Wiring Instructions for a 12V DC Truck Winch


Wiring a 12-volt DC truck winch equipped with internal solenoids and controls that are hard-wired or plug-in is basically the same for all models, and no special tools are required. A familiarity with basic hand tools and an understanding of simple electrical circuits will be helpful. Most winches will have all the parts and wire that are needed, but some improvisation may be necessary. The average weekend mechanic can complete the installation in about 90 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Wrench set
  • Self-resetting circuit breaker, 80 amps
  • Put on a pair of safety glasses. Connect a number six black wire with a spade connector on its end to the negative terminal on the winch with a wrench. Connect the other end using the same technique to the closest ground terminal or to any good, clean bolt connected to the negative terminal of the battery, either by a wire or through contact with the truck frame or body.

  • Connect a number six red wire with a spade connector on its end to the positive terminal on the winch with a wrench. Connect an 80-amp self-resetting circuit breaker to the positive terminal on the battery with the wrench.

  • Attach the other end of the red wire to the "Out" terminal on the self-resetting 80-amp circuit breaker with a wrench.

  • Plug the controller into the winch housing if it is a plug-in type; if not, connect the green wire from the controller to the neutral terminal on the winch using its spade connector and a wrench. Connect the "In" wire from the controller, usually blue, to the "In" terminal on the winch and the "Out" wire, usually yellow, to the "Out" terminal on the winch in the same manner.

  • Operate the controller buttons.Transpose the "In" and "Out" wires if the controller buttons perform the opposite of how they are marked.

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  • Photo Credit filin de treuil image by Mitch Chanet from Fotolia.com
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