does anyone know of a better spare tire winch, 2002 windstar

Had a flat the other day. Went to let the spare down. The winch just turned and turned. Tire did not move down. Stuck a wedge, turned .. nothin... called AAA. Same result. OK, now I could go
to the dealer get a new one let it rust and have the same problem next time. Or I could ask, is there a better winch? Besides keeping the spare behind the backseat, of course. Thanks, TP
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On Tue, 24 Jul 2007 22:45:38 -0400, tp

You could get a new winch from a wrecking yard and pack it full of grease before installing it - but if you live in road salt country, all bets are off. With enough salt, anything will dissolve.
(I like Southern California, a light coat of grease is plenty.)
If you want to do this on the cheap, cut the cable to get the tire down, unbolt the old winch from the car, then go to a welder and make a simple mount for your tire - a flat plate to bolt up to the four or six winch mounting holes on the body or frame crossmember, and three or four chunks of threaded rod (with the same threads as the wheel studs) spaced to fit the lug-nut holes and hold the spare tire up.
Send the assembly out to be hot dip galvanized after welding and checking for fit, or give it several coats of "Zinc Cold Galvanize" paint before installing.
Use lug nuts on the front so the conical seats match the holes in the spare tire wheel, and plain nuts on the back side so it locks in place - and grease the hell out of the bolts & nuts so it will come apart later.
Hint: Carry an assortment of short 2X4 or 2X6 and 4X6 wood blocks - you need to make two stacks of cribbing to prop the spare into the right position so you can put the nuts on. And to get it off without dropping it on your arm.
Some of those boards can be stacked (glued and nailed) into a set of 'laminated' wheel chock blocks, to make sure the car doesn't roll away while you change the flat tire. Nest them face to face, and now you have an adjustable riser.
--<< Bruce >>--
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Bruce L. Bergman wrote:

Thanks Bruce.     The dealer wants 61$ for a new one. No change in the design. Even the parts guy says, they should put a grease fitting on it. I do live in the rust belt. I hate to go through the work of replacing it, when I may never need to use it again. TP
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On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 18:38:17 -0400, tp wrote:

At that price, it's cheap enough not to bother with reinventing the wheel, so to speak ;-) and designing your own bracket. If they're $61 "full retail" at the dealer, shop around - someone on the web will probably blow them out the door for $35-ish.
But it is expensive enough to take the time improving the winch before you put it on. Buy the new one, figure out where to put a grease fitting to fill the cable cavity and the worm-wheel and drive gear cavity, and drill a hole & tap threads for the fitting. Get a 45-degree or 90-degree fitting if needed to aim the Zerk end where you can get the grease gun on it easily.
They have standardized bolt or pipe size threads you can buy a tap for, depending on whether you prefer Metric or American - M6x1, M8x1, M10x1, 1/4"-28 SAE, 1/8" NPT, 1/4" NPT are the common small ones.
Flush out the chips with solvent, install the fitting and then the winch, and pump it full of grease after mounting and whenever you're down there.
Trust me, plan as though you will need the spare tire again before you retire the vehicle - tires are designed and made vastly better than even 20 years ago so catastrophic tire failures are rare, but there's still an inviolable law:
Nails Happen - Depth Varies.
--<< Bruce >>--
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tp wrote:

Use the tire iron instead of the jack crank.
Problem solved.
Rob
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