Iron Man 12000lb Winch

Bullbars, roof racks, suspensions and other accessories relating to vehicle performance
Post Reply
Clem
Patrolman
Patrolman
Posts: 921
Joined: 19 Jun 2013 15:16
Full Name: Clem Daniel
Nickname: Clem
Home Town: Johannesburg
Current 4x4: Patrol 4.8
Home Language: English
Has thanked: 31 times
Been thanked: 28 times

Iron Man 12000lb Winch

Post by Clem » 14 Jan 2018 08:30

I bought a used Iron Man 12000lb winch from Paul Nash and after receiving it decided to take it apart and service it. Here are a couple of thoughts coming out of that.

A bit of water had got into the electric motor and Paul hadn't followed the regime of running the motor every couple of weeks to dry it out and so it had a bit of corrosion in it. That's common with all winches (even Warn). Provided you run the motor regularly it's a non-issue. FWIW, a 12V DC motor will run fully flooded with water. So it won't affect your ability to get out the river. I cleaned the commutator (which was pretty good anyway) and the brushes. The rotor, FWIW, is a balanced unit. There's a bit of minor corrosion on the brush holder ring but it's good for at least another ten or fifteen years. Interestingly, the water had entered primarily through the negative pole. So I've sealed that. The unit had - to my surprise - paper gaskets but they seem to have done their job pretty well, although there was evidence of a bit of leakage under the end cap. Iron Man doesn't normally supply replacement gaskets. Weird because winches are supposed to be serviced annually or so, although they did promise to see what they could extract from their own service department and get back to me. But anyway, I made some up with Halite (only thing I could readily find in 1.5mm) and used a bit of Spanjaard copper sealer. Mostly the motor seems pretty waterproof. I ran a bit of RTV around the joints and apertures on the outside of the housing which means that that bit of water that used to get in certainly won't get in anymore. I also used Wynns Contact Cleaner liberally on the inside because of its corrosion inhibiting effects. Motor runs sweetly.

I pulled the brake from the drum and had a good look at it. It's an interesting design and IMHO better than the one on the Warn. The Warn uses the rope drum as the brake housing and presses the brake shoes up against that, This actually has its own separate brake housing which locks against the rope drum with grub screws. It looks like a very strong unit albeit possibly somewhat more complex than the Warn unit. Anyway, that was all in good condition so was left alone.

On the gearbox side, its got a single large internally stepped sliding ring gear in which both the secondary and the tertiary gear sets rotate. The primary gear set runs on teeth cut into the aluminium end cap. The end cap is removable separately, which is quite handy as it makes access for servicing quite easy. The sliding ring gear is massively constructed and slides inside a steel casing. Like all winches (all winches get water in the transmission with immersion), it's prone to corrosion between the ring gear and the casing (traditionally these surfaces are often left ungreased so as to reduce free spool drag but which then renders them prone to corrosion) but it doesn't matter terribly much as that's only the free spool surface. So I cleaned the corrosion off with a rotary wire brush down to bright metal and there's a bit of pitting but nothing to worry about. For what it is worth, Woolridge 4x4 had previously serviced the gearbox, discovered this corrosion and then packed the transmission with Castrol MS grease. There was brown water in the transmission again as Paul has clearly been doing some wading. But the heavily packed grease had kept it away from doing any harm. The downside to the MS grease is that when applied between the ring gear and the housing it makes free spooling difficult (more below). Anyway, the gears are all perfect. Looking at the gear clusters, they are very well made and I daresay at least as good as the Warn Tabor series. So you're not going to have a problem with that aspect. On the whole it looks like a pretty solid transmission. I repacked it with conventional Castrol LM grease (as opposed to MS). The MS is actually the right grease for a winch gearbox but I prefer the good old LM for a number of reasons. One is that cleaning out old MS grease is way messier than LM, if you service the thing from time to time. For very occasionally used winches the LM is fine (MS is better for hard worked winches). The LM is a bit thinner. That creates less drag if, like me, you like to pack the gearbox very full of grease. It's also important if you grease the outside of the sliding gear, which I think should be done. Conventional wisdom has it that the sliding gear is not greased on the outside so as to ease the free spooling. That's great if you use the winch a lot or if you squirt some oil down the selector lever hole every few months but otherwise its a problem. With the LM grease the free spool still works acceptably (if a little stiff) but with MS grease the drag can become such that you actually can't really free spool without difficulty and unwinding the rope with the motor chews Amps that you actually need for pulling the car out of the mud or whatever. Finally, the removable end plate on the Iron man gearbox makes it easy to pull it off and drain the water and repack the grease (you can actually get the whole gear pack, including the ring gear out through the end cap) and that's a simpler and cleaner job with LM than MS. So I used LM. I made up paper gaskets out of Flexoid (again Iron Man didn't have them ready to supply) so as to ensure that it's easy to open the gearbox in the future to clear out the water, etc.

I opened the controller box and discovered that the solenoids are completely sealed 100% waterproof units. That's one better than Warn. My only gripe is that the screws for the box sit in recessed holes in which water accumulates - and ordinary plated screws were used and the slots had rusted to heck. So getting those out was a bit of a hassle but they have now been replaced with stainless steel units.

On the whole, the Iron Man winch seems like a pretty good product. The only let down is that Iron Man South Africa, while very willing to help, don't seem to have a ready stock of service spares available, which is really pretty surprising and a point that they really do need to address. They couldn't even provide a parts list and diagram. It's the one area in which Warn really excels.

User avatar
hugejp
Patrolman 1000+
Patrolman 1000+
Posts: 1560
Joined: 21 Oct 2014 21:01
Full Name: JP Viviers
Nickname: Oupoot
Home Town: JHB
Current 4x4: PATROL COLLECTION
2004 4.8 GRX "Tinkerbell"
2003 4.2 tdi GRX "The Coal Roller"
Home Language: Half & Half
Has thanked: 108 times
Been thanked: 89 times

Re: Iron Man 12000lb Winch

Post by hugejp » 14 Jan 2018 08:58

Very good write up...

Are the parts available on ebay? Or on import from Aus?
----------------------------------------------------------------------

You CAN with a NISSAN!

Jy KAN met 'n DATSUN!

Clem
Patrolman
Patrolman
Posts: 921
Joined: 19 Jun 2013 15:16
Full Name: Clem Daniel
Nickname: Clem
Home Town: Johannesburg
Current 4x4: Patrol 4.8
Home Language: English
Has thanked: 31 times
Been thanked: 28 times

Re: Iron Man 12000lb Winch

Post by Clem » 14 Jan 2018 09:30

Electric I think are generic. If you go to a good supplier you should get them off the shelf. Bearings are standard. As to the gearbox parts, I don't know. I suspect that if you ask Iron Man they'll make a plan. Based on what I read on the web Iron man Aus are pretty good about taking care of their product. That's the good thing about Warn but you sure pay for it when you buy the thing.

Clem
Patrolman
Patrolman
Posts: 921
Joined: 19 Jun 2013 15:16
Full Name: Clem Daniel
Nickname: Clem
Home Town: Johannesburg
Current 4x4: Patrol 4.8
Home Language: English
Has thanked: 31 times
Been thanked: 28 times

Re: Iron Man 12000lb Winch

Post by Clem » 24 Jan 2018 07:59

I've discovered that the Ironman 12000lb winch is identical to the Harbourfreight one. Only the branding is different.

User avatar
hugejp
Patrolman 1000+
Patrolman 1000+
Posts: 1560
Joined: 21 Oct 2014 21:01
Full Name: JP Viviers
Nickname: Oupoot
Home Town: JHB
Current 4x4: PATROL COLLECTION
2004 4.8 GRX "Tinkerbell"
2003 4.2 tdi GRX "The Coal Roller"
Home Language: Half & Half
Has thanked: 108 times
Been thanked: 89 times

Re: Iron Man 12000lb Winch

Post by hugejp » 24 Jan 2018 08:13

Do we even get HF here???

I bought from them in America, they are similar to our Ardendorf.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

You CAN with a NISSAN!

Jy KAN met 'n DATSUN!

Clem
Patrolman
Patrolman
Posts: 921
Joined: 19 Jun 2013 15:16
Full Name: Clem Daniel
Nickname: Clem
Home Town: Johannesburg
Current 4x4: Patrol 4.8
Home Language: English
Has thanked: 31 times
Been thanked: 28 times

Re: Iron Man 12000lb Winch

Post by Clem » 24 Jan 2018 08:47

I don't think you get them here. But I watched a youtube video of someone stripping one and realised that its the exact same thing except for the branding.

Post Reply

Return to “18. Vehicle Accessories”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest