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Unread 05-11-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
linusb
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Winch question...solenoids or motor

I have an old Ramsey worm gear winch. Probably 30 years old. Seems to work well but have only had a few months.

I have it wired to dash switches: one to arm the second switch which is a momentary on-off-on toggle.

I test winch every week or so and on this day, when trying to winch in and out, the solenoids would click with the motor not moving. I switched up and down a few times and eventually it came to life.

I'm thinking the motor must've locked up, with the logic that there are two solenoids for in and out and they both wouldn't act up at same time? Or is that logic bad? I haven't been able to duplicate the problem.

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Unread 05-12-2013, 05:37 PM   #2
stavi
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You're correct about 2 solenoids in and 2 out. If the solenoid clicks its probably operational, and how they're wired if one in and one out go out then you won't get any action out of the motor. Have you inspected the motor or checked things over on the solenoid pack? I say crack the commutator end of the motor off and check things out. See if the brushes are moving freely and the condition of the commutator(where the brushes ride on the armature) I work in an electrical motor rebuild shop and see winch motors with a water line of rust in them. They either get dunked or washed too much and the water has difficulty escaping so it condensates and sets anywhere it pleases. It freezes briushes in their holders and won't turn. Check the motor, if you have doubts about what you're looking at, post a couple pics and somebody will chime in. If the motor is good, don't always assume a clicking solenoid is a good soenid. They've got copper discs that arc up each time its turned on. When they get too arced up or corroded(more water condensation typically) they don't allow full voltage to travel through(look up how to test volatage drop on a ford type solenoid) and that will help eliminate and questions. I've seen solenoids so roughed up they only pas half of their designated voltage to the motor. And if this seems confusing, sorry, I'm running on 8 hours of sleep in the last 72 hors. So post again if you need clarity.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 10:13 PM   #3
linusb
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Thanks for all that info. I haven't taken the motor off. I'm thinking it was stuck, because switching both in or out I got a solid click at each solenoid but no movement. Eventually all at once it came unstuck and the problem hasn't occurred since. The winch is old as heck (but quite the impressive beast) and I'm scared to disassemble for fear that springs or something might go flying. Though I didn't pay much for it so I don't have much to lose.
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1994 YJ Wrangler, 4.0, AX15, NP231, 35x12.50x15 BFG KM2s, 4" RC lift, 1" lift Boom Shackles, 1" BL, 4.10 gears, 8.8 LSD in rear and D30 Aussie Locker in front, on-board air conversion, Ramsey RE8000 winch.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 10:18 PM   #4
chris87xj
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Solenoid click w/o motor/spool movement can often result from dirty or corroded electrical connections on the larger wires that supply motor power.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 10:20 PM   #5
JimWilliamson
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When my winch acted similar I found that the ground was not up to snuff. Any chance your ground route(s) could have a tad bit of corrosion? If you're considering removing and disassembling, you could check for dirty ground connections.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 08:46 PM   #6
linusb
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Well, after lots of rain my winch isn't working at all now. I'm getting the clicking to the solenoids. It's a super heavy winch and before dismounting it, I tested voltage at motor. The motor has three posts, two side by side and the third is further apart that would sort of form a triangle between the three of them.i get voltage at the first two with switch applied but no voltage at the last post. Is this a solenoid failure? I don't understand the three posts.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 09:55 PM   #7
linusb
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I jumped a positive 12v to one of the posts and the motor activated after a bit of sparking. Looks like I need new solenoids.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 10:43 PM   #8
chris87xj
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Rain or moisture is hard on connections in that it increases corrosion.
If you change the solenoids, at least you'll be starting with clean connections again for a while eh. Use dielectric grease on connections to keep them working longer, don't forget the grounds, and send me your old "bad" solenoids.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 11:09 AM   #9
TSEJEEPERS
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Cheap place to get solenoids.
http://www.db-starter-alternator.com/
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Unread 07-10-2013, 12:17 PM   #10
zillla
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I too have an old Ramsey worm drive winch. I totally rebuilt it, and purchsed new solonoids from a winch place in Texas.. The three posts are the field-armature connections. As I recall they are in series. They have to be switched for forward/reverse operaton.
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Unread 07-15-2013, 11:05 PM   #11
linusb
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I ended up disconnecting the power cables to the winch motor in prep of removing solenoid housing. I noticed the nuts and studs were a tad rusty, so low and behold after cleaning a bit and spraying with contact cleaner, it all works again. Will dielectric grease hold up to the rain and weather on these connections? They're all exposed.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 12:08 AM   #12
chris87xj
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It'll stay sandwiched in the contact areas of clean connections to help them stay that way indefinitely.
Many autoparts stores nowadays sell inexpensive little plastic pouch packages of dielectric grease with their automotive bulbs.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 08:00 PM   #13
stavi
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Yes, the two posts are field and the opposing is the armature. If a mod reads this, or somebody in the know, pm me so I can post this next bit of information where it belongs. -if in a bind, stuck, whatever, you can make your winch work by bypassing the solenoids and putting power straight to the motor. Connect power to one of the field terminals(one of the 2 next to each other) and jump over to the armatire post. Make sure you have satisfactory jumpers from your power supply(no less than 2ga, but you should consult a reference chart as to how much power you will be pulling through however long of distance you need to cover, but from under the hood to the front of the truck, 2 ga is minimum in my opinion.) You'll need to practice at home and see which post is forward and which reverse you can mark it with a paint pen or letter stamp next to the post. So if it turns out that a solenoid has taken a dump when you needed it, there's always a way out if your motor isn't french toast. But its not a bad idea to carry one or two spare solenoids.
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Last edited by stavi; 07-17-2013 at 08:10 PM.. Reason: add more info
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