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Discussion Starter #1
Our FJ came with what looks to be an older Warn M8000 installed and it worked well at first. After some rain we drove through I was messing with it at the house and it wouldn't work. I noticed the wires were getting really hot where they connect to the motor posts (I believe it's the F1 F2 posts on the top). The winch worked but those connectors got SUPER hot. Connections at the battery were fine, grounding wire was fine, but those at the top were hot and would spark each time i.turned the winch on.

I took all the connections off and cleaned the rust off (there was a good bit it) and it stopped sparking ,but those connectors still get really hot as soon as you turn the winch on. The wires are very large gauge, probably even larger than the cars battery cables.

One thing I did. notice is those 2 posts on top of the motor are loose. The actual threaded post rotates even with the nut tight against the wire. I can't seem to get them to thread back into the motor tightly.

I'm going to take the winch out of the bumper this evening and see what I can find out, but what should I be looking for? I'm wondering if I should just buy the new control box and cable kit from warn. Could corrosion inside the cables be increasing resistance enough to cause this much heat?
 

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2013 Trail Teams #181/2500<>< <*((^(((><
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Similar but different... I had a trolling motor doing the same thing. I cut the connections wires, stripped them back and added new connections. It appears to have resolved my issues. Hopefully it will be that easy!


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If the winch is old and if you have had it submerged I would suggest you pull it apart and clean and regrease the gearbox and check the motor. I had an M8000many years back and this seemed to have to be an at least monthly routine! It’s very easy to do. Check the brake on the shaft too as they have a habit of disintegrating..

Be cautious of the studs where the wires connect to the motor. There should be double nuts so that the studs can’t rotate as you put the wires on and off otherwise they’ll shear off on the motor
 

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The greatest source of the heating is usually caused by electrical resistance at the bolted connections or where the ring terminals are crimped to the cable, not within the cable itself. Ideally, the terminals are crimped AND soldered for everything that's exposed to rain and spray.

If the winch terminal posts are 'loose', that's the major source of resistance. You're going to have to disassemble the winch far enough to get to the electrical connections inside, clean everything down to bare, bright metal, and then FIRMLY tighten all the connections. Look carefully for any damaged electrical insulation that supports the terminal posts. If anything is charred or discolored from heat, REPLACE IT!

After all the electrical connections have been fixed, spray them with battery terminal corrosion inhibitor.

If the winch appears to have been 'amateur installed', inspect the cable routing carefully to make sure that it isn't contacting any sheet-metal sharp edges, and that it is supported with insulated clamps every 10" or so.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, MAKE SURE THERE IS A HIGH CURRENT MANUAL CUTOFF SWITCH in the supply circuit, as close to the battery as possible.
 

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2013 Trail Teams #181/2500<>< <*((^(((><
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My example was not a winch cable but for the trolling motor cable . Corrosion worked its way in 2 to 3 inches of twisted copper line when I cut it off it was black inside. My thought process was if you have a large cable and only a portion of it that has connectivity it would overheat. I would go with what you guys say as I’m no expert when it comes to winches or for even that part trolling motors.
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I’d bet once you clean everything and tighten everything your going to be ok. Simple maintenance and not very costly. It should go without saying but while this work is going on remove the terminations at the battery.


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Discussion Starter #7
While I'm at this...I got to thinking about a cut off switch. Do you guys leave your winches connected directly to the battery at all times like this? I'd like to be able to shut this thing off so it doesn't burn the truck down if a solenoid fails or something

what rating switch would work?
 

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Warn M8000 is 435 amps if the conductor is sized correctly and connections are good

I don’t have a cutoff, extra connections can cause problems also. My opinion only and can be dangerous
 

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Use a BIG marine battery isolation switch. Under normal operation your winch may draw XXX amps, but the cutoff switch also has to be able to interrupt a catastrophic short-circuit condition. Consider something like the Blue Sea 9003e. These switches are not specifically rated for circuit interruption, but are rated to carry 1200 amps for short term operation (engine cranking), so hopefully the contacts should be able to handle a one-time emergency circuit opening of possibly 1000+ amps. The HD series is even beefier.

Installing a cutoff switch only adds two connections, so if the installation is done properly, reliability should not be affected, and the added safety is a huge benefit. Mechanically jammed or welded-contacts in winch solenoids are known to occur, and if you don't have the ability to quickly open the circuit, fire is a distinct possibility.

Battery cutoff switch - Blue Sea 903e.JPG
 
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