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Winch isolator - solenoid or not???

nick_the_fish

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Afternoon all,

Just replacing the winch in the truck ready for a summer in Scotland and hopefully Africa in the Autumn (!?)

When we brought the truck in 2010 it already had a winch fitted with a isolator switch in the cab connected to the winch via a solenoid. Having installed the new winch it turns out the solenoid is dead, so it begs the question - do I replace the solenoid and keep the switch in the cab, or do I whip out the whole thing and put in an inline isolator switch such as this


I'm a Keep it simple kind of a guy so I like the idea of the inline switch, but nor sure if there is a benefit of the solenoid option.

Any thought appreciated.

N
 

Chris

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Personally from near death experience, I would not fit an isolator. At all. Now the nay sayers will undoubtedly go on about safety and fires and so on but this is a balance of risk. When you need a winch and I mean NEED one, faffing around with extra steps is not good. Properly installed with good sleeving and terminations and of course routing, a winch should be fine wired directly. Again in my considerable experience and I don't mean that as a boast, but a fact, I have seen more winches killed by isolating systems than anything else. If you do go down the route of isolating my single strongest recommendation would be to have an isolating solenoid made from an actual winch solenoid. Something top notch like a TG Thompson. Most of the tin pot ones even the Albright ones are cheap crap inside. They fail. Also those rally style key things are rubbish most of the time. Just use a basic switch then can be bypassed by pulling the connectors off the back and shoving them together. The winch solenod is designed to take heavy loads in poor conditions so re-purposing one to carry low tension isn't an issue. Or... just don't fit one.
 

Iwan

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On my 81 my winch is wired directly... I do have a very high quality isolating solenoid with a metal key.

The reason for not fitting the solenoid is that I can't find the flipping key!
 

nick_the_fish

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Thanks Chaps,

Just so I understand correctly, are you saying that you run the positive straight from the battery terminal (presumably fused) to the winch, which is therefore always on and ready to use? Is there any possibility it could drain the battery if left for a long time? I somehow feel there must be some sort of parasitic draw from a winch that is always on, although I'm not sure why I think that.

Also, why is the solenoid or switch dangerous? Is it because of the high ampage used by the winch blowing something causing the system to fail at a critical time?

Appreciate your thoughts on this.
 

Chris

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There's no drain from the winch Nick, why would there be? It only operates when you activate it by using the winch solenoid and handset. That's the whole point. Why is an ISOLATOR dangerous, well it's not, but it's a weak point at the moment you need the winch, you find the whole thing doesn't work in a time of emergency, because largely the isolators are Chinese rubbish.

I don't use any fuses. Wire the whole thing pos and neg to the battery. Putting a fuse in is just another weak point. If you're really worried then don't connect the pos to the battery, just leave it to hand with a spanner taped to the end of it and a spare terminal to connect it to. Or...... just wire it to the battery like it should be.
 
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