Which Winch is Which??

If you have an early CJ nothing looks Jeepier, or occasionally comes in more handy, than a Winch. The debate rages on about what style of winch is best, PTO vs. Electric. vs. Hydraulic- all have their rabid proponents.

Anybody who comes within biting distance of me will get the PTO bug ;).

A few years ago I picked up a PTO & winch for Tonka. I was in the process of rebuilding them when my wife was involved in an accident, putting the PTO & winch on hold until the rebuild on Tonka is further along.

Ramsey PTOs winches were one of the popular choices. The unit I picked up is a Ramsey Model 200, an 8000 lb. unit that seems to have been the standard for their CJ & Willys truck kits. Ramsey still produces, with a few minor changes, this same winch (1,2); it appears to be very popular on tow trucks etc. There doesn't seem to be a lot of material available on the web about fixing Ramsey winches, hopefully this means they don't break easily :).

Koenig (3,4) also built PTOs & winches for jeep vehicles which, if anything, were even more popular than the Ramsey unit. There seems to have been two styles of Koenigs, both rather confusingly called the Model 100 :/. One style splits the worm drive case top & bottom, the other vertically into left & right clamshells. Koenig, as part of KGI, is still in the industrial winch business. (5) Although they still build units that appear very similar to the clamshell units apparently the parts are not interchangeable :(. Compared to the Ramsey, there's all kindsa stuff on the web about Koenigs.

Other, much rarer, units were produced by Rhino (6), who built a "clone" of the Ramsey winch, Braden (7) and Tulsa Winch (8). Most of these companies are still building mechanical drive winches, but not apparently the same models as they sold for jeeps. There were, fairly recently, electric Rhino winches on the market and now a Rhino "Self Recovery" setup is available but I have not been able to confirm that these are any relation to the "original" Rhino. Apart from info on the MU2 winches used on the military Dodge Power Wagons I can't find anything on the Braden units for jeeps other than the occasional "my Jeep had one" or some discussion of the MB/GPW crank driven capstan units. I never even heard of Tulsa until one showed up on EBay while I was preparing this page :/.

So, with today's theory lesson over it's time to do some shop work-

These are photos I took of the diss-assembly, mostly as a reference for when I have to put it back together. My apologies for the quality, you're looking at photos taken under poor conditions using cheap film, badly processed & digitized while my scanner was having a bad day :(.

Here's my winch before I bought it, installed on the back of the PO's M38A1. Notice that it was only bolted to the mount on the back side. Those cases must be tough 'cause he used to throw the cable over a tree limb, hook it to the front bumper & haul his jeep off the ground with this setup-

O.K., we've got her home & seperated from the old mount. The winch was bolted to the angle iron which was then welded to the tube with the mounting bolts sticking inside the tube through some rather slopily made holes. I tried cutting some holes in the back side of tube to get at the bolts but due to the aforementioned iffy workmanship I still couldn't get clear access to the heads. I ended up having to grind off the welds holding the angle iron to the tube :(. I'm not sure how much all the metal weighed but I certainly didn't enjoy picking it up afterwards, that stuff was Thick.

First step- get the cable off.
Second step- Figure out what to do with all the cable 'cause its looks unsightly laying all over the driveway-
This is gonna take some thinkin'- (Insert burning wood smell HERE)

AH HA! I must be some kinda Fricken Genius, came up with this idea outta nowhere, think I'll patent it! Really, I have no idea how it is I manage to come up with this stuff :). Damn I'm GOOD!

Once over being blinded by my own brilliance its back to work- Ramsey winches are essentially held together by the mount. With the mount on it's way to a well deserved rest @ the scrap heap its simply a case of pulling off the case. I can't begin to describe the crud I found inside, I still can't figure out if it was greasy mud, muddy grease, prime bottom land top soil or plain ordinary everyday bovine by-product :(. I'm suspecting it was a combination of all-

The clutch would slide back & forth but I needed the puller to get it off the shaft, must have been a little rust in there- it slid right back on again with no problem. Heads up- There's a poppet ball & spring in there. If your winch is in better shape than mine they might come shooting out & disappear into a miniature black hole :(. Mine thankfully were pretty well cemented in-

Once the gunk was cleaned out I could see the split pin securing the shift fork to the shaft, knocking it out was all that was needed to get the handle & shaft out.

To the other end- Ramsey sez to put gear oil in here, mine was full of grease. That actually seems to have worked pretty well, I may just keep up the habit. Notice the the worm gear shaft is pointing out of the case to the left, the PO had it set up this way 'cause he had it mounted on the back of his jeep. The worm gear will go in pointing either way, since I'll be mounting the winch on the front of Tonka when I re-assemble I'll put it back in with the shaft pointing to the right, i.e. "back".

Just a note on diss-assembly- the main gear & shaft *Will Not* come out of the case until the worm is removed. Don't ask me how I know :(.

Here's everything cleaned up & laid out sorta in order. Comparing this to the Ramsey parts list I seem to missing a few odds & ends. Could be they are later changes, could be they're actually missing. I'll worry about it when the time comes :).
That's about it so far. I did get a new set of bearings & seals but further work will have to wait until Tonka's rebuild progresses to the drive train assembly. At that time I'll take advantage of the tub's absence to get the PTO, winch & drive shaft properly mounted to clear the exhaust & whatever else may interfere.

Some Useful Links I've found:
When I first started looking around for a winch & PTO I knew absolutely nothing about either. (Insert smartass remark here :) )
Some of these sites below taught me a lot, others filled in a lot of blanks. I recommend each of them the highly.

  1. Ramsey has on-line operating manuals, specs, service information, parts lists & lottsa other neat stuff for the model 200 (&others) , look under "Industrial Winches". Select "200/H200" for the product. Don't worry about the part number, they all reference the same documents:).

  2. There's a copy of an original Ramsey catalog on Merl's Garage

  3. See vintage Koenig manuals on Billy's 56 Willys Truck Site.

  4. RKI Winches, the "modern" Koenig

  5. "Rhino"???

  6. Braden is still producing mechanically driven winches

  7. Tulsa also still produces winches, none of which appear to have any resemblance to their earlier units.

  8. Some general discussion on Winches, PTOs & Overdrives can be found Here on The Willys Tech site

    If you-

    a. Have any other info or links on information about these or other units you think I'd like to hear about-
    b. Think I've made a mistake on the facts-
    c. wonnt two pointe out taht im a terribul spieller
    D. Would like to call me a Plagiarizing B******D

    Please feel free to contact me Here :)