Zeon? What does that mean? On our recent visit to Warn Industries in Clackamas, Oregon, the reps couldn’t explain exactly how they came up with the name, but they certainly convinced us that they’ve come up with an all-new winch. The mainstay M8000 and its larger cousins have been the company’s bread-and-butter premium winches for over 20 years. They are the standard of the industry and are relied on by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. They have also been copied by every offshore el cheapo imitator that has flooded the market in recent years. Well, the game has changed. The Zeon line improves on the trusty M series in every way and shares only five little parts with the old winches. (For the worried purists among you, the M line will not be discontinued.)
The first obvious change is Zeon’s symmetrical, sleek but chiseled look. The construction is all metal and black powdercoated, and features an integrated-looking control box that is removable should it need to be mounted underhood for clearance or just aesthetics. When this convertible control box is integrated on top of the winch, electrical juice is transferred via solid buss bars instead of exposed cables. When mounting the control pack remotely, an optional cable set must be utilized and a remote mount for the handheld control is included.
Zeon is available in 8,000-, 10,000-, and 12,000-pound pulling capacities, but all three sizes share the same chassis, motor cover, drum, and gear case, hence they are all the same size. Different motor sizes and planetary gear sets arrive at the different pulling capacities. These internal parts have all been upgraded from previous winches. The series-wound motor is all new, and the planetary gear sets are bigger with improved assembly techniques. The design of the dog clutch (which shifts the gears) has been borrowed from Warn’s military winch line and provides a stronger engagement and a solid feel when you turn the massive clutch lever. This new lever is solid stainless steel and fits well in a gloved hand. Every fastener in the winch is stainless steel, and the whole assembly is built to IP68 standards for water resistance.
Further innovations include an all-aluminum winch drum with an integrated rope attachment consisting of a slotted hole in the drum with a special pin. No more attaching the rope with a puny screw to the side of the drum. The aluminum drum helps reduce heat buildup which is especially important when using synthetic winch lines.
The Zeon lineup will include the 8-S and 10-S models, which are 8,000- and 10,000-pound units, respectively, and will come standard with Warn’s Spydura Synthetic rope and a polished aluminum hawse fairlead. The Zeon 8, 10 and 12 models come with traditional steel wire rope and a roller fairlead.
Further use of aluminum is found in the integrated motor cover, which acts as a heat sink, and in the unique bridge that attaches the two sides of the winch and forms a base for the removable control box. Gone are the traditional rods that hold a winch together. There will be no problem telling your Zeon winch from the copycats now!
These winches are available at Warn dealers now and are priced lower than you’d think. At the press release, company reps indicated that the Zeon 8 will retail for under a grand. That’s a deal for an American-built winch designed to last a lifetime and backed by Warn’s limited lifetime warranty and worldwide service network. Plus, the front of your rig will now show that you buy quality and reliability. You opted for the innovator, not the imitator!