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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to replace my winch cable. Need some input on wether to go with steel cable again or switch to synthetic. Thanks! Sorry if repost...


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I vote synthetic. Its just better, in my honest opinion. It doesn't bind and kink and you won't cut your fingers open on it.

seabee78
 

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Synthetic all the way, its single down fall is its weakness to UV rays. Its safer, lighter stronger what could be better... Keep it covered when not in use and it will last you the life of the average quad.

CW
 

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Yeah, synthetic is great. I will be replacing mine with synthetic soon.
 

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Synthetic rope FTW.
 

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I was a steel cable advocate...I have never heard of anyone breaking one. I have heard of synthetics breaking.

That said, I am damn tired of stabbing my fingers on broken cable strands and am looking at swapping out my 6 month old winch's steel cable for a synthetic rope. I use it way too much to tolerate the broken strands...

Sean
 

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I was a steel cable advocate...I have never heard of anyone breaking one. I have heard of synthetics breaking.

That said, I am damn tired of stabbing my fingers on broken cable strands and am looking at swapping out my 6 month old winch's steel cable for a synthetic rope. I use it way too much to tolerate the broken strands...

Sean
Exactly, I just didn't want to type all of the earlier, because I was using my phone.
 

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I broke my steel cable. but it was user error, not a worn out cable. that being said. I went to a steel cable again, because I'm cheap, and I carry work gloves with my on my quad so a broken strand isn't a concern.
 

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Ill tell you. Synthetic is pound for pound stronger than steel cable! BUT its NOT ANYWHERE NEAR AS DURABLE!!!! Run it over a rack or edge and it will likley fray and break. Now you should not do that with a steel cable either, but sometimes you need to and the steel will take it where the synthetic will NOT!
Also as I me tioned UV rays KILL syn rope! A couple seasons I. Direct light and you have seriously retarded the strength.

I ran syn line on both my Jeeps. One had a 8000Warn and the other a 12k Mile marker. 5/16 and 3/8 respectively. I used neopreen covers all the time u till I was wheeling. Then They came off. After airing up and stowing the gear the cover went back on.

My 3000 Gorilla on the 700 has 1/4" amsteel line on it now for the third year. Last winter I rotated the line. What was on the drum is now on top. Next year it will be fine and the following year I will put on a new line. At $50 its a small expense especially if you think its a four year span. So about 12.50$ per year. Yea cable would not need to be replaced. But the weight savings the worry about burrs and dangers associated with a cable are not even a thought with synthetic.

I have seen what a broken cable does. I have had to go thru a actual 2 day class on loads winching and securing loads. A broken cable is lethal! Buy a broken syn line expels its energy and falls to the ground with in a few feet. A cable will spri g back and remove legs and arms or windshields. Very dangerous. For this reason alone. Safety ill choose synthetic at three times its cost.

CW
 

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I have had both and I personally would only use steel. I ride rocks and I need the abrasion resistance of steel. My synthetic rope (stock on the Warn I had) started fraying and breaking down very quickly with the type of riding I do (rocks, mud, water, woods, etc..). I don't just merrily ride down the beaten path, I make my own path which puts the winch right in harms way. That being said, I also replace my steel winch cable annually (make my own at Lowes for about $20 including all the hardware, swags and cable guide) as they are also prone to kinking and fraying but there is now way I will hang my life on a synthetic rope as I pull myself and machine over a boulder with rough edges. The steel cable is my choice. I completely understand that the synthetic is stronger, lighter and doesn't hold potential energy but Ill stick with steel all the same for my situation. I also like the fact I can replace it each year for the 1/4 the cost of synthetic. Lot of times Harbor Freight has 50' of 3/16" cable for $11 on sale. Further, that damn rope protector sheath on the synthetic does nothing but get bound up in the winch as soon as it gets wet or muddy and then you are tugging like crazy to get the rope out, what a PITA!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Where's a good place to buy a decent one?


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Where's a good place to buy a decent one?


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Online is typically the best place to buy synthetic and you can buy steel from lowes, menards, harbor freight, etc....if you make your own like I do I just borrow a swagging tool from Lowe's shelf and make the cable right there in the store. You can do some research to figure it out. I just buy 50' of
3/16" cable, a triangle shaped cable guide and an aluminum swag for 3/16" cable. Your run the cable through the swag, around the cable guide, back through the other hole in the swag leaving about a half inch hanging out. Pull the cable tight around the cable guide and then crimp the swag in two places with a swagging tool about a third of the way back from both ends. It just amazes me that most stock cables do not use a cable guide and just have a loop in the cable with a swag. The cable guide spreads the stress out around the guide instead of it all pulling in one section of the cable. It also reduces the stress of the cable trying to pull back through the swag as it creates lots of friction on the guide.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd rather go with synthetic. Too many horror stories about steel cable.


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honestly, I'd rather have metal than sythetic. As the horror stories with steel are a finger poke. the horror stories with sythetic are my quad is still stuck and or it rolled when the line snapped trying to winch over a bolder.

As for the taking off legs, leathal aspec of a steel cable. 1. Yes a steel cable that's pulling 5000, 10,000, 15,000+ lbs would be leathal. but with an 800 lb atv and 2-300 lb rider, plus gear so lets say 1300 total lbs of weight on the line, and winches rated up to 3000 lbs of pull force I doubt it would kill you if it snapped, unless it was one of those 1:1,000,000 perfectly placed impacts. Now, that being said, I'm not one to put myself or others at risk so using proper pulling technique and making sure you're not where something could come flying at you if it does fail is paramont. When I broke my steel cable, I was in no danger because of where I was in conjunction with the ATV, the Cable, and the direction of force load. There is a reason wireless, and long cable remotes are available for winches. It's to get the opperator out of the way if something were to fail. Now, I know that using these is not always an option, but proper precautions can be taken to minimize the risk to the opperator, and bystanders. If wire winch cables were so dangerous they would stop selling them.
 

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My friend, I am not condeming your decision. It is yours and you obviously understand both sides of the Story. But don't be so quick to cast or wish away your common sence. If something unsafe DONT USE IT! Don't wait for some burocrat to tell you or me that this or that is bad or unsafe and not able to be used. Its called personal accountability. Something lacking in today's society.

Now you are correct, steel cable is not gonna jump off your drum and make or kill someone and kudos for taking the high road and practicing winching safely. But the vast majority DO NOT! Just watch you tube for a while...

Using one or the other is a personal decision. The both have appealing factors. The raw durability of steel cable is its one big one. Cheaper cost is a second. But remember winching over a sharp edge is NOT AVISABLE regulardless of the type of cable used. That cable snapping is every bit as deadly as a "real" winch cable on your truck. Its all relative, the weights may be smaller but so is the mass of the cable its elastic properties are same with Improper use it will recoil with force to damage severely. The simple truth is a synthetic cable will not.
Synthetic seems to break more... Well I have to agree that we READ about more with synthetic. Weather its actually a true statement is not something prove able. But I can bet allot that the vast majority come from misuse, abuse or UV light fatigue.

Cable has been around and working great for many years. I'll bet it ain't goning anywhere untill some liberal with clout gets hurt... <Insert sarcasum>Then he/she will put an end to our decision because they are surely smarter then is and will eliminate the risk to us stupid folk.<end sarcasm> ;) ::)

CW
 

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lol, if you really want to get into it. you could easily say that all winch cable failures are user error. Either wrong pull angle, to much drag force, using fatigued lines, using damaged lines, etc. With the only non-user error failure coming from defective line failure. but the chances of you actually being able to prove a defective line are slim to none. The point is wire lines have been around for over 100 yrs and they aren't going anywhere. They have proven to be durable, and safe. Yet another situation where you hear about the bad but not the good. When Logging companies and cranes switch to synthetic lines for yarders and heavy lifting I'll switch. How about that.
 

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I always use cable but I also use what they call a deadarm. I buy them off ebay for like $13 bucks. Go to ebay and search winch bumper. You just take your hook off and install it takes like 3 minutes. Not only does it work for protecting you fairlead when the hook is retracted but when using your winch just slide it down the cable and if the cable breaks it will stop they cable snap back that everyone talks about. Pretty handy and it's cheap insurance even though I personally have never had a cable break on me.
 

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I always use cable but I also use what they call a deadarm. I buy them off ebay for like $13 bucks. Go to ebay and search winch bumper. You just take your hook off and install it takes like 3 minutes. Not only does it work for protecting you fairlead when the hook is retracted but when using your winch just slide it down the cable and if the cable breaks it will stop they cable snap back that everyone talks about. Pretty handy and it's cheap insurance even though I personally have never had a cable break on me.
post a link.
 

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Not sure how to post links but ebay item number is #370885504542
 

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