How to Wire a Winch Rocker Switch

How to Wire a Winch Rocker Switch?

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The best thing about the modern winch is that it can be controlled remotely. Unlike the traditional winch, the modern winch has a dedicated remote control that lets you operate the winch in the comfort of your driver’s seat. But, despite having a slight advantage, some truck, Jeep and SUV drivers argue that connecting and disconnecting a remote can be quite tedious. For that reason, most people prefer to use a switch. Unfortunately, most of them don’t really know how to wire a winch rocker switch.

You see, a lot can happen while in the wilderness. Your vehicle can get stuck in the mud, sand, or a ditch unexpectedly. During the recovery process, some people will prefer to take the longer route of plugging a remote while others will prefer to use a rocker switch to enjoy the convenience of controlling the winch while inside the vehicle.

Although both routes will produce similar results, having a rocker switch mounted in your dashboard will make it easier for you to operate the winch. The easier it gets, the faster it is to get out of a sticky situation. But, there’s a problem—most people don’t know how to wire a rocker switch to a winch. So, in this guide, we’re going to discuss exactly how you’re supposed to wire a rocker switch in your vehicle’s winch.


What’s a Winch Rocker Switch?


A winch rocker switch is a rig that uses a switch to control a winch instead of relying on the remote control. What makes it a better alternative is the fact that you can mount it anywhere near the driver’s seat for easy access. Unlike a remote that has cumbersome wires, a winch rocker switch has no external wires.

Instead, the wiring process is done internally and what is left is a switch that lets you control the winch while seated in your vehicle. Besides controlling the winch while inside the vehicle, a winch rocker switch allows you to drive your vehicle while still controlling the winch during a recovery.


How Do You Wire a Winch Rocker Switch?


So, are you eager to learn how to wire a winch rocker switch? Well, here’s a simple step-by-step procedure. Since most people are not experts when it comes to wiring, we’ll break down the process into three portions to enhance efficiency.

Part One: Just Before Installation

  • Step One: Turn off the vehicle before doing anything more. This will ensure there’s no power running from the battery to the toggle switch.
  • Step Two: Next, locate the toggle switch and three of its wires. Here, you’ll expect to see the red, green, and yellow wires. Once you locate the wires, check the toggle switch to confirm it’s off and not on. Remember, all these are safety procedures that will guarantee your safety when wiring your winch rocker switch.
  • Step Three: Now it’s time to disengage the winch clutch. When you’re done, open the car’s hood to begin the installation process.
  • Step Four: Before you start, make sure that you free the yellow and green color wires from the spade connectors.

Part Two: Installing the Toggle Switch

Before we install the winch rocker switch, it’s important that we begin by installing the toggle switch. So, here, you’ll start by finding the solenoid box. Although solenoids vary depending on the model, most of them have three terminals that include the positive, negative, and output terminals at the lower end of the solenoid box.

At the top of the solenoid box, there are two more connections. These are used to connect the colored wires from the toggle switch. The toggle switch itself has three wires that include a red power cable and two green and yellow wires that are connected to the In and Out parts of the solenoid terminals.

Part Three: Wiring the Rocker Switch

  • Step One: With the toggle switch ready, it’s now time to wire the rocker switch. Start by inspecting the rocker switch to ensure it’s not broken.
  • Step Two: Pick your green, red and yellow wires and push them through the back of the rocker switch housing.
  • Step Three: If you inspect your rocker switch closely, you’ll notice that it has four terminals at the back or 7 terminals in case it’s a 7-pin rocker switch. So, during the wiring process, your green, red and yellow wires will go on the three terminals leaving the top right terminal untouched.

This terminal will then be connected with a black wire that will serve as the ground wire. This wire will be connected to the car’s chassis.

So, having cleared the air, proceed with the wiring by connecting the yellow wire to the top terminal, the red wire to the middle terminal, and the green wire to the bottom terminal. The yellow and the green wires will serve as the winch’s In and Outs while the red wire will serve as the power source.

These wires will be matched with the corresponding wires from the toggle switch. Once you’re done, find a secure and convenient place to stick your rocker switch.

Part Four: Finishing the Installation

Now that you’re through with the wiring process, it’s time to test your winch rocker switch to see whether the wiring was correct.

  • Step One: Start by disengaging the rocker switch clutch.
  • Step Two: Next, turn the rocker switch ‘OFF’. When you’re done, press it to ‘OUT’. With the rocker switch off, the winch should not engage when the switch is pressed ‘OUT’. If it does, then it means the wiring is incorrect.
  • Step Three: Now turn the rocker switch ‘ON’ and press it to ‘OUT’ once more. This time, the winch should engage by spooling the cable out. Again, if it doesn’t work, then the wiring is incorrect.



So, there you have it. As you can see, wiring a winch rocker switch is not as complex as it sounds. The process is very easy to understand provided you follow the right procedure. In our short guide, we’ve broken down the process into four parts to make it easier to follow and understand. However, if you think the process is too complex for you, then don’t hesitate to hire a winch mechanic to do the wiring for you.

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