Dutton-Lainson Company

A Dependable Company Since 1886

12 Volt DC Winches with Remote Switch Manual

Use this manual for 12 Volt DC Models (black cover) with Remote (hand-held) Switch: SA5015, SA7015, SA9015, SA12015

SAFETY NOTES: Many of the following trouble shooting procedures require removing the winch cover to observe or test components. Even if not mentioned in the procedure, always disconnect the winch from its 12 volt power source when removing or replacing the cover and reconnect the winch to power only when necessary to make a test or observation. Be extremely careful to avoid contact with electrical shock hazards and to keep hands away from any parts that will move when power is applied.

Symptoms & Solutions

Motor will not run in either direction

Corrective Action:

Make certain that 12 volt power is getting to the winch. If you can hear the relays make a click noise when you push the switch IN and OUT, then power is present and you can proceed to the next trouble shooting step. If not, check the battery and the connection of the wiring harness to the battery. The most common problem is an insufficient ground connection on the negative wiring harness wire. It is possible to measure 12 volts at the winch with a meter, but have a ground connection that will not allow sufficient current to run the motor. Disconnect and clean the ground connection and reassemble. Check to be sure that the red connector on the end of the wiring harness is securely snapped into the mating connector on the winch and that all four wires going to this connection are secure. If these steps do not solve the problem, check for a faulty circuit breaker by temporily removing it from the system. Also check the entire length of the wiring harness for a broken wire. Once you confirm that 12 volt power is getting to the relays inside the winch, then proceed to the next trouble shooting steps.

Corrective Action:

If the relays make a click noise when the switch is pressed, but the motor does not run, remove the two motor wires from the two relays on the inside of the winch cover making note of which wire goes to each relay. Touch the motor wires directly to the terminals of a 12 volt battery. If the motor fails to run, or runs erratically, it needs to be replaced. Order number 304973. If the relays do not click when the switch is pressed, proceed to the next trouble shooting step, but you may need to come back and test the motor later.

Corrective Action:

Check for loose or broken wires at the plug where the remote switch connects to the winch. Slide back the rubber boots on both halves of the plug and make sure all wires are securely connected. Also confirm that this plug connects white to white, black to black and green to green. Note that there may be color markings on the plug. These are incorrect and should be ignored.

Corrective Action:

You should be able to hear a click noise as each relay is activated, one for the IN direction and the other for the OUT direction. If you can hear the relays clicking, then you can rule out the switch and switch wiring as sources of the problem. If the relays do not both click as described above, unplug the control cord from the winch and use a continuity meter to test the switch. Pull the rubber boot on the plug back so you can see the wires. With the switch in the center OFF position there should not be continuity between any of the prongs on the plug. With the switch pushed in the IN direction, there should be continuity between the prongs with the black and green wires and with the switch pushed in the out direction, there should be continuity between the prongs with the black and white wires. If the switch does not operate as described, replace the switch assembly number 304325. If the switch did operate correctly, then test to be sure the switch signals are getting to the relays. Plug the switch back onto the winch and then disconnect the black, white and green switch wires from the relays. Be sure to make note of where the wires belong. Check continuity between the three wires. With the switch in the center OFF position there should be no continuity between any of the wires. With the switch pushed in the IN direction, there should be continuity between the black and green wires and with the switch pushed in the OUT direction, there should be continuity between the black and white wires. If everything does not work as described, then go back to Step 3 (Faulty wires at switch plug) and double check the wiring at the plug and check for any damaged or broken wires between the plug and the relays.

Corrective Action:

Examine all of the wiring inside the winch cover for broken wires or loose connections.

Corrective Action:

It is very unlikely that both relays would fail at the same time, but this might be the case. After confirming that there is power to the winch (Step 1), that the switch is working properly (Step 4), that the motor is not burned out (go back and test it as described in Step 2), and that the wiring is O.K. (Step 5), then the only possibility left is the relays. Order and install a new relay assembly number 304971 for SA5000/SA7000 models, or number 304972 for SA9000/SA12000 models.

Motor runs in only one direction

Corrective Action:

If the winch runs in the IN direction only, then replace the relay connected to the black motor wire. If the winch runs in the OUT direction only, replace the relay connected to the red motor wire. Order relay number 206439. Although this is the most common problem, you may wish to test the switch and check the wiring as described in the next steps before ordering a new relay.

Corrective Action:

In order to test the switch, disconnect the black, white and green switch wires from the relays and check the switch with a continuity meter. With the switch in the center OFF position there should not be continuity between any of the wires. With the switch pushed in the IN direction, there should be continuity between the black and green wires and with the switch pushed in the OUT direction, there should be continuity between the black and white wires. If the switch does not operate as described, replace the switch assembly number 304325.

Corrective Action:

Check for loose or broken wires at the plug where the remote switch connects to the winch. Slide back the rubber boots on both halves of the plug and make sure all wires are securely connected. Also confirm that this plug connects white to white, black to black and green to green. Note that there may be color markings on the plug. These are incorrect and should be ignored.

Winch motor continues to run when switch is released

Corrective Action:

First, unplug the switch cord from the winch. If this causes the winch to stop, then the switch is faulty and needs to be replaced. Order switch number 304325. If this did not stop the winch and it is stuck running in the IN direction, then replace the relay connected to the red motor wire. If the winch is stuck running in the OUT direction, replace relay connected to the black motor wire. Order relay number 206439.

Winch runs immediately when power cord is attached

Corrective Action:

First, unplug the switch cord from the winch. If this causes the winch to stop, then the switch is faulty and needs to be replaced. Order switch number 304325. If this did not stop the winch and it is stuck running in the IN direction, then replace the relay connected to the red motor wire. If the winch is stuck running in the OUT direction, replace relay connected to the black motor wire. Order relay number 206439.

Winch runs backwards

Corrective Action:

On SA5000/SA7000 models the cable must wind onto the top side of the winch drum and on SA9000/SA12000 models the cable must wind onto the bottom side of the drum. This is critically important and must not be reversed. If you are not sure which model you have, the model number is shown at the bottom of the back decal.

Corrective Action:

Check to be sure the positive harness wire is connected to the positive (+) battery terminal. Also confirm that the other end of this (+) wire is connected to the positive (+) side of the red connector.

Corrective Action:

Check to be sure black motor wire is connected to the same relay as the white wire from the switch. The red motor wire connects to the same relay as the green wire form the switch.

Winch smokes

Corrective Action:

It is not unusual for the winch to smell hot or smoke during the first few uses while powering the winch in the Out direction. The brake device gets extremely hot and sometimes creates smoke for the first few uses. This should not happen when the winch is pulling cable in.

Motor runs hot

Corrective Action:

Limit motor run time to a maximum of four minutes followed by at least 20 to 30 minutes of cooling. Motor run time is critical even when winch is not pulling its full capacity or is letting cable out.

Motor has difficulty pulling load

Corrective Action:

If motor slows down a lot and groans to pull load, winch is probably overloaded. Reduce the amount of load being pulled or use a pulley block and hook to increase the pulling capacity of the winch.

Corrective Action:

Recharge or replace battery and confirm good clean connections for both positive (+) and ground (-) wires.

Corrective Action:

On SA5000/SA7000 models the cable must wind onto the top side of the winch drum and on SA9000/SA12000 models the cable must wind onto the bottom side of the drum. If the cable is wound the wrong direction, the motor will be working against the brake and may have difficulty pulling the load. If you are not sure which model you have, the model number is shown at the bottom of the back decal.

Corrective Action:

First confirm that cable is wound on winch spool in the correct direction. Then remove the winch cover and observe the brake disc on the motor shaft. If the brake disc spins while the winch is pulling in a load, it needs to be replaced. Order brake disc number 304407 for SA5000/SA7000 models or number 304422 for SA9000/SA12000 models.

Motor runs but winch fails to pull cable

Corrective Action:

Move clutch lever to engaged gears position.

Corrective Action:

Move clutch lever to freewheel position and then let it gently return to the engaged position using spring pressure only. DO NOT FORCE THE LEVER TO THE STOP. Remove the two small phillips head screws and the clutch lever and examine the position of the spring keeper lug in relation to the stop in the side of the housing. If the lug is touching or very close to the stop (see photo), then clutch is out of adjustment. There are two possible causes which need to be investigated. The thrust bearings could be worn out or the clutch pad could be damaged. To investigate these possibilities, remove the winch cover and disassemble the clutch mechanism as follows. With a flat blade screwdriver pry the end of the clutch spring from the hole in the winch base. The spring tension is quite high and the spring will snap violently when it comes free, so be careful to keep your hands and other body parts away. Rotate the plastic O-ring so the the cut out portions align with the pegs on the spring keeper. The O-ring can then be expanded with a pencil, pocket knife or similar tool and the spring keeper can be lifted free from the clutch nut. Thread the clutch nut off of the stud (it is a left hand thread). You will then see the outer thrust bearing with a hardened bearing race (flat washer) on both sides. Lift both of the gears off of the stud and notice that there is a small spring washer between them. The inner thrust bearing and two races can then be removed. There may be additional spacer washers on the stud and these should remain on the stud. Check the condition of both of the thrust bearings and the races and replace if noticeably worn, dry or burned. Order and install thrust bearing kit 5703194, which includes two bearings and four races. Examine the condition of the clutch pad. This is bonded to the large gear in newer models or bonded to the flange of the small gear in older models. If there are portions of the clutch pad missing or torn away, or any other significant damage to the pad, a replacement is necessary. If the clutch pad in your winch is bonded to the large gear, you can replace just that gear. Order 120 tooth gear assembly 306102 for SA5000/SA7000 models or 84 tooth gear assembly 306101 for SA9000/SA12000 models. If the clutch pad in your winch is bonded to the clutch gear flange it will be necessary to order clutch gear assembly 306100 in addition to one of the above gears. Reassemble and adjust the clutch by the following procedure. Place one of the thrust bearings (with a race on each side) on the clutch stud. Next install the clutch gear and the spring washer oriented as shown in the photo on the stud followed by the large gear turned with the pad facing the clutch gear. Install the outer thrust bearing (with a race on each side) and then install the clutch nut (left hand thread). Use the plastic spring keeper to tighten the nut by hand only. Then insert one leg of the clutch spring into the hole in the spring keeper. Note that on SA5000/SA7000 models the legs of the clutch spring are not equal length. The longer leg attaches to the spring keeper. On SA9000/SA12000 models both legs are the same length and it makes no difference which one attaches to the spring keeper. Position the keeper on the clutch nut so that the lug is positioned at the 2:30 o’clock position (see photo). Reinstall the plastic O-ring and rotate it slightly to lock the spring keeper in place on the clutch nut. Grip the free end of the spring with pliers or vise grips and insert the end into the hole in the winch base. This is challenging because the spring tension is quite high. Make sure the end goes all the way into the hole. Slip the clutch lever onto to the spring keeper and move the lever to the freewheel position and gently allow it to return to the engaged position using the force of the spring only. DO NOT FORCIBLY MOVE THE LEVER PAST WHERE THE SPRING TAKES IT. Remove the lever and check the position of the lug on the spring keeper. It should be at approximately the 2:30 o’clock position (see photo). If not, without moving the position of the clutch nut, disassemble the spring, O-ring and spring keeper and reposition the keeper on the nut so that the lug is at 2:30 o’clock and reassemble. Recheck to confirm that the spring keeper stops in approximately the same position when the lever is moved to freewheel and allowed to return to engaged using spring pressure only. Note that if the lug on the spring keeper is set too high, the clutch may slip under heavy load. If it is set too low the clutch will be too tight and will create excess strain on the motor and excess load and heat on the thrust bearings. Our clutch adjustment video may be helpful.

Corrective Action:

Remove the winch cover. Run the winch and observe which parts are turning and which are not. This should make the source of the problem obvious. Refer to the owner’s manual or website for the necessary repair parts.

Circuit breaker trips

Corrective Action:

The circuit breaker is designed to cut power to the winch in the event of a substantial overload. It will automatically reset after a short cooling period. Note that the circuit breaker will not protect the motor from damage due to excessive run time.

Corrective Action:

If problem persists after confirming that the load being pulled is within the capacity of the winch, then replace circuit breaker assembly 304025.

Winch will not hold load

Corrective Action:

On SA5000/SA7000 models the cable must wind onto the top side of the winch drum and on SA9000/SA12000 models the cable must wind onto the bottom side of the drum. If the cable is wound the wrong direction, the brake will not work. If you are not sure which model you have, the model number is shown at the bottom of the back decal.

Corrective Action:

Check condition of the small brake pads that contact the brake disc on the motor shaft. If the pads are severely worn or either pad is missing, order and install a brake spring replacement kit. Kit number 5703186 for SA5000/SA7000 models or kit number 5703160 for SA9000/SA12000 models.

Corrective Action:

Check the operation of the roller clutch in the brake disc. Carefully rotate the brake disc and observe the motor shaft. When the disc is turned clockwise the motor shaft should turn with it. When the disc is turned counterclockwise the motor shaft should not turn. If the operation is not as described, order and install a new brake disc assembly. Order number 304407 for SA5000/SA7000 models or number 304422 for SA9000/SA12000 models.

Corrective Action:

Confirm that load is within capacity of winch.

Winch will not freewheel cable out

Corrective Action:

First confirm that clutch is in freewheel position. Then with no load on winch jog power switch to see if clutch will open and allow freewheeling. If this does not work, remove any load from the winch, put the clutch lever in the freewheel position and remove the winch cover. Then gently pry the clutch gear and mating gear apart by inserting a screwdriver between them.

Cable stuck on winch reel

Corrective Action:

Cable may have become wedged between the wraps of lower layers. There is no easy solution to this except to pull on the cable hard enough to pull it free. Avoid this problem by keeping cable neatly and tightly wound on the drum. See cable damage section below.

Cable damage

Corrective Action:

The cable is considered a perishable item and will periodically need to be replaced. Follow these suggestions to maximize cable life: Shorten the cable to the minimum length necessary for your application remembering to keep at least three turns on the drum before starting to pull a load. Excess cable length makes loose, crisscrossing wraps more likely. Make certain that the first layer of cable on the drum is wound neatly and tightly and additional layers will follow in neat, tight wraps. It is essential to keep some tension on the cable during this process. Never start pulling a load with loose cable on the drum. This will almost certainly cause kinks and crushing and wedging cable into lower layers. Allowing loose cable to wind onto drum may also cause it to get caught in gears or other parts causing serious winch damage. It is also important to keep winch reasonably aligned with the load being pulled so that the cable does not severely rub the edges of the cable opening.

Cable breaks

Corrective Action:

See Cable damage section above.

Corrective Action:

The winch has sufficient power to break the cable if overloaded. Monitor load carefully to prevent a sudden rise in cable tension. Keep cable in good condition and replace when damaged.

Hook spreads open

Corrective Action:

Make certain that load is fully engaged into the throat of the hook allowing the safety latch to close. Engaging only the point of the hook on the load could cause hook to open up or break.

Corrective Action:

Overloading the hook will cause it to spread open and possibly break. Reduce load or use a pulley block and hook to reduce tension on the cable and hook.

Dutton-Lainson Company

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