Winch Wiring Question - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 5th, 2009, 08:11 PM
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Andrew Najarian
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Winch Wiring Question

My winch came with a long ground cable that is supposed to be connected to the battery. Since the batteries are located under the seat, it will not reach all the way. My question is, does this need to be connected directly to the battery to prevent overloading the original ground cable or am I fine just shortening it and bolting it directly to the frame?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old January 5th, 2009, 08:59 PM
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John Brancato
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Connect to any ground...i just installed my XD9000i with it grounded to the frame and it worked great this weekend. Make certain the ground is bare metal.
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  #3  
Old January 5th, 2009, 09:38 PM
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Andrew Najarian
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That's what I thought, but wanted to be sure. Thanks!
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  #4  
Old January 6th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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Hey Guys,

Do Not connect your ground cable to the vehicles frame. Your winch can draw over 400 amps a full load, for the winch motor to run efficently it needs the best ground connection that is possible. WARN includes two 150 inch 1 gauge battery cables for with their Defender bumper. This is the minimum cable size recomended to span the distance from the winch to the battery.

Connecting the ground to the frame will reduce the winch performce, you will have increased amp draw by the motor, this increased heat build up in the motor, and you will be straining the charging system to a higher degree. Your winch will stall at a lower load also.

I am a customer service rep at WARN and can guarantee that you will have issues down the road.

The electric current takes the path of least resistance, on more then one occasion I have seen steel brake lines burned through becuase of frame grounds, it's exciting to watch the sparks.

Don't skimp here, upgrade to 1 gauge cables, and run the connections directly to the battery terminals.

Steve
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  #5  
Old January 6th, 2009, 03:01 PM
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Steve is Absolutely Correct! Upgrade the Power and Ground Cables (I used 1/0 myself, and replaced the solenoid to motor cables with 1 gauge, I think they were 4 gauge from Warn), and run them back to the battery! Your winch will work much better, and there is less chance of burning down the truck.

Take a moment to look at the 'ground straps' between the frame, engine, etc. Ask yourself what you think they would look like with 300-400 amps of current running through them!
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  #6  
Old January 6th, 2009, 03:54 PM
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Andrew Najarian
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Good to know...that's why I asked! I guess I need to buy some cable then! BTW, I am installing a Superwinch X9 and am mounting the solenoid box under the passenger seat, so I need to make new cables from the solenoid box to the winch itself. 0 should be fine for this stretch right?
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  #7  
Old January 6th, 2009, 06:57 PM
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Hi Andrew,


Yes, using the 1-O cable between the motor and the control pack is advised also if you are increasing the length. The bigger the cable the better.
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  #8  
Old January 14th, 2009, 10:09 PM
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In the same line of thoughts...

Could one run the ground to the winch via the ground from the starter, keeping in mind that the starter ground would be upgraded to the same as the winch.

Comments ?

Pat
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  #9  
Old January 15th, 2009, 01:27 PM
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Barry O'Mahony
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electrical engineer here - yes, Steve is right on; to maximize performance and minimize chances of hard-to-track-down "gremlins", connect the winch directly to the power source (the battery) with a low impedance connection; e.g., large gauge copper wire. I used #1 copper for mine as well.
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  #10  
Old January 15th, 2009, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrofit
Could one run the ground to the winch via the ground from the starter, keeping in mind that the starter ground would be upgraded to the same as the winch.

Comments ?

Pat
Pat - What you're describing would work, but I see two potential issues. One is the possibility for increased resistance in the winch power cable due to the additional starter connection point. Not too big a deal for normal auto current draws, but could be a problem with high winch currents. And the second is adding stress to the starter terminal by having two heavy cables hanging off it. Personally I'd run one cable back to the battery as others have suggested.
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  #11  
Old January 15th, 2009, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanS
Pat - What you're describing would work, but I see two potential issues. One is the possibility for increased resistance in the winch power cable due to the additional starter connection point. Not too big a deal for normal auto current draws, but could be a problem with high winch currents. And the second is adding stress to the starter terminal by having two heavy cables hanging off it. Personally I'd run one cable back to the battery as others have suggested.
Well put ! Too many issues and will definitely run it direct !

Thanks !

Pat
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  #12  
Old January 28th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Justin Tebbenkamp
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Wire question

Is 1 gauge wire the same as 1/0...or is 1/0 just 0 gauge? How many feet worth of wire do you need from winch to battery? thanks..j
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  #13  
Old January 29th, 2009, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tebby
Is 1 gauge wire the same as 1/0...or is 1/0 just 0 gauge? How many feet worth of wire do you need from winch to battery? thanks..j
1/0 is the same as '0' gauge, yes. There is also 2/0, 3/0...


Wire Gauge Guide
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  #14  
Old January 29th, 2009, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tebby
Is 1 gauge wire the same as 1/0...or is 1/0 just 0 gauge? How many feet worth of wire do you need from winch to battery? thanks..j
The wire diamter of 1 gauge cable is 0.2893 inches , the "0" is 0.32486 inches in diamter. So 1 gauge and "0" are not the sam.

WARN uses 150 inch (12.5 ft) 1 gauge cables, this length is what Land Rover spec'ed for WARN winches installed onto Defenders. This is what I used on my D-90 and the length is just right.
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  #15  
Old February 5th, 2009, 10:58 PM
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Justin Tebbenkamp
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another warn winch wiring question

[QUOTE=jeepeytr]Steve is Absolutely Correct! Upgrade the Power and Ground Cables (I used 1/0 myself, and replaced the solenoid to motor cables with 1 gauge, I think they were 4 gauge from Warn), and run them back to the battery! Your winch will work much better, and there is less chance of burning down the truck.

Received my warn xd9000i toady! I've read all the past forums on winch wiring. I'm definitely going to run at least 1 guage wire from the battery to the winch & use quick connects (anderson connectors/standard american connectors). Warn currently has this thing hooked up with about 4 feet of 2 guage wire. WILL IT BE OK to use the quick connects from Warns 2 guage wire on the winch.....connected to the 1 guage wire from the battery? Or IS IT NECESSARY to upgrade the existing several feet of 2 guage wire on the winch to at least the 1 guage? thanks j
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  #16  
Old February 6th, 2009, 08:25 AM
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Tom Rowe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outfield
WARN uses 150 inch (12.5 ft) 1 gauge cables, this length is what Land Rover spec'ed for WARN winches installed onto Defenders. This is what I used on my D-90 and the length is just right.
You're going to trust a company that used Lucas electrics?

#1 is too small for that length of run as you'll get around 1v drop at 400amps.
I wouldn't use anything less that 1/0.

I've never understood why winch manufacturers skimp on the wiring. To sell replacement motors I suppose.

2 gauge at 400amps will give you about a .35v drop, so the wire itself should be ok. But remember, you'll get some from the connector as well. It would probably be better to just buy an extra 4' and eliminate a failure point.

If you want to use quick connects I suggest using something like Tweco welding cable connectors. They come in a variety of cable sizes and are designed to carry the full current load. In welding, a drop in the amperage is very noticeable and can cause significant flaws in the weld, so the connecters have to be good.
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  #17  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 01:08 AM
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Any suggestions on where might be the least expensive place to purchase 1/0 winch leads? I presume that you're saying the leads need to be 12.5 feet each, right?......the places I've looked so far would put the total (for just the two copper leads) at $150.

Am I missing something or is this what it'll cost to wire my winch directly to my battery? I want to do it correctly, so thanks for any advice.
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  #18  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 01:13 AM
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Wires depend on the cost of copper. 1 gauge is fine, 1/0 is overkill IMHO and LR supplied 1 gauge with the factory XD9000i I have sitting in the spare bedroom.

cheapest would be welding cable, but I would look for an electrical shop or a stereo shop as they will stock 1 gauge.
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  #19  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 02:32 AM
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Andrew Najarian
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West Marine stocks it too. I am not sure how their price compares, but you can walk in and walk out with it. (You should be able to find their price online pretty easily)
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  #20  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:13 PM
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Welding shops.
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