M8000 vs XRC8...
Well... I think more separates the two than just a solenoid. I think the XRC8 being a rebranded t-max (though likely with corners cut) is a decent little winch. I think with what I've done here you can make it fairly reliable and stout. Is the M8000 still a better winch? Probably. I imagine the gear set and the motor are both made of better parts. I have trouble believing the solenoid is any better, after reading plenty of issues with Warn solenoids. Maybe it's better sealed from the factory though?
I think the XRC8 is a good winch if you take the time to look yours over and do a little modding. I think the M8000 is probably a decent winch out of the box, but for 180 more? Maybe...as I do think you're taking a chance with the motor and gears on the xrc8 more than the solenoid but as you can see 2 years and everything inside still looks good, and I've taken this winch a lot of nasty places and used it plenty. I know that's a little inconclusive maybe but gotta think about the price. If you're not too concerned about it breaking and being stranded then perhaps the xrc8 is a decent buy, get a good life out of it and if it brakes you're not out much. You could replace for a little more than it would have cost you to buy an M8000 originally, and you don't have to drop all the money at once. Or if that's not your style, read on...
I do believe though that a superwinch x9 or ep9 or talon 9.5 is the way to go if you want to spend a little more. Superior solenoids and quality winches. Everything I've read would lead me to believe I'd rather spend the money here than with Warn if I wanted something more than the xrc8.
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