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Do you know if the front bumper mount will be a permanent type mount or a receiver type mount? It sure would be nice to be able to use the winch on either end. Many trucks have that option.
Permanent I believe. Probably like their Crosstrek solution.

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I recently purchased a Harbor Freight ZXR 12000 Lb. Truck/SUV Winch. It was on sale for $299 ($100 off). The 12,000 lb capacity is overkill, I only plan on using it to help with tree cutting, retrieving my stuck tractor and backhoe, and such. It may also come in handy for trailering and off-road use. However, with winches, it's better to oversize because the actual working capacity is usually considerably lower than the rated capacity for a number of reasons, and the 12000 lb HF winch was reasonably priced with the current sale.

Since the Ascent has no provisions to front mount a winch, I'm going to need to mount it using the rear hitch receiver. This is easy enough because many places sell winch receiver mounts. However, the electrical hookup is another story.

I'm an industrial electrical (and software) engineer, so when I spec electrical wiring and connections, I go by the book. This winch is rated to draw 359 amps max. To properly get this ampacity would require 4/0 copper wire which is very large and very expensive. Around 20-25 feet is required. This would cost almost the same as what I paid for the winch.

The big-name winch companies such as Warn and others sell (expensive) kits to wire rear receiver mounted winches. What surprised me is that the 25-foot lengths of wire they include with these kits are only 2-gauge wire, which has a rated ampacity of only around 115 amps. This is crazy since they rate this kit for winches up to 16,000 lbs that can draw 400 amps or more. Using 2-gauge wire for a length of 20-25 feet for amperage capacities far greater than what the wire is rated for can result in considerable voltage drops exceeding 2 volts. This could cause the wire and the winch to get very hot and eventually burn out.

The only thing that I can figure out is that since the duty rating on these winches is only around a minute or so, they're betting that the 2-gauge wire will be good enough. Still, it seems very sketchy to me. Not only is this dangerous, but it could considerably lower the rated capacity of the winch and cause it to wear out faster. Yet, they do seem to be getting away with it. I've scoured the internet on this subject and no one seems to be complaining too much. Most people seem to be wiring very large winches with only 2-gauge wire. Still, I just can see it, the wire ampacity is all wrong.

Yet, I don't want to pay $250 for a pair of 25-foot 4/0 copper wires. Technically I could buy only one 25-foot length of wire for the positive lead and then use the chassis as the negative lead, but this can cause considerable other issues if all the chassis ground connections involved are not nearly perfect. I could also simply buy another battery exclusively for the winch, but that's not a great solution either. I could run 3/0, or even 2/0 wire which is less expensive, but now I'm playing similar games with less than adequate wire ampacity as the winch manufacturers are. Since I'm rarely or never going to need the maximum amp capacity of the winch, I could simply consider lesser gauge wire as good enough, but then that'll always be the weak link.

So, this is a dilemma that I still haven't worked out. I'd thought I'd open up a discussion here to see what others are doing or to hear other opinions and options. I'm sure many of you have installed and used winches and have run into this yourselves.

This discussion may also be useful for other Ascent owners who may be considering installing and using a winch.
run smaller gauge wire in parallel. Follow code on AWG, length and of course amperage.
 

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@pro10is the wire is on the way, lol.

I might just go ahead after all.

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Discussion Starter #26
run smaller gauge wire in parallel. Follow code on AWG, length and of course amperage.
I did think of that, but no matter how many different options you try, the wire ends up costing about the same. It's the cost of copper that drives the price. Copper prices are through the roof right now. The only inexpensive wire is CCA (Copper-Clad Aluminum) and that doesn't have the same ampacity as pure copper. You see that a lot in auto amplifier cable.
 

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Any ideas of release date?
Maybe half a year out. They asked that I get back in touch with them in 3 months to check on the progress and see if there's anything else they could share. In the meantime, I plan on sending a few suggestions.
 

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I recently purchased a Harbor Freight ZXR 12000 Lb. Truck/SUV Winch. It was on sale for $299 ($100 off). The 12,000 lb capacity is overkill, I only plan on using it to help with tree cutting, retrieving my stuck tractor and backhoe, and such. It may also come in handy for trailering and off-road use. However, with winches, it's better to oversize because the actual working capacity is usually considerably lower than the rated capacity for a number of reasons, and the 12000 lb HF winch was reasonably priced with the current sale.

Since the Ascent has no provisions to front mount a winch, I'm going to need to mount it using the rear hitch receiver. This is easy enough because many places sell winch receiver mounts. However, the electrical hookup is another story.

I'm an industrial electrical (and software) engineer, so when I spec electrical wiring and connections, I go by the book. This winch is rated to draw 359 amps max. To properly get this ampacity would require 4/0 copper wire which is very large and very expensive. Around 20-25 feet is required. This would cost almost the same as what I paid for the winch.

The big-name winch companies such as Warn and others sell (expensive) kits to wire rear receiver mounted winches. What surprised me is that the 25-foot lengths of wire they include with these kits are only 2-gauge wire, which has a rated ampacity of only around 115 amps. This is crazy since they rate this kit for winches up to 16,000 lbs that can draw 400 amps or more. Using 2-gauge wire for a length of 20-25 feet for amperage capacities far greater than what the wire is rated for can result in considerable voltage drops exceeding 2 volts. This could cause the wire and the winch to get very hot and eventually burn out.

The only thing that I can figure out is that since the duty rating on these winches is only around a minute or so, they're betting that the 2-gauge wire will be good enough. Still, it seems very sketchy to me. Not only is this dangerous, but it could considerably lower the rated capacity of the winch and cause it to wear out faster. Yet, they do seem to be getting away with it. I've scoured the internet on this subject and no one seems to be complaining too much. Most people seem to be wiring very large winches with only 2-gauge wire. Still, I just can see it, the wire ampacity is all wrong.

Yet, I don't want to pay $250 for a pair of 25-foot 4/0 copper wires. Technically I could buy only one 25-foot length of wire for the positive lead and then use the chassis as the negative lead, but this can cause considerable other issues if all the chassis ground connections involved are not nearly perfect. I could also simply buy another battery exclusively for the winch, but that's not a great solution either. I could run 3/0, or even 2/0 wire which is less expensive, but now I'm playing similar games with less than adequate wire ampacity as the winch manufacturers are. Since I'm rarely or never going to need the maximum amp capacity of the winch, I could simply consider lesser gauge wire as good enough, but then that'll always be the weak link.

So, this is a dilemma that I still haven't worked out. I'd thought I'd open up a discussion here to see what others are doing or to hear other opinions and options. I'm sure many of you have installed and used winches and have run into this yourselves.

This discussion may also be useful for other Ascent owners who may be considering installing and using a winch.
If you are going to use wires that are not up to the amperage then I suggest you fuse it accordingly so the smaller amperage wires are protected.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
If you are going to use wires that are not up to the amperage then I suggest you fuse it accordingly so the smaller amperage wires are protected.
The winch comes with a circuit breaker but I still plan on using 4/0 wires which are the proper size. Just not happy about the cost.

If I did use smaller wires and fused them for their rated ampacity, then the fuse might blow during a pull which could be dangerous. I would be introducing a weak link into the system.

Winch manufacturers intentionally use wires that are too small for practicality and to save costs, and then tell you that the duty cycle of the winch is only about a minute or so. This way the wires don't burn up. I don't agree with this, but this is what they do even for runs up to 25 feet. Some also include a cutoff solenoid which is also rated way too low for the amperage of the winch.
 

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The winch comes with a circuit breaker but I still plan on using 4/0 wires which are the proper size. Just not happy about the cost.

If I did use smaller wires and fused them for their rated ampacity, then the fuse might blow during a pull which could be dangerous. I would be introducing a weak link into the system.

Winch manufacturers intentionally use wires that are too small for practicality and to save costs, and then tell you that the duty cycle of the winch is only about a minute or so. This way the wires don't burn up. I don't agree with this, but this is what they do even for runs up to 25 feet. Some also include a cutoff solenoid which is also rated way too low for the amperage of the winch.
lol, I was just coming here. I opted to get the wire so I can put my new battery in the engine compartment, and not have two. I already have enough weight in my Ascent with all the rest of my recovery gear.

I got my 4/0 welding cable (both red and black) for $192 including tax from here:

I don't know if that's better or worse than what prices you are getting.
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
Another issue I'm finding is with snatch block specifications. Almost all but the best manufacturers only specify the maximum breaking capacity in the product description, not the Working Load Limit (WLL), which is much less.

A snatch block might be listed as 13.5 tons (27,000 lbs) and many people would think that's more than enough for a 12,000 lb winch when in fact the Working Load Limit is actually only 9018 lbs, which is clearly not enough. Here is an example. This company is not alone, most do this. They do it because it makes their product look much better than it actually is. They don't want to list the working load limit when their competition is only listing the maximum breaking capacity because many people don't even know the difference and they'll lose sales.

The maximum breaking capacity is only the rating that the snatch block will definitely fail at. However, no load should ever exceed the Working Load Limit, or else the snatch block may become deformed and damaged and eventually break and fail. It's kind of like telling someone that the Ascent is safe to drive at 120 mph simply because it can go that fast, when in fact 80 mph would probably be the speed not to exceed.

Not only is this deceitful, but it's dangerous. The same applies to the D-Ring shackles. Finding out the actual working load limit is sometimes not even possible as many manufacturers don't even list them on their own web site.

You need to know going in how to properly specify and select winch component capacities or you could easily end up in an unsafe situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
lol, I was just coming here. I opted to get the wire so I can put my new battery in the engine compartment, and not have two. I already have enough weight in my Ascent with all the rest of my recovery gear.

I got my 4/0 welding cable (both red and black) for $192 including tax from here:

I don't know if that's better or worse than what prices you are getting.
About the same, like you I mostly use Amazon for hard to find items. But as you know, $192 is a lot to spend just for wire. Yikes!

Are you going to use a battery disconnect switch to depower the wires when not in use?
 

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The winch comes with a circuit breaker but I still plan on using 4/0 wires which are the proper size. Just not happy about the cost.

If I did use smaller wires and fused them for their rated ampacity, then the fuse might blow during a pull which could be dangerous. I would be introducing a weak link into the system.

Winch manufacturers intentionally use wires that are too small for practicality and to save costs, and then tell you that the duty cycle of the winch is only about a minute or so. This way the wires don't burn up. I don't agree with this, but this is what they do even for runs up to 25 feet. Some also include a cutoff solenoid which is also rated way too low for the amperage of the winch.
what percentage of purchasers do you think actually read the documentation? Of course a smaller percentage understand the consequences of what they read.

report dangerous products Not exactly dangerous given the legalese they inserted but in practice I believe it is dangerous.

At least you will have a winch that is safe and more productive and not just for show. At worst if you give up the winch at some point you could always sell the copper for scrap and cover part of a nice dinner.
 

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Another issue I'm finding is with snatch block specifications. Almost all but the best manufacturers only specify the maximum breaking capacity in the product description, not the Working Load Limit (WLL), which is much less.

A snatch block might be listed as 13.5 tons (27,000 lbs) and many people would think that's more than enough for a 12,000 lb winch when in fact the Working Load Limit is actually only 9018 lbs, which is clearly not enough. Here is an example. This company is not alone, most do this. They do it because it makes their product look much better than it actually is. They don't want to list the working load limit when their competition is only listing the maximum breaking capacity because many people don't even know the difference and they'll lose sales.

The maximum breaking capacity is only the rating that the snatch block will definitely fail at. However, no load should ever exceed the Working Load Limit, or else the snatch block may become deformed and damaged and eventually break and fail. It's kind of like telling someone that the Ascent is safe to drive at 120 mph simply because it can go that fast, when in fact 80 mph would probably be the speed not to exceed.

Not only is this deceitful, but it's dangerous. The same applies to the D-Ring shackles. Finding out the actual working load limit is sometimes not even possible as many manufacturers don't even list them on their own web site.

You need to know going in how to properly specify and select winch component capacities or you could easily end up in an unsafe situation.
If you scroll way down to the pictures and further descriptions it actually says 13.5 ton maximum breaking strength. So they are saying that it will definitely break before you get to 13.5 tons by design. That’s a great selling feature!
 

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If you scroll way down to the pictures and further descriptions it actually says 13.5 ton maximum breaking strength. So they are saying that it will definitely break before you get to 13.5 tons by design. That’s a great selling feature!
Oddly, that seems to be the way many of them rate it. Semantics are such an interesting game. It's like food sellers that advertise "Made with 100% real ground beef" - those two preceding words make it mean there can be a gazillion ingredients, but, one of them is real ground beef.
 

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Are you going to use a battery disconnect switch to depower the wires when not in use?
Yes, and not just for that reason, though, that's a big one. I got two emergency disconnect switches (haven't decided which I will use), both waterproof marine grade (not that I drive through lots of water, regularly, and sometimes too deep), that way, besides making sure the cables are de-energized when not in use, in the event something happens (motor short, frayed cable I missed during pre-use inspection, etc), I can cut power.

That, of course, means, it will be near the battery. Probably a foot or two away, no closer, nor farther, so I am not directly on top of a quickly heating battery, nor leaving a ton of wire between switch and battery.

I will also have the advantage of the Anderson quick disconnects we discussed, which will be after the cutoff. So, between uses, nothing will be energized but a short 1-2 foot piece of cable to the switch.

I got a 400a ANL style fuse and fuse holder, but, haven't decided where it's going yet. Probably between battery and switch, but I am not yet sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Yes, and not just for that reason, though, that's a big one. I got two emergency disconnect switches (haven't decided which I will use), both waterproof marine grade (not that I drive through lots of water, regularly, and sometimes too deep), that way, besides making sure the cables are de-energized when not in use, in the event something happens (motor short, frayed cable I missed during pre-use inspection, etc), I can cut power.

That, of course, means, it will be near the battery. Probably a foot or two away, no closer, nor farther, so I am not directly on top of a quickly heating battery, nor leaving a ton of wire between switch and battery.

I will also have the advantage of the Anderson quick disconnects we discussed, which will be after the cutoff. So, between uses, nothing will be energized but a short 1-2 foot piece of cable to the switch.

I got a 400a ANL style fuse and fuse holder, but, haven't decided where it's going yet. Probably between battery and switch, but I am not yet sure.
Yes, you got it right. You're one of the few I've seen who took the time to research it and was knowledgeable enough to properly wire a winch. The manufacturers sure are no help and many users on winch forums were clueless. I can't imagine how many improperly wired winches there are out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Yes, and not just for that reason, though, that's a big one. I got two emergency disconnect switches (haven't decided which I will use), both waterproof marine grade (not that I drive through lots of water, regularly, and sometimes too deep), that way, besides making sure the cables are de-energized when not in use, in the event something happens (motor short, frayed cable I missed during pre-use inspection, etc), I can cut power.

That, of course, means, it will be near the battery. Probably a foot or two away, no closer, nor farther, so I am not directly on top of a quickly heating battery, nor leaving a ton of wire between switch and battery.

I will also have the advantage of the Anderson quick disconnects we discussed, which will be after the cutoff. So, between uses, nothing will be energized but a short 1-2 foot piece of cable to the switch.

I got a 400a ANL style fuse and fuse holder, but, haven't decided where it's going yet. Probably between battery and switch, but I am not yet sure.
Rob, Can you please provide a link to the ANL fuse holder? I'm having trouble finding one that can handle the size of 4/0 wire.

In regards to the location of the fuse, as close to the battery as practical would be best.
 

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Rob, Can you please provide a link to the ANL fuse holder? I'm having trouble finding one that can handle the size of 4/0 wire.

In regards to the location of the fuse, as close to the battery as practical would be best.
Glad you asked. Amazon canceled that order, and my battery order. I have to find another one.

This is the fuse I am using:

I am looking at one of these as the replacement.



This purportedly will work with some dremeling of the cover:
 
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