Area51 Project Argo - WARN 2500 Winch Rebuild:


When Dad bought this machine new in 1989 he had the dealer install a Superwinch X2 which was a 2000lb gear reduction winch with manual dash mounted controller switch. It was loud and slow, but most disappointing at this time the motor was now seized.




I experienced a similar problem with the WARN 2000lb winch on project Foreman when the electric motor failed and I replaced the winch with a new ProVantage 2500, however I did not throw the old winch away.



The electric motor was seized inside the housing seized but with gentle persuasion I managed to get it taken apart without damage. I cleaned heavy corrosion from the armature with a drill mounted wire wheel and got it spinning freely by hand.



The larger problem of why it wouldn't work is that the wires joining one set of brushes to the upper wire post detached. I managed to salvage a set from a 2nd WARN parts winch I had in the garage, and successfully rebuilt my winch motor with good used parts. I put it motor back together and bolted it to the left side gear case and tested it with booster cables. It now it works very well!



With the electric motor running well I disassembled the rest of the winch and ran all the gear sets through my parts washer to remove years worth of old grease, dust and mud.





Next I began reassembly of the winch starting by bolting the electric motor to the left side gear case. I then coated the entire inside of the gear case with Moly High Pressure grease using a small parts brush. The planetary gear set  was packed with grease and reinstalled.





With the motor side complete I moved on to the other side where I dry fitted all the pieces first before coating/packing them with moly grease and reassembling them.



With the unit fully reassembled I connected the winch to a battery with booster cables and checked operation in both directions and tested the free spool lever. All is now working well. A neat feature of this generation Warn winch is that the 2000lb and 2500lb models are the exact same winch. The heavier version uses slightly larger gauge wiring and a contactor with mini handlebar mounted switch instead of smaller gauge wire and the old style huge rotary switch. Dad happened to have an extra 2500lb wiring kit in Bay Roberts and dropped it off! Now I will have a 2500lb winch on the Argo!



Janes stopped by today and removed the old X2 Superwinch. I test fit the new winch on the machine with the old fairlead bracket in place. The Superwinch was held to the machine with only 2 bolts while the Warn uses 4 in totally different locations so the brackets will have to be drilled.



I was very happy to find the original ARGO fairlead in the bottom of the machine when I picked it up in Lewisport. This is a cast brass hawse style fairlead, and its safe to say they don't make them like this anymore. A quick cleaning with a wire wheel had the fairlead looking great!



Next on the list was fixing up the winch fairlead bracket. The previous owner bent and twisted the fairlead pretty good and I couldn't get it straight enough to be happy with it. I simply cut off the bent up piece and fabricated a new one welding it to the original bracket which bolts in place under the winch.







These holes were a PITA to drill but I got the job done and finished up the oval opening with my grinder.





Before reinstalling the bracket and winch I installed a 5000lb rated hook to the front of the machine. This bolts directly to the winch support structure inside the machine and will provide a great tie down point, front tow point and hook point if using a snatch block.



Test fit complete.



The OEM Argo brass fairlead was re-polished and coated with clear enamel to keep it looking good. Its a real nice and unique piece to have back on this machine!



Bracket painted and permanently bolted to the machine with new grade 8 bolts and locktite.



With the electrical system and winch wiring finished I spooled my rebuilt winch with brand new cable. This cable came on the new Pro-Vantage 2500 winch installed on Project Foreman where I chose to re-use my Warn synthetic winch rope instead. The winch was wired with 6awg cables and contactor so I should be good for over 2500lbs pulling force.


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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith