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Warn Works - Trailer Winch

Posted in Product Reviews on October 1, 2002 Comment (0)
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You know the scenario. You trailered your rig to the trail, blew up the transmission, and can't get your 4x4 back on the trailer. It only weighs a couple of tons, but the ramps (if you remembered them) are uphill, and you're all alone. You'd use the winch on your rig to load up if you had one. What to do? Naturally, you should have a winch on the front of your 4x4 anyway, but what if you found a classic car or a prized Jeep hulk in a field, and it doesn't even run?

Warn has come to the rescue before, and now the company makes a specialty line of winches for trailers and the shop. The Warn Works series is designed specifically for this purpose and not as a self-recovery winch on a 4x4. Whether hauling an ATV into the bed of a pickup or loading a race car into a trailer, many people need a compact, powerful winch. In the old days we'd mount a Warn 8274 on the trailer, but the cost of this winch and the overkill it provided made that idea obsolete.

The new line of Warn Works winches fits the bill. While the 1,700-pound model is definitely good for some uses, we feel the 4,700-pound one is more applicable to our market. This unit can easily drag a car carcass onto a trailer. The three-stage planetary gear train and 1.9hp permanent magnet motor yanked our garbage around with ease. The separate mechanical and dynamic brake made it easy to off-load junk without brakes, an important safety factor around heavy-iron stuff.

Although a mounting plate is not required, we decided to use one to ease the installation on our new olive-drab, diamond-decked trailer. The winch comes with a hawse fairlead and a 12-foot remote control, and we mounted it in about 30 minutes. For more information, call 800/543-9276 or visit Warn online at www.warn.com.

The optional Warn mounting plate makes installation easier than you might think. The wide plate is designed to spread the load over the framerails rather than just the deck surface. We located the rails under the deck and market and drilled four 31/48-inch holes for the mounting bolts. The plate already has the winch mounting pattern drilled into it, so that saves some drilling.

The winch bolts directly to the mount plate from the underside on a 5x4.12 pattern. The hawse fairlead and adapter bolted to the front of the plate, even though we modified it a bit for some custom fitment.

Since the heads of the winch mount bolts stick down below the plate, we considered drilling holes in the deck to clear them. However, a frame support obstructed the area underneath the deck. Instead, we had to space the plate up with some 71/416 nuts we drilled out. Notice how the ends of the mount plate are cut at a similar angle to a trailer tongue.

For power, we simply slapped an Optima deep-cycle battery on the deck and ratcheted it down for the time being. We intend to make a permanent box or hold-down system for safety and security before our next trip. The electrical cables from the winch have eyelets that fit the Optima's wing-nut posts, and the winch is ready to run. We also plan to hook up the trailer wiring to the battery so it will charge whenever the tow vehicle is running.

Using the winch is as easy as anything: Simply plug in the remote, and fire away. All the standard safety precautions should be followed, such as wearing gloves, using the hook tab, and making sure the cable is spooled correctly. Don't forget to unspool the cable and reel it in under tension before the first use.

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