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Unread 10-11-2013, 05:18 PM   #1
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Wiring in my Winch

My winch needs to be re-wired to the battery, as the way I had it wired up failed. I have no ground anymore. I am going to temporarily move the winch negative cable to where the battery negative cable grounds to the engine, but I need a better fix. I have searched for battery terminals that I can use, but I don't really like the looks of anything I've seen. I would LIKE to keep the stock battery cable top-post connections, but still have studs I can attach accessory ring terminals to. I can't find anything that lets me do that.

I guess the next best thing would be to wire the winch into the under-hood fuse distribution block? There are extra slots, but I have never taken it apart and have no idea how to wire into it. I also don't know if it can take the 200+ amps a winch can draw.

So, is there some way for me to do this that will look good, be functional, and (optionally) be easy to expand?

I have considered these but I would have to redo my battery cables with ring terminals. It would look clean, but not sure if that is the best option.

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Unread 10-11-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/370585683471...84.m1423.l2649

These? You could still use top post and ring terms too.

Can you crimp big terms? If so, you can make some short jumpers and remote these blocks. Search jeephammers posts for some really good pics and instruction on making and crimping cable, also how to maximize power to your winch.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 05:49 PM   #3
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I still run into the issue of having to redo my battery cables. I can't crimp anything bigger than 8 gauge. I have access to a vise, but nothing to use for proper crimping. If I have to redo any ends I'd solder them.

I'll look through those posts though, thanks.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 07:07 PM   #4
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I'd have your winch battery connections crimped on properly by a battery shop that knows how to make battery cables. That job takes a special crimping machine that can apply a lot more pressure to a heavier duty connection than you could properly install at home. Home crimp jobs & soldering high amperage connectors like that is not the way to go unless you have the special crimping tool needed... from one who has been soldering & making electrical connections for over 50 years.

And while it's too late for the OP, for others reading this thread... NEVER attach the winch's black negative ground connector anywhere but directly to the battery. Connecting it to the chassis or tub will start blowing out the Jeep's factory ground wires when the winch is pulling a heavy load.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 08:34 PM   #5
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Why would it blow out my ground wires? They are the same gauge, and I was going to connect it where the negative cable from the battery connects to the engine block. I haven't actually done anything yet. The winch is still disconnected.

I believe the leads on the end of the winch cable are professionally crimped. I left them stock.

Also, not to try to sound like I am trying to put you down, but why wouldn't soldering be a good idea? It's a much better conducting connection than a crimp.

I apologize if I sound uppity, but my wife says I lack a certain degree of 'tact.' I am merely wondering where you are coming from.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Awesome View Post

Also, not to try to sound like I am trying to put you down, but why wouldn't soldering be a good idea? It's a much better conducting connection than a crimp.
I have to agree. I've read a lot of Jerry's posts and I know that he's very knowledgeable; however, what is so hard about trimming back the insulation on a cable, holding a properly sized cable lug in a vise (or vise grips), heating it with a Bernsomatic torch as you melt rosin core solder into it and once it's full plunging the bare end of the cable into it? Also, crimped connections are corrosion farms. A properly soldered connection will wick the solder well up into the cable and will offer a better transfer of electricity while being far more resistant to corrosion.

I've made dozens of battery cables, winch cables, and etc. using this method with welding cable and I've never had a failure. If there's something wrong with this method, please let me know.

On a side note, I do have to agree about running a ground directly between the battery and the winch. You want to avoid voltage drop in any way possible. Resistance equals heat and power loss in a winch. A couple more feet of cable is well worth the trouble for the added performance.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 10:10 PM   #7
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I remember watching my grandfather when I was about five, solder a new 1/0 welding cable to a set of old jumper cable clamps. He did it with brazing head on a Victor torch and a roll of solder. I still have those cables. I have never redone the solders he did, I have however replaced (covered actually) the rotted off rubber from the cable in different sections. last time was split loom and rescue tape. These are nearing 40 years old. This was in the field done with finesse like most of the stuff he did. If you have a friend who is a lineman or works with industrial electricity, he might have the lug crimper you need.

I am smack in the middle of this:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/du...lding-1231432/

I will do it almost exactly as in this thread. About post #4 is were the lesson on crimping starts.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 11:18 PM   #8
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If your actual ground wire fried you probably have a different issue.

Ive always just swapped cable ends on the vehicle wiring. The aftermarket ones have a pair of bolts and the pre terminated winch ends get sandwiched. I dont know if its the best method but its always worked for me and only costs a few bucks.

Def agree on termination only at the battery, winches pull a lot of juice,
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Unread 10-12-2013, 01:13 AM   #9
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The solenoid ground wire fried because it was pulling 50+ amps through a 16-gauge wire that is normally supposed to only handle a couple of amps. It's been bypassed and the fault has been corrected.
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Unread 10-12-2013, 10:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Awesome View Post
Why would it blow out my ground wires?
Because a loaded winch can easily draw in excess of 400 amperes & the sum total of the current the Jeep's ground wire system was designed to handle is probably less than 20% of that. That is why all winch installation directions are careful to instruct to only attach the winch's negative lead only directly to the battery. If the winch were only grounded at the chassis, it would be trying to pull >400 amps out of the battery on a heavy pull via the OE ground wires any which way it could & the results would not be good.

So far as soldering vs. crimping (actually swaging is what I'm talking about) it properly goes, & I would be a very rich man if I had a dollar for every soldering job I've done since the late 50's, soldering isn't a good way to go for a high current connector like a winch uses. And definitely understand I'm not talking about the type of crimped of connection a hand crimping tool can produce. I'm talking about the heavier-duty type connector that is crimped/swaged on using a heavy duty tool not many home garages have.

Notice that while there are a lot of things soldered in a Jeep in its various electronic circuits like the radio & computer, you'll never find a soldered connector on the starter motor, battery connector, or the connectors that come on a winch. Neither are such high amperage connectors soldered on NASA vehicles, ships, or aircraft. Soldering has its own issues on high current circuits which is why such high current connectors aren't soldered by industrial manufacturers. I do solder all my small crimp connections but I take my heavy-duty cable connectors to my local battery shop & let them swage the connectors on.
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Unread 10-12-2013, 08:14 PM   #11
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JerryB is correct. In the electrical industry the majority of all high power/high current connections are crimped with a tool that exerts in excess of 6000 lbs of force on the lug to squeeze it on for a low resistance connection.
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Unread 10-12-2013, 08:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteMtnJeep View Post
JerryB is correct. In the electrical industry the majority of all high power/high current connections are crimped with a tool that exerts in excess of 6000 lbs of force on the lug to squeeze it on for a low resistance connection.
I'm not disagreeing with what you're saying, I'm just asking why. If there is a reason that solder isn't a viable option, I'm listening. I'm not trying to be combative, I'm trying to find out if it's going to cause problems. I currently own 4 vehicles who's electrical systems are powered in this manner as well as the leads for my Arc welder, my OBW, winches, and etc. The leads on my Arc welder and a couple of the cars are several years old and the leads on one of the vehicles is around 30 years old (I still have the truck that has the cables that my dad taught me to do this on when I was 7 or 8). I've never had any issues...

I've read a lot of anecdotal evidence (from factory battery cables to the space shuttle reference) in this thread; however, I haven't heard why a crimp connection is thought to be superior to a soldered one. You'll be hard pressed to find someone who will advocate for crimps over solder on 16 ga wire, so what's the difference?

I
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Unread 10-12-2013, 09:53 PM   #13
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^^X2^^

??

Same here, I work with industrial electricity myself, (automated weld shop) and find a properly crimped and soldered lug will last much longer and run cooler than a crimp only. I have a very nice brundy crimper that squeezes the snot out of the lug then a quick solder and Bobs your uncle. On installed cables, I test the lugs by either testing them bare handed, or if I cannot reach them easily, shoot em with a IR temp gun. The crimped and soldered lugs ALWAYS run cooler (heat kills) and last longer than crimped alone. I'm not schooled in electricity, just a guy who makes do from experience, so excuse my ignorance. The cable I work with is 2/0 or 4/0 600v welding cable, bigger but similar to battery cables, low voltage, big amps.

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Unread 10-13-2013, 09:54 AM   #14
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Honestly, two reasons that were explained to me in school and in two apprenticeships.

First, a crimp connection is easier to do. There are no special steps for preparation. Just strip the wire, use the correct lug and die, and crimp it on. The wire may be 2/0, but there are different lugs for copper conductors, welding cable (smaller strands), aluminum, and compact conductor. Using the correct lug for wire type, size, and construction is the only requirement other than the wire being clean.

When you solder the lug on you do get a connection with excellent electrical properties as long as it is done correctly. That includes cleanliness of the conductor, proper solder and rosin type, and proper heating to perform the soldering. The biggest issues with soldering are time to do it and skill level or lack thereof. The wrong type of solder or rosin type can result in a higher resistance connection or one that does not take well. Too little heat causes a poor connection and too much heat can cause conductor and/or insulation damage.

I have worked in the electrical/electronics trades since the early 80's and the only soldering I have done was on the PC board level. Everything else was on the level of 12V DC/26 AWG wire level all the way up to 1500 CMA/138KV.

99.99% of the issues that I have ever come across with mechanical or crimped connections were not with the wire to lug connection. They were with the lug to device connection. In the manufacturing and utility industries Infrared scans are used widely to check equipment condition and the hot spots found tell all. Almost every one was caused by loose nut/bolt connections where the lug is mounted.

One other thing to consider is if the cable/connection is on something that has ANY type of movement a soldered connection may not be the best option. If the wire moves even only slightly while the equipment is in operation the wire will eventually fail at the soldered connection because it is a rigid, solid type of connection. Crimps are solid, too, but they are not solid like a soldered connection is. That and because a crimp connection is faster to do may be why things like battery, starter, alternator, and so forth are done with crimp connectors. Engines do move slightly on their mounts due to torque and will cause movement on the cables.

EDIT:

One other little tidbit. When I make/repair any cable which may be exposed to moisture or other contaminates I use the self-sealing heat shrink at the crimp connection, too. It helps to seal the connection and keep stuff from getting in the core of the wire and connection afterwards.
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Unread 10-13-2013, 02:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteMtnJeep View Post
99.99% of the issues that I have ever come across with mechanical or crimped connections were not with the wire to lug connection. They were with the lug to device connection. In the manufacturing and utility industries Infrared scans are used widely to check equipment condition and the hot spots found tell all. Almost every one was caused by loose nut/bolt connections where the lug is mounted.
That is probably at the heart of this discussion. Connection is probably a bigger concern than crimp type. As soon as we see a rise in temp, even a few degrees, we pull the lug wire brush it and re seat it. We have to catch it in time though, once the critical temp is reached and the insulation is hard or the wire has lost it's integrity/hardness, it is just a matter of time. I will usually (if I am prepared) cut, crimp and solder right then. It seems that oxygen is a huge factor in degradation of the joint, that is why I like the solder seal (sealing heat shrink, GOOD idea). We tried this "grease" insulation stuff that was supposed to keep out oxygen, but once it heated it too lost it's protection properties.

Thanks for the detailed reply!

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