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Old 04-26-2024, 10:36 AM #1
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Spare Tire Winch Love PSA

A couple weeks ago I had to remove my spare tire for a bit. NBD. When I went to winch it back up, it was stuck. I could pay out but not retract. With or without the tire. I was finally able to get it to come up bouncing the handle mechanism left and right until it would unlock, but only an inch or 2 at a time. Was looking at the cost of replacing the unit thinking it was toast, but decided to try and lube it. I sprayed the hell out of the cable, inside the winch box, and the assembly where you input the rotation bar.

Fixed it right up, but tried it the next dayÖ not fixed. I went back in and did it again. A few weeks later, I went to spray it one more time before I hit a road trip and it was smooth as butter. Iíll definitely be doing this, at least spray by a small amount periodically. Having to replace the winch looks like a PITA.

I used WD-40 specialist silicone quick drying spray. Wanted to pass this on as our trucks get older and we neglect some areas we donít think about.
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Last edited by simple; 04-26-2024 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 04-27-2024, 06:46 PM #2
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Must be a beach truck. I winched down my spare to check date code. It was the original spare which means winch may never have been worked. Mine came down and went up smooth as butter.
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Old 04-28-2024, 10:34 AM #3
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I had almost the exact same experience. The back and forth while spraying the gear mechanism with Liquid Wrench white lithium grease did the trick for me. I think I was able to pry open an edge of the gear box a little but maybe not. It's not been stuck since then and now every year I drop the spare and lube it some more.

I do not go off-road but the car is parked outside, no garage. I rarely drive it in the snow to avoid salt corrosion.

I agree that it looks like a real problem to replace. I found a YouTube video for a Land Cruiser and that cross member the gearbox is mounted on was bolted to the frame, not welded. A shame that Toyota chose to weld it on the T4Rs.
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Old 05-01-2024, 10:30 PM #4
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I lube mine in spring and fall to keep it working. It was frozen when i got the truck but I got it freed up. For awhile, there was someone posting a PSA twice a year for this.
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