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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a Warn 2500.

Today I tried to crawl uphill over a 2-foot rock ledge. It didn't happen because the ground was wet and I got high-centered on the ledge and started to go sideways.
So I got out and hooked the winch line around a tree.
After I snugged it up, I stood next to the ACE, put it in Neutral, and started reeling it in.
I could hear it working harder and harder and the pitch of the sound got lower and lower, until it finally stopped. It had nothing left to give.
I got in, started up the engine, revved it up, and tried again. Nothing.
By that time, it had dragged the rear tire up against the rock pretty tightly, so I put it in gear and, with a combination of winch line pulling and tires slipping against rock, finished getting up over the ledge.

So my question is: What was the issue here?

Was the winch not capable of giving me any more pulling power?
Was the stock battery not strong enough to feed the winch all the juice it wanted?

I have an RV deep cycle battery sitting in my garage, I could set up a test and wire the winch to that battery, and try winching the ACE up into the back of the truck, I suppose.

Thoughts?

On a side note, when I had free-spooled the line out to the tree, I had trouble getting the winch to lock up again. I rotated the end, and when I pulled on the rope I heard clicking like it was trying to engage, but no love. Moved it back and forth several times, and several feet of rope later, it finally caught. Never had a problem like that before with a Warn winch. It's fairly young, bought in February 2014.

When I installed it, I felt that it seemed a little "cheap" compared to Warn 2500 and 3500 units I have had before. Appearances aren't everything, but the first time I have needed to use it, the thing let me down. I'm starting to think the legendary Warn quality has jumped the shark.

Not a happy camper.
 

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Too bad it happened with a Warn. I have always been very satisfied with Warn. You might be on to something about the low power in the battery. Did you keep your Ace motor running or made it work off the battery only? Maybe that will/can be your reasioning for switching out your battery for a larger one. When I use my winch I stay seated, and try to help my winch out some by keeping power to the wheels. I have a 3000# Viper, and so far it has worked flawlessly. On a side note, did you cringe when you drug your Ace over the ledge? I do!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did you keep your Ace motor running or made it work off the battery only? When I use my winch I stay seated, and try to help my winch out some by keeping power to the wheels. On a side note, did you cringe when you drug your Ace over the ledge? I do!!!
Initially I did run it off battery alone, but when it wound down and stopped, I then started the motor and revved it up. Maybe it was too late, but I did not have any trouble starting it, sounded just like it always does.
When it was not happening by winch power alone, I did get in there and power up with the wheels to assist it, and that got me through. But I should not have to do that.
I was too busy being grumpy about the winch to be worrying about the underbelly, and I have full skid plate armor anyway, so mainly I was just worried about the rocker panels. Maybe I'll trim those back.

View attachment 2298
 

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Was the stock battery not strong enough to feed the winch all the juice it wanted?


Not a happy camper.
This is your answer, nothing to do with the 2500# winch. I have used my 2500# Polaris (Warn) winch to haul both the Ace and my fat a$$ (220#) out of the 4 holes my tires dug in the sand and high centered, up a 25° - 30° incline at least 20' and had no problem, but I kept the engine at a high idle while winching.
 

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Winches.. they need all the help they can get. You get a huge voltage drop when you put them under a big load. That winch is rated for a 12 Ah battery minimum and I think the one in the ACE is a 14, but at a 2500 pound load they pull 150 amps.

I assume they are rated for pulling power with a steady 12.6+ volt supply but even under the best of conditions with the motor running at a high idle and a large battery they will still drop down below 10 volts under a sustained pull. Of course lower voltage means less pulling power and more heat. Also they are rated for max pull on the first layer on the drum and that is hardly ever the situation.

I always keep the motor running when I am running the winch and at a high idle when pulling a load, and with a permanent magnet motor like most of these small winches have they will lose pulling power when they heat up, so they have to be cooled down often. If you get them too hot it can weaken the magnets and they will lose some pull.

They need a steady high voltage which means a large battery and a large charging supply. Good luck with getting that in any of these small vehicles. Of course there could be something wrong with your winch too, and I don't know if you still have the stock battery, but the largest battery that you can fit in these things is still borderline for a winch IMHO.

If you want to test the circuit you can use a volt meter to check the voltage at the winch solenoid output to the winch motor and then at the battery while the winch is under a load to see if there is a voltage drop in the solenoids or a connection. There will probably be some drop there but the less the better. An easy way to see if there is a large drop in one spot is to check for a hot spot in the circuit from the battery to the winch motor. A high resistance gets hot pretty quick under a high amp load.

ON EDIT: Looks like you have gotten some answers while I was dillydallying. I agree with the others. Likely the small battery and not running the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's probably just the anemic stock battery then.
I see from another thread that the Odyssey PC925 (Odyssey PC925) will fit in the ACE.
It's $155 on Amazon, which is kinda painful but not too bad, I suppose.
Will 28 Ah and 330 CCA do the trick?

I'll try a test first. I'll (try to) winch the ACE into the truck with the stock battery.
Then I'll do it again with a 80 Ah 500 CCA RV battery and see what happens.
If it's a significant performance improvement, I'll buy a new battery.

When running the ACE, I will usually have it powering a GoPro + remote and GPS, but I don't have a light bar or HID headlights or stereo or anything else going, so I didn't really think I needed to upgrade the battery, but I guess the winch needs it.

I'll also play with the spool lock mechanism and see if it was just one of those things. It wasn't exactly easy to reach the thing behind the KFI fascia plate, but I thought I got a good grip on it. I could feel the plastic deforming under the stress as I tried to move it further when it did not lock. might have a chat with Warn support about that. Maybe they'll send me a new one.
 

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You could hook a pulley to the tree instead of the winch line itself and increase winching power…. but that would be one more thing taking up space in your box.
 

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I would think if it was truly the battery being that low that the Ace would not have started after in my opinion, although as I have said before I am not a fan of the stock batteries. I think the fact that you had trouble with the winch locking after free spooling and the fact that it quit altogether leads me to believe that the problem lies with the winch itself. Just my thoughts. When I worked at the dealership we encountered a lot of problems with Warn winches but then again that was over 10 years ago and things can change and get better over time. But I seriously say winch issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've looked at getting a snatch block, but people want SO much money for a couple of slips of steel with a pulley in the middle. Not worried about the space but hate to pay more than things should cost for a specialty item (says the guy who is looking at a $155 battery). Also that's twice as much winch line unspooled (which I suppose helps the winch too but takes longer to spool back in).

But having a battery that cannot supply enough juice to the winch is the first thing to correct, I think, after I run my test to verify that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would think if it was truly the battery being that low that the Ace would not have started after in my opinion, although as I have said before I am not a fan of the stock batteries. I think the fact that you had trouble with the winch locking after free spooling and the fact that it quit altogether leads me to believe that the problem lies with the winch itself. Just my thoughts. When I worked at the dealership we encountered a lot of problems with Warn winches but then again that was over 10 years ago and things can change and get better over time. But I seriously say winch issue.
I'll test it tomorrow with a bigger battery before spending any money and see what happens.
When I say it quit altogether, I mean it wouldn't pull anymore with that same load. Once I lightened the load by helping with the wheels, it started pulling again.

I didn't think it ran the battery down, just that the battery did not have enough "throughput" to do the job.
But it could be a bad winch. I think my test tomorrow will prove it out.
 

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Here's another thought maybe the 2500 isn't enough? It's rated for a 3500. Maybe an issue? Just another rambling thought trying to help out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's another thought maybe the 2500 isn't enough? It's rated for a 3500. Maybe an issue? Just another rambling thought trying to help out.
I appreciate the thought.

I think tomorrow's test will split the problem in half: battery vs. winch.
If the winch pulls the ACE just fine with a bigger battery, I have my solution.
If it does not, then I still need to determine whether it's a bad winch or just not powerful enough.

That's when I will call Warn and talk it over with them before I go ripping anything else apart. If that call does not yield good results, then I can can also borrow an older Warn 2500 from the Grizzly, and borrow the Warn 3500 from my RZR as well, and run a series of tests. I'll figure it out via testing, I just wanted to get first impressions from people with experience in such things so I could start in the right place first.

If I do some tests and determine that the older Warn 2500 pulls it just fine, and Warn support still won't help, well then I will mention to them that there are a bunch of people following this conversation on an internet forum (indexed by Google), and see if that changes their tune.

But maybe I am projecting this too far forward and I should just take it one step at a time.
Thanks to everyone for the input so far, stay tuned for test results.
 

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I appreciate the thought.

I think tomorrow's test will split the problem in half: battery vs. winch.
If the winch pulls the ACE just fine with a bigger battery, I have my solution.
If it does not, then I still need to determine whether it's a bad winch or just not powerful enough.

That's when I will call Warn and talk it over with them before I go ripping anything else apart. If that call does not yield good results, then I can can also borrow an older Warn 2500 from the Grizzly, and borrow the Warn 3500 from my RZR as well, and run a series of tests. I'll figure it out via testing, I just wanted to get first impressions from people with experience in such things so I could start in the right place first.

If I do some tests and determine that the older Warn 2500 pulls it just fine, and Warn support still won't help, well then I will mention to them that there are a bunch of people following this conversation on an internet forum (indexed by Google), and see if that changes their tune.

But maybe I am projecting this too far forward and I should just take it one step at a time.
Thanks to everyone for the input so far, stay tuned for test results.

You got all of the bases covered well then! Please keep us posted, thanks!
 

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Just a suggestion, try checking all battery cable connections and grounds, from the winch back. A poor ground or positive connection could leave the winch starving for juice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just a suggestion, try checking all battery cable connections and grounds, from the winch back. A poor ground or positive connection could leave the winch starving for juice!
That's always a good suggestion, will do that just before the battery test.
 

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You might try getting a clamp on amp meter with your volt meter. You need to know the load your drawing on the battery when your operating the winch under load and no load.
 

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Another thing to consider is that winches can drain a battery very rapidly which can stress the battery and heat it up too. These small batteries are affected even more. If you dont carry a portable jump starter running the winch on battery alone may leave you stranded.

Amazon used to have a very affordable snatch block and I always carry one just in case i need an angle recovery or self recovery.
 

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Oh Mann... Ouch, so sorry Paul...

I had all that stuff, I let you down. I had no idea until after I heard you charging up the hill...
On a side note, I automatically assume that I need twice the power/weight/strength etc regardless of what it is, of what It says I need.

I'm referring to my recent Trailer Axle thing, needed 2 x the 1500lbs apx of the RZR..

Anyway, so sorry mann, I should have checked in sooner...
Sigh, Lessons Learned I guess...
I would have been there shortly...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Twice the weight, I have covered. The ACE is 850 plus all the crap I put on it, can't be more than 1250 lbs.
Usually I do not sit on/in a vehicle when winching it if I can help it so my weight is not included in that calculation.
The winch is rated for 2500 lbs.

No worries, I figured you'd be down looking for me if I didn't come back in a while.
Would have been awkward to try and turn that beastly XP 1000 around on that trail, and backing down would be difficult at best.
 
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