In-Cab Winch Controls and Winch Power Disconnect

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

This project was on my list for a while. The main reason was that the winch on the Jeep is permanently connected to the battery. So every nut job in a parking lot could just stick a paper clip into the winch remote and play with the winch, or worse, shorten it out. I wanted to disconnect power when the winch is not in use so no one can play with i

In-Cab Winch Controls and Winch Power Disconnect
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t. The second reason is that, should the solenoid in the winch get suck somehow, the winch pull can be stopped by killing power, sorta like an Emergency Off button. I also wanted to control the winch from inside the cab. Most of the time when you winch other people out, you have to stay on the brakes anyway (unless you tied the Jeep up to, say, a tree or such). So it`s just more convenient to have controls inside. The winch power disconnect was simple. All you need is a relay/solenoid big enough to handle the load. What peak Amperage the winch draws depends on the winch brand and type as well as the pull. More load/strain takes more power. Some winches use more power than others. I think my Superwinch was listed as having a 350 A max current draw at 9000 lbs (55 A at 0 lbs load). 350 A is a low draw compared to other winches, which was one reason I chose that winch. Other winches might be more around 450 A at full load. Since a short in the winch (motor melting or whatever) would mean shortening out the battery, and perhaps cause the power cable to catch fire, I thought it would be a good idea to add a fuse as well. After all, most everything else in the Jeep is fused, so the winch should be as well. Again, I chose 500 A for the fuse (although 450 A would have been sufficient for my winch. But I`d rather not blow it out due to overload during a pull, and be left without a winch when I need it). Winch power will be...

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