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alan0043

Adding a Winch to the Truck

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Hi Everyone,

I want to add a winch to my truck for some time. I have a Smart car for some time. It is now time to get the car on the deck of the truck. For some of you guys, what would you do different knowing what you already know today. I want to learn with out going thru the whole learning curve. Looking at the instructions there is no talk about a fuse or where to put the fuse. I was surprised. The winch has a control box ( solenoid ) that the battery cables go to. Does the fuse go between the battery and the control box or after the control box ? Or does it need a fuse ? The only place I have seen any info about the control box ( solenoid ) is on the box the the winch came in. The solenoid is 200 amp. I am thinking about making the winch portable. What type of plug do you use for the battery cables ? The winch is a Smitty Bilt 4,000 lbs.. If there is anything that I am missing, please let me know.

Looking for ideas and info,
Al

 

Edited by alan0043

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Al,  I advise conferring with Darryl of "Darryl and Rita".  I really like his arrangement.  Simple and nearly foolproof.

What year is your smart?  That may make a difference.  Duh....  I see in your signature, 2006.  Darryl's design will work just fine.

Until then, if powering from the truck, I'd put a circuit breaker at the battery, rather than a fuse, and run the wires to a heavy duty plug, such as used to power a lift gate on a semi trailer.

But Darryl pulls power from the car, and has the winch on the car too.  No pulley, no remote, no stand off.  Crazy simple.

Edited by rickeieio

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Al,

As you know my winch is located under the bed between the frame rails.  I like that design, however, I had to build a heavy riser and receiver to make the pull level at break over.  To me having the winch “portable “ would not be my choice although a number of folks have done it with great success.  To do over again, I would have a single receiver and single riser arm of sufficient strength.  I would mount the receiver either at the edge on top of the bed or (look at my picture and half it with a “T” bottom flange for stability) or below the edge of the bed just turning the T upside down to mount.  As far as cables and fuses you can put an inline fuse to your battery but my Warn Winch instructions didn’t mention one that I recall.  I should mention I’ve since upgraded my riser strengthening the crossbar.ZB0WIHbl.jpg

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Anderson plugs for connectors.  Used on wreckers, forklifts and I use them to get power from rear of the truck  to charge trailer batteries.

My winch is in a compartment below the A frame.  A single arm made beefy enough would work fine.

https://www.acklandsgrainger.com/en/product/p/WWG3BY23?gclid=CjwKCAiApOvwBRBUEiwAcZGdGF6MbgjpJs_uBNRPiAh91UsYXrzpkGNaYIkFKvmvtjmix9juY-MFfBoC8r0QAvD_BwE&cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PLA&ef_id=CjwKCAiApOvwBRBUEiwAcZGdGF6MbgjpJs_uBNRPiAh91UsYXrzpkGNaYIkFKvmvtjmix9juY-MFfBoC8r0QAvD_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!3645!3!303439922072!!!g!542982168902!

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If I was doing it again (I’m not) I would do something like rickeieio suggests.  Mount the winch to a draw bar that attaches with two eyebolts to the front or rear bumper (no trailer hitch available unless you build your own) and use Anderson connectors for power.  That way it doesn’t matter if the winch line touches the body work on the deck it won’t scratch as it is not being drawn across the bodywork.  
Now if you want to winch your other toys, install the winch on the truck.

 

Nigel

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One thing I liked about Darryl's design is how easy it is to put on/take off the winch.  One or two little pins and the alligator clip's for the wires.  Way easier than fiddling with a stand-off and pulleys.

Too bad it won't work with the newer smarts if pulling from the front.

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Late to the party, but made it before last call. Fuse must be as close to the power source as possible. The intent is to protect the wiring, and everything it touches or passes through. Any thermal protection the winch needs will be integrated into the housing. Regardless of the solenoid rating, you need to determine the amp draw of the winch doing the job you want it to. Next, determine the wiring length. Now, consult one of the online wiring calculators to properly size the wire. At this point, you can also size the fuse. 

Some people have derided our winch setup, claiming that it won't work for their needs. We've used the same setup to winch 2 different smart cars, several golf carts, a lawn tractor, and a couple off road vehicles. The off road loads were both quads and a side by side. The winch has also moved onto other vehicles, for mud rescues and trailer loading. I contend that the only limitation is in the user's imagination. 

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I just helped Mr. Cob install a winch on his truck.  (We just finished it tonight.). He built a single arm that mounts into a receiver on the side of the bed.  The winch then mounts to the top of the arm with another receiver.  The winch sits up on the arm high enough that it is even with the smart bumper when the car is on the deck.  It is a simple and effective design.

I wired everything up for him.  I ran 2 gauge wire (bigger than came with the winch) from battery lugs to a storage box under the front of the bed.  The wires come in through the side of the storage box with rubber grommets for protection.  The winch Mr. Cob bought came with a set of resettable breakers.  I mounted the resettable breakers in a plastic box because the breakers were mounted to some bare metal.  I mounted the plastic box on the inside wall of the storage box up high next to where the wires come into the box.  I then mounted the winch solenoid next the the plastic box.  The positive battery cable comes into the storage box then into the plastic box and connects to the breakers.  It then comes out the other side of the plastic box and connects to the appropriate terminal on the solenoid.  The negative battery cable comes into the storage box and goes directly to the appropriate terminal on the solenoid.  I came off the solenoid to an Anderson connector with two more more 2 gauge wires.  

Mr. Cob and I built a control panel out of some 4” by 2” angle I had laying around.  I mounted the winch rocker switch and the connector for the wired winch remote to the front of the control panel.  I mounted the Anderson connector to the back of the control panel.  I mounted the control panel to the top of the box just inside the door in the upper left corner.  The rocker switch and wire remote connector are wired back to the solenoid.  All the wiring is up out of the way.  

I then ran cables from the winch to another Anderson connector with enough length to reach the Anderson connector in the box.  It is very simple to connect the winch to power with the Anderson connectors.  It takes less than a minute to install the winch arm, winch and connect it to power (not including getting the parts out from were ever they are stored).

Mr. Cob has some pictures he can post of the set up.  It came out pretty good and is very functional and easy to set up and break down (just two pieces and one wire connection).

Edited by Chad Heiser

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21 hours ago, rdickinson said:

Anderson plugs for connectors.  Used on wreckers, forklifts and I use them to get power from rear of the truck  to charge trailer batteries.

My winch is in a compartment below the A frame.  A single arm made beefy enough would work fine.

https://www.acklandsgrainger.com/en/product/p/WWG3BY23?gclid=CjwKCAiApOvwBRBUEiwAcZGdGF6MbgjpJs_uBNRPiAh91UsYXrzpkGNaYIkFKvmvtjmix9juY-MFfBoC8r0QAvD_BwE&cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PLA&ef_id=CjwKCAiApOvwBRBUEiwAcZGdGF6MbgjpJs_uBNRPiAh91UsYXrzpkGNaYIkFKvmvtjmix9juY-MFfBoC8r0QAvD_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!3645!3!303439922072!!!g!542982168902!

Hi Roger,

Thank you for the lead. That is going to be a big help. I did not know what they call the plug for forklift batteries.

Al

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Al, there are also plugs for commercial trailers, with one, two, or more contact posts within.  I have a two post on my Mack to operate the roll tarp,  The outside looks like the commercial light plug, but with only two robust contact poles.  Available at most truck parts houses.

Ya gots options.......

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Seems to me moding the Smartcar to accept another hook would be simplier. Pull front cover/plastic off and weld a nut in the porper place. Considering this myself, or a loader for truck. 

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Hi Everyone,

I can't wait to see the pictures of Mr. Cobb's set-up. You know what they say, ' a picture can be worth a 1,000 words'. I know the pictures will help me. I am still confused on what size fuse/ breaker to use. The installation booklet says nothing about a fuse/ breaker. I thought I was going to need a 200 amp fuse/breaker because of the solenoid size (200 amp). I think I am way off base on the size fuse/breaker. The following is the info that I found in the installation booklet about the motor. The winch is a Smitty Bilt 4,000 lb..                                                                                                                                                                                         Motor current; Amps 17; Line pull 0 lbs                                                                                                                                                                                 Motor current; Amps 180; Line pull 4,000 lbs                                                 Electrical stuff is always a challenge to me. I hope the info can help with sizing a fuse/breaker.

Please keep the info coming. I think it can help with any future projects people might want to do with a winch.
Al

 

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1 hour ago, alan0043 said:

   Motor current; Amps 180; Line pull 4,000 lbs                                          

 

Looks like you need a 180 amp resetabull breaker because the harder the winch is pulling the more amps it uses., if you are loading a Smart it should never use that much as your under 2000 lbs if you use a snatch block to double the line it will pull half as fast and half as hard.

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I've been thru this several times.  There is max 700 lbs pull if you single line it at the angle the ramps put the car at.  If you double line it, the pull is half of that.

Single lining it is jerky.  Going thru a block on the trailer hitch makes the pull a lot smoother and you have more time to make minor corrections on the way up the ramp.

"if you are loading a Smart it should never use that much as your under 2000 lbs if you use a snatch block to double the line it will pull half as fast and half as hard."  Exactly 

Edited by rdickinson
update info

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Alan, I'm glad Roger jumped in with the difference between actual load and rated load.  The winch is most likely rated for 4,000 lbs when all the cable is spooled off to the last level.  As the cable winds up on the spool and increases diameter it is equal to adding a larger diameter pulley to the motor end and rating goes down.  The 4,000 pounds is also for a rolling load on a flat surface.  When pulling on an incline everything changes.  I only load a golf cart but I also like the snatch block and double line.  But, a double line could present some more difficult designs for the cable roll over device Carl showed.  I do use a 4K rated Chinese built winch for my golf cart.  Another consideration is the voltage provided to the winch motor.  The motor hp is rated at 13.5 volts.  If there is a voltage drop in too small of a gauge cable you will lose power - which is why most all electric winch manufactures advise to only use the winch with the engine alternator working (engine running).    Yes to Anderson connectors with 200 amp or more rating.  If you pull power from the truck batteries and the winch is on the driver side your cable run will be reasonably short.  #2AWG stranded copper welding cable would be the minimum size for such a cable run.  Longer cable runs may put you into the #0 AWG cable class ($$$).  If you give me the length I can return to you the best cable size to avoid a harmful voltage drop at the full load rating of your winch.  Remember with DC and a return cable to negative we need to compute total wire length by adding together both cables. You may need to have a good marine or HDT shop make up the cables to the crimp connectors or invest in a hydraulic crimping tool.  The hammer and anvil method is not a good idea.  Make sure your cables are pure copper, not copper clad aluminum and are AMERICAN wire gauge and not some size made up in China.  Your fuse in the power cables is really a disaster fuse in case something causes the positive cable to short to ground.  I have a preference for ANL fuses as disaster fuses placed in a quality holder with a cover rather than the garden variety Chinese circuit breakers due to the size of the power studs on most all of the marine type circuit breakers being (in my opinion) too small.  I want at least a 3/8" stud on a 200 -300 amp fuse, not a 1/4" or 7mm stud.  Wireless remote controls often have a delay compared to wired remotes.  I use the wireless on my electric boat trailer winches to keep my feet dry but would hesitate to use one for loading onto a truck bed.  I have found that when you push STOP on some wireless controls there may be a second or two delay before the winch actually stops.  I offer no advice as to winch mounting - I will leave that to the guys that are actually loading a Smart.  As always, be reminded these are just my suggestions.  It is OK for anyone to disagree.

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On 1/13/2020 at 9:22 AM, GlennWest said:

Seems to me moding the Smartcar to accept another hook would be simplier. Pull front cover/plastic off and weld a nut in the porper place. Considering this myself, or a loader for truck. 

That is what we do with the 453 rear missing nut. We take salvage ones from 451 models and weld them in where they were supposed to be. After that everything is like a 451.

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PLEASE read what RandyA wrote and understand it all before wiring something up. You can use the voltage drop calculator HERE to calculate wire size. It is pretty obvious how to use it but I'm happy to answer questions. I rarely see wiring done correctly (although I'm sure that Chad and Randy do 😀). It is very scary, and I'm surprised there are not more issues. You can get away with that with smaller loads, but when you get into big loads you are getting into riskier territory.

 

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Hi Randy,

I am glad you saw my post about adding a winch to the truck. I wanted to see your opinion. Right now in the truck I have a class T fuse for the inverter. Where I used a Blue Sea brand ( model 5502 ) fuse holder. I was thinking about using a T fuse with a Blue Sea fuse holder also for the winch. I see a T fuse is an ANL style fuse. There is a nice electrical shop in town that I have used to make cables from welding cable. They also have the Anderson style pugs there in different amp ratings. The distance from the batteries to the control solenoid is going to be  about 6 feet. I would like to place the control solenoid in a box at the back of the cab. But right now I am not sure how to attach the box to the cab. I really don't want to drill any holes in the back of the cab. For one reason I don't want any water getting a chance to get into the cab. Also I would be drilling blind. There is some equipment attached to that back inside wall that I don't want to remove.

Please keep the info coming,
Al

Edited by alan0043

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18 hours ago, Jack Mayer said:

That is what we do with the 453 rear missing nut. We take salvage ones from 451 models and weld them in where they were supposed to be. After that everything is like a 451.

Is there a way to put the missing nut in the front?

Paul G. and Tom S., no need to state the obvious.😁

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22 minutes ago, rickeieio said:

Is there a way to put the missing nut in the front?

 

I would guess there is Rick, but I've never looked it over to see if it can be done.

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You would rather tow from front instead of back?  I would think there is. A drill and a welder should have no problem as long as metal strong enough for it. Can't see them make each side different

Edited by GlennWest

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We (Susan) have always driven up, with 10' ramps.  The only issue is that she can't see where she's going, so I stand on the deck and give her signals.  But someday, one of us may need to load without help.  That's where having front attachment points and a winch patterned after Darryl's would make sense. 

I don't have the option of loading from the other side, nor backing on.  Well, I suppose we could do either, but we have a pretty slick system where we can load or unload in 12 minutes, including ramp set-up or stowing.

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41 minutes ago, rickeieio said:

We (Susan) have always driven up, with 10' ramps.  The only issue is that she can't see where she's going, so I stand on the deck and give her signals.  But someday, one of us may need to load without help.  That's where having front attachment points and a winch patterned after Darryl's would make sense. 

I don't have the option of loading from the other side, nor backing on.  Well, I suppose we could do either, but we have a pretty slick system where we can load or unload in 12 minutes, including ramp set-up or stowing.

I am curious. Is there a picture of Darryl's set-up anywhere ?

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10" ramps?  I thought the standard length was 12'.  Do you block the ground end up?  Even with 12 ramps and angle iron in the hinge the underbelly of the car comes pretty close to the deck edge.  The 10' ramps would be steeper and the car underbelly even closer.

Before shifting the ramps to the current location eliminating surface bolts and loading on a level surface, the underbelly had less than 1/2" clearance. And that's with 12' ramps.

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