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How When Why << Back

So, you have your Warn winch and you're ready to get out on the trails: climb a few boulders, splash a little mud, cross the occasional stream. Basically, you're ready to explore the backcountry and otherwise have a great time.

Well, if you'e smart enough to go prepared with the best, you're probably smart enough to know that to keep having a great time, you need to fully understand your winch and the winching operation.

That's exactly what these pages intend to do: provide you with a basic understanding of your winch and teach you the basics of proper winching techniques. But before we get started, we must emphasize that the information in this guide section is general in nature. Because no two situations are alike, it would be nearly impossible to review them all. We can, however, provide you with the general principles and techniques. Then it is up to you to take the time to analyze the situation and apply the proper technique.

Along with a little common sense, the guidelines laid out in these pages can help you get a lot of enjoyment out of your off-roading. Just remember to think through each situation before you act and TREAD LIGHTLY!

To start, you should familiarize yourself with your Warn winch and each of its components: Practice using your winch before using it on the trail.

1) Motor Typically the winch motor is powered by the vehicle battery. The motor provides power to the gear mechanism, which turns the winch drum and winds the wire rope.

2) Winch Drum The winch drum is the cylinder onto which the wire rope feeds. The drum is driven by the motor and drive train. Its direction can be changed using the remote control.

3) Wire Rope The wire rope's diameter and length are determined by the winch? load capacity and design. Wrapped around the winch drum and fed through the fairlead, the wire rope is looped at the end to accept the hook? clevis pin.

4) Fairlead When using the winch at an angle, the fairlead (or wire lead) acts to guide the wire rope onto the spooling drum. It minimizes damage to the wire rope while it goes through the winch mount or bumper.

5) Gear Train The reduction gear converts the winch motor power into a large pulling force. The gear train design makes it possible for the winch to be lighter and more compact.

6) Braking System The brake is automatically applied to the winch drum when the winch motor is stopped and there is load on the wire rope. The brake prevents the winch from paying out line, which in turn holds the vehicle in place.

7) Clutch The clutch allows the operator to manually disengage the spooling drum from the gear train, enabling the drum to rotate freely (known as "free-spooling". Engaging the clutch "locks" the winch drum back onto the gear train.

8) Control Box Using electrical power from the vehicle's battery, the control box solenoids switch power to the motor, enabling the operator to change the direction of the winch drum rotation.

9) Remote Control The remote control plugs into the winch control box, allowing the operator to control the winch direction, as well as stand well clear of the wire rope while operating the winch.

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