The winch's solenoid is its power switch and main safety device. When electricity is sent to the solenoid upon activation of the power switch, a magnetic field causes the circuit to the winch to be completed and power to be sent to the device for operation. The solenoid protects the winch from being used without a key in the ignition. Wiring the solenoid to the winch and the switch is the final step in the installation process.
Run the positive and negative motor wires from the winch to the solenoid. Fasten these wires to the correctly labelled terminals on the solenoid by backing off the terminal nuts and securing the ring connectors over the terminal bolts. Tighten the terminal nuts back down.
Connect the positive and negative battery wires to the solenoid's terminals marked for the battery. Pay attention to the proper polarity. The red (+) wire goes to the positive terminal and the black (-) wire goes to the negative terminal.
Run the solenoid's battery wires to the vehicle's battery and fasten them to the correct polarity terminals.
Fasten the two wires from the winch's on/off switch or remote to the correctly labelled terminals on the solenoid. These wires are typically colour coded to match the solenoid terminals. If they are not, you must trace them back to their source to determine their polarity. Then make the connections to the solenoid based on this information.
Test your winch's operation prior to heading out on the trail.