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Old 02-17-2017, 07:29 PM
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Winch Battery Isolator

Please do not respond "Just wire it straight to the battery." Had to get that out there first...

I want to wire some type of interrupt on my winch. First thought was quick connectors inside the engine bay--but I figured there has got to be a better way. Ideally, I'd like some type of relay, controlled by a switch on my sPod. I know that winches draw a huge amount of amperage, so not just anything will do, but I think I have found what I need:

PAC-500 Battery Isolator

Specs say it can handle 500amp continuous with up to 700amp surges. My winch is the Warn VR10-S (newer version) and motor current is 502amps on 10,000 pound of line pull. So, to my understanding, this isolator should accomplish my goal. The sPod will safely control the isolator, and then the isolator powers the winch; similar to how an ARB Twin Air is wired. Is that the case, or is there something I'm missing. Hoping the experienced minds can provide some insight.

Thanks fellow Jeepers!

-Ryan

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Old 02-17-2017, 08:17 PM   #2
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I'll be the first to tell you not to do it. On my 07, I had a Qtec winch wired through a Warn Power Inturrupt switch and wired to my Spod. The first time I went to actually use it for a recovery, it wouldn't work. I thought it was the winch that went out, but when I disconnected the power inturruptor and wired directly to the battery, it worked just fine but that wasn't found out until later when it was too late.


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Old 02-17-2017, 08:35 PM   #3
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Why? Why wire in something to fail on a piece of equipment as important as a winch...


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Old 02-17-2017, 08:41 PM
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Why? Why wire in something to fail on a piece of equipment as important as a winch...


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Because it's my Jeep, and on my Jeep, I don't want constant power being fed to the winch. If it fails, it fails--but I plan on it working. I also plan on leaving enough slack on the line that if I need to circumvent the isolator following a failure, I can hard line to the battery temporarily.

I'm not asking if I SHOULD, I'm asking if this set up accomplishes my goal.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:46 PM
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I'll be the first to tell you not to do it. On my 07, I had a Qtec winch wired through a Warn Power Inturrupt switch and wired to my Spod. The first time I went to actually use it for a recovery, it wouldn't work. I thought it was the winch that went out, but when I disconnected the power inturruptor and wired directly to the battery, it worked just fine but that wasn't found out until later when it was too late.


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Thank you for speaking up. Definitely understand the frustration that would cause on the trail. I remember doing research on Warn's kit and I want to say that it was only rated to 350amps and wouldn't handle the larger load--thats why I discounted the idea of using it. You make the valuable point to always have a back up plan though.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:48 PM   #6
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I think this is the second post of this sort I've seen today.

I'm curious. Why do you want to do this in the first place? What's the perceived value of having a cut-off switch rather than wiring it directly to the battery?
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:53 PM
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I think this is the second post of this sort I've seen today.

I'm curious. Why do you want to do this in the first place? What's the perceived value of having a cut-off switch rather than wiring it directly to the battery?
Mainly I'm not interested in having current flowing to winch. I'm sure its 99.9% safe--but with my luck I'll be the .1% that has a defect and burns it up. If a circuit stays open, and say continues to spool on its own, this will give me a quick shut off rather than racing to unhook it from the battery. Additionally, anti vandal is nice, as is the idea that without powering the winch from inside the cab, I won't have to worry about a dead battery. Wiring a 'power' switch to my sPod also keep the LVCO function working as its intended. I realize this isn't popular opinion...but we each do unique things to our Jeeps--some that others don't see the utility in. But thats whats great about Jeeps--you do you, I won't jude.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:10 PM   #8
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Mainly I'm not interested in having current flowing to winch. I'm sure its 99.9% safe--but with my luck I'll be the .1% that has a defect and burns it up. If a circuit stays open, and say continues to spool on its own, this will give me a quick shut off rather than racing to unhook it from the battery. Additionally, anti vandal is nice, as is the idea that without powering the winch from inside the cab, I won't have to worry about a dead battery. Wiring a 'power' switch to my sPod also keep the LVCO function working as its intended. I realize this isn't popular opinion...but we each do unique things to our Jeeps--some that others don't see the utility in. But thats whats great about Jeeps--you do you, I won't jude.
I want to do this too. How bout for urban utes vandalizing the jeep by unspooling the winch, hooking it to the rear hitch, and then jumping the contacts? That's a pretty darn good reason for a solenoid.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:13 PM   #9
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You are on the right track. Are you planning to always pull 10K lbs to draw your maximum current?

You can certainly run that one but there are other contactors available for less cost that will do the job. I have the older version of that winch with a steel cable. I'll have to find the specs to be certain but that current draw sounds about right for mine also. My relay is a Cole Herse brand that I am pretty sure is 200a constant 600a intermittent draw rated contacts and was right around $40.

Unless you are constantly pulling 10k lb loads with it the relay you are looking at is a bit overkill. Then again if you are constantly pulling 10k lb loads then you should probably get a bigger winch and then you will need to have the bigger contactor.

Also remember that a constant 500a draw will need to have a power cable of at least 4/0 to handle it without a risk of meltdown and shorting out your power source (very bad to do) The 6ga welding cable supplied for power cable with the winch is rated for a constant draw of about 200-250 amps depending on the number of strands in it.

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Old 02-17-2017, 09:23 PM   #10
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I used this. I flip it on when I need it or am going off road. Other than that I don't like having my winch powered all the time either. This disconnect is rated for 600A continuous 900A surge and is Marine quality.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:28 PM
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You are on the right track. Are you planning to always pull 10K lbs to draw your maximum current?

You can certainly run that one but there are other contactors available for less cost that will do the job. I have the older version of that winch with a steel cable. I'll have to find the specs to be certain but that current draw sounds about right for mine also. My relay is a Cole Herse brand that I am pretty sure is 200a constant 600a intermittent draw rated contacts and was right around $40.

Unless you are constantly pulling 10k lb loads with it the relay you are looking at is a bit overkill. Then again if you are constantly pulling 10k lb loads then you should probably get a bigger winch and then you will need to have the bigger contactor.

Also remember that a constant 500a draw will need to have a power cable of at least 4/0 to handle it without a risk of meltdown and shorting out your power source (very bad to do) The 6ga welding cable supplied for power cable with the winch is rated for a constant draw of about 200-250 amps depending on the number of strands in it.

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Good info! I don't plan on using the full draw at all times--just planing around the 10K load. I'd imagine my Jeep weighs around 5K (plus the force of whatever its stuck against, thinking mud mainly). I also plan on using a snatchblock whenever possible to minimize load. I just want to do it right the first time, and not have to trail modify and correct later.

So would I so 4/0 to the isolator (if I stayed with this one) and then the 6 should be fine for the winch/ground?
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:31 PM   #12
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I used this. I flip it on when I need it or am going off road. Other than that I don't like having my winch powered all the time either. This disconnect is rated for 600A continuous 900A surge and is Marine quality.


FFEM, If you're dead set on a switch. I would go with this type of route. Not the spod wired route. I understand it's your jeep, not trying to rustle feathers.


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Old 02-17-2017, 09:43 PM   #13
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I second what RichL posted. Get one of these.

https://www.bluesea.com/products/cat...ches/HD-Series
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:50 PM
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@RichL35 @CAJW Thanks, I'll check those out.
@Cummins_Powered No worries brother--and sorry if my response sounded snippy. I've seen a lot of people ask how and it gets buried in 'don't do it'. Just want to know if this will work, and if not why.

Thanks guys!
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:20 PM   #15
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Good info! I don't plan on using the full draw at all times--just planing around the 10K load. I'd imagine my Jeep weighs around 5K (plus the force of whatever its stuck against, thinking mud mainly). I also plan on using a snatchblock whenever possible to minimize load. I just want to do it right the first time, and not have to trail modify and correct later.

So would I so 4/0 to the isolator (if I stayed with this one) and then the 6 should be fine for the winch/ground?
I wouldnt.

Ok, there are a lot more considerations than just current draw when adding wiring to a vehicle. Environmental concerns, vehicle use, routing hazards, a lot more than just the current rating needed. The way most of us use our jeeps means that the engine bay temps will be higher than normal ( slow moving while rock crawling or getting stuff caked in mud while overworking the engine and not going anywhere fast ), then we have to look at the running around on bumpier roads than a normal vehicle encounters, and we have to look at the flex of the body in relation to the frame, motor, bracketry etc. Plenty of stuff to look at. Just looking at the area between the battery and the contactor/relay you are probably looking at a space of about a foot or two at most. Mine I think is about 20 inchs but I am running a very non standard engine bay for a jeep. Its a lot over crowded and generates a bunch of heat.

OK .. My engineering geek is running away with me. I'll cut out a whole lot of techno babble and engineering theory and considerations and cut to the chase.

4/0 cable has a lot of fine strands in it to get the surface area to carry the current. Those strands are much weaker than the larger strands in a 6ga welding cable. Go with the strength that can handle the intermittent current draws rather than the finer stranded stuff. It will live a better life in your jeep, thats why the winch manufactures ship it with the winch.

Geek out averted for now.

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Old 02-17-2017, 10:33 PM   #16
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IMO this would be the most practicable way to isolate your winch connection.

https://powerwerx.com/anderson-sb-co...s-sb350-350amp
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:48 PM   #17
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I want to do this too. How bout for urban utes vandalizing the jeep by unspooling the winch, hooking it to the rear hitch, and then jumping the contacts? That's a pretty darn good reason for a solenoid.


Is that actually an issue?? I have the Warn Platinum so no external clutch to deal with, no remote, no unclutchy.


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Old 02-17-2017, 11:33 PM   #18
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:26 AM   #19
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You don't want an isolator, you want a huge relay.

I run this one: KODIAK INDUSTRIES INC.

It's boringly reliable.

I put it in after a local hobo decided to hook a winch from a jeep onto a big rig. The Jeep's parking pin broke. They did arrest the hobo for destruction of property, but he didn't have any money to make anyone whole.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:46 AM   #20
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I know that winches draw a huge amount of amperage, so not just anything will do, but I think I have found what I need:

PAC-500 Battery Isolator

Specs say it can handle 500amp continuous with up to 700amp surges.
Looks to me like that solenoid isolator is a good match to your winch. As others have pointed out, you could also go with a switch or plug, but that requires you to open your hood to operate it. So if you plan on using your winch frequently, the solenoid would be good; if infrequently, a switch or plug would work and perhaps would be the most foolproof.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:13 AM   #21
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You don't want an isolator, you want a huge relay.

I run this one: KODIAK INDUSTRIES INC.

It's boringly reliable.

I put it in after a local hobo decided to hook a winch from a jeep onto a big rig. The Jeep's parking pin broke. They did arrest the hobo for destruction of property, but he didn't have any money to make anyone whole.
I haven't got a winch yet, but I read the first post about vandals and said oh yeah it could happen. then I read this one, this is actually a thing? people go around hooking peoples winches to whatever they can find? WTF!! Smh
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:26 AM   #22
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I initially used a 400 amp breaker but it let me down a few weeks ago as it kept tripping without even being under a heavy load. I removed the breaker and found a similar switch as within this link at the local electronics surplus store for $14. I also don't like the idea of constant voltage being run to the winch. My backup plan in case of future failures and what I did when dealing with the breaker tripping was to hook up my jumper cables directly from the winch solenoids to the battery. I'm not sure if it's a ideal configuration but it works for me.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:50 AM   #23
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I have the same concerns. I used to tow a racecar with an F250 back in the 80s. I mounted a Warn winch in the rear step bumper of the truck and used that to pull the car up onto the trailer. I didn't like the idea of the power cable being energized all the time, running the length of the truck's undercarriage. I used a set of welding lead connectors on the positive cable, as a quick disconnect under the hood.

Nowadays.. these are available. WARN Quick Connect Plugs, Model# 22680 | Battery Cables Wiring| Northern Tool + Equipment I plan on using that setup on my TJ. The quick disconnect will live near the battery. The added bonus of this setup is you can get a jumper cable setup with the same quick connector. Makes for a clean multi-purpose setup.

Just an example.. http://www.genesisoffroad.com/Quick-...163-qcjc15.htm
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:50 AM   #24
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I second what RichL posted. Get one of these.

https://www.bluesea.com/products/cat...ches/HD-Series
so looking at that, there is an alternator field disconnect option... Would that even be necessary when used as a winch on/off switch?
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:53 AM   #25
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I know 2 guys using the Warn quick disconnects. Other than the hassle of "one more step" they seem to work fine.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:10 PM
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You don't want an isolator, you want a huge relay.

I run this one: KODIAK INDUSTRIES INC.

It's boringly reliable.

I put it in after a local hobo decided to hook a winch from a jeep onto a big rig. The Jeep's parking pin broke. They did arrest the hobo for destruction of property, but he didn't have any money to make anyone whole.
Did you pick that up directly through them? Or is there a third party vendor that carries their products? Looks like the same idea, but more along the lines of advice that was given earlier.

Thanks everyone else--this thread looks like it's gotten proactive in the last 12 hours or so! I appreciate it.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:27 PM   #27
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I initially used a 400 amp breaker but it let me down a few weeks ago as it kept tripping without even being under a heavy load. I removed the breaker and found a similar switch as within this link at the local electronics surplus store for $14. I also don't like the idea of constant voltage being run to the winch. My backup plan in case of future failures and what I did when dealing with the breaker tripping was to hook up my jumper cables directly from the winch solenoids to the battery. I'm not sure if it's a ideal configuration but it works for me.
Just be VERY careful using jumper cables! Several years back we ran into a group of jeepers that had no business on the trail they were on. One of the guys did the exact same thing. But he did not take into account the heat generated by the winch and the battery and the length of the jumper cables. Luckily, several of us had fire extinguishers...we needed all 3!!!!


Regarding the breaker tripping, either you need a larger capacity or you need to keep it cool while winching.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:31 PM   #28
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so looking at that, there is an alternator field disconnect option... Would that even be necessary when used as a winch on/off switch?
No.. PN: 3000 is the one you would want. Two position switch, on/off is all you would need.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:35 PM   #29
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Just be VERY careful using jumper cables! Several years back we ran into a group of jeepers that had no business on the trail they were on. One of the guys did the exact same thing. But he did not take into account the heat generated by the winch and the battery and the length of the jumper cables. Luckily, several of us had fire extinguishers...we needed all 3!!!!


Regarding the breaker tripping, either you need a larger capacity or you need to keep it cool while winching.

The wire ga of jumper cables is typically not sufficient for the amp draw up a winch. Add the extra cable length and you have the ingredients for a real exciting time.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:42 PM   #30
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The wire ga of jumper cables is typically not sufficient for the amp draw up a winch. Add the extra cable length and you have the ingredients for a real exciting time.
Yeah was very exciting! There's no doubt, that if we had not been there, his Jeep would have burned to the ground! His group was completely panicking when the cables started to smoke, then burst into flames! Several of us stepped up and just took over....when it was over a fight almost broke out. LOL they did NOT like us telling them what to do!

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