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Help with snowblower winch (stuck in up position)

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by seekay, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. seekay

    seekay Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 40


    Hoping some of the electrical/wiring experts on here (I know you're out there) can help me with this problem. My IQ on this type of thing is pretty low.

    We hadn't been using our Bercomac snowblower/tractor this year as the neighbor has plowed instead. Now with record snow I needed to get it going and cut back some banks.

    I think I spooled the winch cable on wrong. When I first had the blower all attached, I hit the up switch and at first the winch just turned for a while and then suddenly the blower went all the the way up -- and now it is stuck in up.

    When I hit down, nothing happens. If I hit up, it makes a little electronic sound but nothing happens, winch won't turn.

    THis is a brand-new winch put on at the end of last season. It has been stored in a warm place.

    The blower is nearly useless because it leaves too much snow and the tractor gets stuck. I need to get this thing down.

    Any ideas short of taking off the winch entirely and trying a fresh install?
  2. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 877

    I know nothing about winches, so I'll take a stab at it.....don't winches have some sort of relwase that lets you unspool them?

    Maybe google the winch model to see if a manual pops up that tells you how to release it.
  3. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,676

    Try reversing wires on winch, may have a bad/incorrectly wired control. This will make up now down. Most of the winches I have seen for this kind of use are power up and down.
  4. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,779

    Can you reverse the wires on the winch to get it to go down so you can unspool it?
  5. xgiovannix12

    xgiovannix12 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,433

    sounds like the cable did not spool correctly and it binded the winch I would release the winch clutch and pull the cable out.
  6. gasjr4wd

    gasjr4wd Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    sounds like you are right. i bet too much cable is on one side and bound up. most of the time things work better w/less cable than what they give you. you may have to unlock the free spool and yank the crap out of it.
    op- post picts.
  7. seekay

    seekay Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 40

    Stuck snowblower winch - updated with pix/videos


    Here are a couple of short Youtube videos I made of the winch and related wiring. Would love to find out that a fix could be as easy as reversing the wiring!



    There is no way for this clutch to freewheel or manually release that I can find, unfortunately.

    Thanks so much for the replies so far, hopefully these vids shed some light on my situation.
  8. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    What's the make and model# of said winch?
    Do you have the wiring going wright to the battery? Or do you have a solenoid?
    If you have the wiring going to a solenoid. Try a new one. Does the winch make any sounds or movement?
    Or try a new switch. That could be bad as well.
  9. geer hed

    geer hed Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    You said that when you hit down it does nothing, but when you hit up it makes noise. This leads me to think that it's not getting power to the down circuit. It could be in your switch or the solenoid unit. First thing is you don't want to keep trying to go up, the more you do the more it's gonna jam and the higher the chance of burning up the motor.

    Unhook the wires at the solenoid that got to the winch motor. Now use a test light and check both circuits at the solenoid to see if you have power in both directions. If you do the problem is at the winch.
    If not then check the switch on the dash to see if you have power in both directions. If you don't have power in both directions at the switch then the switch is bad.
    If you have power in both directions at the switch but not the solenoid then the solenoid is bad.


    look at all the wires very close to make sure you don't have a broken wire before just replace the switch or solenoid.
  10. mike1969

    mike1969 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I have a very similar problem. Cable breaks sometimes but now even worse the winch will lift the snowblower but will not lower it so the snow blower stays stuck in the up position. I have a feeling that because the contacts where the positive and negative wires connect to the end of the winch motor ... they are touching on the steel mounting plate when the blower is raised in the UP position. The winch seems to work fine in both directions when i remove the motor from the mounting plate...
  11. mike1969

    mike1969 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    It's definately not the solenoid and the wires are not reversed since it works perfectly until the winch raises the blower a certain heigth .. If it were the solenoid or the wires were reversed it would not work when it's removed from the snow blower so either the contacts are touching on the metal mounting plate when it is raised or the cable is jamming
  12. Wade424

    Wade424 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Maybe a switch limiter isn't or is tripped?