WARN WINCH REBUILD
Our buddy Colin has been snooping around for a good, used winch that won’t break the bank to saddle on his trail rig. While buying a name-brand, used winch can save some money, you really have to question why the seller is getting rid of it. Do they need the cash? Is there something wrong with it? Is it stolen? It’s not often the front of a 4x4 doesn’t need a winch anymore, especially a good one, so when he had score a “smokin’ deal” on a 9000 lb Warn winch… we were a bit hesitant to share his enthusiasm.
We decided to take a look for ourselves. Our eyes were immediately greeted with the familiar red “W” on the front of what turned out to be a classic, and still made, XD9000i. Although not as famous as its older brothers the 8274 and the M8000, the XD9000i has the advantage of an integrated solenoid pack, and a standard 10” X 4.5” mounting pattern. The 9000 lb single line pulling strength is courtesy the 4.6hp series wound motor and can pack a whopping 125’ of cable. Many recreational off-road vehicles pack an XD9000i, but we typically see them strapped to the front of work trucks destined for the woods. Hydro, telecom, rail and other outfits have taken a liking to the Warn, making them a bit easier to get your hands on.
Our initial gleaming reaction to Colin’s find was soon tempered by reality as we
approached the workbench. Cast aluminum doesn’t like salt-covered roads and this one was showing the stress with flaking powder coating and missing decals. The motor end cover had a hole in it, and mounting feet were broken off the cast side plates… 3 of 4 in total. Add to this the missing remote and the only words we could muster were “You lose a bet?” A fresh “Queen Elizabeth II” was all it took to get the Warn in Colin’s possession, even for a parts winch that works, that isn’t too bad seeing as retail is hovering around $1550 CAD.
Had this find been of a lesser name brand, we would have scoffed and told Colin to just burn the $20 the next time he finds a “deal” like this. Luckily for him, Warn offers replacement parts and components for just about every winch they have ever produced. We used Warn’s online replacement parts guide to discern exactly what pieces we needed, as there have been a few variants of the XD9000i winch. Warn authorized dealers have access to all the components, as opposed to ordering direct from Warn, and you can find one close to you on Warn’s website. Online sellers and eBay are another option, but calling and chatting with a dealer seem to get us better prices and service.
After a thorough inspection, we knew what we needed for parts and pieces - two new ends plates, a new remote control, and for added insurance… a brand spankin’ new motor. We probably could have save $200 and reused the old motor and possible scrounged for a new end plate, or had the motor gone through by a local electric motor rewinder, but a new unit seemed like the right choice. Another option was to omit the new remote and cobble something together, but this isn’t “4WDrive Hacks” and we have had a cheapy remote fail on the trail always at the worst time.
The new parts were on our door step within a week to the tune of about $500 CAD. After a few hours in the shop we had what is essentially, a brand-new winch for a fraction of the price. This particular unit was at the extreme end of what we would say is economically viable for a rebuild and repair. We just can’t get behind the idea of spending peanuts for a new overseas made unit, given the build quality and short lifespan we have witnessed in the past. With a little elbow grease, and about the same dollar figure up front, you to can walk away with a winner. Follow along as we scrap the shrapnel and end up with a reliable unit ready for a future of hard work.
Warn - www.warn.com/replacementParts/ Odyssey Batteries www.odysseybattery.com Nitro Lube - www.nitrolube.com ProLong - www.prolong.com