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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 01-08-2009, 06:04 PM   #1
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Winch with no power?

Hi,
I've got a Warn 8000lbs winch, and for the first time I tried to actually use it a few days ago. It functions perfectly, but seems like it doesn't have much power at all. I was stuck in some snow and the winch didn't even have the power to pull me out. I was stuck up to the front cross member, so the snow wasn't past 1/2 way up the wheels. I only have the one main battery, could that be a problem? Does the winch need more battery power to work properly and have the power it is supposed to have? What else could be causing this problem?

Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:12 PM   #2
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What size power wires are you running to it
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:44 PM   #3
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i just installed my winch, i better go try it out before i get stuck like you did.
Your battery might be too weak for the size of winch you have. in the owners manual it tells you the minimum amount of cca (cold cranking amps)for your size winch. if your battery doesnt have however many cca's the winch book sais you need, that might be yer problem.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:08 PM   #4
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I'm running standard size battery cables.

Also, when this happened the truck was running, and the volt meter dipped from about 14 volts to maybe 9-10 volts when the winch was running. Maybe I need a second battery or a bigger alternator?

The winch is rebuilt.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jerbel View Post
I'm running standard size battery cables.

Also, when this happened the truck was running, and the volt meter dipped from about 14 volts to maybe 9-10 volts when the winch was running. Maybe I need a second battery or a bigger alternator?

The winch is rebuilt.
Are you running alot of aux. lighting or anything? A standard battery is not made to handle a winch. Yet alone a winch and aux. lighting.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:11 PM   #6
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89 has a good point about the cca's. If you do have enough cca's, you might want to use welding leads, thats what I use when I hook up winches.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jerbel View Post
I'm running standard size battery cables.

Also, when this happened the truck was running, and the volt meter dipped from about 14 volts to maybe 9-10 volts when the winch was running. Maybe I need a second battery or a bigger alternator?

The winch is rebuilt.
Change your batt cables to welding leads, do the big 3 mod, and are you sure that the winch was rebuilt correctly? How old is the winch?

May also be time to upgrade batteries.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:30 PM   #8
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I bought the winch second-hand, so I'm not sure of the age, but it looks quite new. I'm not sure it was rebuilt correctly, but it does function properly, it just doesn't seem to have the power that it should.

Sorry for the ignorance, but what's the big 3 mod?
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:34 PM   #9
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how much cable did you have out? the 8000lb rating is only the last couple of cable wraps around the drum. were you revving it while winching or giving it gas trying to get out of the situation? a lot of times you have to be trying to get out to help the winchout, you can't just drag your ass out of every situation.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:44 PM   #10
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Search "big 3 mod".....it tells you 'bout upgrading the main power and ground wires. I don't remember them off the top of my head, at the moment.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:16 PM   #11
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ya just search the, big 3 mod, there are threads all over about it, i read one yesterday.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
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how much cable did you have out? the 8000lb rating is only the last couple of cable wraps around the drum. were you revving it while winching or giving it gas trying to get out of the situation? a lot of times you have to be trying to get out to help the winchout, you can't just drag your ass out of every situation.
About 30' of cable.

I was revving it and trying to drive out in 4 low while using the remote inside the cab for the winch.
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:27 AM   #13
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weak battery would be my guess. Your alternator doesn't put out enough juice to power a winch by itself, so your battery has to be in good shape and of high enough capacity to power your winch for any length of time. Having the truck running while you're winching helps to take some of the burden off your battery.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:10 AM   #14
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How old is your battery? It might be ready to go. Also, as others have said, size of the cables from the battery to the winch make a difference as well. You should be able to HANG your truck from an 8000 lb winch!
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:17 AM   #15
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My battery was a 650 CCA and I thought I was good to go for winching.
However it had a dead cell everything seemed fine until I ran the radio or the lights for about ten mins then the power would drop instantly then if I tried to start it needed a jump start.

I'd test your battery and go from there.

Honestly if you have a winch get a optima red or yellow top. Or at least a battery rated 800 CCA or higher.
Replacing the old battery is pretty much the mod I do on most 4wd vehicles I buy.
They are expensive but I think they are worth it in the long run.

Like everyone said it's probably your battery.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:09 PM   #16
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Thanks, fellas! I'll let you know what come up with.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:09 PM
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