by Greg Boren
King Power Winches were made by Koenig Iron Works of Houston, Texas, who were also well known for their All Steel Jeep Cabs and Jeep Body Extensions. Winches could be driven from the front, rear or middle power takeoff (PTO) points, but the most common were the front-mounted.
There isn't a huge number of parts in the King winch itself. Rafael Teran laid out all the parts of his winch before re-installing it on the front bumper of his 1953 CJ-3B in Mexico. See also a top view and side view of the parts (60K JPEG's).
Thanks to Greg Boren for the following tips on installing a PTO and winch on the front of a Universal Jeep. -- Derek Redmond
There are some things I learned when fitting a winch to my CJ-3A (80K JPEG) I would like to pass along.
The drive shaft routing for the winch is as tight as it can possibly be and there are no options. It has to go where it has to go. The Universal Jeep exhaust (160K JPEG) is tucked up under the driver's side, passes over the transmission crossmember, and continues back with the muffler transverse at the back of the body tub. This puts it right in the space where the drive shafts from the winch to the PTO need to go.
Koenig literature said to cut the exhaust head pipe, heat it, bend it down out of the way, and reroute the exhaust under the transmission crossmember by splicing in an extra piece. In their winch kits they even provided a short length of exhaust pipe to weld in the gap caused by this modification. This did make room for the driveshafts, but it was a lot of work, and it put the exhaust in a position where it hung down so low it was vulnerable to being easily damaged on the trail.
My research found that the early military jeeps (MB, GPW) used a different exhaust routing. It turned out to be the perfect thing to run with the winch. It cleared everything and still tucked up out of the way. On my 3A, it was a super easy installation. It bolted right up to the stock exhaust manifold. The military exhaust uses a flexible head pipe which you just bend around obstacles. It crosses from the driver's side to the passenger side in front of the transmission, puts the muffler under the passenger seat and exits in front of the rear wheel.
I found a complete, brand new system (head pipe, muffler, tail pipe, hangers, hardware). The entire system was cheaper than paying the muffler shop to cut and bend the existing system. Best of all it doesn't hang down where it can take a hit.
The PTO mounts to the transfer case with 5 special Allen-head bolts and special high collar washers. To install the PTO you need to remove the 5 plugs on the back of the housing (80K JPEG) and feed the bolts into position through the plug holes using a long allen wrench. This can be tricky since you are working blind. If you drop a bolt during installation, it ends up inside the PTO with the gears and chain. Then the only way to retrieve it is to remove and disassemble the PTO. A trick is to put something tacky like gasket sealer on the end of your Allen wrench to hold the bolt on it while theading it into position.
Another thing I'll mention about installing the PTO to the transfer case (90K JPEG). You may be lucky and the PTO may slide right into position, but I have seen many people find that they had a clearance issue with the body tub.
The Jeep body tub was mounted to the frame using rubber spacers (vibration insulators). On most flatfender Jeeps these have deteriorated over the years, or may even be gone. The PTO was designed to fit with the body properly spaced off the frame (about 3/4"). If the rubber spacers have deteriorated and compressed, or if they are gone, the body tub will be closer to the frame, or may be in direct contact with it. If the body is closer to the frame it may interfere with the installation of the PTO (this is common).
If this is the case you have two options: you can raise the body off the frame and put in new spacers, or you can lower the transmission crossmember. On my 3A the body spacers were long gone. I lowered the transmission crosmember by loosening the bolts that attached it to the frame and inserting a 3/4" spacer, then retightening the bolts. This lowered the transmisson/transfercase and gave me the needed space for the PTO. It worked fine and was much less work than raising the body off the frame.
It is advisable to install everything loosely until everything is in place, then tighten all the bolts. It is a very tight fit and goes together like a puzzle. The PTO goes in first, then the winch, then the driveshafts.
The driveshafts should be assembled with the u-joints and center bearing in place and lifted into place as a unit. The short shaft is the rear shaft and the center bearing goes on this shaft. Note that each of the u-joints is different from the others and will only work in its specific position. To install, let the center u-joint hang down while starting the front and rear u-joints onto the winch and PTO. Once started, lift the center u-joint into position. This will slide the front and rear u-joints the rest of the way onto the winch and PTO.
The last thing is to mount the center support bearing to the bellhousing. If you are lucky enough to have the correct Koenig bearing assembly, it mounts using the stabilizer cable bolt and the one next to it on the bellhousing. If you have a home fab'ed center support, you'll have to install it as designed.
Once everything is installed and you are sure everything fits, and the shafts and u-joints are evenly spaced, you can tighten everything up. Put a drop of blue locktite on the Allen-head set screws on the u-joints to make sure they don't vibrate loose over time.
The PTO shares lubrication with the transfer case so it uses the same 90w gear oil. Holes drilled in the PTO allow the 90w to circulate between the two. After the PTO is installed just top off the fluid level in the transfer case and you are ready to go. Check the fluid level in the transfer case after the first use of the PTO. The winch needs its own lube -- Koenig recommended EP150w gear oil. U-joints use regular grease.
After installing the complete setup you may find you need to adjust the steering stop bolts on the front axle steering knuckles to limit the travel of the steering bellcrank. The front drive shaft for the winch passes between the front crossmember and the bellcrank with little room to spare. You want to make sure the bellcrank doesn't touch the driveshaft as it travels through its arc. On my 3A, I had to back off the stop bolt on the passenger side by 2 turns. Driver's side was fine.
Most winches you see have steel cable wound on them. I personally don't like cable. I prefer AmSteel rope (plasma rope) on my modified Koenig winch (right). Here is why:
Disclaimer: Winching can be dangerous. Improper use can injure or kill you, or damage property. The exact procedure for safely using any winch is dependent on many variables. What model winch you have, what PTO, what vehicle, what situation, condition of equipment, etc. Mismatched components must also be taken into consideration. Always use common sense, and err on the side of caution. Operating procedures will vary based upon components involved and intended use of those components. Always refer to manufacturer's literature for your particular model to learn proper practices and precautions for safe use. The procedures outlined here are based on having a model 150J winch coupled to a model 51 PTO on a CJ-3A, which represents a typical setup on early Jeeps.
The 100 series "King" winch is designed to use 5/16" cable or rope. Drum capacity is 150 feet. Koenig claims a pulling capacity of 8,000 pounds with a single line (16,000 on a double line with a snatch block). Hoisting capacity is 1,500 pounds on a single line. Remember, these figures are based upon ideal conditions and a new winch, not real world situations and a 60 year old winch.
The winch is designed so that the drum main shaft turns constantly while the PTO is running. The drum is either engaged, or disengaged, to the rotating main shaft of the winch. The engagement lever is locked in the fully engaged or fully disengaged position by a spring-loaded lock pin. With the drum disengaged, the drum brake is applied and the drum stays stationary, even with the drum shaft turning. When the drum is engaged, the brake is released and the drum turns with the shaft.
Before using the winch, be sure the drum is disengaged, then pull out the amount of line required. This is done with the drum's friction brake still engaged. Its braking force is so weak that it is possible to spool out cable with it employed. The drum brake's only function is to keep the line's own weight from causing it to free-spool off the drum when the drum is disengaged from the main shaft. The brake can not be used with the winch in operation and the cable or rope under load.
With the vehicle engine off, engage the winch by pulling the lock pin forward until it releases the engagement lever in the A-frame. Move the engagement lever to engage the drum to the shaft. It may be necessary to rotate the drum slightly by hand to achieve proper engagement. Make sure the lock pin locks the engagement lever in the engaged position.
Safest use of the winch takes place from inside the vehicle. Start the engine. Depress the clutch, put the transfer case in neutral, and the transmission in gear (use 1st gear whenever possible). Engage the PTO, then let out the clutch. The winch speed is controlled by engine speed. Winch direction can be reversed by shifting the transmission into reverse. To stop the winch, depress the clutch and put the transmission in neutral.
The winch operates with the transfer case in neutral, which leaves your axles free to rotate. Good if you are trying to get yourself out of trouble, bad if you're trying to get someone else out. Trying to pull something heavier than your vehicle will simply pull you towards what your line is hooked to. Your parking brake might help hold you in place, but it is likely you will have to anchor your vehicle to something if using the winch to extricate another vehicle from a situation (or pull a stump).
Also, it is very important to be aware that if you are using the winch to hoist, the moment you put the clutch in, any load on the cable will drop. This means you can not raise a load in first gear, then shift into reverse to lower it, without supporting the load somehow during the gear change.
When not in use, make sure the drum is disengaged from the shaft and the drum brake is on. Also make sure the PTO is disengaged, and the cable (or rope) is fully wound and secured. Driving the Jeep with the winch engaged can damage the winch, the Jeep, or both and a free-spooling line can end up wrapped around axles.
King Model 100J Operating and Installation Instructions (140K GIF) for CJ-2A, 3A and 3B Jeeps.
King Model R100J Installation Instructions (120K GIF) for CJ-2A, 3A and 3B Jeeps.
King Bulletin 555 Supplement (50K GIF) describes the differences in mounting King Model 130J, 131J, 150J and 151J winches on flatfender Universal Jeeps versus CJ-5 or CJ-6 models.
King Model 100 Parts List (120K GIF).
Thanks to Greg Boren, and to Pablo Rodriguez for sending Greg's tips. Thanks to Joe Zindle, John Hubbard, Jim Pigg, Dell Kronstedt and Rafael Teran for photos. -- Derek Redmond
Greg has also written a guide to Buying Koenig PTO Winches at eBay.com.
Elsewhere on the web, see Koenig Winch Rebuild at Off-Road.com, and Koenig manuals and parts lists at Billys56Willys.com.
See also PTO Winch Installation on Verno.com.
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