How To Wire Winch Solenoid? Step By Step Complete Guide In 2022

Solenoids are the only protective component of electromagnetic switches.

Which act as a differential switch between the power source and the winch battery.

The solenoid is typically made of steel or aluminum and has a screw terminal that connects to the winch battery’s positive (+) side.

The other end is connected to the battery’s negative (-) side. This is connected to an electrical switch mounted on a control box.

Solenoids are compact, easy to install, and don’t require a lot of wiring.

All you have to do is connect the two wires from the winch cable or the cable spool directly into them.

The solenoid will activate each time it receives an electrical signal from your controller box or separately mounted winch remote.

Once the wire is connected, all you have to do is mount them in any convenient place on your chassis and secure it with either zip ties or screws.

Formation And Working

The solenoid itself consists of two pieces:

Winch Solenoid plunger
Source:starmachinechina
  • Coil
  • Plunger

When the power from the winch battery flows through wires into the coil.

It causes a magnetic field in its center, which causes a strong pull toward one end of the plunger.

The pull is much stronger than gravity the plunger will fly up to a certain height and stay there until power to the coil is turned off.

You can use winch controls to lower or raise the hook whenever needed when this happens.

The solenoid provides a differential switch between the power source and winch battery, preventing short circuits.

Direct Wire Winch Solenoid

Some winches come with a solenoid (part of the control box) that is not mounted outside the vehicle.

Instead, it needs to be wired directly into the existing positive (+) and negative (-) wires for your winch battery.

This is called “direct wire” winch solenoid and is used for winches with a remote control or switch on the handle.

The third wire on this type of solenoid is not needed.

Winch Solenoids are available in two types:

  • Three-wire
  • Four-wire

(two wires to control the up or down function.), and the third wire controls the solenoid direction.

Three Wire Solenoids And Connectivity

The basic three-wire solenoids have a 3-pin and 4-pin connector.

Connector 2 pins are connected to the winch battery (negative and positive sides).

Three Wire Solenoids
Source:web.cecs.pdx

In contrast, pin 1 is connected to the control box, which can be mounted anywhere in your vehicle or on a separate controller box.

If you are using the three-wire solenoid, you can use either a separate controller box or the two-wire control on the solenoid itself.

If you want to use a separate controller box or switch.

Connect the two wires from pin 1 on the three-pin connector of the winch solenoid to a 3-pin plug that has power and ground terminals.

The positive (+) wire will be connected to the positive (+) side of your winch battery.

And the negative (-) wire will be connected to the negative (-) side of your battery.

When you use a separate control box mounted in your vehicle.

Connect wires from pin 1 on the four-pin connector of the solenoid to one set of terminals on this controller box.

Connect the other wire from pin 1 to a switch or button so you can use it to control the up and down functions of your winch.

When you use a separate controller box, connect wires from pin 3 on the four-pin connector of the solenoid to one set of terminals on this controller box.

The second set of terminals on the controller box will be connected to a switch or button for controlling up and down functions.

Four Wire Solenoids And Connectivity

In four-wire solenoids, the fourth wire is used to control the direction.

It’s connected to a switch or button on the controller box or directly into your vehicle’s ignition system.

Four Wire Solenoids And Connectivity
Source:amazon

The basic four-wire solenoids have a 3-pin and 4-pin connector.

Connector 2 pins are connected to the winch battery (negative and positive sides).

In contrast, pin 1 is connected to the control box, which can be mounted anywhere in your vehicle or on a separate controller box.

If you are using the four-wire solenoid, you must use a separate controller box.

Or switch to control your winch’s up/down function.

If you want to use a separate controller box or switch.

Connect the two wires from pin 1 on the four-pin connector of the solenoid to a 3-pin plug with power and ground terminals.

The positive (+) wire will be connected to the positive (+) side of your winch battery, and the negative (-) wire will be connected to the negative (-) side of your battery.

Control Box Functionality

Control Box Functionality winch
Source:harken

When you use a separate control box mounted in your vehicle.

Connect wires from pin 1 on the four-pin connector of the solenoid to one set of terminals on this controller box.

Connect the other wire from pin 1 to a switch or button.

So, you can use it to control the up and down functions of your winch.

When you use a separate controller box, connect wires from pin 3 on the four-pin connector of the solenoid to one set of terminals on this controller box.

The second set of terminals on the controller box will be connected to a switch or button for controlling up and down functions.

Basic Function Of Winch Solenoids

Solenoids play an important role in winch systems.

They can be used to control the direction of your winch.

And, automatically lock and unlock cables when you need to use them.

They are also used to control your winch’s up and down function.

Solenoids are placed inside a metal case with a 4-pin connector connected to both ends of the winch cable.

The two pins at each end connect with wiring harnesses that run along the length of the winch cable.

This connectivity helps you manually control all the movement of your winch.

And you can trigger it to lock and unlock the winch cable during use.

Advantages OF Solenoids

Solenoids play a vital role in winches by working as a protective component and switch between power source and battery.

With the help of solenoids, winches can be controlled.

Solenoids are available in different shapes and sizes and can work very efficiently even in difficult conditions.

Classification of Solenoids

By Mean Of Structure

Based on their structure, the solenoid can be classified as:

Air Solenoid winch
Source:zips

1) Air Solenoid

These types of solenoids are also known as air core solenoids.

The working principle of these solenoids is based on the moving magnet.

2) Solid State Solenoid

The coil is wound around a permanent electromagnet instead of an air-core in this type of solenoid.

They operate by using electric signals to move.

3) Electromagnetic Solenoids

These solenoids are also known as reed operated or reed switches.

They contain two polarized elements and work with a magnetic field produced by a permanent magnet.

By Mean Of Operating Action

Based on their operating action, the solenoid can be classified as follows:

Types of winches
Source:redexcoln

1) Normally Open Solenoids

This type of solenoid is operated using an external voltage.

These types of solenoids allow current flow when they are operated.

2) Normally Closed Solenoid

In this solenoid type, current flows only in one direction.

The circuit is short-circuited so, they are operated by switching off the power supply.

3) Double Throw Solenoid

These types of solenoids have a pair of control wires for operating them.

And can be used in two different ways as normal or reverse polarity voltage is applied.

Quick Summary

Wiring a winch solenoid is not a difficult task.

The basic components of the solenoid can be wired with the help of simple logic gates.

All you have to do is connect all the pins perfectly with connectors.

And according to the type of solenoids you are using, you can connect wires with battery terminals.

And open boxes along with circuits to make it fully functional.

Solenoids are great and work efficiently in several tense conditions So, having a wired solenoid is a basic necessity for winch users.

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