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Old 03-07-2018, 10:25 AM   #1
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Winch Install - Circuit Breaker Amperage

Getting ready to install a 12k badlands winch in an aluminess bumper. Trying to determine what size circuit breaker is safe to use 150 or 200amp.

I have a 2003 7.3 with dual factory alternators, is this the ambulance package and would they be 210 amp alternators?

Was thinking about using a 200amp circuit breaker at the battery terminals and 2awg cable to the winch. Just want to make sure I don't fry my system under extreme load.

Any help is appreciated

Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:51 AM   #2
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The winch pulls more than the starter when you get close to stall speeds at max pulls. So I'd estimate somewhere north of 600 amps.

Overloading the alternators shouldn't be a concern since the batteries will balance the load. To a point anyways. I've drawn my system voltage below 10 volts. The winch won't even start when it gets that low, but it'll run the low if the pull is already going. In the V10, 9.5 volts is about minimum system voltage to keep the engine running.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:52 AM   #3
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perhaps a simple battery disconnect at the terminal is all that is needed then?
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:20 AM   #4
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According to Harbor Freight's information, it comes with an in-line circuit breaker. If you want protection from a 'dead short', that 6hp 12vdc motor shouldn't ever draw more than 500amps, so a 500amp fusable link or fuse would do the trick.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:12 PM   #5
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Fuses are sized to protect the wire from short circuits. Any wire size has a maximum current carrying capacity, (see chart) beyond which the wire will overheat. A short to ground could end up melting the copper wire, probably resulting in a fire. Motors are generally protected by a thermal overload device, either built in to the motor, or specified by the manufacturer. When starting up, a motor will draw many times it's running current but only for a very short time. That start up surge may blow a quick acting fuse, that's why they have time delay fuses. Using a 500amp fuse feeding wire only capable of safely carrying 200A can result in overheated wire. That 500 amps might be the locked rotor (stalled out) current and hopefully only lasts a second or two, so a smaller fuse with a time delay would cover the LRC. I understand it's all a bit confusing, so I'd recomend contacting the manufacturer for their recomendations. Just remember that the fuse should be sized to protect the wire, the motor should have some type of thermal protection to prevent it overheating.

http://assets.bluesea.com/files/reso...ence/20010.pdf
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