VEHD 150-3: Build a Worm-Drive Winch for Towing and Climbing

Make a winch Vehicle with ATOMS!

In this class you’ll learn how to build a winch with a worm-drive gearbox.

Parts Used:

Related Attachments:


Follow the instructions [pdf]




Refer to the wiring schematic [pdf]




See how you level up against professional engineers, designers, and inventors!

Challenge 1:

Conduct your own mountain rescue and send us a video of who you saved!

To submit, post a video of your experiment to your favorite video sharing site (i.e. Facebook, Vine, etc.), and email us the link along with your first name, and hometown/state to


Challenge 2:

What is the slowest you can lift your vehicle straight up without stalling?

Here’s how to attempt the challenge:

First, measure a 12″ section on a vertical wall, and mark it with a gentle tape, or post-its.

Second, create an anchor point using a tiny nail or thumb tack at least 6″ above your higher marks (so the vehicle has room to cross the finish mark). Then attach your winch hook to your anchor.

Third, unwind the winch so that the front of your vehicle is aligned with the lower mark.

Finally, power up and run your experiment, timing your ascent with a stop watch.

Experiment with different gear ratios and motor power (knob settings), but if your vehicle “stalls” or stops completely, you’ve got to start over.

To submit, email us a picture of your setup, along with your first name, and hometown/state to


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ATOMS University > College of Engineering > VEHD 150: Intro to Drivetrains > Class 3: Make a Winch Vehicle