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Warn vs Smittybuilt 12K synthetic

Discussion in '2nd Gen Tundras (2007-2013)' started by jelloburger, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. Dec 30, 2019 at 4:40 PM
    #1
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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    Having read a ton of reviews and watched the Tubers...I'm down to these two winches, but still can't decide. Very similar in spec, both have strong customer reviews. What do you think?

    $563.84
    Smittybilt
    (98512) X2O Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch - 12000 lb. Load Capacity

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K150X2E/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    OR

    $823.32
    WARN
    103255 VR EVO 12-S Standard Duty Winch with Synthetic Rope - 12,000 lb. Capacity

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SGG81RR/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
     
  2. Dec 30, 2019 at 4:58 PM
    #2
    e30cabrio

    e30cabrio I'm e30cabrio, I'm a modaholic

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    I got the Smitty, used the 300 bucks for more mods.
     
  3. Dec 30, 2019 at 5:01 PM
    #3
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon Hey! Get off my grass!

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    I've had a Warn and feel that you pay a lot for the name. If the Smittybilt has good reviews, I would probably opt for it.
     
    jelloburger [OP] likes this.
  4. Dec 30, 2019 at 5:47 PM
    #4
    thetwood

    thetwood New Member

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    I have a Warn, but originally ordered that Smittybilt. At that time, it was back ordered and no one knew when they would actually ship, so ended up paying more for a Warn. Have been happy so far (though not used much). Don't think you can go wrong either direction and the Smittybilt will save you some cash.
     
  5. Dec 30, 2019 at 6:07 PM
    #5
    Wsteven

    Wsteven New Member

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    Both are good products I had the Smittybilt X20 with the Synthetic rope on my FJ Cruiser and it really worked excellent and got a hell of a workout, The Only thing I did not like about it was the Relay box (Separate from the winch) it was not very water proof So if you go with it make sure to take the relay box apart seal it up well and place it as high and Dry location that you can.

    FJ-2.jpg
     
  6. Dec 30, 2019 at 6:53 PM
    #6
    NR-J

    NR-J New Member

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    I have the Warn VR12 on my FJ and love it. It’s been used and used and used. Tons of repeated winching hauling trash loads out of ravines, winching my FJ out of bad spots and pulling a lot of other stuck vehicles free.

    I’ve seen enough winches from other brands fail that we only use Warn for our crew trucks.
     
  7. Dec 31, 2019 at 8:50 AM
    #7
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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    Well, it appears the Smittybilt has just gone up $50 overnight. So now that's only a $200 difference, thus leaning me towards the Warn now. $200 over a 5 year period is less than $2/month.
     
  8. Dec 31, 2019 at 9:28 AM
    #8
    theraven

    theraven Speed is expensive, how fast do you want to go?

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    I have the smittybilt 12k synthetic. If I had to do it again I’d go warn. As another guy mentioned the control box isn’t waterproof and you find that out at a less than ideal time usually.
     
    jelloburger [OP] likes this.
  9. Dec 31, 2019 at 11:38 AM
    #9
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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    Done. Warn on the way. Should have it installed w/ new front Fab4s bumper this weekend God willing and weather cooperating. :bananadance:
     
    Zero One Actual and porkitt like this.
  10. Dec 31, 2019 at 11:50 AM
    #10
    Bprose

    Bprose Old member

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    I have the smittybilt 12k w synthetic rope. I put some longer cables on it and mounted it up under the hood. 0E4FBEE2-C287-4D59-8636-09BD9E78613F.jpg
     
  11. Dec 31, 2019 at 12:34 PM
    #11
    BOBONTUESDAY

    BOBONTUESDAY Grocery Getter

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    I've got the smitty built x20 been on the truck for over a year now about 50 to 60 thousand miles and I've used it quite a bit even broke the winch cable once. Been a really great winch. My control box sits in my sso bumper and gets packed with snow and covered in rain all the time with no issues. I use it all the time. Sometimes its pulling myself and a trailer out sometimes pulling others out or other things out of the way. I liked the x20 so much I bought the steel cable version for my car trailer.
     
  12. Jan 1, 2020 at 1:38 PM
    #12
    DesertRoads

    DesertRoads RF Guy

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    I have a Warn VR Evo 12S. I got it out of my buddy's truck after he was rear ended. I've only used it a few times, but it works very well for my needs.
     
    jelloburger [OP] likes this.
  13. Jan 7, 2020 at 10:14 AM
    #13
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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    2 questions:

    1) Has anyone done a relocation modification of their winch controller and if so, did you have to fabricate your own custom wires/brackets? Any suggestions or things to consider here, and why NOT to do it? I'm wanting to put mine under the hood.

    2) Has anyone any experience with mounting their winch horizontally vs vertically? Warn suggests to mount vertically, I called and asked and they said it's because of how it operates. I was confused as, isn't this a cylindrical application where the load would be the same regardless?
     
  14. Jan 7, 2020 at 4:15 PM
    #14
    thetwood

    thetwood New Member

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    I have a Warn VR-12S that I mounted with the controller relocated into the engine bay. I needed to do it because of how the winch is built, but also wanted to do it for better protection of the controller from the elements and easier access. See link below to see my build write-up of this. I ordered 6' battery cables and swapped these in between the winch and controller. I then mounted the controller on top of the fuse box. To mount the controller, I cut a piece of plastic to the same size, used the mounting screws to attach and then used Velcro to secure so I could remove if I wanted.

    Not sure if it's the same as you're referring to by horizontal/vertical, but my winch is mounted to the bumper so that if the controller was still on, it would be behind the winch, not on top (rotated 90 degrees back). Works fine.

    https://www.tundras.com/threads/col...-pro-headlight-swap.19306/page-3#post-1247350
     
    jelloburger [OP] likes this.
  15. Jan 8, 2020 at 9:16 AM
    #15
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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    Thanks Thetwood, good stuff here you shared, much appreciated. :thumbsup:

    The good news is that sounds like the relo of the controller isn't a big deal and like the placement you chose. Bad news is I have to remove the monster bumper again to rotate the winch and remove the controller, as there's not as much room between the oil cooler and the winch as I had hoped. Oh well, at least I know what's involved and should be much faster to re-install it than the first time.

    Here's the super high tech modification I made to my floor jack to balance the bumper on so that it can easily move that bumper around with just someone spotting. It worked so much better than I anticipated; it's simply a piece of rough cut lumber I had that I drill/tapped into the jack plate. A piece of foam on top of the wood to protect the bumper and of course, no good project is complete with out some duct tape. Redneck ingenuity wins again. :D

    floorjack1.jpg floorjack2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  16. Jan 8, 2020 at 9:18 AM
    #16
    thetwood

    thetwood New Member

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    Anytime. Glad it helped.
     
  17. Jan 8, 2020 at 10:04 AM
    #17
    TG705

    TG705 Braaaap

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    not sure what winch you have there might be a relocation kit for it. I have a warn Zeon and I had to buy a relocation kit from them because the winch controller box was too tall for the bumper. super easy to install and came with all cables, brackets, hardware, and easy to follow instructions. wasn't too expensive either
     
  18. Jan 8, 2020 at 1:03 PM
    #18
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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  19. Jan 8, 2020 at 1:51 PM
    #19
    timsp8

    timsp8 Member

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  20. Jan 8, 2020 at 4:23 PM
    #20
    thetwood

    thetwood New Member

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    I obviously don't think you're missing something as that's the route I went. Battery cables worked just fine and was easy enough to fab a mount for the control unit.
     
    jelloburger [OP] likes this.
  21. Jan 8, 2020 at 5:42 PM
    #21
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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    Something (probably very obvious and a stupid question) but how do you secure your winch line? As in; what keeps someone from flipping the freespool and doing any number of nefarious things with the line either to cut, steal or other shenanigan's?
     
  22. Jan 8, 2020 at 5:45 PM
    #22
    lawfarm

    lawfarm New Member

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    Reel it in and keep some tension on it. I use a winch hook that can pull up tight on the fairlead. If you leave some tension on it, the freespool lever won’t release.
     
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  23. Jan 8, 2020 at 8:15 PM
    #23
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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  24. Jan 9, 2020 at 3:30 AM
    #24
    timsp8

    timsp8 Member

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    I’ve also never heard of anyone messing with or trying to steal a winch line. Might happen but probably too much work for little payoff. They’ll take your tailgate instead.
     
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  25. Jan 12, 2020 at 12:21 PM
    #25
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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    Need some help here: So I got the bumper back off to install longer controller cables (tomorrow hopefully if they arrive) and also to reposition the winch according to bumper instructions for a 12K. Question: does it matter if you flip the winch around one way or the other? In the picture below, I have it temporarily mounted on the front of the bumper, you can see this makes it easier to reach the cables and puts them on the top of the winch versus underneath. This does put the winch handle on the opposite side, but otherwise, I don't see this as a problem. What am I missing here? Only thing that occurred to me was would this configuration cause the "in/out" to be reversed and if so, does it matter?

    warnwinch2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  26. Jan 12, 2020 at 7:18 PM
    #26
    TG705

    TG705 Braaaap

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    I believe it does matter, I don't think the winch is designed to spool in the winch out setting and vise versa. I could be wrong tho. your best bet would be to call warn and ask.
     
    jelloburger [OP] likes this.
  27. Jan 13, 2020 at 5:22 AM
    #27
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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    @TG705 - Thank you sir. I was just sitting here having coffee thinking that very thing. Guess it took some caffeine to stimulate the grey matter. :)
     
  28. Jan 13, 2020 at 8:22 AM
    #28
    TG705

    TG705 Braaaap

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    No problem buddy! good luck
     
  29. Jan 13, 2020 at 8:39 AM
    #29
    jelloburger

    jelloburger [OP] New Member

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    UPDATE: Spoke to Warn, they stated the winch can be mounted foot down or forward, but MUST be mounted such that the cables are on passenger side and handle is on driver side. However, the FabFours installation states "if you are installing a winch with a pulling capacity of 12Klbs, the front face mounting holes must be used." (is this because at this load, 12k could sheer off the bolts in a foot down position?) Foot down position is not ideal so, I then called and spoke with FabFours, to see if I could mount this foot down because it would make accessing the handle and running the cables much easier. Their words were "we recommend that anything larger than a 12K be mounted foot forward and under 12K can be mounted either foot down or forward". This apparently was not clear in their installation guide (I was kind enough to mention to them :)) but now thankfully I can mount in much more ideal way, foot down. Whew. Thanks for hanging in here with me folks!
     
  30. Jan 13, 2020 at 8:58 AM
    #30
    gosolo

    gosolo “The .com stands for communist”, Dale Gribble

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    I read this entire advertisement. It’s clearly just a thinly veiled add for Smitybuilt. I’m not advocating for any brand, just saying that this is not really a “comparison review”
    Also, of premium winches, a high priority issue is water resistance. If you are partly submerged and need to use your winch, it’s a poor time to realize your winch has died.
     
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