Q:

How do you wire an electric winch?

A:

Quick Answer

To wire an electric winch to the front of your vehicle, start by attaching the positive wire to the positive post on the winch. Then, attach the negative wire to the negative post. Thread the two wires into the engine compartment, and attach the positive wire to the positive post on the vehicle's battery and the negative wire to the negative post. If the winch includes an inline circuit breaker, install it according to the manufacturer's directions.

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Full Answer

Before wiring the electric winch directly to the vehicle's battery, make sure that the battery has at least a 60-amp alternator and 440 cold-cranking amps. If the battery doesn't meet these basic requirements or you intend to use the winch frequently, wire the winch to an auxiliary battery. The auxiliary battery should have at least a 60-amp alternator and 440 to 660 cold-cranking amps. When adding an auxiliary battery, be sure that the combined output of the two vehicles is 12 volts. Also, install a battery isolator to prevent the winch from drawing power from the vehicle's battery.

To make the winch easy to remove when not in use, purchase and install quick disconnects that can accommodate the wire gauge of the winch. Be sure to install these quick disconnects on the power and ground wires of the winch.

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