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What would you buy?

  • Pro 4X Rear diff

    Votes: 21 43.8%
  • Winch Bumper

    Votes: 27 56.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
I may have a few xtra bucks to throw at the X, and for about the same money I can get a locking diff out of a Pro4x, or a steel winch bumper (Hardcore Offroad of PA). So they both have their plus's and minus's:

Winch bumper- looks great, better approach angles, can get a winch, easy to install.

Locking rear- Traction! But will take more time to install, have to install electric controls for diff, and have to swap front diff to match gearing- can sell old parts and get something(minimal) back. Gear change will make titan swap easier later on.

I'm leaning a little more towards one side, but just curious what you all think.

One other thing is the axles I found are at a great price and may not be around for ever.

Your thoughts?
 

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When i looked at this i concluded a winch bumper and winch. The general thinking that i read was that a locker would get you into more trouble however a winch would get you out of any situation that you needed.

The flip side I suppose is if you wheel in a gp. then there is always someone to pull you out of a mess! (that you get into using a locker!)
 

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Winch bumper.

A winch will get you out of infinitely more issues than a locker ever will. And will also get others out of issues that your locker cannot.

If your ultimate intent is to TS, then you'll ultimately end up with both. Why not save the money so that you can get all the TS stuff at the same time, instead of it sitting on the floor of your garage taking up space while you wait for [gears, axles, etc]. A winch bumper you can use now.
 

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Having both a winch and a rear locker I can say that I use the locker more then the winch. There will be times I get stuck on the trail and instead of climbing out, getting out all the gear, getting strapped/winched, or going at something with too much speed just to get over -- I just flip the switch and climb over the obstacle. It doesn't save you all the time but it does make the truck more capable.

The locker does have the potential to get you into trouble. My worst off road mistake was locker related. I have had a few other close calls. When the locker is on, the backend has a tendency to walk on you. Something like this can happen:



The winch makes recovery less dramatic (used properly) and it is also great to say "I am done with this obstacle" and recover yourself rather then making other people come to your rescue. It is also nice to be the rescuer.

So, I personally would lean towards bumper and winch.
 

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I have another take on this...

A winch is only going to be used when you get completely stuck and it's not practical to have someone use a snatch strap to pull you out. So what are these conditions for getting that stuck - high centered, mud, water, deep sand, deep snow. In every one of these situations, a locker would be of help and might make the difference between being stuck or not. Sure, the locker could get you "more stuck", but IME the locker is enough to keep you from getting stuck in the first place. I also don't wheel alone very much at all, at least nothing serious, so a winch is not on my personal "to buy" list.

Once thing not mentioned is a front auto-locker, like the Lokka. Not only does it make the X MUCH more capable, it's far less expensive, doesn't affect driving/steering all that much and rids the r180 of those pesky and weak spider gears.

I'm able to go anywhere a rear only locker vehicle can go and it only cost me $350 installed myself.

My answer is then - none of the above, unless you add the option for a front auto-locker.
 

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I'd go with a locker first, but that's how I use the X. I've got both and have yet to need the winch, but the locker has been really nice. Not just when wheeling but in normal sporting use. I've needed it a number of times pulling duck boats up icy and snow covered ramps. My Pathfinder w/o locker needed the ramps to be rough shoveled and sanded to get up, now I simply drive up. Last year deer hunting I pulled off the road in 4WD into mud and snow and she settled in and spun. Since the sun doesn't wait, I left her that way for the hunt and spent the day worried about how much effort was waiting for me when I came out. Well I engaged the locker and simply drove up and out effortlessly. I've used it many other occasions but that's a taste. Still waiting (and hoping not to need) to use the winch.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Keith, do you feeling going sideways on you alot? As for how I wheel, pretty much never alone, if i am hitting a local small trail, it would only be a washed out fire road or something I know I wont have any problems on.

I gotta say, im a bit surprised by the results so far, keep em coming :)
 

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Keith, do you feeling going sideways on you alot? As for how I wheel, pretty much never alone, if i am hitting a local small trail, it would only be a washed out fire road or something I know I wont have any problems on.

I gotta say, im a bit surprised by the results so far, keep em coming :)
The locker was the cause of the damage in the above picture. I should not have engaged it. It was a really tight uphill climb with a ledge that I had to bump up. It walked me into a tree. My error. If I had a winch in that spot I would have used it. A few times in snowy hill climbs the locker has walked me somewhere I didn't want to go. It doesn't always walk out on you, but it is more likely. It isn't a magic button. I learned that the hard way. Our ELSD works pretty well. If it didn't, I might been singing a different tune. I have seen unlocked Xs crawl up spots where open-open trucks had problems...

I guess my vote was based on the idea that some of the really bad spots that I have got into would have been better served by a winch. There are 3 hill climbs that I can think of where the locker got me further up the hill then the unlocked guys but also put me in precarious positions where backing down was sketchy or not an option. The winch made the recovery a piece of cake. I have pulled some people out of sketchy spots too. Damage would have occurred if we tried to use a strap or force it out otherwise.

Don't get me wrong. The locker is close second. The real answer is both. :D Is the arb locker for the c200 a bad path? I haven't spent a whole lot of time looking at that so I don't know. Doesn't it just limit you on 4.56 gearing? I think the other gears are available for c200...

the location and type of off roading you do is really important info as well
Agreed.
 

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I'm another vote for the winch. Winch will get you out where even being fully locked will not (ask me how I know). I have the stock rear e-locker and the front Lokka.

Lockers do make you much more capable but the EBLS works surprisingly well.

Personally, I wheel for the challenge. It's nice driving up into the mountains, but I can get that hiking/biking/skiing, any of my other hobbies too. I enjoy the difficulty of overcoming obstacles on a trail. Lockers make trails easier, forcing me to find even more difficult trails to challenge me. Just like an avalanche beacon or a shovel, I don't ever plan on using my winch, but it will save my ass if I make a mistake or take on more than I can handle.
 

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Prior to my X, I had an Isuzu Trooper with a winch and an ARB locker in the rear. I got the winch first (in 2000) and it was great to have the security of knowing I could pull myself out if needed. But I rarely used the winch. Once I got the locker (in 2005), those trails that I may have struggled with became much easier. My trail companion in my runs noted home much faster I would run the trails. I used the locker WAY more than the winch and felt it was a better bang for the buck.

In 2010, I got the Off Road X because it had the locker. I didn't bother getting the winch for it until a year ago.

Other considerations- I tend to go on desert trails, so not a lot of trees to hook onto. During the winter, I drive in the mountains and a locker will help get you through.

I vote locker. Hope this helps.
 

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Just throwing this out there, the OP said winch bumper, not winch and bumper. I think most companies call their off road bumpers winch bumpers because you can add a winch to them.

So is the winch with the bumper included in the comparison against the locker? I would think a locker would be better for off road use. But I have neither so take this with a grain of salt.. Also, some people are saying that a locker gets you into a tougher situation but you could argue that same logic with the winch. I personally would feel more confident and try more difficult obstacles if I had a winch.. or a locker for that matter.
 

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The OP said he has a Pro4X. I thought the rear-locker was standard. (Mine was/is)
To OP, Let me be the first to congrats you on your decision! PICS!!!
 

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OP has a S trim that he was going to buy a locking m226 for and he also alluded to purchasing a winch after buying the winch bumper. :scratch:

I chewed up my stock bumper on the green trails. Zip ties were holding it on in the end. So yes, the bumper alone is a good upgrade if you plan on wheeling. Better then a locker? No. Winch and bumper? Well now we have a discussion. ;)
 

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I have used my locker many times more than my winch, but when I needed my winch, I needed it! I also like the fact that I have used it plenty of times to pull other people out when a strap would have made things a little more risky, or it just wasn't an option.

Ultimately my vote is both, but I would say it depends on your future plans for the X and your pocket book. If you plan on T-swapping in the future and you would end up spending money now and then more later when you T-swap, it doesn't make sense to spend money twice on something like gears, if that would be necessary.

I would say rear locker now if you can get it at a good price and it won't cause you to spend more money in the future. But if it's more realistic to wait and do rear locker and front t-swap at the same time, I say bumper and winch.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I really appreciate all of these replys. For wheelin', Rausch Creek is my favorite spot, and I do the green trails, i'd like to be able to hit some of the blues eventually as well. Bumper would be just the bumper for now, hopefully a winch within a few more months. My X is an S, which we bought new for my wife, at that time no idea what it was capable of. I took it over a couple years ago, installed spacer/shackles/33's. I had thought I would be selling it for something cheaper due to some other purchases, but my wife really wanted me to keep it and we worked out a way to do so. Since i'm keeping it, I will mod it how i want, im just not 100% sure how i want the front suspension as of yet. So far i put on OffRoad skids and AJ's sliders. I'm glad to see this isn't a slam dunk for one way over the other!

I'll let you all know what I decide to do
 
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