is also very heavy so you may be better off carrying around a normal winch mounted to your vehicle.
 

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Dude...make the 45 minute drive and get to know all the great folks at Metal Tech! They have answers and all kinds of goodies for your FJ.
They make a great front bumper to house that winch...too
 

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I was facing the same decision. My wife and I don’t do to much rock crawling but do a lot of solo camping and wheeling out in the middle of AZ, NM, CO and UT. I put one on for piece of mind. I hope to never use it.
I used a Lucrum mount and the stock bumper. Added some ¼’ spacers to the front to level it up.

VL
 
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