So the other day I was on a recovery. I pulled a defender out of a bog. Just as it was starting to come out the winch gave a few loud clicks and the line went slack. I think due to the suction I may have exceeded 12000lb. The winch still pulled in and I was able to wind in the rope but I could stop it by hand. I stripped the box and motor and can't see anything wrong no signs of damage the motor is strong. I have a spare winch with a dead motor so I swapped the boxes over and still the same problem. I have looked to see if anyone else has had a similar problem and came across this video. Mines doing exactly the same although I think the poster doesn't understand exactly how the clutch works on the box https://youtu.be/IpCrimFB8Jo .

My winch is virtually identical to this one https://www.tapatalk.com/topic/55828-wranglerforum/1549369-engo-winch-maintenance-repair-write-up


2 Answers 2


I found the following thread online. Maybe it could be of some help.. I'm not going to copy all of the images, but I will summarize it in case the link disappears in the future.


Engo E 9000 Failure. Winching a tracker out of a 4’ snow hole. The tracker fell through where a small stream had eroded the underside of the snow.We hooked the winch up and started easing up out of the hole after shoveling a make shift ramp. We probably worked this winch to its extreme rating. But it began to pop and wouldn’t spool up, then we tried un spooling it and it hung up after a few turns. Then went on back and forth. I’m thinking this is when the end of the spring was getting chewed off. In being fair to Engo’s winch it worked hard and was worked beyond what it should have, hard to tell without a load cell scale. WE couldn’t leave the tracker in the creek. So we went for broke. The engo ended up finishing the pull. We took it home and tore it apart and found :

The spring broke in half and came unsprung looks like the ends of the spring got chewed off by the gears this is on the motor side of the spool. We tore apart a new one ( New E9000 Engo spare) and that spring can't be seen from this end so it definitely out of position.

So the end results….. We took the spring completely out and reassembled the winch hooked it to a tree and brought it up on load and was able to drag the samurai to it, it unspooled like new no catches. And the brake works like it suppose to????

So does anyone have any idea what the springs job is exactly?? Because this thing works like new again? So anyway this is a sort-of failure that was temporary. We could have easily fixed this on the trail. So I will still buy and use these winches if this is all the trouble I have with hard winching. Now to see if Engo will stand by their product calling them next week and see what shakes out and if I can get a new spring.

Someone then wrote:

Looks to be the brake assembly. Can't say why it worked OK for you, but I wouldn't hesitate to look up a parts diagram & just replace the individual components, assuming the rest of the winch is in good working order.

Side note: My guess is that you're relying on the motor for braking now. Good enough to get you out of the jam, but I'd look into repairing it.

EDIT: Are you sure you had the cable spooled in the correct direction? Improper spooling can cause premature brake failure.

  • Thanks for finding this. My winch isn't actually the Engo but does look pretty much the same in terms of gearbox ect; mine doesn't have a spring on the brake. In my case it couldn't finish the pull as there was no pull. Literally any sort of load on the line and it would stop. Does the brake affect this? I thought the brake is there to stop the drum exceeding a speed when winching out i.e. lowering a load down a hill. On a side note. Mine is a Tracker (Vitara here in the UK)
    – Mark
    Nov 15, 2016 at 13:22

OK so finally found the issue. The gears were given too much freedom making so that they could drive off the ring gear should they want to. I packed the gears out with some big washers and that sorted it. :)

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