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Unread 10-06-2013, 08:57 PM   #1
Awesome
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Did I ruin my winch cable?

So I was trying to use my winch the other day and all it would do is click. I figured I had fried something because I had really overloaded it a few weeks prior, but it had spooled back in properly.

So today I was trying to test it to see if I ruined it. I connected a jumper cable, grounded it to the winch line, and started checking the terminals to see if I could get the winch to move. I got it to turn in one direction by putting the positive on one of the three terminals on the back of the winch. A lot of sparking and glowing went on while doing this. While "brainstorming" on how to check to see if I could turn the winch in the other direction, I touched the positive end of the jumper cable to the winch line. Big spark. There is now a burnt spot and one strand has been severed. Is the line ruined? I don't think one strand constitutes a ruined line as it's otherwise perfect.

Also, while searching for answers I came across threads on how to spool your cable back on the drum. Nobody gives the obvious and easy answer: hold the line and put tension on it yourself. This allows you to spool the line up properly and you don't have to worry about it stacking. Just be sure to wear gloves (you should at all times when handling a steel line) and don't let your hands get close to the winch.

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Unread 10-06-2013, 10:30 PM   #2
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If you burned through part of the cable, I would say it is ruined at that spot. Don't risk it. Buy a new one or switch to synthetic.

When I re-spooled my line last week, I hooked a pallet (anything heavy will work) onto the line and dragged it in while I guided the cable onto the drum.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 03:25 AM   #3
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Definitely replace the cable. Steel cable is dangerous enough when in good shape let alone compromised. If I were you I would unspool it and throw it away immediately so you will be forced to replace it with new.

Winching is serious business and can cause severe injury or even death in certain circumstances. Don’t put yourself or others at risk.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:56 AM   #4
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Winch cables are repaired all the time on the job. Just spot weld it at the severed spot.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 08:47 AM   #5
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I don't know if I would weld it, but I don't think your winch cable is ruined. Where is this spot on the line? Near the end or towards the hook?
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Unread 10-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #6
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The line is almost completely unspooled right now, as I was trying to use it with a snatch block to pull down a fallen tree, so I don't know where the bad spot is as far as length goes.

I also am not sure I would trust a weld to hold the line together.

Also, the burned spot is worse than I thought. I actually burned all the way through one of the braids, not just a single strand. I would like a synthetic line. Maybe I'll be able to spend the $200 later, but I don't have it right now.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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Definitely time to lose the cable.

As for the other issue, it sounds like the winch motor isn't getting grounded properly. This happens a lot after a winch is refurbished (the fresh paint is enough to block the ground) and I've seen it happen more than once on winches that have been working fine for a long time. The best solution is to weld a post to the motor case and attach a ground directly to it. Most older winches have a ground wire that runs to the bolts that hold the motor to the winch (and the end plate cover on). Since your solenoids typically also have a ground running to that location, the solenoid will operate; however, the ground has to go through the thin metal of the end plate to get to the motor for it's ground.

For a quick fix, you can remove the end plate, scuff up the area where it mates to the motor, and make sure that the ground is getting good contact with the bolt/end plate. As I said before, a better option is welding a post onto the motor casing (I normally just take a decent bolt, grind the head into a nice round base (take the corners off), put a sacrificial nut on to protect the threads from spatter, and weld it to the casing. Once you have it in place, you can back the nut off to the height of the other posts and trim it off flush with the top of the bolt, run the bolt back down, chamfer the edges, and back the nut completely off to clean up the ends of the threads.

After paint, it looks like it came from the factory that way and you should never have a ground problem again.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 11:45 AM   #8
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Last thing you want is a faulty line. Things can get pretty dangerous when you put tension on a line. If I were you I`d save up and get a nice synthetic rope / fairlead replacement. You can get a Warn branded Spydura Synthetic Rope - 3/8" x 80' starting around $250. Kind of pricey but well worth it. If thats out of your budget you can save some cash by going with a off-brand rope like Quadratec. Obviously it depends on your specific winch. Stay safe!

http://www.clemson4wheel.com/shop-by...fairleads.html

http://www.quadratec.com/products/92...FUdo7AodSjcAiA

As far as operation goes Warn has a pretty basic guide to winching. May or may not apply to your specific winch but it does hold some good general information.

http://www.warn.com/corporate/images...US.readers.pdf

Last edited by danielatc4w; 10-07-2013 at 03:18 PM.. Reason: Link to Winching Guide
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Unread 10-07-2013, 04:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
Winch cables are repaired all the time on the job. Just spot weld it at the severed spot.
Just what is this place where you work that you are welding broken cable back together all the time?

Not an attack on you but until I’m convinced otherwise I do have to say that that is the most idiotic thing I’ve heard in a long time.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 11:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
Winch cables are repaired all the time on the job. Just spot weld it at the severed spot.
No, No, No! Did I say No?!?!?

A winch cable should never be welded, it changes the properties of the steel and creates weakness. Also, it should never be exposed to electrical current. You CAN see the damage that was caused from electricity on the outside. What you can't see is any damage that may have been caused on the INSIDE.

Do yourself and anyone who may ever be near that cable a BIG favor. Replace it!

I spent 12 years working on cable hoists and winches and I have seen the damage that a faulty cable can cause. Trust me, it isn't pretty.
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Unread 10-08-2013, 08:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1222 View Post
Don’t put yourself or others at risk.
This x2
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Unread 10-08-2013, 09:29 AM   #12
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Well, ladies, if one relied upon you all, the scrap yards would be filled with wire rope. Which, of course, they are not. The good news is that OSHA which has a regulation on everything, has one on broken wire rope. find it here: 1926.1413(a)(2)(ii)(A)

(ii) Category II. Apparent deficiencies in this category are: (A) Visible broken wires, as follows:
(1) In running wire ropes: Six randomly distributed broken wires in one rope lay or three broken wires in one strand in one rope lay, where a rope lay is the length along the rope in which one strand makes a complete revolution around the rope.

Since the OP quoted one wire broken, it does not even have to be repaired. And, i agree that wire rope should not be welded, but, if it is one wire, it will be stabilized by a spot weld to the wire next to it, ruining two wires out of the three permitted which is what the OP should do, just like I said. In fact, I carry a few welding rods and a battery cable in my rig and would have been happy to fix the thing on the spot.

It is also a good reason to toss the tiny cables that come with your winches and upgrade to two times winch capacity, like I do. that way, you won't have to cry like a girl if you get a little frayed wire on your rope.
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Unread 10-08-2013, 09:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
Since the OP quoted one wire broken, it does not even have to be repaired.
See post #6. Not one wire, almost one complete strand.
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Unread 10-08-2013, 09:50 AM   #14
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We could debate strands and wires but its really irrelevant. What is relevant is a winch cable snapping. The safety of my friends, passengers and family would take priority over a $200 winch line. Do yourself a favor and get a new line.

Relevant.



Relevant but NSFL (Gore - Winch Cable injuries).

http://www.jeepaholics.com/support/Topic354076.aspx
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Unread 10-08-2013, 10:12 AM   #15
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There was enough heat to break at least one strand or possibly more so normal logic would dictate that most likely a few more strands could have been compromised in the process. Either way you look at it trying to save that cable is not worth the risk of bodily harm or worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
...And, i agree that wire rope should not be welded...
Well at least we all can agree on some part of your “ladies” post.

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