Winch on jeep broke


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I was pulling out another jeep from some sticky mud today, when the other jeep suddenly lurched, then the winch just stopped working. The winch in question is a smittybilt XRC 9,500 model. Both jeeps were TJs, both mostly stock. I’m Deaf, so I didn’t hear if anything broke in it, and the other guy in the other jeep heard nothing as well. I am at a loss as to what happened.
A little more info would help? Will in wind in or out with no load? Is the clutch lever in the correct position, have you checked the battery connections? Any burnt odor?
There is really just a few things that could cause this.


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It will not wind in or out at all when the clutch is engaged. It free spools when it’s not engaged. Battery connections are tight. No burnt odor at all. I’m just thinking the gears might have sheared when the tension suddenly let up.
Had its gear train sheared, that usually wont lock up 100%.
Trying rocking motor in-out should create some degree of motion. Not being able to hear is a detriment, but should be able to at least feel its motor trying to run or lurching slightly as it takes up against whatever lash remains within its geartrain. Were stripped & 100% locked up, at least its motor will try to run & draw substantial current too as if it were stalled on a winching load. This is easy to detect & definitely confirm if gears jammed up.
Initially, I would suspect something within its contactors failed or other electrical failure. What can be verified by bypassing its contactor, jumpering power directly to the motor.
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If you do jump it make sure you have some way of cutting the power in a hurry, otherwise you may smell a bunch of burnt. I would suggest a visual inspection of the interior contactor box if you can access?
On most winches, there is a little hex driveshaft that runs through the winch. Break that and the motor will run, but won't drive the winch. Can someone tell you if your motor is running, or trying to run but locked?

If it's running but not winching, or seems to be locked, it's time to take it apart.

My experience has been that if I'm going to rely on a winch, I make sure it has a red "W" on it... That said, I have heard nothing bad about HF's Badlands winches in the 9k and 12k rating.

Good Luck!


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There’s nothing. No sound, no movement, nothing at all. I’ve contacted smittybilt, just waiting for an response. From what I’ve read of the failures with the XRC, it seems to be the remote. Thank you all for your help. I’m still new to the off-roading world.
Is there anyone local to you that will let you try their remote? Or perhaps a visit to a 4 Wheel Parts retail store, they should let you try another remote?
pop off the control box cover. There is a 2 amp fuse that is inline with the hot wire going to the remote. (glass 5mmx20mm or you may have the mini blade fuse which should be 5 amp) ive seen solenoids draw anywhere from 1.2 amps to 3.4 amps. 5 amp fuse would be a good replacement.

check the pins on your remote socket. they should be numbered. 1 should be a yellow wire 2 should be a blue wire and 4 should be red. jump 1 and 4 and it should go out then jump 2 and 4. this is if my memory is any good. i would just pop off the cover and verify the wires when you check the fuse.

i know its an old post did you ever get it working?


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I have not gotten it working yet, and I haven’t even gotten the remote yet. I have it ordered though. I will check that fuse. Again, thank you all for your help.