How To Wire A Winch Without A Solenoid

Car enthusiasts know how helpful a winch can be, whether it be for use for off road adventures or for utility. They are useful when using it for self recovery when stuck in the mud, rocks, or snow. They can also be utilized to haul or hoist heavy loads for utility work. Winches are incredibly durable and can withstand a heavyweight capacity of loads. They can endure frequent use when using it for utility and can withstand harsh terrains and bad weather conditions when trekking.

As long as you avoid cheap winch models, and with proper maintenance, you can expect your winch to last long. Though at some point, or maybe from technical problems, your winch can break down. From time to time, even the best of winch models might have some technical issues, so be prepared for when that happens. But how do you exactly prepare for it and how do you troubleshoot a winch if it ever breaks down?

With our guide, there is something you can do if ever your winch breaks down and needs troubleshooting. When troubleshooting your winch, you will need to have to bypass the solenoid that is installed on your winch. You need to look for the source of the problem and locate it immediately. Getting to your winch directly is one of the best ways to do it.


Before we start, it is important to proceed with safety in mind first. Remember that you are going to handle a winch, and winches are designed to pull incredible amounts of force.

  • Keep Safety In Mind: Always proceed with caution, especially so when handling electrical connections. Winches are designed to pull thousands of pounds of force so keep that in mind when working with it.
  • Clean Your Working Space: Keep your working space in clean condition. Make sure that there isn’t any stuff that can cause you to trip or slip. Clean your work area and make sure there are no pools of water around you, this is a hazard when handling electric wirings.
  • Wear Gloves: Winches are intended to pull or hoist heavy objects, and these objects can weigh thousands of pounds. Additionally, winch cable may have metal splinters on them, so make certain to wear gloves to shield yourself from mishaps
    • Take note that you are going to work with electrical wirings as well, so make sure to protect your hands from electricity.
  • Do Not Wear Loose Clothing: Avoid wearing any jewelry, watches, or any loose clothing as they can get caught in the winch’s moving parts. 

Wiring Your Winch

To start troubleshooting your winch, check your winch first and see if the problem lies with the winch itself. This troubleshooting method checks whether your winch is dead or not.

Hot Wiring The Winch: This method involves jump-starting the winch. Be very careful with this procedure and do it slowly. The winch might start suddenly.

  1. Disconnect the positive lead from the battery (leave the ground lead attached).
  2. Label and disconnect the three cables that run from the control pack to the three posts on the motor
  3. Stamped next to the three posts on the motor will be “A”, “F1” and “F2”. Run a small jumper wire (5″-6″ dead lead, 8 ga. will work just fine) from “A” to “F1” and put power from the battery (jumper cables work well) to “F2”. The winch motor should run in one direction at this time
  4. Next, place the jumper wire from “A” to “F2” and put power from the battery to “F1”. The winch motor should run in the opposite direction at this time.

This is the best way to check your winch motor directly, and if the winch motor runs perfectly, check the wirings. There might be faulty wirings or wires that have been incorrectly installed. If so, check the winch’s manual and follow the instructions there on how to install the wires. If you find some faulty wires, refer again to the winch manual and have the wire replaced.

Winch Recommendations

If you are considering some winch with winch kits in them, then consider Dutton Lainson Winch. Dutton Lainson Winch is known for their winch accessories and hand winches.

Here are some of our Dutton Lainson Winch recommendations.

  1. Dutton-Lainson Company DL1602A 1600 lbs Plated Pulling Winch
  2. Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson DL3200A 3200 lb Plated Pulling Winch
  3. Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson DLB800A Brake Winch 800 lb


Hiring someone to troubleshoot and fix the winch can get expensive, but with this guide, you yourself can manage it. Do you have any further questions? Do you have any additional tips you would like to share? Comment below.

Our website also offers guides and tips as well such as:

  1. Best Off Road Air Compressor
  2. Best Truck Winch 
  3. Best Hand Winches