Since Warn first introduced its i series winches more than 10 years ago, they have been one of the most popular and bestselling self-recovery electric winches on the market. Available in various iterations from 8,000- to 9,500-pound pulling capacities, the boxy chunk of pulling power sits on the front of 4x4s nationwide. But as with any product, the i series looks a bit dated, even though it is a great-functioning winch.
To this end, Warn engineers started with the base package of the i and completely restyled it, while improving the durability and performance in one shot. The result is the stylish 9.5ti Thermometric, with improved looks, sealing, and a trick new concept of thermal feedback and protection.
The extreme-duty 9.5ti winch starts with a time-proven three-stage planetary geartrain and the Gen II 4.6hp motor from Bosch, specifically designed and manufactured for Warn. The new die-cast aluminum winch housing is sleek, strong, and devoid of all its predecessor's sharp edges, and it includes an extra metal housing to protect the motor wiring. The case also features full-face contact drum seals as well as gaskets on the motor and end housing for superior water resistance. Even the clutch lever is redesigned for easier operation. But the best part? The new remote hand control features an LED that glows red when the motor reaches critical temperature. This thermometric feedback from the winch allows for continued operation, but you'll know that you should stop winching and let things cool down to protect the motor from overheating.
We recently went on a Warn outing to test the new winch, and found deep mud, soupy water, and some steep hills to winch up and out of. After flogging the poor 4x4s through mud and water hazards and using the winch to extract them, we came upon a 70-degree dozer hill. These hills are made by Caterpillar dozers going downhill for fence line cuts, and they're not intended to be driven up. We tried anyway as it was a perfect test for the winch. Our intent was to make the LED on the hand control light up, and we figured two full 125-foot pulls with virtually no traction assistance would do the job. With single line and double line we winched for half an hour to the top of the hill and never came close to overheating the winch. Needless to say, we're pleased with the new 9.5ti and can't wait to get one on our own ride to flog the heck out of, and we'll let you know how it holds up in the real world.