Winch test without a switch or relay?? - ATV Enthusiast Community

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:00 PM
Weekend Warrior
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Stuart, Florida
Posts: 1
Default Winch test without a switch or relay??

New to the site first post so hopefully someone can help. So I have this old winch mounted on my Big Bear, its got 2 wires coming out of it, best I can figure out 1 ground and 1 power which would then go to a relay (I cant find a free spool lever/button/clip). Anyone have any ideas on how I can test it in both directions (reversing the polarity which would normaly be done at the relay so it will spin the opposite way) or at least one direction. Im hesitant to spend $50-60 on eBay for a relay and switch just to test it out and see if it works, and then have a big headache trying to return a open used electrical item. Thanks
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:55 PM
Range Rover
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Hammond WI
Posts: 160

There isn't a ground or positve on a winch motor. They can both be hot, that is what makes it turn both ways. To test the motor to see if it turns, take a set of jumper cables and hook them to a battery. Hook the ground wire of the jumper cables to one of the winch terminals. Then touch the hot wire of the jumper cables to the other terminal, the winch motor should turn. Switch the wires around on the winch motor and it should spin the other way.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:58 PM
jumbofrank's Avatar
Moto Psycho
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,791

I have an old winch lying around that I wanted to check if it still works. I hooked jumper cables directly from the battery to the winch and it started spooling out. I switched the cables around and it spooled back in. I don't know if this will work for you or not.

ETA: I type too slow. Tony got there first.
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