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Thread: Jammed Winch

  1. #1
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    Default Jammed Winch

    I had to cancel a solo ride I had planned for this past weekend because of a jammed winch on my King Quad. I was just about to load the ATV onto my truck and my neighbor asked about the winch so I decided to demonstrate it by hooking it to the back of the truck or something. Of course it didn't work. It appears to be jammed as everything else is normal but the drum won't turn in either direction. I checked the electrical connections and they appear to be fine.

    It's a X-1 Superwinch that came with the ATV, (package deal) and I've never had to use it since trying it out in the beginning. I tried to pull out the knob on the side of the winch to unlock it but arm strength isn't gonna do it. I'm trying to figure out just what to use on it but I'm also leery about putting to much force on the knob and breaking it. Any ideas as to how I can get some leverage so I can unjam the winch?

    Once I do that, I will be able to determine if it really is just a jam or if there is something else wrong. For now though I really need to figure out how to unjam the thing.

  2. #2

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    If you can get it to free spool then I'd tie a rope to the hook and the other end to a tree and reverse on the wheeler. Had to do that in the past, seemed to work for me.

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    If all else fails though I suppose I could pull the winch off the vehicle and go up on the roof and drop it about 20 feet. That might loosen it up a bit.

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    ...or just take it apart and clean it up.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    ...or just take it apart and clean it up.
    Well yeah, but what's the fun in that?

    If I can't devise a way of unlocking the drum that's my next option I guess.

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    put some corrosion-x on it and let it set over night, then take it apart gently no anger.

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    Default Just a thought

    There have been a couple of times I went to unspool some cable. I switch it to free spool and grab the hook. It don't come out. After some inspection it was the metal "cinch" thing they use to create the loop for the hook. It was getting hung up on the roller fairlead. Just a simple 90 degree rotation that allowed it to come on out.
    EricL

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricL View Post
    There have been a couple of times I went to unspool some cable. I switch it to free spool and grab the hook. It don't come out. After some inspection it was the metal "cinch" thing they use to create the loop for the hook. It was getting hung up on the roller fairlead. Just a simple 90 degree rotation that allowed it to come on out.
    I might have the same problem with the "swedge" (old Air Force term for "cinch" thing) being jammed up. My main issue is getting it to freespool. All I have to do is pull out a knob on the end of the winch but that is my problem. I cannot get it to move and it's a smooth plastic knob and...ok, wait. Here's a pic of what I'm talking about.

    The knob in question is on the side just under the yellow sticker. I need to pull that straight out to get the drum to freespool and I'd rather try that then to take the entire winch apart and screw something up.


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    Question

    Do you know if the last time that it was used, you might have sucked the hook in just a little too much? Maybe it's too tight? If so, there's still alot of tension inside on the spool gear and the free spool release mechanism. If the cable appears to be laid on the spool somewhat evenly (it appears so by the photo) and not all mashed in there, then that could be your problem.

    How tight is the cable between the fairlead and the spool? That little short distance?

    If its loose, then cinching/swedging like others have mentioned could be the problem OR possibly its all gunked up and needs cleaned. But if its tight as a banjo string (which appear could be the case by the photo), then you need to get it loosened a bit and get that pressure off of there. This is what we did on my buddies atv and it worked when he sucked it in too much and the winch wouldn't cooperate. Chain the hook to something that won't move and backup with the atv just enough to pull on the hook a little tighter. I know, that sounds bad. The cable "should" start to swedge a little and then stop. Have a second person for assisting if needed. Unhook to whatever you're tied to and wiggle the spool and hook until there's a bit of play. Once there's a little bit of play on the cable between the fairlead and the spool, then the tension should be relieved from the spool gear and hopefully the free spool knob can be pulled out. If that doesn't work, then it sounds like a tear down might be in order. My .02.. Good luck...

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampdonkey View Post
    Do you know if the last time that it was used, you might have sucked the hook in just a little too much? Maybe it's too tight?

    How tight is the cable between the fairlead and the spool? That little short distance?

    ...But if its tight as a banjo string (which appear could be the case by the photo), then you need to get it loosened a bit and get that pressure off of there.
    I guess I should have posted the picture right from the start and not tried, in my totally inept way, to explain the problem . Thanks Swampdonkey, that is exactly what is going on with it. I'll give that a try when I get home this afternoon.

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    Thumbs up

    I hope that that was the problem. Easy fix if so..
    I have a question though. When you have power to the bike or it's running, and you hit the "out" button/switch, does it make click noises or does it try to spool out? Even with tension on it, it "should" feed out when the button/switch is activated . If it does nothing, then the switch/button could have crapped out on ya as well. Those old round-dial-like-twisty-winch switches are notorious for going bad IF that's what you have... Just a thought...
    Also, hook a dedicated bungee chord or rope tied to a rack/frame and hook the winch hook to it. That way there's no more sucking it in too tight and going through that again. Best of luck..

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    Yes, I do have one of the round dial type switches and I've been suspicious of it since all this began as I do not hear anything when I activate it. That switch is possibly the stupidest thing on the whole ATV, (besides me, that is).

    Secondly, I tried your suggestions and I still cannot pull the knob out to get it to freespool so...first the switch and next the jam. sigh. At least my garage is warm and dry.

    I do appreciate your help though. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

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    Those switches are NOT water proof as some folks (dealers) would like to claim and they get corroded and fail. I haven't seen them on any newer atv's in quite some time. Maybe that's just me or they fixed a problem there.

    Since you mentioned in your first post that your bike is a King Quad, and since I've never seen it, would that switch be mounted on the left side of the front rack or fender? My friends who have had these same bikes with these same switches, had them placed there for all of the weather to get nicely into. They had nothing but problems with them. Some went bad within 6 months of purchase and they hardly took their bikes out. One friend tore his apart and did the "self waterproofing" trick with silicone and whatnot. His lasted the longest before it finally died. I would replace it like you plan on doing with something compatible and of different design. I hope that it's the problem.

    If not, well, bummer man...

    Just curious, what year is that bike and winch?

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    Your style of winch brand is junk, sorry, not trying to be mean. X-1 Superwinch is the cheapest they come and yes I know alot of dealers put them on new quads as a "good deal" really it's a joke to make you feel you got a, well, winch out of the deal. Take the set up off (twist switch too) and go buy a Warn 2500. They are not bomb proof, but 250% better then superwinch. You will have to remove yours and tear it apart on a bench to clean and relube it for the freespool/engauge knob to work, been there done that to many of that model. Good luck!

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    Don't screw with the winch, yet. Fix the switch first then it should power out and release tension from the bound up gears. Corrosion is usually the problem with those switches, remove and clean all cable connections on the switch and winch and your problem will be solved, I think!

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampdonkey View Post
    Those switches are NOT water proof as some folks (dealers) would like to claim and they get corroded and fail. I haven't seen them on any newer atv's in quite some time. Maybe that's just me or they fixed a problem there.

    Since you mentioned in your first post that your bike is a King Quad, and since I've never seen it, would that switch be mounted on the left side of the front rack or fender?...Just curious, what year is that bike and winch?

    That's the exact location, left front rack and the ATV is a 2001. I already knew I was going to get King Quad and when they said a winch was being thrown in for free I thought they said a "Wench" and well...

    Quote Originally Posted by AKDSLDOG View Post
    Your style of winch brand is junk, sorry, not trying to be mean. Take the set up off (twist switch too) and go buy a Warn 2500. They are not bomb proof, but 250% better then superwinch. You will have to remove yours and tear it apart on a bench to clean and relube it for the freespool/engauge knob to work, been there done that to many of that model. Good luck!
    No offense taken and I wish it had come with the Warn winch. I asked about it at the time and they quoted me some b.s. price so I took the freebie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bearbait 1 View Post
    Don't screw with the winch, yet. Fix the switch first then it should power out and release tension from the bound up gears. Corrosion is usually the problem with those switches, remove and clean all cable connections on the switch and winch and your problem will be solved, I think!
    I'll be taking the switch apart tonight (work permitting) and see if I can get the think working again. If not well...my savings account just jumped up today by $1,654.

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    Smile

    Hey, I forgot about the dividends. (I'm up on the slope at work)

    If it needs torn apart regardless of the switch, then like AKDSLDOG said, a good WARN or RAMSEY 2500 (my preference) are great. Solid and very strong winches. Better switches too.. That some pretty good (coincidental) timing for that PFD? Good luck...

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    Well, I started at the winch and check the connections there. Corroded. I went to clean them up and discovered that my box of electrical bit and pieces for repairs is missing. I think the ex son-in-law took it with him when he left Alaska. I'll go get more stuff tomorrow but in the meantime I cleaned them up as much as I could but the nuts really need replacing.

    Anyhow, I then took the switch apart and it looks just fine. No corrosion or anything. Now however, I am having a devil of a time putting it back together again. I just cannot compress it enough to get the larger of the two snap rings installed.

    At this point though, I'm pretty much ready to just go get a good winch and install it. As my wife said, if you need a winch to get you out of a bad situation, why not have the something you can depend on?

    I love that woman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bookseller View Post

    As my wife said, if you need a winch to get you out of a bad situation, why not have the something you can depend on?

    I love that woman.
    That's a good woman there and you just happen to have a PFD burning a hole in your pocket. Happy Shopping!!!!

  20. #20

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    Did you check the fuse to see if it was blown? That might be why it won't work electrically. Looks like in your picture you have a hawse fairlead and not a roller type and the swedge is jammed in it. If you decide to get a Warn then disregard my post.

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