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winch setup help please


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In the past I have ran one 12v battery which powered everything engine and front and back winches it always worked well but for the new build I'm looking to do somthing different/better is it worth running a 24v setup and overvolting a bow motor also could some one explain what I would need to do to run 24v or should I have a battery for running start up and such like then one for each winch or just one for the winches basically what do most people do now and or what do you advise thankyou

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Ok cheers tbh it does seem that way would you recommend keep the 12v system but having more than one battery

Nothing wrong with having more than one battery

12v might be easier, but 24v adds many benefits...

Less volts drop, smaller cables, and often cheaper second hand winches.

This is very true, provided you can sort out the rest of the vehicle electrics to run on 24V

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When people ask about winches, I tell them they have to define their use of a winch.

Most people have their winch sit in the bumper and collect dust, or here in norway, the collect salty water in the winter. When they try to use it every odd year, it wont work. Either because they forgot their remote, or they somethign is stuck, or another reason.

I normally use mine a weekend a month at a typical playday. hopefully hepiung others. I also use it frequently when we go to our annual trip to Poland (just a couple of weeks now...)

I used to have a setup with an old T-max winch, and a lookalike from China. One in the front, and one in the rear. Then I had one battery for starting, and one for winching and other auxiliary stuff. One Alternator to each system.

When rebuilt my car as a bobtailed pickup last year, I got 2 winches from Goodwinch, together with a Goodwinch Turbo Controller. Removed the auxiliary Alternator, and used one battery for start and normal use, and the other one as the 24 turbo controller battery. Works like charm. I know the guy in Germany selling Goodwinch has a 3 battery/2 alternators setup, one alternator and battery for start and vehicle, and 1 alternator/2 batteries for the winch and turbo controller box.

The turbo box works like to either put the 2 batteries in parallel (for charging), or ifturbo mode is selected, and winching in, running the batteries in series.

In practice and under load, I guess you feed the winch with 18-22 volt.

If you use your winch a bit, I would have had the Turbo box. I use the turbo controller on the front winch, and 12 volt only in the back.

If your vehicle is 12 volt, I would have kept everything at 12 volt. New stuff in 12 volt is cheaper then new stuff in 24 volt.

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unless you run two alternators and 3 batteries..... then you can run 12v for vehicle electrics and 24v for winches.

Exactly, no need to run the rest of the vehicle on 24V, just cos the winches are. Separate alternator and battery for winch, also means when winching the rest of the vehicle doesn't suffer the same voltage drop (down to 8V at times I have seen!).

As above though, bit more info on what you intend to do with it would help the discussion.

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24v is better than 12v in lots of ways. 12v winches are common as cars are generally 12v so it's an easy fit. When I was on my stock battery if I did a few back to back winch pulls my engine would start to struggle to run, that meant the voltage was below 9v, not great for the car or battery. If you have the motivation to go 24v (which is still reasonably common for winches due to commercial applications although you may be limited with the competition winches?) leave the 12v car electrics as is, that means all the engine parts are stock and easy to get hold of. Its very annoying to kill an alternator and having a dozen mates with you with a spare tdi alternator and you needing one off a mondeo. Just add a truck 24v alternator on it's own belt which is no harder than fitting a hydralic pump or second 12v alternator, a couple batteries and job done. Same power winch for a lower current draw, easier to get switches, cables etc, less sensitive to weathered connections, you know you'll always have engine starting power, lovely job :)

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^^ Dream setup :)

For competition winches, run them at 24V anyways! Certainly Bowmotors are available in both 12V and 24V, and even then apparently the 12V version quite likes 24V....

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I was going to fit hydraulic to mine... until I sold it :(

I was trying to think of a way to fit the pump to a V8 that wouldn't blow up when you revved the guys out the engine but didn't need you to rev the guts out of it to get good speed. I was tempted to try adapt some sort of centrafugal clutch but never got around to it. It probably would be blown up away way :)

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Thankyou for all the replies much appreciated it's great to get so much help and tbh it was because I'm looking at options for set ups for the new build Which will be a winch challenge truck, I'm thinking of having the battery for the engine, lights and such as the normal setup that is original 12v then adding a 24v alternator and running two 12v battery's in parrallel and having that set up for the winches would that work ? and running bow motors on the winches, I would like to have 12v motors on the winches as I'm told and have seen they can handle being over volted and work much faster , cheers

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A freespool is probably a bigger upgrade than a 24v setup and that will also resolve most of the issues with the motor burning out when overvolting because you'll never pay the rope out with the motor again. It also improves winching because when you do start winching you're starting with a full battery instead of starting the winch in having partially drained the battery by powering out.

A switched 12/24v setup is easy enough to set up, all you need is two matched batteries and an Albright solenoid (the same type that you use for the winch) to switch them from series (24v) to parallel. It's always better though to go for a 3 battery setup with twin alternators, that has been the optimum setup for the last 20 years and it still works well.

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I read a warning from one of the winch manufacturers about free spooling at 24v but I can't remember which one. It didn't say if it caused motor problems or just went too fast for the rest of the winch?

If you have a 24v setup why wouldn't you just use a motor rated at 24v? Can you not get one to fit the winch you want?

As said above You have to have a remote free spool as part of the package.

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I think it's the speed that's the issue, normally a motor's free running speed is self limiting, the currents generated in the windings by the motor turning limit the current that can pass through the windings, the faster it goes the bigger those limiting currents become. As a result the motor has a "natural" top speed that it self regulates, the speed being dependant on the configuration of the windings. When you double the voltage the effect of those currents is also halved, potentially allowing the motor to run at up to twice the design speed, that can damage the motor if it's done for a sustained period.

Running over volted motors gives better performance under load than running 24v motors. The reason being that almost as soon as you start winching under load the battery voltage starts to drop. On a 12v system it's not uncommon to see the voltage under load drop down to 8 or 9 volts at the motor. With a 24v setup it can drop down to 16 volts and with a 12v motor it means that the battery can still push maximum current through the motor when a 12v system is tailing off. At low speed the impedance of the motor is fixed, the current passing through it determines the power of the winch motor and as current = voltage / resistance the higher the voltage available the higher the current passing through the motor.

The "turbo" system is actually a very good compromise, using two batteries and changing them between 12v and 24v to suit the situation. The downside is that the "top" battery is relying on it's stored capacity and receives no charge when in 24v mode. In a twin voltage setup you could actually use a spare albright solenoid and switch the winch between the 12v system and the 24v system as required if you were concerned about damage to the motor at 24v.

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I'd agree that overspeeding the motors is the issue, I can't imagine the brushes will be happy at twice the unloaded speed, they will wear VERY quickly.

Also as above, an air freespool is a must for any competition vehicle really, and one that works, and is actually free, not taking your entire body weight to pull out!

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Thanks again for the great advise this is all great and taken on board I apologise as I miss read one off the first comments in regards to free spooling with 24v I kind of over looked this as in my head I already had accounted for air freespool which I am going to fit

So just to check I have this rite with air freespool fitted there is no real problem with running a 24v system and overvolting 12v bow motors to get better performance from a 12v winch for example a warn 8274 or am I missing something I understand that maybe it is going to wear the bushes faster but surly not at a crazy rate ? Thanks again your great guys

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