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Winch Power Safety
August 24, 2021
3:26 pm
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Jamie (K6NUB)
Folsom

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So I have been hearing a lot of chatter recently about winch power safety and if you should be using a fuse/relay/power cut off in a winch system, and I think this subject may have the most broad set of opinions & theories of any topic I have researched related to my rig grin

Having a decent understanding of how electrical circuits work and the damage they can cause, I get why you want some protection (when wiring dual batteries in my old boat I dropped wrench between the terminals and boy did it jump off of them with a flash of lightning), but seems like many winch manufacturers recommend against fuses and relays to prevent restricting power flow. So thinking about the risks and probabilities, my feeling is that having a device directly connected to a power source 99.9% of the time to use it .1% of the time is probably the biggest risk, especially when the rig it is parked a large amount of the time. Yes something can ground out when you are using it, but you can take actions, if that happens sitting in the garage it is a bigger deal.

So I am considering a power shut off, disconnecting the winch from power when not in use, probably something mechanical that I turn on when airing down. Is anyone else doing fuse/breakers/power shut off's or have an opinion?

K6NUB

August 24, 2021
3:54 pm
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Sloguy
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I am toying with adding a fuse breaker in my TJ. A couple of months after the new winch was installed I noticed power wire to the winch was barely touching the bottom of the grille. Further inspection I saw the casing beginning to wear away due to vibration. This could have been a catastrophe if it were to wear all the way through. I have since used a zip tie to pull the wires down so they do not rub in the interim. I haven't decided which switch to use and check the wire periodically.

August 24, 2021
5:03 pm
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BKGM Jeepers
Folsom

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Sloguy said
I am toying with adding a fuse breaker in my TJ. A couple of months after the new winch was installed I noticed power wire to the winch was barely touching the bottom of the grille. Further inspection I saw the casing beginning to wear away due to vibration. This could have been a catastrophe if it were to wear all the way through. I have since used a zip tie to pull the wires down so they do not rub in the interim. I haven't decided which switch to use and check the wire periodically.

  

You can sleeve it with the plastic cord protectors.

August 24, 2021
6:18 pm
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Folsom4Rnr (Brian)
Folsom, CA
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Good question Jaime. I too am curious what the collective wisdom is about this ….

August 24, 2021
8:09 pm
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Chris Campbell
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When I first wired up my warn multi mount it came with a switch and solenoid to kill the power to the plug.  I have since permanently mounted it to the bumper but left the kill switch and have never noticed any problems.

August 25, 2021
12:41 pm
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Gilbert & Betty
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When I installed my winch I sleeved my wiring were it goes through the grill area.  But I have been thinking of installing a circuit breaker. I don't know if anyone else has had this problem. When I've used my winch the load on the battery is so great I need to keep the RPM's up.     

August 25, 2021
1:14 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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Gilbert & Betty said
 I don't know if anyone else has had this problem. When I've used my winch the load on the battery is so great I need to keep the RPM's up.     

  

I had the same issue with my TJ. After my battery died I installed an Optima yellow top and so far I don't have to rev it up when I winch.

August 26, 2021
11:46 am
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kris_olof
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Warn has a kit that uses a solenoid that you mount next to the battery and trigger with a switch inside the vehicle. Could also use a marine battery and leave the wing nuts there to connect the winch power when you need it.

August 26, 2021
3:43 pm
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Jamie (K6NUB)
Folsom

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Funny, I heard that somewhere else but when I searched all I found were the replacement control box solenoids..... Now I see it, warn calls it a Power Interruptor. That seems like the best way to go, turns off the power unless I want it on and I can wire it straight in to my sPOD and assign a switch. And if the solenoid fails I can just wire it back to the battery, easy peasy. 

kris_olof said
Warn has a kit that uses a solenoid that you mount next to the battery and trigger with a switch inside the vehicle. Could also use a marine battery and leave the wing nuts there to connect the winch power when you need it.

  

K6NUB

August 26, 2021
7:41 pm
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Sloguy
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Jamie (K6NUB) said
Funny, I heard that somewhere else but when I searched all I found were the replacement control box solenoids..... Now I see it, warn calls it a Power Interruptor. That seems like the best way to go, turns off the power unless I want it on and I can wire it straight in to my sPOD and assign a switch. And if the solenoid fails I can just wire it back to the battery, easy peasy. 

kris_olof said

Warn has a kit that uses a solenoid that you mount next to the battery and trigger with a switch inside the vehicle. Could also use a marine battery and leave the wing nuts there to connect the winch power when you need it.

  

  

Yup that seems like the way to go. I also read it helps isolate the winch power in case of a front end collision. For me I would just get the solenoid because I don't need the wire harness or the switch and can make a battery lead for less than the $35 difference in price. Thanks Kris!

August 27, 2021
8:32 am
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Jamie (K6NUB)
Folsom

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I was thinking similarly, have you identified the solenoid you are going to use yet? If not I will share what I find.

Sloguy said  

Yup that seems like the way to go. I also read it helps isolate the winch power in case of a front end collision. For me I would just get the solenoid because I don't need the wire harness or the switch and can make a battery lead for less than the $35 difference in price. Thanks Kris!

  

K6NUB

August 27, 2021
10:21 am
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Jamie (K6NUB)
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Here is the one I am going with, from what I can tell it is the same one Warn uses just without the sticker and hardware bag - http://www.amazon.com/Trombett.....038;sr=8-3

The exact Warn part number is $20 more (Warn 63001 or Trombetta 974-1215-011-11)

K6NUB

August 27, 2021
10:53 am
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Sloguy
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I was looking at the Warn 63001

You can get the Warn for $53 from walmart online.  That Trombetta sure looks a lot like the one that comes in the Warn 62132 kit.

I may go with the Warn on the JK since my winch is a Warn to keep it all in the family but use the Trombetta on the TJ as it has the Smittybilt.

I have a hydraulic crimper for large guage wires if you want to use it to make the battery lead.  I'm by Brown's Ravine.

August 28, 2021
8:17 am
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Guy and Lynda
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Jamie, I have this Warn set-up. The non-load side of the solenoid is fused that will disconnect the load side should a problem come up. Wise choice.

September 10, 2021
4:02 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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Thanks a lot Jamie for destroying my ignorant bliss. You're costing me money too. Not only did I order the Warn 62132 Power Interrupt Kit but I also ordered a Warn wireless remote control kit. Did I mention I hate doing electrical work in my Jeep?

September 10, 2021
4:29 pm
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Jamie (K6NUB)
Folsom

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Hahaha, that's exactly what I said! So I installed mine over the weekend and showed it to John last night after the meeting, it was super easy to do, but I also have an SPod so I did not have to install a switch through the firewall! I know John said that he has to run the solenoid more towards the front of the Jeep than I did (mine is right next to the battery) but I don't know if that is a TJ thing or just the way his other accessories are mounted. Either way, it was one of the easier things I have installed on the Jeep so I wouldn't worry about this one!

I actually wish I would have bought the kit instead of piecing mine together, I only saved $40 bucks and spent hours figuring out all the parts!

Also - I love my cordless winch controller! There is definitely a bit of a lag, but it is so convenient. Does the kit allow for corded or cordless? Having the backup in case the handheld battery dies is always nice.

K6NUB

September 10, 2021
6:32 pm
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Jeff_R
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Jamie (K6NUB) said

 Does the kit allow for corded or cordless? Having the backup in case the handheld battery dies is always nice.

  

Yes, the wireless receiver just plugs into the outlet where the corded controller plugs in so you can use it either way. I have been using my Jeep and my winch on my neighbor's property the past several weeks dealing with a very large down oak tree. Tomorrow when I wash my Jeep I'm going to inspect the wiring to make sure there isn't any damage to the insulation from vibration and abrasion. I never thought about the fire hazard before but it makes sense to reduce the potential. 

September 15, 2021
7:57 pm
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Jeff_R
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I got the Warn power interrupt kit and the wireless remote installed. It will take a little getting used to the delay that occurs with the wireless winch controller. If I'm doing something really technical I might just use the corded controller.

September 16, 2021
4:19 am
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Sloguy
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Jeff_R said
Thanks a lot Jamie for destroying my ignorant bliss. You're costing me money too. Not only did I order the Warn 62132 Power Interrupt Kit but I also ordered a Warn wireless remote control kit. Did I mention I hate doing electrical work in my Jeep?

  

I find doing electrical work on the jeep therapeutic.  smile

But Jeff think of all the money and work you saved by not running 37″ tires

September 16, 2021
4:22 am
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Sloguy
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Like Jamie, I too spent a few hours researching solenoid options and sourcing parts just to save $30. It was worth it in the end for me as I did not like the switch in the kit. I opted for a circular toggle switch which I had to drill into the console to mount. I may choose to mount the solenoid in the engine bay next to the front passenger headlight so the wire harness would not be long enough. I am still debating on the location because if I mount it near the battery I will need to make a custom bracket.

I am adding an inline fuse on the power wire between the switch and the solenoid as additional safety precaution. I do not believe a fuse came with the Warn kit.  Probably overkill on my part. I wired the switch to the ignition switch power line as I have a soft top/no top and don’t lock my jeep. This way no one can activate the solenoid without a key in the ignition. I am not using a relay.

If Jeff and Jamie can post pictures of their install it would be helpful to the group.  Jamie has a clean install. This way people can see how you guys did it on a TJ and a JK. I will post pictures when I am done also.  I am wiring rock lights at the same time so it is taking longer to source parts.

As for the wireless winch control, being an IT guy for many years I dislike the latency of wireless connections. I have the same Smittybilt winch on the TJ as Jamie so I too have the wireless controller. I plan on using the wireless only if the cable connector gets damaged. After all you have to get out of the jeep to hook up the winch line grinGranted the controller is tethered to the jeep. I have a Warn winch for the JK and don’t plan on buying the wireless controller.

Just my 5 cents. (inflation)

John

September 16, 2021
7:30 am
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Jamie (K6NUB)
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I have the luxury Jeff of never using a wired winch before, ignorance is bliss! Agree the delay is something you need to think about in your pull, my pulls so far have been very simple so it was fine. I agree though, if you really need fast response you will want to run wired, nothing is more responsive than good 'ol copper!

Good idea John for pics of install, here is what mine looks like. I would have preferred to mount the solenoid on the other side of the battery on the sheet metal in the rear corner of the engine compartment instead of the platic battery box, but I have the relays for my 7-point tow harness there (I almost just ripped all that out but I know as soon as I do it i will need to pull a trailer). Some day I would like to upgrade to a dual battery system, at which point it will all be reconfigured anyway.

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K6NUB

September 16, 2021
8:26 am
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Jeff_R
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Jamie, can you copy your install to the new tread I created in the fabrication section?

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