Warn Tabor 10k

electric winch

LandCruiser 200

Installation into ARB winchbar

Whether you're a regular weekend 4WDer, a competitor or enjoy 4WD touring, a quality winch is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can add to your vehicle. Whether it's for self-recovery, or getting mate out of trouble, a winch can save a lot of time and effort, as well as being an important safety addition.

I've had one fitted to all but my first 4WD, and over the years they've proven their worth on many occasions, so a winch was pretty high on the list for the 200.

Selecting a winch

The number of choices in the winch market today is enormous. While twenty years ago, there was really only a choice of three brands, today there are dozens to select from.

The original manufacturers are still around, but they've been joined by plenty of newcomers, generally based in China and with little or no reputation on which to base a decision.

There are three main performance criteria on which to judge a winch: Reliability; Line speed; and Endurance. The relative importance of each criteria depends on the usage. For hard-core 4WDing or competition use, endurance and line speed are probably the most important factors, but for a touring build they aren't as important as reliability. It's entirely plausible for a tourer to be stranded three or four hundred kilometres from help, and that's not the place to discover the dodgy workmanship inside the $300 Chinese winch you just bought on eBay.

It is because of the need for reliability that I chose to stick with Warn for the 200-series build, but at the same time I decided to save some money and go with one from their entry-level Tabor range rather than a premium winch (such as the XD9000 I've always had previously). The Tabor 10k has an extra 1000lb (500kg) of capacity over the venerable XD9000, but costs about half as much. There's also 9,000 and 12,000 pound winches in the Tabor range, but I chose the 10k as being powerful enough to handle the weight of the 200 with my camper-trailer, but without the extra size and weight that comes with the 12,000lb version. If you tow a larger off-road caravan, then the Tabor 12k would probably be a better choice.

Cable Vs Synthetic rope

One change I did make to the Tabor was to replace the standard 10mm steel cable with Warn's genuine Spydura synthetic rope. I did this for two reasons: Weight and Safety.

Replacing the cable with rope reduces the weight of the winch by almost 10kg. That means lower fuel consumption and less stress on front end suspension components. Both important factors for any touring vehicle.

While cable failures are rare if they are well maintained and operated correctly, a broken cable is not only potentially lethal, but also has the ability to immobilise the vehicle if it impacts in the wrong place. Synthetic ropes store far less energy and are much safer in the event of failure.

When it came to choosing a brand of synthetic rope, I went with Warn's own Spydura for a few reasons. First, being black in colour it's more resistant to one big enemy of synthetic ropes: The sun. Secondly, it has a high quality heat-resistant sheath that protects the rope from the heat generated by the winch and transmitted through the drum. A synthetic rope without a quality sheath is likely to fail as the drum heats up during extended winching operations. Finally, being designed for Warn winches, the Spydura rope includes a mounting retainer that fits perfectly onto the winch drum.

Another requirement when changing to synthetic rope is swapping from the standard rollers to a hawse-type fairlead. I went with a very nice looking Warn polished alloy version, which has a wide radius to allow the rope to spool on easily, and also quickly dissipates heat.




IMPORTANT

The "Installation" section should not be taken as instructions. It is simply a documenting of the procedure I followed for my own installation. No warranty is provided as to the accuracy of the information, and/or whether it applies in your situation or to your vehicle. If you're not qualified and/or don't have the correct equipment, get the winch fitted professionally.

  • There are potentially lethal dangers involved during the installation from falling components and/or component or equipment failures.
  • There are potentially lethal dangers resulting from failure due to improper installation.
  • There is the potential for expensive vehicle damage from improper installation.

If you undertake your own winch installation, you do so entirely at your own risk.

Equipment required 

  • Assorted spanners and sockets
  • Thread locking fluid (eg Loctite 243 or 263.
  • Pliars
  • Flat and phillips screwdrivers

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Installation

ARB supply comprehensive installation instructions with their winch bars. For other brands of bullbar, please refer to the bar manufacturer for instructions. Please read the following alongside the fitting instructions from the bullbar manufacturer.

Note: Unless otherwise stated, I used loctite on ALL bolts during the installation, adding additional security to cope with vibration.

Step 1: Attach the ARB-supplied control box mounting bracket to the box.

Step 2: Remove all of the cap (allen key head) screws from the gearbox end of the winch, and carefully rotate the end cap 4 screw holes, then replace the screws. This will allow the winch clutch lever to line up with the hole in the bullbar.

Step 3: Remove the two bolts on the motor end of the winch, then rotate the entire motor 90º clockwise.

Step 4: Place the winch mount-face up on a sturdy table.

Step 5: Following the reverse of the ARB instructions, with an assistant remove the bullbar from the vehicle. This will involve removing the centre stone tray, wing splash panels, fog/park/indicator wiring, and the bolts connecting the bullbar itself to the mounting brackets.

Step 6: Place the bullbar on top of the winch, so the mounting holes line up with the holes in the bullbar. Ensure the clutch is on the left side of the bar, and the rope spools off the bottom of the drum. Then install the two longer bolts through the fairlead, bullbar and into the winch; and the two shorter bolts through the upper holes in the bullbar and into the winch. Use loctite on all the bolts.

Step 7: Roll the bullbar and winch assembly over to gain access to the rear of the winch.

Step 8: Fit the ARB-supplied rubber grommets into the top of the bullbar pan, then run the wiring from the control box through to the winch, connecting the three colour-coded wires from the control box to the winch. Stow the red battery wire (from the control box) and the black earth lead (from the winch motor) so they can be run after the bar is mounted to the vehicle.

Step 9: Bolt the control box to the bullbar.

Step 10: With the aid of an assistant, replace the bullbar/winch assembly onto the vehicle, fully tightening all the original mounting bolts, re-connecting all wiring and replacing the stone tray and wing splash panels.

Step 11: Run the red (+) and black (-) leads from the winch to the battery. Secure the lines regularly with Cable ties to prevent any risk of abrasion, and for extra safety I encased the positive lead in split tubing. Also note that it's important for best performance to run the negative lead all the way to the battery, rather than connecting it to the chassis or another earth mount.

Step 12: Connect the hook to the winch rope, and test the power in-out operation.




Winching safety tips

• For optimum life and performance, it's important to unwind all but the last 5 wraps of the cable/rope before you use the winch, then power it back in under load, ensuring that the cable/rope spools on evenly and tight. This will prevent binding and kinking when the winch is loaded later.

• Check cable/rope for damage after use and replace it if damaged. This is particularly true of steel cable, which can be lethal if it breaks under load.

• Always use rated tow points, bow shackles, straps and other accessories.

• Always use a winch cable dampener.

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