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Old 10-11-2014, 08:37 PM   #1
DaveTM
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Default Warn Winch Question

Ok, here's my question. I'm not an electrical engineer, nor an electrician. I come here to get answers to my cart questions and you guys are very helpful with this "stuff."

So, when I first purchased my cart 6 years ago, it had a cheepie winch on the front. I replaced it with a Warn ATV RT2500 winch which has worked great. I also put a cheepie chinese built one on the rear. Of course, thinking I would not need the rear winch much (my cart is for hunting) the rear winch got used a bunch and toasted quickly. So, I just purchased a new Warn 3000 winch and it's going on the front and the RT2500 is getting moved to the rear. (Separate 12-V battery for the winch's.)

My question is, (Here's the link to the Warn site with the directions if you want to look http://www.warn.com/atv/winches/Vantage_3000.shtml Warn has gizmo they call a "contactor" that is suppose to go between the battery and the winch. Of course, I got one when I bot my RT2500 and looked at it and tossed it aside and just connected the winch up to the existing wires. You know....battery to switch to winch. "Hey....we don't need no stinking contactor!!" So....since I'm now installing this one...should I take the time to hook up the contactor, and since I still have the contactor for the RT2500....do I need to do that.

And....what the heck do these contractors really do anyway????


Thanks much.

Dave
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:27 PM   #2
crash test dummy
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Default Re: Warn Winch Question

Quote:
"Hey....we don't need no stinking contactor!!"
ummm .. yes you do !

Quote:
And....what the heck do these contractors really do anyway????
contractor = solenoid
it makes line go in or feed out

basically its like this ...
your key feeds your in/out switch power .. this is so people can't un-spool your cable without a key
your in/out switch tells your contractor which way you want winch to run
your contractor pulls power from your battery and ether makes motor in winch to go forward or reverse

RT2500 install
https://www.warn.com/atv/winches/ima...60908C1_web.pd

Last edited by crash test dummy; 10-11-2014 at 09:56 PM.. Reason: added info
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:02 PM   #3
DaveTM
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Default Re: Warn Winch Question

Thanks CTD. Well, all i can tell you is my front winch works fine without the contactor. Unless a contactor from the old Chinese winch is hidden somewhere deep under my front cowl and I just can't see it. But now that you spell it out, I'm going to have to hook it up for the rear one to work.

Well, I suppose there are more things in life that are more complicated.

Thanks much

Dave
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Warn Winch Question

should look like this ... follow the cables from winch

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Old 10-12-2014, 01:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Warn Winch Question

the cheap winch probably doesn't draw many amps (or pull very hard)
the warn 3000 can pull 3000 lbs and it draws 140 amps when doing so
i'd use the contactor and upgrade to #4 cables to the battery (#6 minimum)
the contactor allows you to use light #16 gauge wire on the switch penant to control the 140 amp load
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Warn Winch Question

In a sense,its a relay.It puts direct current to the winch,with a switched-signal feeding it.It also gives the winch reversing capability. Any winch should have a contactor/reversing-relay,some of the real cheapies skip it to stay cheap.A good one can cost hundreds on large winches.Definitely use it,and upgrade the cables like others suggested.
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:35 PM   #7
DaveTM
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Default Re: Warn Winch Question

The winch comes with the heavier gauge wires and the better contactor. Along with a better wired remote switch.

Thanks for your response's. I will now just "do it right the first time" and skip all of the drama of later asking the "hey....why didn't I just listen to those guys in the first place?"

Thanks Gents!! Once again you have helped me out!!

Dave
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: Warn Winch Question

They have that in place because your switch would not hold up with that many amps ran thru it. Plus this solenoid is applying the ground and power to the winch and makes the right contacts according to the input your toggle switch gives it. I believe if you did not have one you would of had a small fire by now.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Warn Winch Question

Just an update......I'm now in the process of taking out the current inferior cheap winch contactor that was in there (was already hooked up....and just made my life way too easy to simply hook up the Warn RT2500 and go.) Yeah...the wires on it are not in all that good of shape, and the upgrade is actually easier than I thought it would be.

So, I will have the Warn 3000 in today, and probably the wiring done for the moving of the RT2500. Then I will do the install of the RT2500 on another day.

Thanks again!!

Dave
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