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Thread: Winch current draw?

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    Registered Yuri's Avatar
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    Default Winch current draw?

    Since I got my winch (Superwinch EP9000), it's been wired directly to the battery. I don't like this, and would prefer a fuse/circuit breaker of some sort. The highest 12v fuses I could find are those MEGA fuses that sit on a terminal block, but they are 250A. Is that high enough amperage for a winch? Has anyone actually measured their current draw while winching under normal circumstances? I would guess the winch manual specs are probably worst-case...
    2001 TJ... 33's, AW4 conversion, Triangulated longarm, Electric OBA, Superwinch, homemade winch plate-bumpers-rockers-skidplates-etc...

    1999 XJ Classic...
    1993 ZJ Laredo...

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    I would guess the specs are best case - better for advertising. I've never seen anyone successfully fuse a winch. When you get to a hard pull and the battery starts to fall behind the current draw goes up and the fuse blows. Really inconvenient. That's why they all wire directly to the battery....

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    Registered MikeyTJ's Avatar
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    I understand some winches can draw over 400A. Here's what I found for a Superwinch EP9.0 (yours I believe).

    Line Pull Motor Amps (12V)
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    4,000 lbs 200
    6,000 lbs 230
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    2001 TJ Sport: 4.0L, NV3550, D30/D44, 35x12.50 Maxxis Trepadors on DC-1s, Cro-moly shafts and ARBs F/R, Full Traction 3" Lift, 1.25" JKS BL, Jeeperman Tire-Carrier Rear Bumper, Jeeperman Receiver/Winch Front Bumper, B&M Shifter, Kilby Gastank Skid, TBT Steering Skid, Nth° OPS, TBT Rock Steps, SkidRow Radiator skid, Rockcrusher Diff Covers, IPF H4 (Fatboys), KC 100W Driving SlimLites

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    Forum Leader ehirner's Avatar
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    If winches needed a fuse or breaker of some form, the manufacturers would recommend that.

    http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...ght=winch+fuse
    2009 F-150 SuperCrew · 2014 Street Glide Special

  5. #5

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    I have a 500amp in line fuse between my 9.5XP and dual battery kit. You can see a bit of it here....

    http://www.stu-offroad.com/electrica...k/kodiak-2.htm
    Quote Originally Posted by Jodean View Post
    Keep telling me how dumb i am i guess.......dont make me any difference to me, i know better, too smart for my own good.

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    I believe the 8274s draw about 425-450 amps at max load and I think they are one of the biggest draws for a winch
    '95 YJ w/OME lift, 33" SSRs, front & rear ARB, and a Warn 8274, NOW WITH FORD 8.8 and 4.0L
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    Registered ken white's Avatar
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    Fuses are sized to protect the wiring insulation from melting. So you need to look up the specifications of the wire/cable used, and determine the steady state and surge specifications and go from there. You will need slow blow type fuse since the surge current will be very high.

    I use a marine disconnect switch and keep my winch disconnected until needed. This is another option...
    Real Jeeps are bought.... and then built....


    :laugh:

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuri View Post
    Since I got my winch (Superwinch EP9000), it's been wired directly to the battery. I don't like this, and would prefer a fuse/circuit breaker of some sort. The highest 12v fuses I could find are those MEGA fuses that sit on a terminal block, but they are 250A. Is that high enough amperage for a winch? Has anyone actually measured their current draw while winching under normal circumstances? I would guess the winch manual specs are probably worst-case...

    250A is all you could find? Two in parallel if they are slow blow might work...doubt it though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepnut28 View Post
    2009...I may be getting married in Denmark.............just a thought.

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    Registered Knuckelhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleg View Post
    250A is all you could find? Two in parallel if they are slow blow might work...doubt it though.
    Yes they will, won a bet with one of my engineers on that one…
    "Here's my strategy on the Cold War:
    We win, they lose."
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    Registered ken white's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knuckelhead View Post
    Yes they will, won a bet with one of my engineers on that one…
    While 2 fuses in parallel may appear to work, there will be variability between component lots and parallel paths, so premature parallel path rated current fuse failure will most likely occur. Buy a single 500A slow blow fuse and you will reduce this uncertainty.
    Real Jeeps are bought.... and then built....


    :laugh:

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knuckelhead View Post
    Yes they will, won a bet with one of my engineers on that one…

    That's a pretty broad statement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepnut28 View Post
    2009...I may be getting married in Denmark.............just a thought.

  12. #12
    Registered Knuckelhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleg View Post
    That's a pretty broad statement.
    I know it goes against some peoples understanding of electrical theory. If you have two circuits in parallel (wiring, connectors etc) and the resistance is the same on both, installing two fuses in parallel (one in each circuit) will allow a higher current draw if the source and the load are the same for the two circuits. As in if one 40 amp fuse won’t handle the load, you can install two 40 amp fuses in parallel to increase the circuits load capability. As long as the rest of the circuit is capable of handling the load…
    "Here's my strategy on the Cold War:
    We win, they lose."
    - Ronald Reagan-

  13. #13
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    Why would you feel the need to fuse a winch? I've never fused one, or even seen one fused.
    2003 Blue Rubicon

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    Registered Yuri's Avatar
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    Yes, 250A was the maximum amperage that my supplier carries of this type.(low voltage, time delay, 'MEGA' style). I like the terminal block design for these MEGA fuses. It's not weather-proof, but has a nice cover that looks kinda stock-ish (I've seen these same fuses at the junkyard too).

    After further investigation, this style fuse also comes in 300A and 500A, and these use the same fuse holder I have. I just don't know where to get 'em yet (the first website I found has it's prices in euro's :wb: ). So I'm going to wire-up the fuse holder and run with the 250A fuses for now (I've got a spare 250A also). If these blow, I'll just bypass the fuse altogether until I find the 500A fuses. Yes, it may be a hastle if the thing blows mid-winch session... but at least I'll know. I'd just feel safer having some kind of fuse on the winch.

    Mine look like this, but 250A:


    For more info on what I got, check out
    http://www.mcmaster.com/
    and search for product number: 9180k7
    2001 TJ... 33's, AW4 conversion, Triangulated longarm, Electric OBA, Superwinch, homemade winch plate-bumpers-rockers-skidplates-etc...

    1999 XJ Classic...
    1993 ZJ Laredo...

  15. #15
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    I actually could have used one because one of my brushes got stuck and was somehow constantly drawing juice and killed the battery. Disconnected the winch and all was good.
    '95 YJ w/OME lift, 33" SSRs, front & rear ARB, and a Warn 8274, NOW WITH FORD 8.8 and 4.0L
    Chinook Country Jeep Club
    ECO Four Wheeling Society
    Calgary Jeep Association

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bnine View Post
    Why would you feel the need to fuse a winch? I've never fused one, or even seen one fused.
    Failsafe...if the fuse blows, whatever caused it to happen won't take out my winch or Jeeps electrical system. Given that I expect to be way out in the boonies, mexico and perhaps alone on ocassion.....I felt it a prudent install.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jodean View Post
    Keep telling me how dumb i am i guess.......dont make me any difference to me, i know better, too smart for my own good.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knuckelhead View Post
    I know it goes against some peoples understanding of electrical theory. If you have two circuits in parallel (wiring, connectors etc) and the resistance is the same on both, installing two fuses in parallel (one in each circuit) will allow a higher current draw if the source and the load are the same for the two circuits. As in if one 40 amp fuse won’t handle the load, you can install two 40 amp fuses in parallel to increase the circuits load capability. As long as the rest of the circuit is capable of handling the load…
    That is why I said put two fuses in parallel, basicly to double the effective rating of circuit. I still don't think it will work because I don't know exactly what the max current draw of a winch is. If you ever load up a winch to just below it's breaking point I don't know what the draw would be. I'm guessing it would be around 500 amps, that's why you'll need slow blow fuses. I think eventually one of those fuses will fail and if one fails then the other fails.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepnut28 View Post
    2009...I may be getting married in Denmark.............just a thought.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuri View Post
    Yes, 250A was the maximum amperage that my supplier carries of this type.(low voltage, time delay, 'MEGA' style). I like the terminal block design for these MEGA fuses. It's not weather-proof, but has a nice cover that looks kinda stock-ish (I've seen these same fuses at the junkyard too).

    After further investigation, this style fuse also comes in 300A and 500A, and these use the same fuse holder I have. I just don't know where to get 'em yet (the first website I found has it's prices in euro's :wb: ). So I'm going to wire-up the fuse holder and run with the 250A fuses for now (I've got a spare 250A also). If these blow, I'll just bypass the fuse altogether until I find the 500A fuses. Yes, it may be a hastle if the thing blows mid-winch session... but at least I'll know. I'd just feel safer having some kind of fuse on the winch.
    For more info on what I got, check out
    http://www.mcmaster.com/
    and search for product number: 9180k7
    Pretty sure you'll be popping 250A fuses unless you wire two in parallel. I gave my reason in another post if you care to read it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepnut28 View Post
    2009...I may be getting married in Denmark.............just a thought.

  19. #19
    Registered ken white's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knuckelhead View Post
    I know it goes against some peoples understanding of electrical theory. If you have two circuits in parallel (wiring, connectors etc) and the resistance is the same on both, installing two fuses in parallel (one in each circuit) will allow a higher current draw if the source and the load are the same for the two circuits.
    Theoretically your analysis is correct.

    However, in the real world, the probability that both parallel branches will have exactly the same resistance is nearly zero. There will always be a difference between the 2 branches...

    For high amperage circuits, even a very small difference between branches will create problems...

    Example: Lets assume branch 1 has 25/1000 ohm resistance and branch 2 has 15/1000 ohm resistance, a difference of 1/100 of an ohm.

    Kirchhoff's Voltage Law states I1*R1 = I2*R2 or I1/I2 = R2/R1.

    Kirchhoff's Current Law states IT = I1 + I2 or IT = I2*(1 + R2/R1)

    I2 = 500A/(1 + 15/25) = 312.5A, and I1 = IT - I2 = 187.5A...

    Guess which fuse blows first and at what current?

    Since fuses F2 and F1 are both 250A fuses, we can solve for the new IT based on these ratio's.

    IT = 250A*(1 + 15/25) = 400A, which is 100A less than the theoretical value...

    So while paralleling 2 fuses will increase the current rating, the amount will be less than ideal and will be unknown due to the variability of the connections, wiring, and components...
    Real Jeeps are bought.... and then built....


    :laugh:

  20. #20
    Registered Knuckelhead's Avatar
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    It was a temporary work around when I used the application, worked for me…
    "Here's my strategy on the Cold War:
    We win, they lose."
    - Ronald Reagan-

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