How To Wire A Winch? A Complete Wiring Guide

A winch is a powerful and helpful piece of equipment mostly attached to your ATV or truck to help you pull heavy objects. The use of winches is increasing regularly, but it is essential to know about winches before installing or using them. Whether winches are available at very affordable prices, finding the best that is durable and can withstand heavy-duty working is the best option. 

Winches have made our life very easy and comfortable because we don’t have to do any pulling work with our hands. Winches can pull anything, and their operation is controlled with the help of their remote controller. This remote can sometimes be wireless with some models of winches; with some other models, it is attached to winches with the help of a wire. In this guide, you will know about winches, installation of winch, & how to wire a winch correctly and safely on your vehicle. 

What is a Winch?

Winch is a power tool manufactured by many leading industries and used by every professional. They are smaller and can be installed on your vehicle’s front side by removing the bumper and installing the winches in position. These winches are specially made for ATVs, UTVs and trucks. Winches are very useful when travelling off-road for adventure. Winches consist of a mighty permanent magnet motor, and the speed of this motor is breakneck. This motor’s strength and size change with the winches’ size. 

The second central part of the winch is the drum on which all the synthetic rope or steel cable is wound. This drum is also made from hefty-duty material, and the synthetic rope is robust. It will not break even if you cross the limitation of this rope.

To unwound or rewound the rope, the winches are equipped with a motor or, in some low-class models, the drum is attached to a manual handle, which requires human force to work. These models are not very recommended, and the use of this model is not higher in heavy industries. 

The operation and working of the winch are controlled with the help of a remote controller having a range of ten feet; this is the most significant feature of a winch. The remote controller comes wireless with some of the models and is also available in the wire version. The winch is operated with the help of your vehicle battery, or sometimes you can install a separate battery to use the winch.

How To Wire a Winch?

Wiring a winch can sometimes be very annoying if you don’t know the proper procedure of installing and wiring a winch; the installation and winches depend on the model of your vehicle, and one of the most important things is where you are going to install the winch. The main factor you should remember when installing a winch is that the base of the winch where it is being installed must be solid, and the winch cable or rope path should be clear so that the winch can efficiently operate without any issues.

How To Install & Wire a Winch On a Trailer?

Installing a winch on the trailer is relatively used for normal pulling instead of heavy-duty working; installing a winch property and wiring it with the battery with quick disconnects is very important. First, find the perfect spot for your winch where it can easily fit and be operated without any issues. Install the winch over the head of the trailer as it is made of steel; this will give a solid base straight to the winch.

Run the power cable from the position of the battery to the place where you have installed the winch; make sure there are no slacks in the cable so it can stay safe. Then, attach the wire to the positive terminal of the battery and tighten it with the help of ring terminals. Run the power cable from the side of the trailer’s frame and ensure it is not harmed by anything, then leave the cable at the end of the winch position to wire it correctly. 

Use zip ties to fasten the power cable to the trailer frame, and do it carefully so you don’t damage the wire. After zipping the cable, check for any damage and ensure the power cable is installed correctly; lastly, you have to ground the winch motor to protect it from leaking current. The color of the wire should be green, and attach one end of this wire with the winch motor and the other end with the bare metal of the trailer so that the current can pass through the trailer to the ground.

Wiring a Winch Without Using Solenoid

Some factors must be considered when wiring a winch without using a solenoid. Installing and wiring a winch without a solenoid required a hefty duty wiring kit. Another thing you keep in mind is that your battery should be powerful enough to support the winch properly. A low-power battery can damage the winch’s motor and increase the chance of damaging your vehicle. 

To wire the winch without a solenoid, first, you have to remove the insulation from the end of the wire. Then, fasten the one end of the wire using a ring terminal and connect the positive red wire to the battery’s positive terminal; the ring terminal should be adequately fastened to the battery terminal to keep it secure.

Install the other end of the wire with the winch using the same terminals, and then it is essential to install the ground wire properly; the best position where the ground should be attached is the steel bolts where the current can pass freely once this is done tape all the exposed metal for safety purposes.

Installing & Wiring a Winch in Front Of The Vehicle

Installing and wiring the winch with the vehicle is straightforward; there are two methods of wiring the winches with the car: one is wiring with the battery, and the second one is using a backup battery to wire the winch. Both of these methods are very useful and safe. 

Wiring A Winch With Vehicle Battery

The vehicle’s battery can only be used for light or medium-size winches; the minimum battery required for this wiring should contain 440 amps with a constant of 60 amps.

Install the power wire of the winch and attach one end to the battery’s positive terminal. Then, connect and fasten the terminal negative wire of the power cable with the negative terminal of the winch. Before you attach the positive terminal to the winch, you need a circuit breaker to keep the winch safe from overcurrent.

One important thing that should be installed with the power cable is quick disconnecting so you can easily remove or attach the winch from the battery when it is not in use.

Power The Winch With Back-up Battery

This method is only used when you need to do heavy-duty work, as this method is suitable for heavy and medium-duty winches. Heavy-duty working winches require more current from the battery, so you must use a constant 60-amp battery with a minimum capacity of 441 to 661 Amps.

As you know, the winch can only operate on 12 volts; for this, you must install the backup and vehicle batteries in parallel to get a constant 12 volts for using the winch. Then, after this, the process is straightforward, like the other method: connect the power cable with the positive terminal of the battery. It would be best if you kept the batteries apart with the help of an insulator, and this insulator should be used from a different ignition circuit.

Attach the winch’s positive terminal with the battery’s positive terminal through the power cable. Then, you just have to connect the negative terminal of the battery with the opposing point of the winch and carefully zip the wire to protect it from any heating object or anything that can damage the wire. Install the quick disconnects in the power cable to remove the winch when not in use.

What Kind of Battery Is Required For Wiring a Winch?

The battery capacity of the winch depends on the winch; if you want to install a heavy-duty winch, you must use a robust and high-capacity battery, and the method of using an auxiliary battery is recommended as the vehicle battery is not strong enough to provide the required amount of current for the winch. For heavy-duty winches, your vehicle should be equipped with 660- cold cranking Amps, and this battery should be able to provide a constant 60 Amps under load.

For light or medium winches, you can generally use the installed battery of your vehicle as this requires only a 440 Amp battery, which can provide a constant 60 Amp for the winch to work correctly. If you use a low-power battery, there is a high chance that the winch motor will be damaged because of getting lower power than the rated amount.

Final Thoughts

Wiring a winch requires good information about the winches; an ordinary person who needs to learn more about winches can not install the winch properly. As this process is very tricky and hard to do, a single mistake can damage the winch and increase the chance of your car getting damaged. It is highly recommended to take advice from a professional before installing and wiring the winch yourself, or you can also hire a professional to wire the winch for you. Before installing or wiring the winch, always consider safety precautions before starting working.

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