Sunday, December 09, 2012

Spare Tire Winch Failure

The spare tire winch on my LR3 broke.  Apparently this is common with LR3s.  After reviewing the many online forum posts on the topic, I decided to fix it myself.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After changing my flat tire in the desert (see previous post), I decided to toss the flat into the back of the truck, making it easily accessible when I take it in to get patched.  I then wound the winch to raise the cable that would normally hold the spare.  I raised it all the way to the top.  I turned it until it clicked.  I figured this was the normal indication that it was fully raised.  That might have been a mistake.

After the flat was repaired, the mechanics lowered the cable and began to raise the spare under the truck.  It got stuck about 5 inches below where it should be.  After repeated attempts, including winding the winch without a tire, it continued to get stuck at the same spot.  After getting home, I tried several times to get it working.  I even applied tension to the cable to simulate a tire hanging (admittedly, not the same load) while unwinding and winding the cable.  No change.  

I'm lucky since I've had many years of repeated proper function with this winch.  Several LR3 owners have posted comments about theirs failing upon their first or second use.  Wow.

I ordered a replacement winch from British Atlantic.  It's not cheap, but I'm positive it's a lot cheaper than having a dealership do it.  It takes only 5 minutes to remove or install the winch.  There are only 4 nuts and 2 bolts to remove, all from under the rear of the truck.  No need to squeeze fingers (or a wrench) behind to hold nuts fixed on the other side.  Here's the new replacement winch.

Here's the mounting location under the rear of the truck, and the hole seen from above.

And the mounted winch.

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