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I tried to turn my Warn Vantage 2000 into neutral to spool out the line and the clutch is very stiff... I got it.

When trying to engage it again, it was also very stiff and I ended up breaking off the thumb tab -- so I guess I will need to buy a new gear end housing for that.

Anyway, is there some maintenance that is needed to keep the clutch turning smoothly or some trick I am missing?

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Yes, Here is a good guide on how to take apart and clean a winch. This is an excellent guide with pictures. Over time the winch gears will pick up mud and crap and make switching from winch mode to freespool very hard. I have used this guide with good results.

Mike

 

Winch_cleaning_instructions_V3.pdf

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Thats a great file to have.   I’m currently tearing my bike apart and adding  bigger tires, new rims, a small lift kit and a winch.  I hope to god I never have to tear into my winch like that but who knows one day I may have too.  

Good stuff @mikeexplorer

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Eventually they pick up mud and crap and will need to be cleaned out. I had my original WARN winch for 10 years and always worked well. I would take it apart every few years and clean it out. Sold it with the machine and it was still working well. One trick I use is when I am ready to wind the cable back on to the spool I use one of those battery jump boxes to power it to wind the cable back on. This way I can hold some tension on the cable so it lays on the spool better.

Mike

 

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Thanks Mike,

That will be a good set of instructions for when I get mine fitted! hopefully I can keep mine working well too with proper maintenance.

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I ended up taking apart the gear housing, cleaned everything, greased it up and got it back together, but for some reason the clutch is still very stiff to move.

Anyway, because it is a Warn and only 1.5 years old, I dropped it at the Warn service center so they can bring it back to working condition and fix the part with the broken thumb tab too. I don't really like these winches with the round clutch -- hard to grab onto and turn when you are sinking in the mud hole. I probably should have bought the provantage 2500 -- it looks to have a better clutch setup.

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