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post #1 of 31 Old March 21st, 2019, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Winch wiring question

So I just installed a Kimpex 3500lbs winch on my buggy.

I installed the winch solenoid on the firewall inside the cab and ran the wires to the battery thought the tunnel.

This winch kit didn't include any type of circuit breaker at all. I didn't have one on my previous atv but I've seen a few threads on here and I'm thinking I probably should have one.

I don't see a lot of room around the battery to mount a circuit breaker. Any ideas how to mount one?


I did find a block at work with 2, 40 amp breakers that looks like it was for a winch, do you think they would be up to handle the load?

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post #2 of 31 Old March 21st, 2019, 07:26 AM
 
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Re: Winch wiring question

Iíve never run a breaker or a fuse on a heavy load like a winch or starter motor. Heard of guys doing so and then it wonít work when you need it to. General rule of thumb is if you canít hold your hand on the motor housing you need to let it cool. You could also add a volt-meter to monitor voltage on long pulls if that is your concern, but if you use a little common sense and keep the vehicle running while winching and for a while afterward, you shouldnít have any problems. And if the wiring and connections are kept clean and maintained there really is not a concern for overloading the circuit. Thatís been my experience anyway.
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post #3 of 31 Old March 21st, 2019, 09:41 AM
 
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Re: Winch wiring question

I'd suggest putting one on, without one, if you get a short you can burn up your machine.
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post #4 of 31 Old March 21st, 2019, 10:19 AM
 
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Never run anything directly from the battery without a fuse or breaker. For winches I like to use a 200A resettable breaker.
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post #5 of 31 Old March 21st, 2019, 10:31 AM
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Re: Winch wiring question

A winch can pull a lot of amps, hence the large gauge battery cables.
I was not comfortable with long battery cable with no short circuit protection and was not happy with available fuses or breakers that could handle the amperage caused by a stalled winch.
I used a 300 amp battery disconnect switch, and only turn it on when I am using winch.

https://www.bluesea.com/products/600...Knob_-_Red/FAQ

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post #6 of 31 Old March 21st, 2019, 07:55 PM
 
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Re: Winch wiring question

Quote:
Originally Posted by CA 800 View Post
A winch can pull a lot of amps, hence the large gauge battery cables.
I was not comfortable with long battery cable with no short circuit protection and was not happy with available fuses or breakers that could handle the amperage caused by a stalled winch.
I used a 300 amp battery disconnect switch, and only turn it on when I am using winch.

https://www.bluesea.com/products/600...Knob_-_Red/FAQ

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Iím honestly surprised to see you guys recommending a fuse or breaker for a winch. Iíve been doing the offroad thing for 20 years and really never known anyone who did this, nor have I ever seen it recommended by manufacturers or any of the better known offroad gurus. That said, I do like the idea of the power disconnect switch. Might add that to mine, but I donít think Iíd ever add a breaker.
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post #7 of 31 Old March 21st, 2019, 09:24 PM
 
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Re: Winch wiring question

My superwinch came with a circuit breaker Iím mean you donít have to fuse or relay anything and might get away with it for a lifetime but why risk it over s simple part


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post #8 of 31 Old March 21st, 2019, 11:22 PM
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Re: Winch wiring question

I to have been doing the off-road thing, for close to half a century.
I never saw the need for a disconnect between the winch in front of the grill and the battery behind the grill.

Then I got a side x side.
The cable from the contactor (relay) had to go;
behind the dash,
thru the fire wall,
down the frame,
between the floor and the frame,
across skid plate,
past the drive shaft,
to the battery located under my tail bone,
and I thought a short circuit caused fire would not be a good idea in a hydrocarbon tinder box.
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post #9 of 31 Old March 22nd, 2019, 03:40 AM
 
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Re: Winch wiring question

Quote:
Originally Posted by CA 800 View Post
I to have been doing the off-road thing, for close to half a century.
I never saw the need for a disconnect between the winch in front of the grill and the battery behind the grill.

Then I got a side x side.
The cable from the contactor (relay) had to go;
behind the dash,
thru the fire wall,
down the frame,
between the floor and the frame,
across skid plate,
past the drive shaft,
to the battery located under my tail bone,
and I thought a short circuit caused fire would not be a good idea in a hydrocarbon tinder box.
Lol
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post #10 of 31 Old March 22nd, 2019, 09:13 PM
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Re: Winch wiring question

Quote:
Originally Posted by BWXT View Post
Iíve never run a breaker or a fuse on a heavy load like a winch or starter motor. Heard of guys doing so and then it wonít work when you need it to. General rule of thumb is if you canít hold your hand on the motor housing you need to let it cool. You could also add a volt-meter to monitor voltage on long pulls if that is your concern, but if you use a little common sense and keep the vehicle running while winching and for a while afterward, you shouldnít have any problems. And if the wiring and connections are kept clean and maintained there really is not a concern for overloading the circuit. Thatís been my experience anyway.
I agree....The heavy gauge wiring from the battery to the contactor is made to protect the circuit from building too much heat on a long pull. As long as those wires are installed properly (away from sharp objects and pinch points where they might have a tendency to chafe) you will never have trouble with that circuit. I like BXWT, have never run relays or circuit breakers on the power cables for a winch. I also have used heavy gauge cable on boats to power the trolling motors with either 12 or 24 volts and even when running the trolling motor constantly for hours the cable is large enough to disperse any heat that might cause issues, and have never had to use relays or circuit breakers on these circuits either. I know some will say, well that's on a boat and winches will build much more heat than a trolling motor will, you must remember a 24 volt trolling motor has twice the volts and also more amp draw for hours on end at a time pulling a 3000 lb bass boat through the water so I'd have to say that if an unprotected circuit can stand up to that kind of abuse a utv's winch isn't going to pose any more of a risk than that trolling motors performance does, and not to mention you don't use a winch constantly over hours and also you should be trying to help the winch by moving the utv under power while using the winch. Some boats actually come with circuit breakers on the batterys but I've never used them and have never had a problem on a boat or an atv. I actually worry more about the switch wiring on a winch but if you use keyed power as your power supply your actually already on a circuit with a 20 amp fuse so youre protected there without doing anything extra. Ive seen more problems caused by relays and circuit breakers than whatever protection they might give in off road and offshore situations. 6 gauge wiring such as used in winches and trolling motor wiring can take a lot of abuse without any help
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post #11 of 31 Old March 23rd, 2019, 09:33 AM
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Re: Winch wiring question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandal View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by BWXT View Post
Iíve never run a breaker or a fuse on a heavy load like a winch or starter motor. Heard of guys doing so and then it wonít work when you need it to. General rule of thumb is if you canít hold your hand on the motor housing you need to let it cool. You could also add a volt-meter to monitor voltage on long pulls if that is your concern, but if you use a little common sense and keep the vehicle running while winching and for a while afterward, you shouldnít have any problems. And if the wiring and connections are kept clean and maintained there really is not a concern for overloading the circuit. Thatís been my experience anyway.
I agree....The heavy gauge wiring from the battery to the contactor is made to protect the circuit from building too much heat on a long pull. As long as those wires are installed properly (away from sharp objects and pinch points where they might have a tendency to chafe) you will never have trouble with that circuit. I like BXWT, have never run relays or circuit breakers on the power cables for a winch. I also have used heavy gauge cable on boats to power the trolling motors with either 12 or 24 volts and even when running the trolling motor constantly for hours the cable is large enough to disperse any heat that might cause issues, and have never had to use relays or circuit breakers on these circuits either. I know some will say, well that's on a boat and winches will build much more heat than a trolling motor will, you must remember a 24 volt trolling motor has twice the volts and also more amp draw for hours on end at a time pulling a 3000 lb bass boat through the water so I'd have to say that if an unprotected circuit can stand up to that kind of abuse a utv's winch isn't going to pose any more of a risk than that trolling motors performance does, and not to mention you don't use a winch constantly over hours and also you should be trying to help the winch by moving the utv under power while using the winch. Some boats actually come with circuit breakers on the batterys but I've never used them and have never had a problem on a boat or an atv. I actually worry more about the switch wiring on a winch but if you use keyed power as your power supply your actually already on a circuit with a 20 amp fuse so youre protected there without doing anything extra. Ive seen more problems caused by relays and circuit breakers than whatever protection they might give in off road and offshore situations. 6 gauge wiring such as used in winches and trolling motor wiring can take a lot of abuse without any help
Vandal please do not take this as a negative post, in regards to the trolling motor wiring the protection devices are not to protect the motor it is a Coast Guard requirement to protect you and your boat from possible fire. I know this from years as a marine mechanic specializing in MinnKota troling motors.

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post #12 of 31 Old March 23rd, 2019, 06:39 PM
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Re: Winch wiring question

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLK65 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandal View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by BWXT View Post
Iíve never run a breaker or a fuse on a heavy load like a winch or starter motor. Heard of guys doing so and then it wonít work when you need it to. General rule of thumb is if you canít hold your hand on the motor housing you need to let it cool. You could also add a volt-meter to monitor voltage on long pulls if that is your concern, but if you use a little common sense and keep the vehicle running while winching and for a while afterward, you shouldnít have any problems. And if the wiring and connections are kept clean and maintained there really is not a concern for overloading the circuit. Thatís been my experience anyway.
I agree....The heavy gauge wiring from the battery to the contactor is made to protect the circuit from building too much heat on a long pull. As long as those wires are installed properly (away from sharp objects and pinch points where they might have a tendency to chafe) you will never have trouble with that circuit. I like BXWT, have never run relays or circuit breakers on the power cables for a winch. I also have used heavy gauge cable on boats to power the trolling motors with either 12 or 24 volts and even when running the trolling motor constantly for hours the cable is large enough to disperse any heat that might cause issues, and have never had to use relays or circuit breakers on these circuits either. I know some will say, well that's on a boat and winches will build much more heat than a trolling motor will, you must remember a 24 volt trolling motor has twice the volts and also more amp draw for hours on end at a time pulling a 3000 lb bass boat through the water so I'd have to say that if an unprotected circuit can stand up to that kind of abuse a utv's winch isn't going to pose any more of a risk than that trolling motors performance does, and not to mention you don't use a winch constantly over hours and also you should be trying to help the winch by moving the utv under power while using the winch. Some boats actually come with circuit breakers on the batterys but I've never used them and have never had a problem on a boat or an atv. I actually worry more about the switch wiring on a winch but if you use keyed power as your power supply your actually already on a circuit with a 20 amp fuse so youre protected there without doing anything extra. Ive seen more problems caused by relays and circuit breakers than whatever protection they might give in off road and offshore situations. 6 gauge wiring such as used in winches and trolling motor wiring can take a lot of abuse without any help
Vandal please do not take this as a negative post, in regards to the trolling motor wiring the protection devices are not to protect the motor it is a Coast Guard requirement to protect you and your boat from possible fire. I know this from years as a marine mechanic specializing in MinnKota troling motors.
I didn't take as a negative post. Newer boats are under Coast requirements and do come equipped with circuit breakers but older boats aren't and the boat I mentioned was a 1978 model that ran flawlessly for 24 yrs with only the protection of the 6 gauge wiring. I never had a fire and didn't even have the wiring get hot to the touch so if I had put a circuit breaker on that boat it wouldn't have tripped over the 24 yrs I ran it. Since the trolling motor is under water worrying about it overheating is a mute point. I just wanted to point out that many times relays and circuit breakers are not needed depending on what wiring your using. Believe me I would be the first to advocate for protection if I knew it was needed, but in this case or with the winches heavy wiring I believe its possibly overkill
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post #13 of 31 Old March 23rd, 2019, 09:01 PM
 
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Re: Winch wiring question

I installed a circuit breaker because my superwinch came with it and deemed it necessary so I did the good old days of 1978 are gone when you smoked with the windows up didnít have to wear seatbelts or put circuit breakers on your dang trolling motor.


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post #14 of 31 Old March 23rd, 2019, 10:54 PM
 
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Re: Winch wiring question

I will always error on the side of caution. So what if I have to reset the breaker or change fuses. I carry extras anyway. Those items are made to fail to avoid catastrophic failure.
Having a machine go up in flames sparking a wildfire is not acceptable especially when it would be found if my wiring was jacked and I would be required to pay for damages including fighting the fire.
You do you though. If it works in your favor, great, if not, hopefully nobody gets hurt because of your decision.

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post #15 of 31 Old March 24th, 2019, 09:36 AM
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Re: Winch wiring question

I've installed my winches on both my machines; neither of them came with nor did the instructions recommend/require a circuit breaker. Is it a good idea? I call it situational. If I was a mud/water rider I'd have a CB on everything; but I'm a mountain/dust rider... I have to agree with Vandal; as long as you have proper gauge wiring and properly installed terminal ends, you shouldn't have any hot spots. Adding the CB means another two terminal ends to install, unless you purchase a wiring kit with the CB inline builtin.

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