Rear Winch wiring using jumper cables; what am I missing?

JaSAn

Active member
My 2¢:
  • Copper wire with good quality insulation is expensive. Jumper cables will cost more than bulk wire of the same quality.
  • There are a number of companies that sell wire in custom lengths with high quality crimped terminals if you do not have the equipment to do it yourself.
  • Jumper cables are made for short term use not long, high current draws that are common using a winch.
  • Flexible welding cable is adequate, tinned marine wire is better (especially if you live in a corrosive environment). Welding cable uses finer gage strands, so it is more flexible than automotive battery cable.
  • Anderson Powerpole connectors are excellent for connections that are connected and disconnected a lot. They tend to corrode if left together long term; they self-clean when connecting/disconnecting.

Determine the gauge of wire you need by using a 'wire size' calculator. I use: http://circuitwizard.bluesea.com/#
- You need to determine the voltage drop you can live with and the maximum amperage a wire can deliver to size the minimum wire gauge needed.
- And it is the round trip length you use in calculations; you need just as good a path back to the battery/alternator as to the winch.
- Best practice is using a negative cable for return rather than using vehicle body or frame. You will have less problems long term.
 

CampStewart

Observer
If you have a local scrap metal place, go by and ask if they have welding cable or forklift cable. Occasionally they get in runs of the stuff and since you're doing a custom job and will be installing your own ends, it's cheaper. You can also check welding shops and another option is forklift service/repair places; the one here will build new custom cables if they aren't busy. The local service truck sale place also sells all manner of cables and accesories and will make custom cables.

Years ago when I bought jumper cables I did the same as others here and made sure they were copper strand then lopped off one set of clamps and put an Anderson connector on. I've had to chenge the clamps once but I've had them over twenty years now.
Used cables are taken out of service for a reason. They lead a rough life, they are exposed to chemicals, run over by vehicles, the insulation get cut, the strands get corrosion from the cuts. I see how those cables are treated in the field and would not recommend using them unless they are far larger in diameter than needed and you closely inspect them for cuts and corrosion in those cuts as well as flat spots indicating that they have been repeatly run over.
 

robert

Expedition Leader
Used cables are taken out of service for a reason. They lead a rough life, they are exposed to chemicals, run over by vehicles, the insulation get cut, the strands get corrosion from the cuts. I see how those cables are treated in the field and would not recommend using them unless they are far larger in diameter than needed and you closely inspect them for cuts and corrosion in those cuts as well as flat spots indicating that they have been repeatly run over.
I guess I should have added to inspect them first but I kinda figured that was obvious. I've seen long sections taken out of service on oil rigs, for example, because a small section was damaged and everything has to have certs in order to be used. In a welding shop the damaged section would have just been chopped out and repaired but that can't always be done in industrial settings due to regulations. I know the local forklift and crane repair place stocks heavy electrical cable and connectors and that's probably where I'd go if I needed any.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
I ran 1/0 from under-hood Aux to a rear Power box and with a rear winch feed in mind. I also ran both pos and neg cables thru some PVC flex conduit with some j-box bulkhead fittings up thru the cargo floor. And silicone-caulked and taped the conduit ends up by the Aux battery. So things are about as protected as can be. As long as I don't overuse or abuse the duty cycle on a 9k or 12k winch, I should be fine.
Since I was running a fat feed for a rear winch location anyway, I took advantage of it as a supply for a lot of other power options. And I'm backfeeding my rooftop solar thru to the Aux.



Been 2 years since I finished the majority of that install, it's all working just fine. Conduit's in swell shape and I got the exhaust system clearances right, no sign of anything cooking. Still don't have a big winch or hitch mount for one. One of these years.

I cut the subwoofer box down in size to make room for the cabling. I'm probably going to delete it altogether and put a decent air compressor in there.
 
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billiebob

My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
Welding cable and crimped fittings from any heavy duty truck shop. Custom made and reasonable IF you don't waste their time.
507358
 

Borrego60

Rendezvous Conspiracy
Dumb question but is the control box grounded? On the old Warns say x9000 winch if the control box is not grounded it would not work.
 
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