How To Wire A UTV Winch?
Winches are mechanical devices used to haul, pull, or lift. A winch comprises a cable/chain wound around a drum that rotates horizontally and is powered by a motor or crank. Winches are mostly used for towing and lifting objects that are beyond human capacity. They are quite helpful in moving a stuck vehicle.
You can install a winch to your 4X4 jeep or SUV. Before doing that, you’ll need to ensure that your vehicle has the right bumper or mounting plate for the winch.
This is because most winches have a mount specification. With the wires that come with a UTV winch, you can make the connections between correct terminals.
Wiring or installing a UTV winch to your vehicle is quite easy. Since the winch comes with a solenoid, a connection is made between the solenoid and the winch rocker switch.
The solenoid is then wired to the vehicle battery system for electricity access to power the winch. Once you follow the right connection procedure, the winch will work perfectly well.
Choosing a suitable winch
Before you consider the installation of a winch in your vehicle, you’ll first choose the right utv winch for the jobs you do.
Among several factors to consider, the most important ones are;
- The cable; and
- The weight rating.
Generally, the higher the weight rating of a winch, the better the pulling or lifting capacity. Based on your need for the winch, you should go for the one that is in the range of 4,000 lb or above. You’ll find some good budget winch in this range.
Though you can manage a winch of 3,500 lb for some tasks, you should completely avoid any winch of 3,000 lb and below.
Also, your choice of a winch and its weight rating will depend on the usage of the winch. Operating a snowplow in the winter will require a winch with a low weight rating.
However, getting stuck during mud riding needs a winch with a weight rating as high as 4,000 to 4,500 lb. This will help you to overcome the drawing effect of the mud.
The cables of winches are of two different types; the wire and the synthetic cables. You should consider the pros and cons for each type depending on the job to do. Generally, the bigger the diameter of a winch cable, the greater its strength.
UTV(utility task vehicle) winches are preferable to other winches. This is because they possess a higher weight rating.
Since the weight rating is a measure of the capacity of a winch, the UTV brands are quite great. Also, they permit ‘side by side’ riding when using them. Hence, they are referred to as ‘side by side’ winches.
Components of a UTV winch
As you select the winch of your choice, you ought to understand all the components before wiring. A winch has the following basic components:
- Drum: The drum is circular with a cable wound around it. It winds the cable either in or out by rotating horizontally when the winch gets a spool.
- Cable: This is usually synthetic or steel wire that is wound around the drum.
- Motor: Once the motor is connected to an energy source, it powers the drum to rotate. Through the rotation, the cable is either rolled out or wrapped in around the drum.
- Gear train: This is what drives the winch to lift or pull heavy objects. It converts the power from the winch motor to a pulling force.
Installation of UTV winch
You’ll have to first install the winch mounting plate or the winch-ready plate before wiring. To install a mounting plate, you will remove your vehicle’s original factory bumper and bolt the mount on the frame.
There’s an area indicated on the frame for the bolting. Ensure that you tighten the bolts properly and strongly.
Where you decide to go with a winch-ready bumper, you’ll just mount the bumper after removing the original from the vehicle. The latter process is easier than the former. You can then proceed to mount the winch assembly, tightening every bolt correctly.
Wiring your UTV winch
You can wire a UTV winch after mounting the winch easily using the following simple steps:
- Choose an area on your winch plate where you can have easy access to mount the solenoid. Also, ensure that the wires for connecting the winch from the solenoid to the battery are easily accessible. It will enable you to rectify any issues or connection problems quickly without much stress.
- Make your connections with the red and black wires that come with the winch package. Connect the red wire to the positive red terminal and the black one to the negative black terminal on the winch.
- Then connect both the blue and the yellow wires from the winch to the solenoid on the blue post and yellow post respectively. Ensure not to over-tighten the connections.
- The next connection is between the rocket switch and the solenoid. You’ll join the male end of the former to the female plug of the latter. With the cap screw from each end, you can tighten the connection.
- There’s a red power switch on the UTV’s power source. It has a 12V capacity. With the connectors and wires provided for it, make a connection between the switch and the UTV power source battery.
- The final connection is between the red and black wires with the UTV’s battery to be able to power your winch when you switch the power key ‘IN’ or ‘OUT’.
- Then fix back your vehicle bumper and you’re good to go.
It is quite simple to install and wire a UTV winch to your vehicle. Remember, you will have to select the right winch based on your purpose of use and other related factors before purchasing. While wiring your winch, you must be careful not to swap the wire for the positive and negative terminals.
If you do, the spooling of the winch will reverse. It will spool in for the control switch of ‘OUT’ and spool out for the control switch of ‘IN’.
I believe you don’t want that. So, ensure every connection is correctly made. Only then will you enjoy winching with your vehicle.