warn 8274 dieing? or is it my battery?

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Feb 9, 2002
i've got a fairly new battery and alternator, but a few days ago i was winching my buddy's broken-down TJ out of his back yard (been sitting for a couple of year) and granted the tires were frozen to the ground.... but i couldn't even break him loose.
eventually we got free from the frost (took pulling from more than one angle and multiple attempts) but then i couldn't finish pulling him the 25 yards out of his backyard.

i would let the winch rest for about 30 seconds and it would give me about 3 seconds of slow pulling.... 30 seconds rest again.... 3 seconds of pulling.

i can't image that this would totally wear my battery down in a matter of minutes (since it wasn't super hardcore pulling).
or could it?
or is the motor on my winch slowly deteriorating?
and if so.... is there anything i can do about it?
I'm assuming your engine was running during the winching process?? (An 8274 that's under load can suck a good battery dry in a non-running engine in less than a minute, especially in cold weather.)
yeah the engine is running.
30 seconds isn't enough to cool the motor down if it got hot enough to slow down, but how old is the winch? The earlier 2.5 hp motor doesn't work like the later 4.5 hp does. The motor can be updated on most earlier winches.

30 seconds isn't long enough to bring up a drawn down battery either.
It's usually not enough to just have the engine running - it needs to be running at a higher than idle speed to get the alternator to put out it's max. As much as 2000 rpm might be needed depending on alternator. On that subject, what's the rating of your alternator? The stock one on most of the cruisers up till 1978 was only 42 amps, I think (?)

And now the biggy - it takes a surprising amount of pull to get a stuck in the mud vehicle to begin to move. Frozen in ice is probably worse than stuck in mud. It's like the vehicle weighs a lot more than it's scale weight.
Couple of ideas.

Check voltage commong out of the alt at 1500rpms. Should be around 14. If so. Check voltage at same rpms at battery. Is it around the same voltage? If so then it has something to do with your winch. I doubt a wich would kill a battery in 3 seconds. Check winch battery connections. AT idle most alternators will not provide a charge.

Second idea if all else is working properly is to get a snatch block and double your capacity.
lets see , straight line pull rating with lots of wraps on drum for 8274 is 4,000.
You had 4,000lb rig frozen in place , prolly just exceeded the pull max. Use a snatch block and double the cable back to your rig and see what happens , you will be amazed. The rating is 8,000lbs on a double line pull , says right in the manual.
thanks for all of the info guys.
as for the age of the winch, it came of my old man's 85 3/4ton ford. i don't know when the winch was installed, but the old man bought it around 92'.

the heep i was pulling had tires full of air, and had been sitting in the snow, it was frozen to the ground, but i wouldn't say it was "frozen in ice" as it sounds like it was abondened in a pool of water or something.

i would have used the snatch-block had i known we had one handy, but no one informed me on it.

i'll put a voltage meter on alt and battery to see where i'm at.

i'm interested in this upgrade from the old motor to the new.... if mine is old enough to qualify.
here is a pic of the winch (incase it help identify it's age).

It looks 70s to early 80s. You can tell by the date code stamped by the serial number.

The first letter is the month.

The second letter is the day.

The number is the last digit of the year it was built.

The year can be determined by the serial number. Mine was built in 1980 and its serial number is about 150,000.
alright, i'll get the serial number in the morning.
what year did they change it to the larger motor?

where can i find details on an upgrade if i qualify?

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