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Tips for Using the Smittybilt XRC 8 Winch Kit and Parts

When you’re roving the back country in your off-road vehicle, at some point you will encounter obstacles that your engine and four wheels can’t get around. Whether it’s a steep incline, a patch of loose ground, or a wall of rocks, your ride is over without assistance. One of the best pieces of equipment to install on your vehicle is a winch kit. The Smittybilt XRC 8 features winch parts that can get your vehicle out of a rut.


Smittybilt XRC 8 winch parts include a 5.5-horsepower winch motor, galvanized steel cable, forged steel hook, and an electronic control trigger. The overall weight of the XRC 8 is less than 100 pounds, and the unit has a load capacity of 8,000 pounds. The kit also has a mounting plate that you can bolt to the front or rear of your vehicle, and it mounts to the bumper or the frame rail with four 10-inch bolts. The XRC 8 unit is compact, with an overall length of 21 inches, and it’s only 7 inches tall and 6 inches wide.

Mounting and installation

The slim profile of the Smittybilt XRC 8 and its winch parts allow you to mount the unit nearly anywhere on the vehicle. Usually, the best place to mount a winch is on the front frame rail, especially if you plan to climb obstacles regularly, or if you plan to be the sole vehicle roaming the countryside. For tow vehicles, mounting the winch on the rear frame rail is best for assisting other vehicles out of ditches, or towing vehicles with broken axles and driveshafts back to civilization. You can mount the XRC 8 quickly by measuring out and drilling the four bolt holes on the frame rail, then mounting the winch plate into place. The winch unit then bolts to the plate. The XRC 8 has an integrated electronic control trigger, which means you do not have to wire an external harness into your vehicle’s electrical system.

Uses and warnings

Using the XRC 8 is simple, but there are several safety tips to using any winch properly. First, never wrap the winch’s cable around an object and connect it to itself. The hook can easily come loose, and when the winch is under load, the hook and cable may whip around and cause serious injury. Always keep nylon tow straps or tie-downs with your winch kit, and use these to wrap around an object. Once in place, connect the cable’s hook directly to the strap. If you use the winch to get your vehicle out of a rut or a patch of loose turf, toggle the winch motor back and forth to gain traction. Stand clear of the vehicle. Once it gains traction, it will accelerate quickly.