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Old 04-10-2010, 08:13 AM   #1
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Refinishing a Warn M-8000

It seems that if they can make a winch that will pull a vehicle up a mountain, they should be able to put paint on it that will withstand a little sun and rain.

Evidently, that just isn't so.

In that light, my Warn M-8000 had gotten pretty tired looking and I decided to freshen it up a bit so it didn't just dissolve into a pile of rusty goo on the front of my Jeep.


OBM yanked it off of the Jeep for me and I got to work.

Because the old aluminum rods were battle scarred and one of the bolts broke off inside when I was taking it apart I ordered two new ones.
I polished the bolts that go around the casing. They had a build up of crud and rust had settled on them from above.
They appear to be stainless but they also appear to be plated, so if you poilsh yours, be careful not to cut through the plating.
You can gently clamp them into a drill press and use steel wool to clean them quickly.



My old winch cable was pretty worn by the time I inherited the winch. It was crushed in a couple of spots and had a few whiskers. It was way past it's prime but I've been using it for a couple of years now. The condition it is in now is completely unsafe so I ordered a new 5/16" x 100' cable. It was only $59 at Rough Country ($70 something with shipping) I considered synthetic, but it's WAY out of my price range right now.

So, first things first, disassembly.
I left one of the rods on it to keep it from coming apart. That turned out to be a futile attempt at best.
Eventually, I took it apart anyway.Ok, it fell apart when I was wrestling it around on my workbench.

I cleaned as much of the mud and road grime off of it as I could with soapy water and a scotch brite, then dried it off.
Masked off the plate on the front and the bolts where the wiring attaches.

Next step, sanding.


Talk about a PITA. These things have more nooks and crannies than an english muffin.
I sanded it with anything I could get my hands on. Orbital sander with 120 grit paper to get the rust, flaking paint and corrosion off.
The body is aluminum in several places so corrosion had slipped up under the paint and had to be removed.
If it's left there it will just bubble up under the fresh paint and in no time be peeling and flaking again.

Next I wet sanded with 400 grit and used my Foredom with a small flapper wheel and barrel sanding tips to get into the little hard to reach places.

A good cleaning with wax & grease remover. Wipe it on wet, dry it off with a clean lint free towel.
It cleans all of the contaminants off and helps prevent uglies like fish eyes in the paint.

Used an air nozzle to chase away any little bits of dust, dirt or lint then wiped gently with a tack cloth.

Three light coats then one medium coat of self etching primer.




I made sure it was well coated, waited the required 30 minutes before top coating and then finished with two light coats and two medium coats of SEM Trim Black.




So far, so good.
Warn sent me new decals for it awhile back, at no charge but I'm waiting on parts to arrive before assembly.

To freshen the faded cover I used a trick that works on fender flares. A heat gun. (pics coming)
If you heat the plastic it will draw the color back up and freshen the appearance of it. No paint to flake or peel.
It's not perfect but it is a great improvement.

For the big red W in the middle I'm going to get some red vinyl from a sign shop and try to make it work.
Warn doesn't sell the decal or the plastic cover separately so I have to get creative here.
If you want to replace that, you have to buy the whole thing, and it's expensive.

When I get it reassembled, I'll post up the finished pics.

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Old 04-11-2010, 10:09 AM   #2
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Looks great! can't wait to see the finished product. It always feels good to see something old come back to life. Its one of my favorite things to do!

Great Job

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Old 04-11-2010, 10:15 AM   #3
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Nice work. I applaud your attention to detail.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:22 AM   #4
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Nice job Kate! Women are usually much more persnickity about the details...
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:36 AM   #5
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Thank you!

Unfortunately, when I opened the decal package yesterday I discovered that it is the wrong set. *big heavy sigh*
Our club's spring run is this coming weekend, I had hoped to have it all together by then.
With luck it will be together, just not complete. If the cable & rods get here, at least I'll be able to use it. If not, then I may have a problem and have to ride the bunny trails
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:19 PM   #6
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Kate, you do nice work and your attention to detail is terrific. What you did was time consuming but you'll wind up with a new winch.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:34 PM   #7
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That looks great Kate. Way to go.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:04 PM   #8
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Thanks! Hopefully it will look good when I get it all put back together!
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:36 PM   #9
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Looks like you're off to a great start.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:38 AM   #10
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I called Warn yesterday about the decals. They are sending another set right out,
They also gave me a part number for a replacement cover for the control box.
$40, for a little plastic box.

Question is, is it worth it or not? I'm just not sure. I'd like it to look all pretty ane new, but $40 is... well... $40!!
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:31 AM   #11
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You gotta love the SEM trim black ,the best out there,looks great
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:46 AM   #12
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Yes, I do love SEM trim. I have been using it for about 30 years and I have never found anything else as good.

----

I got the new set of stickers in, they aren't right either so I'm not too sure what to do.

Really the only one I NEED is the one that shows which direction to turn the handle to engage/disengage so that if someone else is pulling cable for me they know which way to go.

The new cable is about 25' longer than the old one so we had to modify the control box mount to clear it. Luckily that wasn't a tough thing to do.

After mounting it back up on the Jeep it's occured to me that I need to touch up my front bumper too.

It never ends.

I have to give Ajax a bath today, when everything is all nice and clean I'll get a couple of pics to post up of everything all put back together.
It doesn't look new, but it sure looks a lot better and now it shouldn't turn into a little puddle of rusty goo.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:35 AM   #13
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Looking good, can't wait to see it all finished and back on your jeep!

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