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Old 11-18-2013, 08:17 AM   #1
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Winch: Synthetic vs Steel cable

M getting ready to purchase a winch. I might have narrowed it down but now I have to choose synthetic vs steel. There is the article I found below, however they don't specify anything.

One negative thing about synthetic is that it holds water and then water freezes. I live in New England and experience freezing temperatures from time to time and wouldn't want to take a chance of needing the winch and not being able to use it because it's frozen...

So where you live plays a role on which cable might work best?

Any input and experience is appreciated.

http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/12...ynthetic-rope/

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Old 11-18-2013, 09:17 PM   #2
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:19 PM   #3
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I went synthetic for two reason. 1) weight savings and 2) if it does fail, its not liable to snap and take a leg off with it. I'm in New England and honestly, the freezing water in the line has never dawned on me until now. Might be time to invest in a winch cover.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:55 PM   #4
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I have synthetic line. There is only one benefit to steel....abrasion resistance. Everything else the synthetic wins...weight, can be fixed on the trail if it breaks, floats, doesnt snap violently and doesn't bury itself on itself. If you can afford it, there is no reason not to go synthetic.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:38 AM   #5
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I have 2 M8000 Warn winches 1 on my 02 Chevy truck with steel cable and 1 on my 2012 jeep with synthetic rope. The one on my trucks has been used thousands of times and I have broke 3 cables next time I change it will be SR. My jeeps winch has been use a couple hundred times rope still looks good. My buddy has broke his rope and just tied it in a knot and kept using it can't do that with cable.
I think more people should think about the winch they buy over which cable to use this past summer I pulled out at least 8 guys with brand new winches that would not work once a cheap winch get submerged most of them are junk not going to work, will leave you until with some luck one of us find you. This forum is full of guys buying those cheap ass winches. My vote on the cable would be Synthetic Rope.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:03 AM   #6
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But doesn't synthetic Rope breakdown? I think I read somewhere that you need to replace it yearly. That is a manufactures recommendation.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:09 AM   #7
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But doesn't synthetic Rope breakdown? I think I read somewhere that you need to replace it yearly. That is a manufactures recommendation.
You would have to show me that that. Mine says to inspect it yearly. I belong to a jeep club with 120 off roading Jeeps and now most of us have SR and we are using the rope and no one I know is replacing it yearly. If you find where you read that post it here. I'll bet it's some made in China rope.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:56 AM   #8
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You would have to show me that that. Mine says to inspect it yearly. I belong to a jeep club with 120 off roading Jeeps and now most of us have SR and we are using the rope and no one I know is replacing it yearly. If you find where you read that post it here. I'll bet it's some made in China rope.
That is very possible.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:44 AM   #9
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I have synthetic line. There is only one benefit to steel....abrasion resistance. Everything else the synthetic wins...weight, can be fixed on the trail if it breaks, floats, doesnt snap violently and doesn't bury itself on itself. If you can afford it, there is no reason not to go synthetic.
Synthetic can and will bury up although its not near as bad as steel. But I agree there is no reason not to go synthetic if you can swing it.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:48 AM   #10
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But doesn't synthetic Rope breakdown? I think I read somewhere that you need to replace it yearly. That is a manufactures recommendation.
I have lots of verry hard pulls on the line I am running now, it has been wrapped around rocks, drug threw trees, used in snatch blocks, and snatched on. I have two years on it now with no failures.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:30 AM   #11
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I had it on my LJR and will use it on my JKUR. Saves weight, easy to handle. I'm guessing mine was 5 years old and with moderate use it showed no signs of needing replacement.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:31 AM   #12
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But doesn't synthetic Rope breakdown? I think I read somewhere that you need to replace it yearly. That is a manufactures recommendation.
Synthetic rope should be maintained, but you definitely dont need to replace it. Fisherman have been using synthetic rope for ages, in extremely harsh environments (salt water) and their rope lasts years. I would unspool in annually and soak it in a bucket of vynilex or something just to keep it "fresh" for 20 minutes and thats about it...that and a visual inspection.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #13
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Synthetic can and will bury up although its not near as bad as steel. But I agree there is no reason not to go synthetic if you can swing it.
Im sure it is possible, but from my personal experience (haven't winched THAT much) it's not easy. A friend of mine has a qtec winch with steel rope. When spooling in, you have to guide the steel because it left to its own devices, it will bury itself rather easily. Although I haven't tried to purposefully bury my rope, I haven't had any burying issues, and the one time my friend buried his cable, I quickly saw the kind of PITA it becomes. If that happened on the trail, it would be a very annoying day (took us nearly 2 hours to get it free, and don't even get me started on kinked cables....I'd rather leave my jeep in the woods.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:16 AM   #14
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I've used syn rope since 2005 and not had breakdowns with the rope across time. It can get a bit frozen, but you can always set the winch on freespool and it always comes off in the coldest of weather (snow runs in Michigan in Jan and it always unspools).

Like any cable you need to pay attention as it's wound in and out so it doesn't wrap back on itself.

Whenever I get a Warn winch, the steel wire is the first thing removed and given away.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC View Post
Synthetic rope should be maintained, but you definitely dont need to replace it. Fisherman have been using synthetic rope for ages, in extremely harsh environments (salt water) and their rope lasts years. I would unspool in annually and soak it in a bucket of vynilex or something just to keep it "fresh" for 20 minutes and thats about it...that and a visual inspection.
Can you explain a bit more about vynilex? What is it and what does it do? Thanks
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoseRubicon View Post
M getting ready to purchase a winch. I might have narrowed it down but now I have to choose synthetic vs steel. There is the article I found below, however they don't specify anything.

One negative thing about synthetic is that it holds water and then water freezes. I live in New England and experience freezing temperatures from time to time and wouldn't want to take a chance of needing the winch and not being able to use it because it's frozen...

So where you live plays a role on which cable might work best?

Any input and experience is appreciated.

Steel Winch Cable Vs. Synthetic Rope - Four Wheeler Magazine
If for no other reason... the fairleads look better for synthetic.


I don't think a frozen rope would be an issue. The top layer might get coated but it wouldn't be hard to break... and a frozen rope may be stiffer, but it would unwind from the spool.

I'm curious what you decided on for a winch... I'm not going to pile on the WARN fan club, but when you amortize the cost out for the life of the vehicle, it just doesn't make sense to skimp. Winches are a PITA to install, and I only wanted to do that job once. Having one that will always do the job is a better $$/time proposition to me. The 1st winch might be cheaper, but when its deadweight on your front bumper it's potentially going to cost WAY more. Buy a winch that gets best reviews, not the lowest cost option.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:11 AM   #17
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If for no other reason... the fairleads look better for synthetic. I don't think a frozen rope would be an issue. The top layer might get coated but it wouldn't be hard to break... and a frozen rope may be stiffer, but it would unwind from the spool. I'm curious what you decided on for a winch... I'm not going to pile on the WARN fan club, but when you amortize the cost out for the life of the vehicle, it just doesn't make sense to skimp. Winches are a PITA to install, and I only wanted to do that job once. Having one that will always do the job is a better $$/time proposition to me. The 1st winch might be cheaper, but when its deadweight on your front bumper it's potentially going to cost WAY more. Buy a winch that gets best reviews, not the lowest cost option.
Damn man. You are not helping the situation! (Being sarcastic)

Since I was going synthetic I was considering the Quadratec Winch. I would love to get a Warn or Superwinch but the price is expensive. I have the unlimited and I'm not sure an 8,000 lbs capacity winch would be enough. So I'm looking at 10K + capacity and obviously that drives the price way up there. So now I'm undecided. In order to get Warn I may have to wait until summer to get more money instead of just getting it now!

I'm undecided right now.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:33 AM   #18
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Damn man. You are not helping the situation! (Being sarcastic)

Since I was going synthetic I was considering the Quadratec Winch. I would love to get a Warn or Superwinch but the price is expensive. I have the unlimited and I'm not sure an 8,000 lbs capacity winch would be enough. So I'm looking at 10K + capacity and obviously that drives the price way up there. So now I'm undecided. In order to get Warn I may have to wait until summer to get more money instead of just getting it now!

I'm undecided right now.
Have you looked at the engo winches? I got the engo9000S which comes with synthetic rope and its great--Used it a bunch and worked awesome... Lots of good reviews too...
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:43 AM   #19
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winch use is like guys talking about sex, most claims are usually over inflated.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:48 PM   #20
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Can you explain a bit more about vynilex? What is it and what does it do? Thanks
Its just a treatment for plastics rubber and vynil. Synthetic rope is made of nylon, which is essentially a plastic. Rubbing the top down with vynilex will keep it UV healthy, pliable, and less prone to cracking over time. Its just maintenance.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:52 PM   #21
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An 8K Warn is fine. Buy a snatch block, a few d-rings and strap. Straps are faster, the snatch block allows more pulling power and a possible change in direction.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:14 PM   #22
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winch use is like guys talking about sex, most claims are usually over inflated.
Ha! Some of us like it rough!



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An 8K Warn is fine. Buy a snatch block, a few d-rings and strap. Straps are faster, the snatch block allows more pulling power and a possible change in direction.
What he said... ^^
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:23 PM   #23
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I have watched Quadratec's pull out a brand new Warn. Do some research and read reviews. After I did I bought a Quadratec and absolutely love it.

Also went synthetic. I would rather spend a couple hundred more than feel terrible if someone got hurt with my snapped cable. Especially if your out where no ambulance is going to come.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:19 PM   #24
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I have watched Quadratec's pull out a brand new Warn. Do some research and read reviews. After I did I bought a Quadratec and absolutely love it.
Give me 30 years and then tell me whether that Quadratec is still out-pulling that Warn.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:32 PM   #25
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quality synthetic rope cost more than many cheap winches ie engo and QT and their ilk. I would trust higher quality synthetic rope but not the cheaper stuff. proper winching technique with steel cable should prevent anyone from being decapitated if the winch line breaks.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:55 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by FZY1 View Post
But doesn't synthetic Rope breakdown? I think I read somewhere that you need to replace it yearly. That is a manufactures recommendation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgee10 View Post
You would have to show me that that. Mine says to inspect it yearly. I belong to a jeep club with 120 off roading Jeeps and now most of us have SR and we are using the rope and no one I know is replacing it yearly. If you find where you read that post it here. I'll bet it's some made in China rope.
My Warn Zeon 10-S owner's manual says to replace it every 12 months. About choked when I read it, then got on here and read opinions and decided it's overkill, overmarketing, or both. I'll try to have a look at get the exact language after work this evening and post it up.
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Old 11-19-2013, 04:10 PM   #27
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My Warn Zeon 10-S owner's manual says to replace it every 12 months. About choked when I read it, then got on here and read opinions and decided it's overkill, overmarketing, or both. I'll try to have a look at get the exact language after work this evening and post it up.
I got it:

"
MOVING PARTS ENTANGLEMENT HAZARD
Failure to observe these instructions could lead to
serious injury or death.
Always know the Working Load Limit (WLL) of your

rope.
Never Exceed the WLL of 10,000 lbs. (4536 kgs.) or

shock load this rope.
Always determine the suitability of a rope for a specifi c

application.
Never use a rope if worn, damaged, abused,

overloaded, improperly maintained or over 12 months.
Never use rope over a rough surface without abrasion

protection.
Never bend rope around unprotected, sharp corners.

Always use WARN hawse fairlead.

Always replace the WARN Hawse Fairlead if damaged or

abused.
Always replace rope every 12 months.



Right from the manual... says it twice!
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Old 11-19-2013, 04:24 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blkfenderslookbetter View Post

I got it:

"
MOVING PARTS ENTANGLEMENT HAZARD
Failure to observe these instructions could lead to
serious injury or death.
•
Always know the Working Load Limit (WLL) of your

rope.
•
Never Exceed the WLL of 10,000 lbs. (4536 kgs.) or

shock load this rope.
•
Always determine the suitability of a rope for a specifi c

application.
•
Never use a rope if worn, damaged, abused,

overloaded, improperly maintained or over 12 months.
•
Never use rope over a rough surface without abrasion

protection.
•
Never bend rope around unprotected, sharp corners.

•
Always use WARN hawse fairlead.

•
Always replace the WARN Hawse Fairlead if damaged or

abused.
• Always replace rope every 12 months.


Right from the manual... says it twice!
Does it also say to change your oil every 3 months or 3000 miles?
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:36 PM   #29
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I was given a Ramsey REP 9000 it needs some TLC and a new remote. I can do it all but I need a wiring diagram for installation

Could anyone assist?

It did work but intermittently traced to the remote switch.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:36 PM   #30
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It is so that if it snaps, etc, their lawyers have protected Warn

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