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Problem with Viper Elite Winch install now broken Solenoid bolt.

6738 Views 30 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  fswan
So I am having some issues with my Viper Winch install. I have followed all of the directions, but when I push the in button, the winch winds up very very slow and has almost no power.

I have the Ranger running while trying this, so I don't think that is the problem. I thought that it was a loose connection possibly somewhere, so I went around to each connection to tighten them a little. Tightened everything on the winch, and the winch connector. I then went to the solenoid, tightened the ground nut, then did the same on the positive.

Plink the bolt breaks, so now I have no electrical at all. I am ordering a new Solenoid tomorrow, but will not be able to work on it until Friday. It seems that everything was correct, but you could actually pull hard enough against the rope that the winch would not have enough power to wind it up. Any help out there on this one? This is a new Ranger, so I can't imagine the batter being a problem, and it cranks the ranger with no problem.

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Here is a picture of the solenoid. Where is the best place to get a replacement? Dealer or online?

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Also here is a picture from the installation instructions that has me confused. It states that I will most likely have to rewind the winch to run off of the top of the spool. When I press the in button on the winch it winds in such a way that the spool winds in a downward direction. Unless I just have tunnel vision, that will result in the cord always running off of the bottom of the spool.


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Call Motoalliance Mon morning. Their service is great and will have you winching in no time! 866-527-7637
Electrical connection need to be tight, but not over tight is required. Most electrical connections are brass and brass is a soft metal which will break easily if over tighten. I have a Viper winch on my Ranger, but not sure what the solenoid is made of, but snugging the bolt tight is all that is required for operation. I would say that it is probably and internal problem with the winch as looks like all electrical connections are hooked up from what you say. Is the lever to the IN or OUT switch on the winch in a natural possession and not in a gear ie. forward of reverse. My winch winds from the bottom when winding in, not the top as your pic show, funny how your winch is wound backwards from the factory. Just call Motoalliance, great service dept.

My winch winds from the bottom as well John. I have tried to unwind it and figure out how to wind it as the picture shows. That is what the directions say I should do to prevent it from interfering with bumper. Don't think I can make that happen unless I am missing something.

As for the Brass or copper, I guess I have learned my lesson there :). It the past, something like this always has lead me to a weak ground or bad connection, so I was just trying to snug everything down. Live and learn.

I am going to order a new solenoid tomorrow or pick one up at a dealer if they are comparable and replace on Wednesday or Thursday. After that I will try and see how the winch does once everything is tightened down again. If not I will call MotoAlliance.

I just installed this winch on my 2015 ranger and you need to switch black and red wires around on winch to get it to wind correctly. They had it wrong in installation instructions. they will tell you that when you call them. As for winding slowly I have no idea mine worked great after I switched wires. You must take all rope off winch.
Not happy to hear that. If they know it is incorrect, could they not at least include a handwritten note or something? The person I talked to on the phone could have mentioned it . I have been trying to figure that out for a few hours. We were tempted to do that just by rolling it up by choosing "out" on the switch to roll it in and use"in" to let the rope out. My son and I agreed that something else must be the issue, but apparently not.

Tried calling, I was told that the technician was not available and to try email instead. Giving that a shot and will update.

18 hours later and no reply. Sales answers the call each time when I try them however. I will give them another shot today. I am hoping someone will confirm the above winch connection cable swap. Certainly will fix the winch winding issue direction I believe.

You should just tighten, but not over tight. I always add a dab of vaseline grease, like you
would use on your body. It is great to help with electrical connections such as this.
For those that are commenting about me breaking the stud. Yes I get it, I am too freaking strong! But seriously I do understand that you need to be more careful with brass/copper. I simply was in tighten mode as I was having the other issues with the winch and wasn't thinking.

Caleb from MotoAlliance did email me back today.

The verdict, mount the winch opposite of the documentation or reverse the cables from the documentation as Beachem mentioned. Ordered the solenoid and it should be here in about a week or so.

I can't really say that the instructions were unclear or hard to follow, unfortunately they were just wrong on that part. Everything else has gone smoothly.

So when you though you were winding in, you were probably really letting the winch out because the schematic was wrong on the directions? I'm assuming that's why it wasn't spooled properly and why it felt sluggish?

Lesson learned on this one. The directions are well written, just wrong unfortunately. Simply reverse the wires going to the winch and all is fine. Haven't needed it yet, but better safe than sorry.

I don't see a guide/hawse for the rope in front of the winch , did you get one with it ?
It does come with one. That was just a pic from the instructions.

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Shane, if you haven't already, I would install the rubber hook bumper. It makes a real racket without it and the clevis pin can scar up your hawse. You can do it without unspooling your rope. Let me know if need the procedure!
I definitely need the procedure. I did not see a way to get it on to be honest.

Instructions, are what I call suggestions, usually written by someone who has never put what they are writing about together. Usually I glance at them the make sure that I get my install steps in order and yes I have taken it back apart for leaving out a step. I want all my accessories to look and work like they were a factory install and not and add-on and just put there, wiring is most important to me, I use factory plugs and connectors and plug in where and how the factory would do it, no shade tree here. I guess I would have to say, I enjoy a challenge and doing it better then just doing it as per instructions is just part of the enjoyment in doing it. In no way was this intended to offend anyone and the way they do things, It's just my way.

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I need to get my rubber bumper on as well. Can you do it without taking the winch back off. I saw in the directions it said to install prior to mounting winch, but naturally, I missed that part.
I definitely need the procedure. I did not see a way to get it on to be honest.
I need to get my rubber bumper on as well. Can you do it without taking the winch back off. I saw in the directions it said to install prior to mounting winch, but naturally, I missed that part.
I've done this several times so I know it works!
You will need these tings:
A scrap piece of 2x4 or 2x6 or something similar about 2 to 3 feet long
A piece of very strong twine, line, or wire about 6 feet long
A short pipe, or 2x2, or something similar to be your 'handle' about 12 to 18" long
A bottle of liquid dish soap

1. Spool out about 10 feet of your winch rope
2. Remove the clevis pin and hook
3. Run the end of the line/wire through the thimble on the end of the winch line (where you took the hook off) and tie the ends of the line/wire together to make a circle
4. Fish the circle of line/wire through the rubber stopper with the flat part of the stopper toward the Ranger
5. Drill a 1" or 1 1/4" hole in the center of the 2x4 (the thimble has to be able to pass through that hole but NOT the stopper)
6. Pass the line/wire through the hole in the 2x4
7. Slather on a bunch of soap all over the thimble and in the hole of the stopper to act as a lubricant for the thimble to pass through the stopper
8. Sit on the ground in front of the Ranger - the pipe or 2x2 will be your 'handle'
9. Pull line/wire until the thimble is against the stopper - kinda line up the thimble with the slots on the back of the stopper
10. While sitting, position the 2x4 against the bottom of your feet and pass the line/wire through your 'handle'
11. Pull like hell! If the line or your 'handle' doesn't break, the thimble will eventually pop through the stopper and you will roll over backwards!
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