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March 2013 Randy’s Electrical Corner

Posted in How To: Electrical on March 1, 2013
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I love talking to you guys, cause you get away with mounting winches on your Jeeps, talking about redheaded dikes, and making sure you take the strippers wheeling and no one cares. Hi guys, it’s me, Randy. I’ve come by this time to talk about winches. Not redheaded ones, but rather the ones you put on your Jeep and a little bit about the way they work and the way they are wired.

Here’s what is under the hood of a solid-state winch. You can see how well it is sealed from the elements. It is also sealed from me being able to do anything with it when it stopped working. Just got clicks and beeps out of it and no winch cable movement at all.

Up until not too long ago, there were two kinds of winches: old ones that only pulled in under power and newer ones that had power out. Many brand-spanking new winches have something called solid-state or MOSFET control. The solid-state controls are supposed to be more waterproof, longer lasting, and cooler running. In addition, these little computer-control deals can tell the user when the winch is getting too hot with a little light in the controller or on the winch. It is also possible to add a wireless remote control to these new winches.

Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, I thought so too. That is until I killed one just recently and the winch stopped working entirely. That got me to thinking. I tried disconnecting it and touching the wires together like I used to be able to do when the El Camino kicked a code, but that didn’t work. I thought that maybe I’d clear the memory on the computer by touching the wires together. No dice. So then I started pulling the winch apart to see if I could find a reset button or something. You see, the winch never really got that hot, and I got to thinking that if it was an old-school winch I could get it working again. I tried and tried with the newfangled solid-state winch and had no luck.

So that got me thinking about all those old winches and what I would have done if they had kicked the bucket—and that got me thinking that I should share with you guys what to do.

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