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winch wiring wise-words, ummm, wequired ?


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Got a 2nd hand winch to try and see if it works. No idea what make it is, but suspect Prime Tech ? In the shed, we connected it to a known-good battery with jump leads in various configurations across the 3 terminals to see if any sign of life could be had out of it. Nothing. Bit of a spark in one configuration, but no sign of actual life.

I see there's an earth point on the bottom, but to my mind, the top should be wired for one negative and two positives (one for each direction). Bottom earth not needed or... ?

Can anyone advise, perhaps on some known-good test I can perform to see what like before spending on solenoids I might not need ? Photos below...







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Three terminals on top.

The one furthest from the drum is "A" and should be the live feed (normally via a solenoid!!)

The two next to the drum are "F1" and "F2" and control the direction of the drum.

The earth (on the bottom) must be connected direct to the battery -ve.

So, "A" and one of "F1" or "F2" to +ve with the earth connected and you should get somewhere.......

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Superb. Thanks chaps, will give it a try and report back tomorrow. Stock up on :)'s just in case ! ;)

edit: actually, while I think about it - what sort of wiring load do I need to provide to F1 and F2 then, given the supply comes via A ?

Thanks :)

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Careful now, there's a bit more to it than that!!

Winch motors field and armature are wired in series. You need to get the wiring right, to replicate how the solenoid pack works and make the motor turn.

For one direction:

12v to F1, and F2 to A, and a ground

For the other direction:

12v to F2, and F1 to A, and a ground

If you look at the insides of a standard solenoid pack, you will see it does exactly the same as above.

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Ouch. OK, now I'm a bit confused.

Taking on my jump-lead/screwdriver test-rig - is this right ?

Negative from battery to bolt underneath

Positive on battery to A

Screwdriver across A to F1 -> winch in one direction

Screwdriver across A to F2 -> winch in other direction

Would this be right, or would it be...

Screwdriver from A to F1 AND from F1 to F2 (thus in series)


Screwdriver from A to F2 AND from F2 to F1 (for other direction)

Thanks (confused)


(sorry for dragging this out - just trying to test things without having to buy costly solenoids)

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not quite...

negative from battery to bolt underneath.

12V positive to F1

screwdriver between F2 and A

winch goes in one direction.

12V positive to F2

Screwdriver between F1 and A

winch goes in the other direction.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I have one of these winches... Seems there is part of it missing...

On mine there is a black box mounted above the top 2 rails... On the top of the black box is the socket for the remote operating switch.. The black box has 3 wires of about 8 inches long coming out of it going to the 3 terminals on the top... It ialso has a much longer (3 foot long) red cable which is for the positive supply.... the earth as you mentioned is underneath...

I guess you made it work without the black box but didnt you get it with it, or the remote lead?



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