Winch wiring?

Napalm00

Well-known member
Can these switches withstand the amp draw safely? I used forklift connectors on mine as i was sketched out it would burn up
 

MountainD

Well-known member
Mine have survived the amp draw just fine for 15 years, same switch.



As for switching the hot or the ground, you can do either. There is a fallacy that if you switch the ground that you don't get arc's but that isn't true as you are still breaking or starting a circuit--Just disconnect either the hot or ground from your terminals on your battery and see if one sparks... they both will.



However I switched my hot, not the ground, and I have a very strong opinion about that. If I switch the ground on my winch, then I always have a hot wire running up to the winch. If I get into an accident at any time, I can create a ground path to that hot cable. If I switch the Hot cable like I am doing, and anything happens, it is impossible to create a short.



I'll stick with switching the hot unless someone has a better rationale as to why I should and/or a flaw in my logic. And if that does happen, I will rewire it.
 

javelinadave

Administrator
Staff member
I would think it would be fine
Continuous Rating 350A
Intermittent Rating 525A (5 min)
Cranking Rating 30 sec 700A per circuit
 

Napalm00

Well-known member
Good deal. I just take the lugs off the battery for now when not wheeling. and have a forkilft connector up front next tot he winch to disconnect just in case. Also makes a nice point to jump the truck if needed
 

Napalm00

Well-known member
Yep I just looked it up my 12K smittybilt only pulls about four hundred amps. I have no idea where I got that number previously...Maybe it was for an older model.

now the switch seems totally feasible to me and probably a great upgrade. I could leave my forklift connector on there put the switch on so I never have to take the battery cover off.

One more thing to buy!
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
How do you like the Smitty? I have an 8k version that Jason Rose pawned off on me a few years back. I am not someone who winches much at all, but want it for when I'm out alone. Getting kind of excited about installing it, now that the rest of the truck seems to be playing along.
 

Napalm00

Well-known member
I've used it in six pulls total. Five of them being straight line pulks and one with a snatch block.

It's great and I love it for how much I spent on it. I got the 12K gen2 with a synthetic line for something around $250 shipped years back around the holidays on Amazon warehouse deals 20% off coupon.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Yep, the one I have seems like a Warn clone. I haven't got a synthetic line, but Jason gave it to me for like $200 and I just laughed and ran away with it.

I have actually done quite a lot of winching for the logging I do in the back yard, but I've always used the 6k Warn on the Series. I had a Superwinch on the XD, but I think I only used it once. If I get the chance with a vehicle, I would always use a pulley. It's super slow, but it just feels so much better to know that the winch is taking half the load it would otherwise have.
 

BarryO

Well-known member
If I switch the ground on my winch, then I always have a hot wire running up to the winch.
That's the least of the problems doing this. You can't switch the ground on a winch (not easily, anyway), anymore than you can switch the ground on a starter. For much the same reason: the ground connection on a winch is just a tapped hole in the motor housing. The motor housing is bolted to the winch housing. Which is bolted to the bumper, which is bolted to the chassis.

If you switch off the cable from the battery ground to the ground terminal on the winch motor, all you're going to do is force the winch current to flow through the winch frame, the bumper, the chassis, the grounding strap,etc., back to the battery, a potentially higher-resistance connection that may not work well. But it won't isolate the winch from the battery unless you go to a huge amount of trouble, like electrically isolating the winch frame from the bumper in which it is mounted.

Where ground switching works well is when you want to switch off the whole vehicle. Just put the switch on the negative battery terminal use it to disconnect that terminal from all wiring.
 

O2batsea

Well-known member
You can't selectively switch different loads with ground switching at the battery. The winch is going to be connected to ground through the chassis and thus to the battery through the engine/chassis grounding, no matter what switching you do with the winch ground cable at the battery.

Selective switching like this needs to be done on the positive leads. I'm planning on doing this, using this switch.
View attachment 6806
Be super careful with 1,2,BOTH,OFF switches. If you don't have a "make before break" type and you switch batteries with the engine running you will cook the alternator in about 3 thousandths of a second. Engine off, no problem.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Be super careful with 1,2,BOTH,OFF switches. If you don't have a "make before break" type and you switch batteries with the engine running you will cook the alternator in about 3 thousandths of a second. Engine off, no problem.
Actually I had wondered about that, but hadn't gotten around to checking into why. This helps to answer the question on where I will put my switch -- inside the battery box, or some other place where it won't be accidentally, or carelessly changed.
 

BarryO

Well-known member
Be super careful with 1,2,BOTH,OFF switches. If you don't have a "make before break" type and you switch batteries with the engine running you will cook the alternator in about 3 thousandths of a second. Engine off, no problem.
Yep, these dual-circuit type switches are designed to be used with dual-battery setups, and have "make before break" functionality to ensure that at least one battery is connected anytime something other than "OFF" is selected. "OFF" should never be selected whenever the engine in running.

In this case, where you're using the switch to control power to two sets of loads ("2", the winch; and "1", the rest of the rig), never switch off "1" while the engine running.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
I've used it in six pulls total. Five of them being straight line pulks and one with a snatch block.

It's great and I love it for how much I spent on it. I got the 12K gen2 with a synthetic line for something around $250 shipped years back around the holidays on Amazon warehouse deals 20% off coupon.
I just pulled my winch out and attempted to get around to at least getting it bolted into place, trimming the grill, figuring out a spot for the control box, etc... when I noticed that the clutch handle does not engage. It is in the disengaged spot, it moves back and forth, but is at a hard stop when trying to engage it. There is no noise, no grind, it simply does nothing.

Any thoughts?
 
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