Everything You Need To Know About Winch Solenoid

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022

Before you spend money on a winch, you should learn about its parts and particles such as winch motors, gears, solenoids, etc. The winch solenoid is a critical component of a winch. If you want to learn more about Winch Solenoid, keep reading.

Everything You Need To Know About Winch Solenoid

What is a winch solenoid?

When a winch is triggered, an electromechanical mechanism called a solenoid gets activated, which is powered by the car battery. Solenoids can be mounted within or outside the winch, depending on the manufacturer and the available mounting space.

How does a winch solenoid work?

A solenoid is a general name for a wire coil used as an electromagnet. Perhaps it includes a device that uses a solenoid to transfer rotary motion into linear motion. The gadget generates a magnetic field from the electric current and utilizes it to generate linear motion.

How to Wire From Winch to Solenoid to Switch?

With three easy steps, you can Wire from Winch to Solenoid to Switch. These are:

Step 1: Connect the winch’s positive and negative motor wires to the solenoid. Back off the terminal nuts and secure the ring connects over the ending bolts to link both wirings to the solenoid’s appropriately designated terminals. Return the terminal nuts to their original positions.

Step 2: Connect the positive and negative battery wires to the solenoid’s battery terminals. Keep an eye out for the correct polarity. The positive terminal is connected by the red (+) wire, while the negative terminal is connected by the black (-) wire.

Step 3: Plug the battery wires of the solenoid into the vehicle’s battery and connect them to the right polarity terminals.

How to mount a winch solenoid? 

A remote solenoid pack or an integrated pack can be used with the winches. Both types of solenoid installation solutions have advantages and disadvantages.

A remote solenoid is positioned outside of the winch. This is the benefit of a remotely installed solenoid since it saves space. A remote solenoid pack takes up less space. As a result, it is easier to conceal under a bumper or brush guard and is more resistant to harm. 

Furthermore, the winch motor generates a lot of heat when running. The remote solenoid protects the winch from extreme heat.

The integrated solenoid, on the other hand, is either part of the winch or is positioned someplace above the motor. This sort of solenoid pack necessitates a lot of wiring. Because it reduces the chances of chaffing a wire, the integrated solenoid pack is also responsible for causing a short in the electrical circuits.

To mount the new solenoid, we’ll first get one of the rubber boots and take the longer side to slide on the mounting feet of the solenoid. There will be two other rubber boots that would need to slide in a similar way.

Then, to prepare the solenoid, we will get the screws out using our hand or a screwdriver. Afterward, to install it, we’re going to put the blue booted wire on the hole on the left side, red wire on the 2nd one, yellow on the 3rd and white on the 4th hole and secure them with screws.

Video: Replacing Winch Solenoid – How To

How to test a Winch Solenoid?

Testing the solenoid on a winch is a one-man job. To conduct the test, you may require a few instruments such as a screwdriver set, a voltmeter, and a wire brush. Most essential, always disconnect the battery before removing the solenoid cover plate, because the battery power is sufficient to provide an electric shock.

  • Step 1: As you proceed, you must thoroughly inspect the cable that connects the winch solenoid to the battery. If you see that the cables are frayed, it is time to replace them. Otherwise, if the cable appears to be corded, simply clean it with a wire brush.
  • Step 2: Unscrew the solenoid lid after disconnecting the positive wire (Red wire) from the battery. Check that each of the solenoid’s connections is intact. If you hear a clicking noise when turning the winch, a wire may be loose.
  • Step 3: Switch off the winch and then use a voltmeter on the solenoids to touch the big studs. The big studs on the solenoids are located to the side. If everything is in order, the voltmeter will read 12. This indicates that the solenoid is in good operating order.
  • Step 4: Now it’s time to put the small stud to the test. The small studs are located on the backside of the winch, with the winch above. If the voltmeter reads 12V as it did in the previous stage, something is incorrect and things aren’t going smoothly.
  • Step 5: After you’ve turned on the winch, you’ll need to use another voltmeter to check the big studs. In OHM, there must not be any reading. Once the winch is turned on, use the voltmeter to measure the OHM readings of the two small studs. If there is no reading on the meter, the solenoid is not functioning properly. When the winch is turned on, the two small studs get electrified.

2 or 4 Solenoids, which one is best? 

Some winches feature two solenoids, while others have four. Induction motor winches generally have two solenoid layouts. These winches are inexpensive, less powerful and less dependable.

Four solenoid designs are more powerful, dependable, and lightweight. It’s most often seen in synchronous motor winches. If you have the money, go with a winch that has four solenoids.

What is a reverse solenoid?

A reverse solenoid is a blend of two solenoids in one box to save money and space while also making wiring easier. When neither coil is activated, two integrated solenoids offer dynamic braking for permanent magnet motors. This intermittent-duty solenoid is suitable for a wide range of amperages.

Can winch solenoids get wet?

Indeed, the solenoid can get wet and immersed from the direct splash of tires, and it also freezes in the winter. To solve this problem, purchase a waterproof project box in which to mount the new unit. Alternatively, you may try sealing with silicone and coating any electrical connections with di-electric grease. 

Why does a winch need a solenoid?

Most of the time, your battery is placed far from your winch. Any cable will have some power drop, and the longer the wire, the greater the drop. In these cases, you need a solenoid for your winch. 

A winch also necessitates the use of heavy wire, which is both costly and inconvenient to maintain. This is solved by using a solenoid. It’s merely a switch that links the huge wire and is activated by a light wire.

If a problem arises, replacing a solenoid is far less costly than replacing the winch motor. You’re not required to use one, but it’s a good idea. Also, remember that there are several types of relays. The majority are momentary relays, such as those used in starter motors.

 It is only supposed to be on for brief periods. It can get hot and draw a lot of electricity if used for an extended time. Then there are clamping relays that are designed for long-term use. They feature a system that keeps them turned on until the switch is turned off. The latter is preferable if you want to use your winch frequently. It is, of course, more costly.

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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