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Discussion Starter #1
The free spool lever on my winch has been buggered on my winch since day one....stuck in freespool.

My vendor said they would replace it, then before I got the chance to swap it, they changed their policy to have the mfg deal with all warranty issues.

So I email smittybilt and they're sending me the parts to fix it myself.

I barely have the time to take the bumper and winch off, let alone disassemble the winch.

My mechanical skills flat out suck...I'm not a total moron, but I'm not a mechanic by any means. I'm somewhat concerned that if I fuck up my winch repair, I could end up stranded someday if the thing fails on me. I'm also concerned about future warranty issues if it's been worked on by me. I envision having to take the thing on and off a couple times...maybe not, who knows.

I don't have a garage, so I'll be doing this in the driveway and rebuilding the winch at my kitchen table.

I kinda thought they would replace the winch...maybe not the controls or the rope..but the main winch part.

To be honest, I probably won't even fix it...it still works, I just can't free spool, which is a huge pain in the arse.

Would you be pissed or am I over reacting.

I was under the impression that warranty meant they would fix it...not give me parts to fix it myself.
 

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Gunnery Sergeant USMC (ret)
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Don't get your panties in a wad. Just take the end cover off, if you have some allen keys. Metric I think. I just took my end cover off this weekend. Remove the lever and replace it.

Does the warranty say that they will fix it? Or just replace parts?
 

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Let me put this strait are you gonna be that guy on the trail waiting to get help because you cant do it yourself?

You can do it,your mechanical skill will improve with time,get the right tool,ill say that's the most important.

For the rest you will get all the info you could ever need around here,

As for the time what is more relaxing then working on your rig a nice Saturday morning?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not afraid of doing it...I'm sure I could figure it out.

I've installed most of the stuff on my jeep..usually with help, but I've managed.

If it wasn't under warranty, I'd fix it myself out of nessecity.

I think the part that is upsetting that the warranty is "here's some parts, fix it yourself"....instead of them taking care of it. Anything else I've ever needed warranty for has been taken care of by the vendor or manufacture, from computers to the jeep dealership. When they fixed my clock spring, they didn't say here's your part, have at it...they fixed the clock spring...if you get what I mean.

I'm probably more pissed at the dealer who said they'd replace it, then said other wise.
 

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Gunnery Sergeant USMC (ret)
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Because jeep doesn't want the liability when you set the airbag off in your face. Get some black RTV before you start this job though. Before you put the end cover back on run a small bead of rtv on the mating surface of the cover. The bottom of my XRC8 has grease all over it where it melted and leaked out.
 

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If you were a company would you want to eat $100 in shipping in order to fix a $1 part? Its an easy fix and the down time on the winch with you fixing it yourself is going to be a lot less than with you shipping them the winch and them shipping it back.
 

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Smittybilt's winch warranty is for part replacement only, they dont replace the whole winch.
 

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Not knowing how to do the repair, but being willing to learn how to do it = good
Not knowing how to do the repair, and not willing to learn how to or do it = bad

I get your point though. It is shitty, but I kinda see both sides of this. I do understand that shipping a winch back and forth for a little part is not practical. However the argument can be made that, "Well then it shouldn't have came defective." Also when something goes to fuck in your TV the mfg or retailer often will send someone out to your place to deal with it.

I guess if my Smittybilt was defective I'd take it with a grain of salt because they are so cheap. Now if a $2000 Warn came defective it might be a different story...
 

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Gunnery Sergeant USMC (ret)
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Would you want someone from 4 wheel parts coming to your house and try to fix your winch? No thanks.
 

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Mine wouldn't swith easily from day one. Have you tried hitting the remote while moving the lever? I also hit the base of the lever with some penetrating oil, and no issues since.


The teeth are probably messy from the factory. After a while, they break in. Once a eek I make it a habit to engage/freespool the lever a couple times too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They sent me the wrong part after waiting for a month...been waiting for the right part since.

First contact was may 21st.....still haven't got my part.
 

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Smitty makes a lever repair kit, even with instructions how to change it. PART #S/B97281-37
 

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Good luck, hope they get you the correct part. You can do this fix, it won't be that hard. Good learning experience:beer:
 

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I had the exact same issue. Smitty send me the repair kit and I fixed the problem. The only issue was that I no longer trusted it. IMO my winch is my life line, I have to have 100% faith in it. That's why once it was fixed it I got rid of it and I have a 10k warn between my frame rails.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I got a tracking number for the gear assembly today.


I'm not afraid to do the fix...I'm afraid that it might fail in an awkward predicament when I need it most.

I carry a spare electrics box and controller...just in case.

So far, this little guy has not let me down...even on some really hard pulls.
 
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