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Findings: ironman 9500lb & fitting to ARB bar

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  • Findings: ironman 9500lb & fitting to ARB bar

    After tossing up whether to buy a warn a good deal came up and for $600 I had a 9500lb ironman unit.

    Judging by the number of 4x4 companies that seem to be using the exact same design/mould I though I couldn't go too far wrong - I was also told they had pretty good after sales service and parts availability.

    Thankfully this is true becuase out of the box the winch needed some work. The clutch lever housing was loose, allowing the lever and housing to rotate 360 degrees. To take the clutch off you need to remove the grub screw ? this would be easy except the thread on the clutch lever housing was stripped.

    On top of this when the lever housing was tightened into the gear box with vice grips the lever grub screw sat at about 130degrees to the front of the winch, making it impossible to properly engaged the gears.
    I got on the phone to Ironman and no problem they replaced the clutch lever housing.

    With the new clutch lever housing installed the grub screw ended up at about 320 degrees.... With a bit of pipe thread tape it now sits at 270 degrees and the lever moves from 0 to 180 counter-clockwise towards the spool instead of clockwise towards the end of the gear housing ? no big deal but I recon it?s a beacon of sh!t quality control in the manufacturing.

    I took it apart to see what else may have been overlooked ? to my surprise the motor and gears were all ok. The only other potential problem was the gear box had been filled to capacity with grease. After a long soak in a bucket of petrol the grease was gone and the entire drive assembly was washed out and lightly re-greased with Inox high temp/pressure lithium ptfe grease (be sure to use a spray pack and pump pack).

    Outcome: if you purchase one of these winches be sure you check the clutch lever before taking it out of the shop/box ? if it?s not tight (with the grub screw sitting at 90 degrees in line with the gearbox end cap) close the box and ask for a replacement winch that is properly assembled.

    Fitting (arb bar)
    Fitting the winch couldn?t have been any simpler. First of all you don?t need to remove the bar. I used two cam-action motorbike hold down straps (supercheap sell them) tied around the top tube of the bulbar dropping through the cut out. The winch will fit (without the control box ? attach it later) between the front cross-member and the bar if it is sitting right way up - just watch the clutch lever doesn?t catch on the cross-member. When attaching the straps to the winch attach them around the motor housing and gear housing ? just take the strap under and put the hook back on the strap, don?t tie them or go right around the housing again as you will need to rotate the winch on to it's side in the straps once you?ve lifted it up near the mounting points and this is easy if the straps are just looped around the winch.

    There are four square head nuts that go into the feet of the winch and four bolts + washers to secure it to the bar. The two longer bolts go through the fairlead. The two shorter bolts for the upper holes aren?t long enough for both a washer and split washer. Either get a slightly longer bolt or use some Loctite instead of the split washer.

    To install the control box on the back of the winch you?ll need to remove the lower chrome rail which is simple. Install it and replace the rail. Alternatively the wires are easy enough to replace with longer ones if you can find somewhere under the bonnet to mount it (?). You don?t need to connect all the wires before installing the winch (which would make it more difficult to lift and turn) as there?s enough room to get them all connected once the winch is in place.
    Last edited by Eastie; 22-01-08, 10:11 PM.
    NS oil burner shorty

  • #2
    Quick question, could there be any possible ramifications from removing factory grease, ie, void of warranty etc.


    • #3
      I can't see why there would be - so long as it's properly lubricated with high pressure/temp grease. Even their own advice is to strip it following water crossings. With the original grease it was difficult to turn the gears by hand - done properly the gears turn with slight resistance.
      Last edited by Eastie; 21-01-08, 09:51 PM.
      NS oil burner shorty


      • #4
        Would be interested to see some photos...


        • #5
          Unfortuantely I didn't take any pictures while servicing/fitting it - too much grease around to get on the camera\. Added a couple pics of the clutch problem and from the front to give an idea how it ends up
          Last edited by Eastie; 21-01-08, 09:52 PM.
          NS oil burner shorty


          • #6
            Did you let them know of any problems that you found with the winch? i have always found the Guys at Ironman to be nothing but helpful and very good to deal with.

            Thankfully i havent had any problems with their parts, but every company has issues, its the nature of the beast.
            Toyota Hilux 89, 2 inch lift, bullbar, heavy right foot


            • #7
              Yep - told them about the clutch housing and they replaced it no questions asked. Unfortunately the replacement was no better. I couldn't be shagged chasing it up again. As I said, their after sales support is good, but for the price of these units it seems you don't get much in the way of QA.
              NS oil burner shorty


              • #8
                Ironman Winch Fitting

                G'Day Eastie,

                I thought I would just drop you a line to thank you for your tips on fitting the ironman winch, I had exactly the same set up as you. I ended up buying slightly longer bolts on your advice and locktited for insurance. I was going to take the bar off, but after seeing your posting that wasn't needed.

                Did you find however that the ARB gap for the cable didn't quite line up ? Did you increase the hole size or modify the holes of the roller block to lift it up ?

                Again thanks


                White GLX Diesel Auto. ARB Bullbar - Tough Dog Springs & 40mm adjustable Shocks ( 2" Lift ) - Ironman 12,000 lb winch - Polyairs - GME UHF - Pirahna Dual Battery Set up - Cooper ST. * Work in Progress - 40mm Custom side barwork *


                • #9
                  Thanks Toby, I'm glad it was useful.
                  I found the same with the roller fairlead. The bolt pattern on the bar is for an offset fairlead (also called "ramsey" type). The roller in the ironman kits is obviously for winches mounted feet down. I ended up replacing it with an offset hawse fairlead from masterpull when I replaced the cable for rope.

                  Despite the lip and cable crimp you can still wind it all the way in with care if you use a spanner of shifter handle to guide the crimp over the lip , but it's easier to get it there than it is getting it out. If you we're going to cut/grind, I'd be inclined to see if you can cut into the fairlead before cutting into the lip on the bar/chasis rail (cant remember which?). From memory the bar has a little bit of room above the fairlead so if you elongated the fairlead bolt holes it may be enough? In one of the pics it also shows a velcro fishing rod wrap around the hook/roller to stop them from rattling around.

                  You also reminded me that I've got to put back one of the bolt I took out oops...

                  I've used it once to date to winch about 40m, worked a treat without any sign of stress so you should find the 12,000lb more than capable for a vehicle+trailer.

                  Cheers, Mark
                  Last edited by Eastie; 06-04-08, 03:41 PM.
                  NS oil burner shorty


                  • #10
                    Ironman Winch

                    Hi Mark,

                    Thanks for the info, I'm going to elongate the fairlead holes first and see how that goes. I like your new fairlead though, I too will probably look a rope down the track to reduce weight. A mate uses rope too and swears by it.

                    What do you think about having a switch inside to activate power, more that the key thing that came with it under the bonnet ?

                    White GLX Diesel Auto. ARB Bullbar - Tough Dog Springs & 40mm adjustable Shocks ( 2" Lift ) - Ironman 12,000 lb winch - Polyairs - GME UHF - Pirahna Dual Battery Set up - Cooper ST. * Work in Progress - 40mm Custom side barwork *


                    • #11
                      A power switch in the cab is on the to do list. I've had a look at mounting the in-line switch but it's pretty big and you'd probably have to knock up a bracket to mount it securely. An auto-elec mate has wired a few up with in cab switching for off, in and out that i like the idea of. If I give it a go I'll post some details. Although the remote is great, in cab would be good to isolate the power.
                      NS oil burner shorty


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