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Warn Winch on Vintage Jeep Run - Moab EJS 2016 #EJS2016

Posted in Moab Experience: 2016 on March 29, 2016
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Photographers: Rick Péwé

Seriously, if you don’t have a clue about what our favorite winch is, this story is for you. The famed Warn model 8274 is the most famous winch ever, and for a reason. Developed in the early ‘60s by Belleview Winch, it morphed into the 8000 series and later 8200 with the near-final design being the numbers spoken that roll off any Jeepers tongue: 8274. Yes, that number designation was the culmination of many years of mechanical refinement, as in the year 1974 where the spur drive upright design with an integrated brake and all-electric controls became the winch of legends. Even stalwart tree huggers like George Washington Hayduke used the famed unit to outwit the authorities by winching 100 feet off a cliff in his venerable CJ-5.

If you’ve never experienced a winch that can reel in the unloaded cable at a blistering 52 feet per minute then hunker down and pull 8000 pounds with ease, you wouldn’t understand the sound of the click-click-click of the brake pawl resonating against the rocks like a riff of a Rachmaninoff masterpiece on the piano. It’s pure symphonic ecstasy listening to the grind of the gears and the whine of the 2.1 horse motor straining against the weight of a derelict 4x4 caught in the fray of Moab canyon.

Presented here is a selection of 8274 winches and variants we saw on a single group of Jeeps attacking some of the most feared Moab obstacles. The group was seasoned vehicles and veterans- and they chose the icon of spoolers for a very specific reason: it’s the right choice. And as a side note- not a single Jeep on our trail needed the famed companion- maybe the rocks knew they wouldn’t win?

The 8274 was an upgrade from the previous M8200 which had power in only. This model is an early version due to the chrome trailer plug receptacle with 4 prongs. In a pinch you could power the winch in our out with a dime if the hand control wasn’t available.

The Bellview Mfg. winch was the progenitor of the 8274. It featured 6000 pounds of pull in the upright spur gear design that gives the winch its tall stature. Two separate cables from inside the cab worked the clutch and band brake.

Later models went to the plastic control plug, starting with only three wires but 6 holes. You can still jump this style with a piece of wire or needle nose pliers in an emergency.

While Warn supplied a myriad of different bumper and mounting options, this is one of the few feet-forward styles made. Notice this custom mount which lowers the standard profile.

A roller fairlead was the most common upgrade for the 8274, The winch is the only one to sport 150 feet of 5/16 aircraft cable. Why so long? Because it would fit and the story goes you are always 10 feet short of reaching and anchor.

When equipped with synthetic line, an aluminum or composite hawse fairlead is needed to protect the line from any rough edges. How vintage is synthetic rope?

One user switched the 2.5 horsepower motor to a hydraulic drive. With the proper pump it works great. Notice the ½ inch cable upgrade, and no brake pucks or pawls to make the famous 8274 click click click sound.

Many owners relocate the control box under the hood for a sleeker appearance. This fairly new model is darn clean and needs some miles put on it.

Most factory mounting plates have the bottom of the winch at the top of the framerails, which can inhibit good radiator cooling performance. Sinking the winch lower with a custom mount lets more air through the radiator and a better pulling angle from the bottom of the drum.

Warn produced a special edition in 1998 to celebrate the 50th anniversary or Warn, and upgraded to a stronger motor. The line speed is now an incredible 79 feet per minute no load line speed!

ICYMI: Complete Moab 2016 Easter Jeep Safari coverage!

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