Koenig R100J Crankshaft Winch

by John Ittel


The R100J is always referred to as a "rare crankshaft-driven winch", and it is particularly rare in a full installation with control levers in the cab. In this article, the late John Ittel summarized the range of Koenig "King" winches designed for Willys Universal Jeeps, and described his research and fabrication of the control system for a King R100J. -- Derek Redmond

Koenig 100-Series Winches for Jeep Universal:

Model 100

100 leftThis is the most common version of the "King" winch. It is shaft-driven from a PTO (180K JPEG) on the transfer case, to three mounting locations, at the front bumper, center bed, or rear drawbar.

The PTO is controlled by a lever located beside the driver's seat.

100 rightVarious mounting fixtures are available -- this is the higher-mounting or "A-frame" version of the Model 100.

See also the King Model 100 Parts List (120K GIF) and the King 1960 catalogue page listing PTO-driven front-mount winches for Jeep Universal (200K JPEG) with their 150-series numbers which include the PTO unit for each.

Model C100

C100 leftThe C100 is the lower-mounting or "underslung" version of the basic Model 100 PTO winch.

C100 rightWinches with direct PTO drive have a clutch/brake lever to engage or disengage the drum, on the right side.

Model 100J

R100Model 100J is roller chain driven. Seen here with a front mount where it is driven by the crankshaft, it can also mount in the center or rear where the chain is driven by the PTO, which is reversible.

100J leftThe front-mount 100J is driven by direct connection of the chain drive to the engine crankshaft (170K JPEG).

Thanks to Larry Shank for this photo of the one which I purchased from him, off a 1953 CJ-3B.

100J leftOperation is controlled from the front of the Jeep, engaging and disengaging the connection to the engine with a lever just behind the winch.

100J rightThis winch can only spool in, not out, and is often broken when trying to release tension to free spool the line.

See also the King Model 100J Operating and Installation Instructions (140K GIF) for CJ-2A, 3A and 3B Jeeps.

TrencherThe primary use of crankshaft winches may have been on trencher Jeeps where they would be a wise choice for two reasons. First: The trencher is using the Jeep PTO, so there would be no way to attach another PTO tool. Second: Because line speed would be much faster than the very slow trencher ground speed, the operator needs the option of shifting the winch in and out.

Trencher controlsThe trencher is driven by a shaft from the PTO. This shaft powers the digging chain, a hydraulic pump that raises and lowers the chain boom, and a hydrostatic motor which powers a shaft from the trencher back to a gear, which can be engaged to a special parking brake drum that has a ring gear attached. This powers the Jeep's wheels at 0 to 10 feet per minute, with the transfer case is in neutral.

My choice of winch would actually be the R100J (below) because I could sit while operating the winch, rather than stand in front of the Jeep, shifting the 100J winch.

Model R100J

R100J liftingThe R100J is the only winch certified to lift personnel and material safely, because the drive can be switched from forward (line in) to reverse (line out), using a control lever in the cab.

R100JThe R100J is front mount only. It is roller chain driven from the engine crankshaft, and the drive can be engaged using a control lever in the cab.

This example I purchased in Alabama in 2014 was missing the chain and the clutch for connecting to the driveshaft.

R100J mountingThis R100J is seen from above, mounted in position, but also missing the clutch and chain. Thanks to Steve Bovee for the photo.

Clutch engagingThis is the clutch which engages with pins on the special crankshaft pulley. The contact points are cushioned with rubber blocks (180K JPEG).

R100J leftThe R100J also has a clutch/brake lever for engaging the drum, on the left side.

R100J rightThe reversing clutch (190K JPEG) is on the right side in a special housing for the winch, and controlled from the cab via a rod under the floor.

Koeing supplied two pieces that bolted to the frame and moved the bumper forward about two inches. I didn't have those pieces so I improvised (190K JPEG).

Cable guardSteve Bovee also took this photo of his R100J with the cable guard installed.

Cab leversThe R100J is controlled by two levers mounted in a pillar on the passenger side floor, independently from any PTO options. The top lever engages or disengages the engine drive, and the bottom lever controls line in or out.

Thanks to Bob Smith for this photo of an original installation in his 1954 CJ-3B.

Control rodsThe 1954 CJ-3B previously owned by Bob Smith now belongs to Ed Meiners, who has removed the winch for repairs, and photographed the rods which connect the levers to the winch.

Control rodsThe front end of one rod connects to the linkage which pushes the clutch against the end of the crankshaft.

The other rod extends forward to the reversing clutch.

LinkageThis picture shows the bottom rod moving forward and engaging the clutch against the crankshaft pulley.

1950 installationI had a complete winch and drive, but no control levers or rods. Following this photo found on eWillys, which was the only picture I had seen, I decided to fabricate the levers.

Repro leversI used a 1946 steering column for the necessary shaft within a shaft. I cut the casting bottom and mounted it to the floor.

Side note: The seven control levers now in this Jeep, starting at top of picture, are the Hy-Lo pump control for Newgren lift, 2 winch controls; transfer case High-Low and 4WD, PTO control at bottom, and main transmission shift.

FabricationThe levers were made from old steering wheel spokes, mounted to the steering shaft. The inner shaft from the upper lever was inserted in place of the horn wire.

Lever actionI used two 3/8" rods with adjustable ends to connect to the winch. The bottom rod (inner shaft) controls the clutch which engages with the crankshaft when the rod is pushed forward.

Original control levers
I learned that Ted Jordan also had a complete, unrestored example of the R100J, and his control lever assembly (left) matched the other photos I had seen. Despite the fairly rudimentary fabrication and the slight variations in the details of each example, these appear to be the original assemblies sold by Koenig.

See the similar control assembly (60K JPEG) photographed by Ed Meiners.

The outer housing has slight depressions cut in the top (90K JPEG) to hold the bottom lever in either forward or reverse position.

See also a close view of the bottom of the shafts (130K JPEG).

Thanks to Ted and Ed for providing photos of their control setups.

-- John Ittel

See a King 1960 catalogue page listing Crankshaft drive and rear- and center-mount winches for Jeep Universal (200K JPEG).

King Model R100J Mounting Parts for Crankshaft Drive (220K GIF) for CJ-2A, 3A and 3B Jeeps.

King Model R100J Installation Instructions (120K GIF) for CJ-2A, 3A and 3B Jeeps.

Thanks to Ralf on the CJ-2A Forum for the catalogue pages. The trencher photos were taken at the 2016 Willys Jeep Rally. -- Derek Redmond

See a memorial to John Ittel in Jeep Lives Lived on CJ3B.info.

See also Steve Bovee's Koenig Winch CJ-2A video on YouTube, showing the cable controls he used for his R100J.

See Koenig Winch Tips on CJ3B.info, for tips on installing and operating PTO winches.

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Last updated 28 February 2021 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond