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winch wiring Q

834 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Rockunlimited2
I need to check this, I am not "Wire size to AMP" savey. I have moved my winch control box under the hood and I am getting quotes to have some wires made to replace my hack-job wiring (Yep, I cut and soldered the 4 ga wire that came with the winch to itself and wraped in electrical tape, yikes). Will #4 marine "tined" power wire (3 ft) from control box to winch and 2 ft #4 "tined" marine power cable from the batt to the control box work? I have read the max AMPs from the winch is 320 at full load. Also would lugs with 5/16 holes fit the bolt running through th batt lugs. The winch sees very little use, but winter is on the way. Electrical is my weakest point when working on the Heep.
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Knowing the details of the winch would help but yah, you're fine with 4 gauge at those lengths and for the durations the winch will be used.

By the way, don't know what kinds of wires you are having "made" but you can just buy the wire by the feet from all sorts of places like car audio shops for example. The other option that sometimes ends up being very cost effective is to buy battery jumper cables (good ones in the spec you need) and then cut them up to size.

As far as splicing thick existing cables, you can crimp terminals on them and bolt them together or interleave them nicely and use small hose clamps to tighten things down. Heat shrink tubing is a pretty good way to insulate or you can do the electrical tape and then just throw some zip ties on for good measure. I have this roll of rubber tape that bonds to itself and makes a pretty good waterproof seal and that's another option.
I thought about cutting down some jumper cables, but I am worried about getting some of those cheap cable that are over labled for amps. Depending on the cost of the quote I get back, I may have to look at that option. the set up I have works for now so no rush.
you mite use welding cable, weld shop will sell by the foot #4 will carry 125 amps #2 175 amps but would be fine for winch use. use some loom and tie it up secure since this will not be fused
hit a real auto parts store, not one of these crappy chains like autozone or pepboys but an old mom and pop place preferrably one that supplys the local repair shops. they often will make cable to length with whatever style ends you'd like. or find yourself a shop that rebuilds starters and alternators they might be helpful too. hmmm wonder if marine shops would build cabling for "boat batteries" sometimes its just easier to tell them less info and not confuse people with the facts.
The best quality battery cable and lugs and an inexpensive crimper for both can be found at West Marine. But since you might not have one of those in Nebraska, try your local boating supply - boats use multiple batteries and cables are often custom. West Marine also has an extensive online catalog.

An RV supply would also be a good place to look.
I like to work with welding cable over battery cable just because it is a little more flexible and the insulation is a bit more abrasion proof. Last cables I had made was at an automotive electric shop. They cut a black and red 2 gauge to length and terminated them with the soldered connections for less money than it would have cost me to buy the all the parts and crimping tools on my own.

Remember, buying a little larger gauge than necessary not only assures you can carry the amperage without excessive heat build up (or even a fire if the wire is too small in diameter) but also allows for a current flow with less resistance which is really what you want.

Also, check out these guys if you need to order on-line...
I ende up ordering them form a marine shop, $39 for two (B & R) 3 ft #4 "tined" wire with connections and two (B & R) 2 ft #4 "timed" wire also with connections attached, I figgure the connections are $1.19 per and I needed 8, so that meant the wire would be close to $2 per foot and I did not need to buy a criping tool. Not a bad deal.
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