I managed to buy a second-hand Runva EWT 4500lbs winch for a fairly decent price. The guy who I bought it from ensured me that it works and that there are no issues with it. I had done some research and have received really good feedback from the Runvas, I was worried that them being on the cheaper side that they would not be strong or reliable. However, for the Jimny, it required a light and small winch that was still reasonably strong. The Runva 4500 was a perfect fit.
I did test that the winch worked correctly. However, for peace of mind, I decided to strip the winch down to components and just check how good the build quality is, as well as if there were any issues or bent components etc. I was actually really impressed by the simplicity of the winches design, specifically how the free spooling mechanism works.
Lets get into the build. Step one strip and clean.
Disassembling the winch was fairly easy. There were only 3 Allan bolts to remove to get the housing to part. It’s important to notice the order of the 3 planetary gears.
Next step involved a lot more elbow grease than one would have imagined. It was not easy removing all that dirt & grease from the parts. Lots of clean green, sunlight and degreaser was used.
This next part is definitely one of my weaker points, Painting that is. As it required patience. The correct way to do this would be to have sandblasted all the parts and then gotten them powder coated, or painted with a primer and then a final coat. I opened for a cheap can of spray paint, simply cleaned the parts with some paper towel and just went it one evening. I do not think the paint is going to last super long. However given the lack of patience and effort that went into it, I think it turned out quite well.
I then left the parts to dry for 2 or 3 days, while I then went around shopping for the parts I needed. I needed to get a tub of general-purpose grease, new Stud bolts (as one of them were slightly bent), and I would rather install new high strength bolts that I can trust.
Re-assemble was quite a difficult job as it involved shoving ALLOT of grease into the unit, while I still had to try and keep it clean and not mess up the paint. We only needed grease on the internal areas. I was also not shy on the amount of grease, I think I put about half that tub in there.
Then all that was left was final assembly, this would be much easier with two people as the winch is rather heavy, and you are trying to line up 3 bolts while trying to not get grease everywhere.
The last step was optional, however, based on my electrical knowledge the small wire that came with the cable just didn’t size up to the job. So I opted to upgrade the cable to 25mm2. This will essentially reduce the voltage drop on the winch when drawing heavy loads. This is quite important as the Jimny has a tony battery setup and we want to get as much power into the motor as possible.