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Winch Warranty's who to support and when to walk, WARN,Smittybilt,Runva,Ironman,Tmax etc

Discussion in 'General 4x4 Discussion' started by Swaggie, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. dno67

    dno67 Well-Known Member

    How's the free spool with the red grease ?
    Mine's quite firm to pull out after using the same type of grease.
  2. Hoyks

    Hoyks Active Member

    My Carbon 12K saved my ass on Sunday.
    35 degree day, 18km in on a firetrail only to get stuck on an off camber up hill corner about 50m from the end of the track.
    I only needed to get hauled around 6m, but it would have been a long hard slog back out without the winch option

    Attached Files:

    Buxter, Thug and slivertoy like this.
  3. phs

    phs Well-Known Member

    Hey Swaggie,

    Have you spoken to VRS, since 2014 ?

    They state there winchs are IP68, you said they knocked back a warranty due to water ingress surly they can't if they claim IP68

    Unlimited mechanical, and 2 years electrical.

    I have one on the Prado 1year old and only a little use. Will be interesting to see how it goes
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  4. Buxter

    Buxter Well-Known Member

    Free spool is easy as.
    Maybe you have too much grease in the gearbox. I've heard that too much grease won't allow easy movement.
    I'm more worried wheather the brake works or not. That's yet to be tested, but the winch rips posts and stumps out reasonably easy
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
    dno67 likes this.
  5. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    Hi Bud

    No I havn't, since the Winch Warranty Thread started 3 years ago a lot of Manufacturers are starting to get there act together now, improved I.P Ratings etc...
    But not one has contacted me about this....

    Rooboy (its in the thread somewhere) come across the same problem I had with my Warn he was charged for water ingress in the warranty period, he complained about it on here , then Opposite Lock sorted it out, he did thank me at the time etc...

    phs likes this.
  6. DarkHorse

    DarkHorse Member

    Great thread Swaggie. I haven't read the whole 50 pages, but can add a +1 for the cheap and cheerful Aldi specials.

    I bought one for my old Vitaras and it got used a fair bit without issues, though well under it's rated capacity.

    The 80 series came with one fitted that, like a lot of other stuff I've been finding since, showed pretty extensive signs of neglect. I don't know how long it had been there or how often or strenuously it had been used, but there was paint peeling, alloy corrosion, every bit of exposed steel was brown, and the steel cable was a mass of almost fused rust.

    I decided to tear it down and rebuild it before trying to use it, and was very pleasantly surprised. I'm afraid I didn't take any photos, since my hands were covered in grease most of the time! I used an old magazine write-up of a Warn rebuild as a guide, and found that the Aldi unit was almost identically built. The gearbox side was literally packed with grease, which made cleaning everything to inspect a right dirty pain in the arse (think swivel-hub rebuild kind of mess) but had effectively preserved everything and prevented any water-assisted wear and tear. The gears were as-new spotless. Re-greased with HTB and reassembled it all turned smoothly and easily by hand. Not having replacement gaskets for the housing I used RTV to seal it back up.

    Motor side was similarly spotless, despite evidence of some water ingress that had discoloured the inside of the casing and accelerated the alloy-steel reaction that Buxter noted above. Bearing, bushings, contacts all pretty much as new. A speculative squirt of WD40 and another RTV gasket and it was good to go too.

    The drum and keeper-rails were a bit of a mess thanks to the wire rope, so I stripped them and hit them with some Rustguard matt black, and spooled on some 10mm Dyneema.

    The control box had been mounted on top of the unit in the bullbar, exposed to the elements. My worst fears here though were also completely dispelled - the solenoids looked like they had never seen the light of day - the only sign of age was that the little tab of double-sided tape holding the remote control receiver box in place had failed, but everything was packed in snug enough that this wasn't an issue. Because I try to be a 'best practice' kind of guy I rewired it to extend the control wires and shorten the battery wires so that I could mount it in the engine bay where it is a bit better protected and out of the way. I will also run the hand control wiring into the cab so I can control it easier from the driver's seat if I'm out alone, which is often - the remote has never failed on me but I won't trust it 100% without a back-up.

    The only issue with fitting it to the ARB bar on the cruiser was that the motor housing is slightly too long and fouls, so I had to space it back a couple of mm with washers. Less than ideal but with four shiny new 8.8 bolts holding it on I'm pretty confident in it. I always had custom built cradles behind an ECB bar on the Vitara, and this was never an issue.

    So... long story short... for something like half the price of the competition, and 1/3 or 1/4 the price of the premuim end of the market I am very impressed by these units.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  7. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    Thanks Darkhorse.. The forums participation has really moved it along, it's fantastic to see everyone adding there views although some conflict with mine but that's what its all about...

    Thanks for your post...
    Mr Rum likes this.
  8. Frogga_Hilux

    Frogga_Hilux Member

    Hi fellas,

    I’m curious on people’s thoughts with the re-greasing side if things?
    Would the use of a marine grease be suitable the type for boat engines/linkages etc? Say if a winch was to see salt-water, or even just general muck, mud and all the rest of the fun stuff that goes with it.
    Or would this be not suitable at all or just overkill?
  9. Hoyks

    Hoyks Active Member

    I'd probably say for most it is overkill.
    The gearbox is basically sealed, so isn't subject to water washing around it like the pivot points on a boat motor that rely on a grease nipple to push new grease in and the old stuff out. From what I've seen, its usually the motor and the solenoid that kill a winch, water ingress into the gearbox isn't anywhere near as much of a problem.

    I also wouldn't recommend high temperature grease either. The motor might get hot, but the gearbox is separate and doesn't achieve anywhere near the same temperatures, in there you want a grease that will move around and coat the gears as they rotate and flow out of the way when the clutch is actuated. If it settles to the bottom of the casing over time, next time the winch is run it will be there to re-coat everything next time the planetary gears rotate.
    Frogga_Hilux likes this.
  10. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    Hi Guys
    I played with this a little bit and this happened to my Warn Winch...

    When I used Marine Grease I couldn't freespool at all... Warns are a bitch in this area anyway, the newer models maybe different...

    Used a Grease high in molybdenum and it was a lot easier.... This is also advised

    I've never seen gearing fail yet,stripped teeth etc , the only common issue and it is common is freespool lever failure (cannot turn, and NEVER force if it happens) due to water ingress, pull apart and regrease...
    Frogga_Hilux likes this.
  11. Jason Watt

    Jason Watt Member

    Hi all, 1st post here after catching up with Swaggie at the local Autobarn today.
    I've run a Domin8r 12,000 Lb 7.5 HP on my FJ Cruiser for nearly two years now.
    I've been bonnet deep in the VHC many times and it still runs like new.
    As stated here, the trick is to do your due diligence and maintain your winch.
    At the very least, run it out every month or so.
    I usually spool off into a bucket of mild soapy water to clean the rope at the same time.
    Make sure to spool back on clean and straight and under light tension too.
    This prevents the rope binding up/slipping under severe load when you really need it.

    The ONLY problem I've had was the RF remote hand-held crapped out for no good reason.
    Hardwire still worked OK.
    The blokes in Lilydale replaced both it and the receiver module no questions asked while I waited.
    It currently sells for around $350, 26 metres of 9.5mm rope and with a 12 month warranty.
    For that kind of money, I could buy three or four Domin8rs vs the cost of "name brands" that offer no apparent advantage.
  12. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    @Jason Watt

    Hi mate
    Firstly welcome to the forum. Secondly thanks for your view about your Dominator Winch...

    Cya out there... ;)
  13. Buxter

    Buxter Well-Known Member

    Final winch test, and follow up.

    Not long back from a 5 night 6 day trip to Italian Flat, and Wonnagatta Station.
    Nothing much to do on day 2 so I parked "Old Tojo" at the bottom of a fairly steep bank, unwound the winch rope.
    With the help of a tree trunk protector I hooked it all up, and wound it all back in.
    30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, till I reached the top of the short/steep rise.
    Opps !
    Forgot to use test the brake, so it was back down the slope in reverse , and noticed it make a real racket.
    Not good I thought, I'll check out a few things, and head back up the bank, and see what happens.
    The brake held, but not properly, as it slowly let a bit of rope back out.
    Wound it back in another meter, and it was starting to hole better.
    3rd attempt and it held superbly. (nothing let go)

    Reversed back down the slope and the grinding noise had diminished by 3/4.

    Project Complete.

    Just a quick note .....I really was in denial about the brake since the rebuild.
    I had tested the winch, a couple of times by winching out some smaller tree stumps from dry ground, and that seemed to work OK.
    I had dragged "old Tojo" across a slightly uphill gravel road, loaded up, and with my foot on the brake., so I was confident that in a pinch I would be able to get out of trouble in the bush, even if I buggered up the brake.
    But in the end, all went well !

    phs, slivertoy, Swaggie and 1 other person like this.
  14. Rhett HS

    Rhett HS Active Member

    A couple of years ago (perhaps) i did some winch research, and after having a few mates cheapie winches stop working, i decided to get a Runva. It has been immersed in water a few times, i have hardly ever used it, and done no maintenance, and the other day it worked perfectly. I forget how much it was, and dont care. If i sell my car in the next few years for some reason, i imagine myself taking it off and using it in my next car.:p
    Thug and Swaggie like this.
  15. Frogga_Hilux

    Frogga_Hilux Member

    Hi Rhett,
    I’ve recently seen just how simple and quick a small recovery can be. 5mins and your back on track climbing to the top for lunch.
    My father in law has his 30+ y/o Warn on his Patrol. It’s been on 3 vehicles so far and will probably go onto his next car when he sells this one. He’s pretty slack on the maintenance as well
    Rhett HS likes this.

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