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Clicking Winch

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Please go easy on me :rolleyes:

My Champion winch (I know they're cheap but this one has served me well for the last 4 years) was used quite a lot the other weekend.

It recovered my 110 around 8 times from sand/mud/quicksand (don't ask!) and was also used to recover an NHS Ambulance (Yes, I got photos! :D )

At the end of the day I was about to remove the wander lead and just tried to wind in the drum a turn or two to tighten up the rope.

As I clicked the in button, all I got was a loud click from the bridge of the winch (solenoid clicking?)

Trying to wind in or out gives me an identical click. The drum doesn't move at all but when the clutch is released, it turns as normal (so it's not physically jammed)

The winch is powered from a twin battery set up, charged from a single alternator.

I'm assuming this is all working fine as my spotlights are also fed from the winch battery and are nice and bright.

I've also driven around 100 miles since the winch stopped working so an assuming the battery is now fully charged.

I know what a solenoid does but have no idea what all the wires coming out of the bridge to the motor do - but am keen to learn!

I've not been out to take a look at this yet but would really like to know, what will be the best method of fault finding?

Is there a set of procedures I should follow? eg, Step 1, check voltage at battery etc?

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Sounds like the solenoid has failed internally, if you have good bright lights and a charged battery this is pretty much the only reason why the winch would not power in/out.

One thing to check though.... remove, clean and check the earth strap, this may be a cause, but I would be surprised in this case....

If it has one of the so-called waterproof albright copy solendoids in it, it might just be dirty terminals, when I opened mine up from the TDS 9.5 I found rust and a badly corroded terminal on one side -I replaced it with an Albright which when it arrived is MUCH better constructed and waterproofed.

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Thanks for the reply.

I'm pretty sure it's not a waterproof model.

I've seen the solenoids before when I stripped the winch to re-grease it a couple of years ago.

There are two metal can type solenoids in the bridge.

They looked a little rusty then. :rolleyes:

I guess I've now got to weigh up the pros and cons of either replacing the solenoids on a 4 year old "cheapie" winch or replacing it completely with a shiny TDS Goldfish.

Most of the use the winch gets is in wet environments so I guess the Goldfish is a no brainer

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I really wouldn't be surprised if its the earth, defiantly check that first. I've found it to be quite a problem on a number of winches, a simple 10 min job with a wire brush and the problem has been cured.

You can check the motor (and the earth) by using a set of jump leads. There should be 3 connections on the top of the motor (the earth on the bottom). Leave the earth connected. 2 of the pins on the top of the motor should be closer to each other (usually labelled F1 and F2), usually towards the inside of the winch. If you connect one of these to the connector on the outer part of the motor (usually labelled A), and put power to the other one of the 2 close pins (F1 or F2) the motor should spin. Then change F1 and F2 connectors around and it should spin the other way.

This should help you determine if its the earth without removing the winch, if it doesn't work add another jump lead to the motor casing somehow and see.

Buying a whole new winch seems a bit drastic for just some solenoids breaking, you can strip the winch and seal with silicon and it should be pretty waterproof (in winch challenges I've been winching underwater for a good few mins and stripped the winch after the event and its bone dry). We have moved the solenoids to under the bonnet though, and are using an albright copy.

Good luck! :)

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There are two metal can type solenoids in the bridge.

They looked a little rusty then. :rolleyes:

I always found this type of solenoid to be a constant source of annoyance, and were normally the reason why my winch would not work on any given occasion.

Christmas is coming. Put an Albright on your list to Santa :lol:

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Can you recommend where to buy an Albright solenoid pack from.

Also I'm assuming it won't fit in my existing bridge, so does anyone sell cables to allow me to mount the new solenoid under the bonnet?

I guess these are "nubie" questions but although I use the winch fairly often, I've never had to do anyting like this before (repairs). Actually, I guess that's a bit of a testament to Champion winches!

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Brilliant - cheers for that.

I'll check them out tomorrow morning.

Excluding the voltage, are all the Albright solenoid packs pretty much the same or do I need to look for one specific to my winch?

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Thanks for that.

I'm now working out where to put the new solenoid under the bonnet (I don't think it will fit in the bridge) - and how much extra cable I need to buy!

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Thanks for that.

I'm now working out where to put the new solenoid under the bonnet (I don't think it will fit in the bridge) - and how much extra cable I need to buy!

mine is bolted on top of the left front inner wing forward of the heater air intake, out of the way, reasonable easy to access & out of any water, provided you don't do over the bonnet wading.

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better to go for genuine Albrights if possible, the cheaper version may look OK from a cost view, but may not be as reliable when you really need the winch. Genuine Albirght is around £58 to 60 but worth the outlay.

you could probably make your own cables, but for ease of fitting those should be good, they are a decent amp rating.

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Go to your local welding supplies stockist, they could easily be cheaper than that for thick cable, but I suppose thats not too bad price.

Those solenoids are indeed a copy of the albright, I know quite a few people using them, and they haven't gone wrong yet! Which is good because they are quite a bit cheaper :)

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I'd assumed that the solenoids were Albrights.

I looked at a photo of a "proper" Albrights sloenoid and the one I linked to looks identical.

However, for around £10 more, I'll get one sold as an Albright, just to be sure!

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Sorry Sutty, we must have posted at the same time.

I'm tempted to get the copy solenoid now :rolleyes:

It looks identical to the Albright branded one...and will save me around a fiver in postage.

Decisions decisions :rolleyes:

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Those solenoids are indeed a copy of the albright, I know quite a few people using them, and they haven't gone wrong yet!  

Mine has! Water ingress, rusted coil former and a badly corroded contact on the copper side stopped it working.

Now I have an Albright, much much much better constructed.

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Mine has! Water ingress, rusted coil former and a badly corroded contact on the copper side stopped it working.

Now I have an Albright, much much much better constructed.

Thanks for that - good job I waited until the weekend before ordering anything!

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