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I need a new winch solenoid

7174 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  calaski
The solenoid for my winch is bad. It looks like an old standard Ford ignition solenoid. Can I use one of them? I have one somewhere in the garage left over from one of my Mustangs. If not, where can I get the solenoid for the winch? It is special or just aregular solenoid?

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What type winch do you own? If it's a Warn go to Northern Tool and they have everything there you would need.


When I had the Kodiak my solenoid crapped out also, only because when the Yamaha dealer mounted it they mounted it outside on the rear frame and that's a big NO-NO. The solenoid gets all crapped out with water and mud and it's junk after a few months. When I replaced it I mounted it inside under the seat compartment and I never had a problem after that. Even with the Grizzly and the new type "contactor" I mounted it inside where it's somewhat protected from the elements. I hope this helps.
mine is mounted under the hood where all the electrical connections are. It has been intermittent for some time now, working one day and then not the next. I tested the voltage output on the left side of the solenoid and it was hovering around 6-7 Vts. When I would engage the winch it would go to 0 and nothing would happen. I took the winch power cable off the solenoid and put it directly to power and then winch worked fine.

I'll try HArbor Freight, thanks.

Hmmmm... that solenoid looks completely different than the one I have. The one I have looks like this:

I know Warn had a recall on some solenoids they sold that were made by "White Brothers". The solenoid would short out for no reason and then catch fire. So they did replace the solenoid and now they went to a "contactor" Is your winch a Warn? If so, Warn has a website and give them a try. Oh, and the solenoid in your picture is exactly the same one my Kodiak had on it. It only lasted 6 months...
I went to the Warn website but my solenoid is not one of the recalled ones.

I put the new one in and that doesnt work either. I can't figure out what is wrong. It is such a simple hook up, what am I missing?

The solenoid has two large pegs out either side and two small peg out the front. The two side pegs are POWER directly from the battery and then the cable that goes to the winch switch. The two small are switched power (from ignition) and a ground. Using a tester, I verified 12V at the power post from the battery. I also verified 12V at the ignition post, but only when the key is ON. The ground post is obviously grounded. Yet, no matter what, there is never any power at the winch cable side of the solenoid to run the winch... I can't figure it out. The original solenoid and now the new one.... neither one works.


For tomorrow's ride, I just bolted the cable going to the winch switch to the power cable and bypassed the solenoid. The winch will work fine when bypassing the solenoid, but it will still work with the key OFF. Is there any problem with hooking it up this way for just the short term until I get the problem figured out? I know the winch will now operate with the key OFF so I have to be careful not to hit the switch, but is there anything else?

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Could there be a wire that has been worn thru and perhaps is grounding it'self out against something somewhere? Or maybe the new solenoid is faulty also? I am assuming you connected the wires to the four posts where they do indeed belong. I wish I had an answer for you but I am stumped now. As for hooking up the winch without the solenoid I have no clue if it would hurt the winch or not. Maybe someone in here who is more inclined then me, can give you some insight as to what the problem may be. Usually me and electrical situations don't go together that well! good luck
Go here and you can get a replacement solenoid for $20.66 and free shipping. Rob
I got a new solenoid and it doesnt work either. I'm thinking I must have it hooked up wrong? I can't possibly have tow bad solenoids can I?

Get rid of the solnoid all together. The only reason you need it is so that there is not power going to the switch all the time. If you really want to use it, a Ford one will do. From what you are saying the problem does not sound like the solnoid anyway. Put power directly to one terminal on the winch. If the winch moves it is in your switch. If not open up the winch and clean it out. That could be your problem.

Well until I figure it out, I have removed the solenoid. The switch is hooked directly up to power all the time now, even when the quad is off, but I can use the winch... good thing too, needed it a bunch of times today. I was just worried about any possible problems from hooking it up that way.

I really don't know what is wrong because all the wires test properly, it just wont activate the solenoid... very strange.

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