The Garage - HD Winch
A Quality Winch Is A Very Important Recovery Tool!

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Last Updated: 12/2/2013
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Heavy Duty Winch

T-Max Products Pty Ltd.
Address:
Aunger Carcraft Pty Ltd.
55 Brownlee Street
Pinkenba, QLD 4008
AUSTRALIA
Postal Address
P.O.Box 1076
Eagle Farm QLD 4009
Phone: +61 7 3268 2212
FAX: +61 7 3268 2191
Email:
geoff@t-maxwinches.com.au
Click here to visit their website:

Summit Racing Equipment
Address: P.O. Box 909
Akron, OH 44398-6177
Phone: 800-230-3030
Click here to visit their website.

Blue Sea Systems
Address: 425 Sequoia Drive
Bellingham, WA 98226 USA
Phone: 1-800-222-7617
Fax: 360-734-4195
Email: conductor@bluesea.com
Click here to visit their website.

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The fabrication, modifications and designs you see on this web site are completed by myself. If you duplicate these modifications you do so at your own risk. I do not endorse or make any claims to their safety, performance, On-road or off-road worthiness. Any "Product Reviews" are my sole and personal opinion. These reviews are on items purchased from or provided by reputable aftermarket suppliers. All registered trademarks belong to their respective owners.

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I have been stuck in remote areas and it sucks when no one is around to help out. One of my primary goals was to install a heavy duty winch. I soon learned through my research on the web that there are many winch types from dependable name brands like Mile Marker, T-Max, Warn, and others available. I could choose an electric or a hydraulic winch, a winch with steel cable or synthetic rope, even an assortment of especially designed competition winches are sold.

I ended up buying a T-Max EW-12500 Heavy Duty Winch (Part#ATMEW 12500) which offered all the power and reliability I needed if I should have to get myself out of a bind in a hurry.
At the time of purchase, this T-Max winch was available from Summit Racing Equipment and other retailers. The cost for the winch was about 725 bucks.


Manufacturer Specifications:
Rated Line Pull
12500lbs (5665kgs) single line
Motor
6.6HP/12V Series Wound
Control
Remote Switch, 12  lead (3.7m)
Gear Train
3-Stage Planetary
Gear Ratio
265:1
Clutch
Sliding Ring Gear
Brake
Automatic In-The-Drum
Drum Size
Diameter 2.52"  x Length 8.82"  (64mm x 224mm)
Cable
Diameter 3/8"  x Length 94' (9.5mm x 28.5m)
Fairlead
4-way roller fairlead
Remote Control
Included
Recommended Battery
650CCA minimum for winching
Battery Leads
35mm2 72  (1.83m)
Finish
Dark Grey
Weight
93lbs (42kgs)
Overall Dimensions
(L W H) 21.3"  x 6.3"  x 8.6" (541 x 160 x 218mm)
Mounting Pattern
10.00±0.015  x 4.50±0.010  (254 x 114.3mm)



Line Speed & Amp Draw - First Layer
Line Pull Lbs No Load
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
12500
  Kg No Load
907
1814
2722
3630
4532
5440
5665
Line Speed Ft/min 12v 23.5
12.6
10.3
8.7
7.2
6.3
5
4.3
Line Speed m/min 12v 7.2
3.85
3.15
2.65
2.2
1.9
1.5
1.3
Motor Current Amps 12v 70
145
210
275
345
390
405
415
Line Pull & Cable Capacity
Layer of Cable   1 2 3 4
Rated Line Lbs 12500 11375 10410 9731
Pull per Layer Kg 5665 5155 4718 4410
Cumulative Ft 17 38 65 94
Cable Capacity m 4.8 11.5 20 28

It seems that this particular T-Max model has either been updated with a new control box or discontinued all together in favor of the Westin Automotive T-Max 47-1412 Winch available here at Summit Racing Equipment , thus, my winch with the older style box may no longer be available entirely.

Adding a Main Power Switch:
I also needed a good cut-off switch which allowed me to control the power to the winch from under the hood. This is a feature I have learned to implement for safety and to avoid misuse. The bests witch for the job was a 600Amp continues rated single circuit switch from Blue Sea Systems. Their PN 3000 - HD-Series Battery Switch Single Circuit ON/OFF fit the job perfectly!
I was able to get a brand new switch for 20 bucks and free shipping on ebay.
I wanted to achieve a professional install and look and therefore I had to put another 90 bucks out for heavy gauge cables, wire loom, and solder type terminals. It's a lot extra stuff nobody really thinks of when installing a winch, but the supplied cables and install gear which comes with the winch is just not up to par in my opinion.

Manufacturer Specifications:
Cranking Rating: 10 sec. 2,750 Amps
Maximum Voltage Rating 48 Volts DC
Intermittent Rating: 5 min. 900 Amps
Terminal Stud Size 1/2" (M12)
Cranking Rating: 10 sec. 2,750 Amps
Maximum Voltage Rating 48 Volts DC
Intermittent Rating: 5 min. 900 Amps
Terminal Stud Size 1/2" (M12)
Continuous Rating 600 Amps
Terminal Stud Torque 220 in-lb (24.86 N·m)
Mounting Holes Accept 1/4" (M6) Screw
Cable Size to Meet Ratings 4/0 AWG (95mm²)
Terminal Stud Torque 220 in-lb (24.86 N·m) max.
Cable Clearance For 4/0 AWG Cables 1.10" (27.9mm)
Cable Size to Meet Ratings 4/0 AWG (95mm²)
Cable Quantity to Meet Ratings Two Cables
Weight Lb (Kg) 1.30 (0.59)

UL Listed - UL 1107 Electric Power Switch Meets UL 1500 and SAE J1171 external ignition protection requirements. Meets American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) requirements for battery switches. Ignition protected - safe for installation aboard gasoline powered boats. Case design allows surface or rear panel mounting. Accepts two 4/0 AWG (95mm²) battery cables. M12 tin-plated copper studs for maximum conductivity and corrosion resistance, accepts 1/2" and M12 ring terminals. 7/8" (22.22mm) stud length to accept multiple cable terminals. Tactile textures indicate knob position by feel only. Case design allows surface or rear panel mounting
Although I am in no particular hurry I do plan to eventually install a secondary winch into the rear bumper which I will be redesigning a bit in the process. I also have a good idea on what to buy and what the cost will be for this project but for now though, I am done with all that shopping and parts hunting! as I am balancing on the edge of my budget.

I also purchased a new larger battery at my local NAPA parts store to handle the demand of the winch.

All-in-all my entire setup came in just under $1200 including the winch and all shipping costs.

Purchasing a high output power alternator like the ones from DC Power Engineering Inc. is also on my list of upgrades for a while now. These alternators can handle the big load on the system when I am out there winching my stuck vehicle out of a rut.

Well back to the project at hand. I wanted to be able to control my winch wireless but there were so many options that it was hard to select the one best for the job.
Winch Remote Control:
Highly recommended by a friend I went out and purchased this Wireless Remote Control System which works for most brands of 12 volt winches for 30 bucks on ebay.

This wireless winch control delivers convenient power in/out control from any position within 65ft radius. It allows the operator to keep clear from dangerous rigging. The operator can monitor winching from different positions, plus the wireless control eliminates running cable over vehicle. It's really a safe and convenient way to operate a winch.

This kit came with two remote fobs which will allow me
to leave the big remote in the vehicle and only to take with me the small one. I don't have an issue with the fact that wireless remotes depend on batteries, I usually bring extra batteries along when out in the boonies and I still have the wired remote switch if everything fails.
Manufacturer Specifications:
Power Max. 12V/ 23 Amps
Distance 50 ft.
System Wireless
Features:
Heavy-duty Wireless Remote Control System for 12 Volt Winches
Includes a wireless receiver which will be connected to the winch and a remote handset
On/Off Switch
Convenient Power in/ Power Out Control From any Position within 65 feet
Eliminates Running Cable Over Vehicle
Allows Operator to Keep Clear from Dangerous Rigging
Works with Most Brands of Recovery Winches.
Power Supply: 12V 23A Battery (Not Included)
Includes English Manual for Easy Installation
A wireless winch remote allows you to stand even further away from the cable for safety but still keep an eye on the cable stacking and the winching process. Wireless also means you don't have to deal with a cord getting in your way.

Most wireless winch controls are compact but to my surprise they included in this system an additional small remote to carry on a key chain so I don't have to worry about losing it..

Installation:
The install of the winch itself was pretty simple. The winch needed to be mounted in my heavy duty bumper with 4 bolts which were included in the winch kit from T-Max. I used a paper template to drill the holes into the bumper. I made sure that the winch drum lines up with my cable cut-out of the bumper.

The steel winch hawse came with two bolts and nuts. I found the correct location after careful alignment and marked with a Sharpie were I needed to drill the holes. I used a brush to paint the just drilled holes to prevent rust. I then mounted the hawse to the face of the bumper.

The wiring was more complex, though. First I fabricated a custom plate from 1/4" grey PVC to mount all components which I took off and disassembled from the solenoid box of the T-Max winch onto

I then installed the plate now holding all components under the hood just in front were the air intake canister is normally located but which I have taken out some time ago in favor of the Mopar Performance Cast Air Cleaner. Everything was now mounted as a unit inside of the fender well protected from debris.

It was time to fabricated a top panel to give the BlueSea Systems Marine Battery cut-off switch a home in my Durango. After the install of the switch was completed I made a bunch of labels with my PC and a Label writer for a more professional look, and installed a small amber control lamp which indicates if power is present on the solenoids. This way I can enable or disable the winch completely with the use of this single switch which when moved into the off position will cut the main current (+) from the battery.


The majority of time in this winch install goes definitely towards wiring everything up. Of course if I would have kept the original solenoid box it would have been easier but I certainly would have a heck of a hard time with any install of a light bar or other projects I may have in the future above the winch. The winch also looks a lot cleaner and will be much easier to maintenance. All in all, I feel that this setup is a much better solution for my vehicle than the original plastic box on top of a winch would have been.

All cables leading to the switch and the winch are wrapped in wire loom and I used a good amount of die-electric grease on all soldered terminals. I have used 1/0 Gauge oxygen free stranded copper cable for the power to the switch and winch. I wired the ground from the battery to the bumper and from that mounting point to the which. I used for all connections heavy duty tinned copper lugs.

I installed the remote jack for the wired T-Max remote control switch into a 3/16" aluminum plate I have fabricated for this purpose and mounted the plate to the left side of the bumper facing the winch. It is easy accessible but out of harms way.

The entire install was completed on a Saturday and took about 8 hours. It all worked out great and I love the new winch and the cool setup I made for it!

Completing the install with the hook up of the new Wireless Remote System for the winch and testing the new system. The installation was really simple and the English instructions made it quite clear on how to wire it up. The only modification I made to the wiring was to be only be powered if the BlueSea Systems Marine Battery cut-off switch was in the on position.















I mounted the receiver box onto the vertical aluminum support bracket which holds the Winch Battery cut-off switch plate up. I popped the batteries into the hand held remotes and tested the system. It works like a charm, install time less than an hour.





This project was completed 03-11-2008
Verdict:
It all worked out great and even if it wasn't my first experience with a winch this project was a lot of fun to do! I like the T-Max winch a lot better than the old Warn I had on my Scout almost two decades ago.


Update February 2010:
I am truly surprised how well this winch has held up through the three long and brutal Michigan UP winters it has experienced in it's life at this point. The winch works great and besides the occasional maintenance (mainly unspooling the cable, oiling it, and putting it back on) it just sits there and is ready when I need it. There is a small amount of rust on the chrome clutch handle but otherwise the winch is rust free.




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