How To Buy a Used Winch

Buy­ing tips for vin­tage winders

Jp Magazine - - Table Of Contents - By Verne Si­mons jped­i­tor@jp­magazine.com Pho­tog­ra­phy: Verne Si­mons

A winch is a great tool, and when you need one, you re­ally need one. That means you

need a winch you can count on be­cause us­ing it is usu­ally your last re­sort. In to­day’s flooded market of in­ex­pen­sive (dare we say cheap?) new winches, a great com­pro­mise be­tween a $300 hot-off-the­boat cheap winch and a bet­ter but more ex­pen­sive new winch is to buy a used high-qual­ity winch. We’d take a re­li­able, old, qual­ity winch over a cheap one that smells like toxic off-gassed plas­tic any day. And given that with some look­ing and a lit­tle knowhow you can find a great used winch for a frac­tion of what a new high-qual­ity one costs, why wouldn’t you buy a used one?

We’ve bought our fair share of used elec­tric winches, and we have learned a few lessons about what to look for and what to avoid. High-qual­ity winches, like any other part of your 4x4, can be re­built. A slightly bro­ken winch from a well­known and long-stand­ing brand prob­a­bly has a bet­ter chance of work­ing when you ab­so­lutely need it. By “slightly bro­ken” we mean it doesn’t need much more than a few new parts and a lit­tle love. If that’s the case, then you can bet it will last longer than some un­heard-of man­u­fac­turer’s new winch with all the flashy mod­ern bells and whis­tles. We pre­fer re­li­a­bil­ity over glitz and glam­our.

First step to buy­ing a used winch is to know what you’re look­ing for. What style winch do you want, and how heavy a rat­ing do you need for your rig? The second step is to bring a 12V bat­tery and power leads or at least a set of jumper ca­bles so you can test the winch to see if it works. The third step is to en­joy your newly pur­chased used winch for years to come.

The key to buy­ing a used winch is to know what you are look­ing at. This is a Warn M6000. It looks al­most ex­actly like a Warn Belle­view winch and darn sim­i­lar to a Warn 8274. Span­ning the time­frame be­tween the M6000 and the 8274 are the rare Warn 8000 and 8200, which have char­ac­ter­is­tics of both the Belle­view and 8274 winches. All of these winches are tried and true, but the 8274 is the most mod­ern and the best of the bunch.

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