Pros and Cons of Ford Warn Winch

Bantha Overland

Tremor Member
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Jan 9, 2021
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Location
Denver, Colorado
Current Ride
2021 F-350 Tremor + Hallmark Guanella truck camper
I've had my Tremor since Jan 2021. I thought it might be helpful to share my initial thoughts on the Ford Performance Winch By Warn package. I haven't really had a need to use the winch yet for a real recovery. I've only run it to practice rigging and to tension the new winch rope. So far, it seems like Ford designed a one-off Warn winch which has a few pros and cons:

Pros
  • Small form factor; fits within the existing bumper and works w/ adaptive cruise control; an aftermarket bumper might stick out more and impact the approach angle
  • Can get a 2nd battery and higher output alternator installed directory from Ford
  • Can get the winch installed by Ford but seems like it's often a dealer install vs factory install so you're not really saving any time or effort
  • Probably about the same cost as an aftermarket setup assuming you get a Warn winch + bumper
  • Get a wired and wireless remote

Cons
  • It's not a standard Warn winch model; finding info about it might be harder and TBD how it holds up to a Zeon or similar Warn winch
  • Warn says the winch isn't IP67/68 waterproofed so could be an issue if fording a lot of water; I'm still waiting for more details about this from Ford; probably wouldn't rely on it for a submerged recovery
  • If you have questions, Warn says ask Ford; sometimes Ford says ask Warn; it's hard to get more info from Ford
  • 12,000 lbs is probably sufficient for most winching operations but it's possible you could need more; check out the Safe-Xtract app - it does a really good job of showing you how much force / load rating you need for different recovery situations; I got a Factor 55 Pulley (aka snatch block) which will double the load rating to 24,000 lbs
  • Access to the winch assembly requires removing the bumper; with an aftermarket bumper access could be easier
  • The fairlead is custom so it would be hard to replace w/ aftermarket fairleads
  • I replaced the hook shackle with a Factor 55 Flatlink Expert shackle; more $$$
  • Some of the parts on the winch assembly are painted steel; TBD how they hold up over time. If you have a custom bumper, you would foreseeable have an aluminum bumper and less steel
So as you can see, perhaps more cons than pros. In summary, it's easy to get the winch from Ford. Time will tell if there's more time / effort / $$$ in maintaining it and replacing it if needed.

I hope that helps!
 
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Agreed with your assessment. I still love mine. To me the fit is worth it.
I don't plan ( who does) for ford thru 3'plus water.

I spent a lot building my bumper and adding a winch to my jeep Rubicon and that is tiny compared to the Super Duty Tremor. So proportionally its not far out of line as to price.

I coated mine in the Amsoil Corrosion Protection, had lots of masking to do but I want to keep it nice.
 
My only complaint right now is that the acorn nuts that hold the fairlead in place are not simple to remove. Some owners have been able to remove them easily but mine are not coming off. If I ever want or need to remove the fairlead, I will have to remove the four 18MM bolts that mount the fairlead frame to the truck frame. Then, pull out the whole assembly to access both sides of the acorn nuts for removal.
 
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Agreed with your assessment. I still love mine. To me the fit is worth it.
I don't plan ( who does) for ford thru 3'plus water.

I spent a lot building my bumper and adding a winch to my jeep Rubicon and that is tiny compared to the Super Duty Tremor. So proportionally its not far out of line as to price.

I coated mine in the Amsoil Corrosion Protection, had lots of masking to do but I want to keep it nice.
@PapaRaptor agree - in the past 5 years, I've probably only driven through water deep enough to submerge a winch a few times. Depends on what trails you run and when you run them.

Great tip on the Amsoil Corrosion Protection!
 
My only complaint right now is that the acorn nuts that hold the fairlead in place are not simple to remove. Some owners have been able to remove them easily but mine are not coming off. If I ever want or need to remove the fairlead, I will have to remove the four 18MM bolts that mount the fairlead frame to the truck frame. Then, pull out the whole assembly to access both sides of the acorn nuts for removal.

I had to replace mine as they rusted within a few weeks. I was able to place enough tension on the back bolts with my fingers while racketing the front nuts w/ deep sockets. But agree, not the best setup. I am curious how hard it is to remove the front bumper.
 
I had to replace mine as they rusted within a few weeks. I was able to place enough tension on the back bolts with my fingers while racketing the front nuts w/ deep sockets. But agree, not the best setup. I am curious how hard it is to remove the front bumper.
Yep I gave mine the finger too but it didn't work.
 
Id like to also know the difficulty of the removal of the bumper. Im close to pulling the trigger on the winch. I downloaded the revised installation guide and it seems doable- even for this electrician! Lol
 
Id like to also know the difficulty of the removal of the bumper. Im close to pulling the trigger on the winch. I downloaded the revised installation guide and it seems doable- even for this electrician! Lol

While you're laying on your back, under the truck and need a 9/16 instead of the 5/8 you thought it was, yes It'll be a pain in the ass. But .. having a friend .. or, wife, future ex-wife, girlfriend help'n ya, it's not that bad, not bad at all.
 
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the winch, I'm in the group of people who like the way it fits. I also had the chance to use it this last weekend a few times and shake out all of my recovery gear. Also thanks for the links to the Flatlink and the Factor 55 site, those are very cool.

Quick question: my winch rope is wound so it spools off the top of the drum. All the Warn literature it came with says it should spool off the bottom of the drum. What does yours do? What's correct? My winch functions normally so when I push the out button, it goes out, in goes in when I push that button. I'm just wondering if this is the only winch that spools off the top of the drum. Anybody know?

I used it to get unstuck from deep icy snow three times and to pull my buddy back onto the road after he slid off, no problems.
 
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Using a snatch block to increase your weight rating is a good tip, especially if someone is stuck while attached to a trailer.

Mechanical advantage for the win!
 
I see the point if you want to stay stock look. But 3k is excessive in my mind. I would not hesitate if it was $1200 like any other HD winch One other con also to me is if you do get an off road bumper, you cant reuse the winch, you would have to get another model.
 
I see the point if you want to stay stock look. But 3k is excessive in my mind. I would not hesitate if it was $1200 like any other HD winch One other con also to me is if you do get an off road bumper, you cant reuse the winch, you would have to get another model.
What is 1200 plus a new bumper to mount it on...Its cheaper to go with the factory winch and it's covered under warranty...
 
What is 1200 plus a new bumper to mount it on...Its cheaper to go with the factory winch and it's covered under warranty...
I get it, Im not dogging either choice, but for that price you get a bad ass off road bumper you can add lights and use hi lift, better protection etc for close to the same price as just a winch. That was my only point. You are still paying 3k and only getting a $1200 winch. I totally get warranty , etc. I just knew I would end up with an aftermarket bumper more than likley so I decided against it.
 
How difficult is it to respool once you use it? Is it hard to see it spooling back on the drum?
 
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