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The Warn M15,000 Winch

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Craig Perronne
| Brand Manager, Dirt Sports & Off Road
Posted April 1, 2001

The Big Boy

Step By Step

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  • Warn's 15,000-pounder.

  • The first step is to find a couple of friends to help you.

  • After the bumper is removed, the side brackets can be attached to the stock bumper.

  • If you are planning to run the optional brush guards, now is the best time to mount the brackets that attach the guards to the bumper.

  • After the stock bumper is put back on, the main brackets that hold the grille guard and winch cradle can be put into place.

  • The chrome uprights of the grille guard attach to the brackets that were mounted to the stock front bumper.

  • For the most part, the Trans4mer is bolt-on.

  • Warn has discovered that there are also variations on Ford Super Dutys on the side-to-side alignment of the bumper in relation to the frame.

  • Perhaps the hardest part is actually lifting the M15 into its cradle. six mounting bolts.

  • Hooking up juice to the winch is easy. The M15 comes with two cables that attach straight to the battery.

Bigger is always better, right? Of course it is. And it is with that reasoning that Warn introduced its new M15,000 winch. The M15—we’ll use that shorthand designation when referring to this beast—uses a 4.6hp motor and a 315:1 gear ratio to pull 15,000 pounds of whatever it is that’s stuck. Other features of the M15 include 90 feet of 7/16-inch wire rope, a larger hook, a roller fairlead, and a remote control unit on a 12-foot cable. Line pull speed at full load is 2.4 feet per minute. This might sound a bit slow, but it sure is a lot quicker than using a shovel.

So who the heck would ever need a winch capable of pulling 15,000 pounds? If you wheel a fullsize truck wearing heavy equipment such as big axles and large tires, then you can exceed the capacity of a 12,000-pound winch. We like to have a winch that is capable of pulling around twice the weight of the vehicle; the Super Duty Crew Cab we installed our M15 on weighs in at 6,500 pounds. Slather that same vehicle in mud and add some cargo, then get it real stuck, and it would be easy to see a 12,000-pound winch being taxed. And that’s why M15 was built.

To mount the M15,000 winch on our Super Duty, we choose the Trans4mer winch mounting system from Warn. It features a grille guard, optional brush guards, and a winch cradle specifically built to take the power of the M15. Best of all, installation is a simple bolt-on procedure, as the system mounts to the factory front bumper. Working at a very leisurely pace, installation of both the winch and Trans4mer took about two hours. Here’s how it went.