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How To Test A Winch Motor?

Winch motor is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of a non-manual winch, and it is always recommended that you test it once in a while, to get a complete record on how good the working condition of the motor is and how it is likely to work in the future. Since the winch motor is a vital component of the winch that functions by rotating its shaft, it is important to test the motor once in a while to ensure good functionality.

Replacing a winch motor can cost you a boatload of money. Henceforth, it is important that you do not let go of its maintenance every now and then. However, even if a winch motor is maintained in the best possible way, there are chances of wear and tear over the long run. These tests will assist you in determining any malfunctions that the motor might be facing.

But, safety first! Keep in mind these tips before testing your winch motor;

  1. First things first, do not make any kind of adjustments to the motor without deactivating it.
  2. Make sure to read the user manual before stepping into testing the motor.
  3. Ensure to take precautionary measures before you handle a winch motor. Use a protective set of gloves and any protective glasses like goggles, before you begin testing the motor.
  4. Do not keep any flammable materials and water nearby to avoid any ignite through the spark arising from the electrical parts of the winch.
  5. Make sure you know how the electricity and its components work. Having a basic knowledge about its working will eliminate any risk of hurting yourself.
  6. In case there is any obvious damage in the equipment, do not further do any testing.

With that being said, how to tell if a winch motor is bad? To find that out, here are the three most sought-after methods on how to test a winch motor;

Bench Testing

So, you may have come across the concept of bench testing. Bench testing is nothing but an operating test which will be carried out by removing the major part of testing completely from its vehicle/equipment.

What is the use of bench testing a winch motor?

Bench testing a winch motor will open up the possibility of having rigorous and in-depth testing, which in turn gives you a more accurate reading and detailed report of how well your motor is likely to work in the future.

How to bench test a winch motor?

So, there are basically three connection points on a winch motor, known as the F1, F2 and A. Once you disengage the winch motor from your vehicle, place it on top of the counter for testing. Place the battery adjacent to the engine as well.

There will be two terminals in the battery, namely – positive and negative. The negative terminal of the battery must be connected to the body of the winch motor. Doing so will give a ground connection to the mechanical body of the winch motor. You should then make this association with a jumper link or cable.

Using one more piece of the jumper link/cable, ensure to connect the F1 terminal with the terminal A of the winch motor.

Presently, using one more jumper link, interface the battery’s positive terminal to the F2 terminal of the winch motor.

Once this is done, your winch motor ought to be begun. You will begin to notice that it is a shaft that is turning around in a direction. In the event that you see your winch motor has started over, it implies as of recently that your engine is showing great results in this bench test.

Voltage Drop Test

Voltage drop testing is the most basic, nevertheless a successful methodology of testing in order to find out any high resistance issues in a circuit rapidly. Keep in mind that this test is one of the most outstanding ways of checking if the  voltage is lost along a wire or through an association, switch or hand-off.

What is the Use of Voltage Drop Test a Winch Motor?

Voltage drop test is an ideal method to assure that only the electric components are damaged and not the mechanical winch motor itself.

How to Voltage Drop Test a winch motor?

To figure out if the problem actually lies with the motor, or just the electrical parts within the winch motor, follow the below guidelines;

  • You will need to buy a multimeter first
  • Then, connect the probe to the grounding of the winch motor
  • Using another probe, connect it to either the yellow or the blue cable of the mechanical motor
  • Also, keep in mind that the polarity usually does not matter at this point
  • Once these are connected, activate both your winch motor and the multimeter
  • In case the reading shown on the multimeter goes near the running voltage of the motor, there are no problems to the electrical components
  • In the event that the multimeter is not close to the running voltage of the motor, it means that the electrical parts have a problem

Jumper Cable Test

Otherwise known as booster cables/links leads or jump leads, jumper cables are wires that are insulated, which comes two by two and have croc clips that are utilized to interface a vehicle battery to another energy source that can either be different vehicles, or batteries that consist of a similar voltage that needs to be get jump started.

What is the Use of Jumper Cable Test a Winch Motor?

The jumper cable test is the easiest technique on the entire list of methods, requiring limited knowledge on electric circuits and limited equipment. This method somewhat involves hot wiring the winch to check whether the engine works.

How to Jumper Cable Test a winch motor?

So to start with, separate the winch wires and set up your battery, which can either be from a vehicle or an extra.

Make use of the jump leads to interface the battery and the winch together. The red link usually goes to the positive terminal and the black link to the negative terminal.

After this, the free end of the black link must be connected to one of the terminals on the winch.

Utilize the red link to tap the other terminal of the winch, which ought to make an electrical reaction from the winch. On the off chance that your engine is working, the winch drum ought to begin to move.

Assuming your winch drum moves, associate the red link to the terminal, which ought to make the winch drum to turn in one direction ceaselessly. Now, give a try in switching/reversing the connections. The winch drum ought to pivot to the other way now.

Now, in case your winch drum does not move, you will need to stop this testing process, since there is a problem with the winch.

Watch this video below for further clarifications on how to test a winch motor –

Starter armature rewinding, truck starter armature rebuilding

So, what might have gone wrong?

On the off chance that your winch motor does not work completely after the jumper cable test, there are three possibilities as to why it’s not working;

  • Short Circuit due to damaged wires
  • Damaged brushes
  • Blown fuse due to over power that was drawn by the winch motor

Suppose your winch motor works only in one specific direction after the jumper cable test, there are four possibilities as to why it’s not working;

  • The wires may not be working properly
  • Rusty or broken solenoids (ones that make the winch rotate)
  • Problems with the switch
  • Too much dirt in the motor

How to fix a winch motor?

To fix a winch motor, you can follow either of the below recommendations based on the nature of the issue;

  • Replace the spare parts like cable, solenoids, battery, contactor, switches or the controller
  • Spool the winch cable and reinstall it in the right direction
  • Replace the electrical wirings
  • Replace the entire winch motor

While these tests can determine the cause of malfunctioning of the winch motor, replacing faulty parts of the motor or changing it altogether is the correct solution to get them to work properly. Head towards the next article to get proper guidance on how to buy new winch motor and replacements the right way, without having to seek any professional help.

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