Warn winch bad solenoid

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!


Rank V

Advocate II

Gravette, AR, USA
Member #


Disclaimer: This story doesn’t have a happy ending...yet.

I bought my first, (and only) winch in 2008. I got a Warn 9.5ti and it served me well over the years. I’ve only had to use it a handful of times, but the peace of mind being able to “relatively” easily self-recover was invaluable. The last time I used the winch was about a month ago and that was to put tension on a tree so it fell in the direction I wanted. Everything was good until I went to spool in the cable after the tree came down. I would get a click from the housing and then nothing. The winch wasn’t hot and I never got close to exceeding the 9.5 ton capacity. After speaking to a buddy who’s rebuilt a few winches, he said it was most likely a bad solenoid. I opened the top of the housing to inspect the solenoids and nothing seemed amiss visually, but it certainly looked like a mess of wires and cables crammed in a very tight space.


Since the winch was 11 years old I decided to order four and replace them all. The solenoids arrived a few days later, but I decided it was a job that would probably take a while and could wait a few weeks. One of the issues making the task that much more challenging is the bumper grill hoop that would require removal of the bumper if I wanted to remove the winch.

Well, yesterday was the day to tackle the winch. I pulled my Jeep in to my shop and, armed with a new set of Dewalt tools, proceeded to attempt to replace the solenoids. Although a tight space, I was able to access the solenoids without removing the bumper or winch.


After getting to the relatively easy nuts, I struggled a bit to get the rest of them, but did manage to get all the solenoids out except for the one on the far right. I decided to leave that one for the time being and focus on replacing the two on the left first. While visually the new solenoids were exactly the same as the old, the bottom tabs were a little bigger and required trimming with a Dremel to get them to fit. As I started to rewire the first two solenoids it became pretty clear the cramped space was making the job very difficult. That’s when I decided the winch needed to come out.

This is when my new Dewalt impact driver came in very handy. In no time the bumper bolts were was loosened, the winch plate bolts removed and the winch (a heavy son of a bitch) was pulled. Even with the winch removed, there was no way I was getting the solenoids replaced without tearing down the winch.


So the winch will sit until another day and the bumper/winch plate reinstalled.

Last edited: