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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First I need to identify a few things to the GL4x4 readers so you have a little hindsight on the project.

The truck is a 1998 Dodge 2500 with a Cummins 24v.
The truck currently has no lift, it is stock minus the programmer and heavy duty rebuilt transmission (A special thanks to Chuck owner of Discount Transmission in Saginaw). With no lift it clears 36" tires and does not rub with space to spare. It has had 3 1/2 coil spacers in the past, but currently off the truck until I get my adjustable control arms. The truck started it's life as a Oregon Forestry/DOT truck. It currently has 305,000 miles on it (starts every time).

The truck is in the stages of having the front end rebuilt, TWA lifetime ball joints and Moog Tie Rods. At the rate I am working it should be able to finish it sometime this week.

I acquired what I thought was a Warn Mil-9000 winch, 125 feet of aircraft steel line, 24v and in fabulous shape. After devising a way to mount and charge it off a 12v system using 2 solenoid and 2 additional batteries I decided to rebuild it and repack it. Below are some pictures of the rebuild and my mounting ideas.

To begin you can identify the Winch as a MIL or Industrial Winch by the lack of vents and rubber compound used to waterproof it. Do note by default MIL winches are 24v and have 3 modes. Free spooling, Forward and Reverse. After speaking with a WARN technician I learned the braking system is only engaged in Reverse or Neutral (No power).

Here is the contact info and email the WARN Tech sent me before speaking to him:


I have attached the information I have on the Mil 12000 winch. We do not offer a rebuild kit for this winch. We built this winch specifically for AM General for the Military Hummer. Most parts are no longer available, but we might be able to cross them to a commercial part so give me a call if you have any questions

Tom Ewing
Customer Service
800-543-9276 ext 3086


WARN recommends chassis grease to re-lubricate the parts, however I found a small flaw in this and used a mix of Synthetic Mobil 1 grease and Lucas gear oil 85/140. I first opened the housing and a gray oil came out After cleaning the internal housing and planetary gears with brake clean I inspected the gears and found no chipped teeth and everything in the state of good repair.

I then looked at the clutch gear bearings, DO NOT remove this gear with out a pan under the housing. Bearing will spill out everywhere! I removed the retaining ring and slowly lifted the clutch gear, it is a very tight fit.You will see the bearings (BB style) I put a magnetic drip pan down to catch them. I noticed they were poorly lubricated very little oil/grease was on them. After I finished inspecting everything I put everything back together using a wheel bearing packer and Mobil 1 synthetic grease.

This is where the flaw in lubricating came in. The grease does not carry around the clutch gear very well and it is a tight fit so very little will get behind it and renew the grease on the BB style bearings. So after talking to a few techs that work on industrial winches they recommended using gear oil, about 1/2 a quart. I used a Lucas 85/140 gear oil, very sticky!

After reassembly and testing it I started to design a mount to handle the stress/force. I decided to use a 3/8 inch steel plate. I went to Patriot Steel in Gaylord and found what i was looking for in the drop pile. 12 1/4" by 30 3/8". I paid the guys to bend it at 12", 90 degrees. This will be what the fairlead mounts into. WARN MIL winches were designed to be mounted on two sides. The front and the bottom. If you have one you will see the pre-drilled threaded holes. It is 4" from the bottom of the plate to the center of the drum. It is also 3 1/8" from the top of the 90 degree bend to the top of the winch. The extra 3" of the 3 1/8" will be bent 45 to 50 degrees back after I have finished the mock mounting of the winch leaving approx. At 50 degrees I have 1/8" of spacing. The 18 3/8" base will be welded to my existing ranch hand bumper deck and then braced with a 9 1/2" x 12 1/4", 3/8" steel plate welding to the tip of the overhang and the bottom of the 4 or 5" tube on the bumper.

This is a work in progress, opinions are welcome so is criticisms. Let me know your thoughts. I have attached a few pictures. And included the contact info of the rep. at WARN. Below you will find detailed instructions on servicing the winch. I have the detailed breakdown and the manual in pdf format if anyone would like it. Email me or message me.

[email protected]
For more modern winches read the write up on
I base my lubricating opinion on what I saw in my other winch. I have a second winch that came from Arizona that was rebuilt and left in the desert heat and all the grease was settled to the bottom of the housing and the gears were dry. Looked to be typical chassis grease.


Service and Repair Step by Step

1. Disconnect winch battery cables at the vehicle battery before beginning any work on the winch. Mark cable connections for easier assembly later. Repairs to the winch are easier and safer when it is removed from the vehicle and located on a work bench. Remove two cable clamps that may connect electrical cables to your winch. Stand the winch on the gear housing end. NOTE: Plastic sealing material may have to be peeled off to access parts on the motor end of the winch.
2. Mark the three tie rod locations for easier re-assembly. Remove the motor end and drum by removing the three 3/8 inch tie rod bolts on the motor end.
3. Set the gear train back down in a horizontal position and remove the other three tie rod bolts and tie rods. A clamp or pliers may have to be attached to the tie rods to remove the bolts. Remove the hex drive shaft.
4. Rotate the gear train so that the ten socket head cap screws are facing up. Remove the ten cap screws. Mark the housing ring gear and drum support with a marking pen in one location so they can be easily re-aligned during assembly. Remove the housing and ring gear.
5. Remove the three stages of planetary gears from the drum support Also remove the loose first stage sun gear.
6. Remove the split plastic drum bushing and carefully pry out the drum shaft seal.
7. From the previously removed gear housing, remove the large lock ring adjoining the clutch ring gear. Use a screwdriver or other thin tool to lift the ends of the ring out of the groove. Remove the clutch ring gear carefully so that the 85 ball bearings between it and the gear housing fall into the housing and not on the work bench or floor.
8. Remove the detent spacer, spring and ball from a hole in the flange of the housing. Pull the clutch lever out of the housing. NOTE: If your winch is equipped with a mechanical remote clutch disconnect before service.
9. The gear housing has a small, hardened steel thrust plate attached to the inside. Remove it by hand if it is loose. If it is not loose and is in good condition, do not remove; it will be reused.


1. Stand gear housing with bolt flange facing upward so the inside of the housing can be seen. If the thrust plate was previously removed, clean the new thrust plate and the gear housing boss with a solvent that won't leave a residue or film. Apply a good grade of silicone RTV to the boss and press thrust plate into place until it stops. Let silicone fully cure before proceeding.
NOTE: Using epoxy or other "hard" adhesives for attaching the thrust plate will not work as well as silicone RTV.
2. Install the clutch lever by reversing Step 8. Apply a light coat of machine oil to the clutch lever hole before installation.
3. To install the clutch ring gear, reverse Step 7. To aid in assembly of the 85 balls, apply a light coating of grease to the clutch ring gear groove and stick the balls to it. Work the retaining ring into the groove. Turn the ring gear by hand with the clutch level disengaged to make sure it spins freely.
4. Press a new seal into the drum support. Install the split plastic drum bushing.
5. With the drum support seal facing down, place a gasket over the ten tapped holes and then the large ring gear on top of it. Align the markings previously made during disassembly.
6. Using a grade of moly-disulfide grease with good performance between -50°F and +125°F (Aeroshell 17 is recommended), coat the inside of the ring gear teeth until all of the spaces between the teeth are filled. Install the third stage carrier, center spline down.
7. Completely fill the center hole in the third stage carrier, between the planet gears and up to the top of the carrier plate, with grease. Insert the second stage carrier into the third stage. Fill the second stage carrier hole with grease. Insert first stage carrier. Fill first stage center hole with grease. Insert loose sun gear into the first stage.
8. Fill the spaces between the teeth of the clutch ring gear with grease Place a gasket on top of the large ring gear. Using a very thin screwdriver, hold clutch detent pin in place while turning gear housing over onto the gears. Line up marks previously made.
9. Slowly rock and rotate the gear housing until it drops down tightly on the ring gear. Install ten socket head cap screws into the gear housing flange. Torque to 100-120 in-lb.
10. Re-install the winch tie rods in the previously marked positions on the motor end and finger tighten bolts.
11. Install hex drive shaft into center of gear train. With the clutch lever in the engaged position, rotate the shaft several times to make sure the gears move freely.
12. Set drum into seal and bushing. Insert hex drive shaft and motor coupler into drum and into engagement with coupler
13. Install three motor end cap screws into tie rods. Torque all six cap screws to 18-22 ft. lb.
14. Re-attach any electrical cables to the winch that may have been removed during disassembly.

Get off my lawn.
3,692 Posts
Ummmm, cliff notes please.
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