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-   -   How to care for my winch? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/how-to-care-for-my-winch-237664.html)

mikemounlio 04-25-2013 09:48 AM

How to care for my winch?
 
I was reading my owners manual last night but didnt get to the care section and forgot the book at home. I have the XRC8


Can you guys give me some ideas on how to store the winch when not in use (still on the jeep). Anything i need to do to prolong the life of the cable? Any tips would be great. This is my 1st ever winch and i dont want to just throw away my money due to lack of knowledge or user error.

TJDave 04-25-2013 10:42 AM

I would cover it if you want it to look good for any period of time. My XRC8 winch I bought new a few years ago did not like the sun. After one year, the stickers and paint faded out and looked like crap. The thin plastic solenoid box faded and then cracked when I was lightly backed into. I ended up mounting the guts under the hood.

After another year, the winch stopped working. I hope you have better luck with yours than I did. The cable still looks new. Make sure you re-spool it neatly after a trip and it will be the least of your worries.

Brand new and Purdy!

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/j...DSCN1964-1.jpg

One year later

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/j...0/DSCN0111.jpg

Solenoid mounted under hood.

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/j...1/DSCN2591.jpg

Angus Brown 04-25-2013 10:46 AM

Before you use the winch the first time, you need to unspool it until you have 5 turns of cable left on the drum. Hook it to a solid stationary object that won't budge. Have someone sit in your jeep with the engine running, put the transmission in neutral, and apply light brake pedal pressure. Then use the remote to draw the cable in. Make sure your vehicle is lined up straight with the object you're winching towards, you want the entire winch cable to respool tightly and evenly, you may have to stop on occasion and slide the cable together (wear gloves), or let some cable out to get it on the drum correctly. Stopping occasionally will allow the motor to cool off a bit. Get all of the cable back onto the winch drum.

This stretches your cable which will help it last a lot longer than if you just went out and started using it on the trail. Try to keep it clean over time, and you can also spray some silicone spray or WD-40 on the cable on occasion to keep it in good condition. Always inspect your cable before going out on the trail, and anytime after using it for abrasion, kinks, or strand damage. Use a tree saver or tow strap or snatch block, never wrap the cable around something and hook the cable back onto itself, you'll kink it.

Jerry Bransford 04-25-2013 11:02 AM

WD40 is not a preservative, it is technically classified as a solvent and will evaporate within a few days leaving no protection behind. There are many good products that can provide long-term protection against the elements but WD40 is not one of them. Not to mention that winch cable is galvanized & doesn't need any preservative until it is old & scraped up enough to have worn off the galvanizing in spots.

Having owned a couple winches, about the only thing that would worry me would be if I lived in an area where the roads are salted. If I did, I'd keep the salt thoroughly rinsed off on a regular basis.

mikemounlio 04-25-2013 11:16 AM

I will unspool then respool under a bit of tension. I do have the cover for it. Guess i kinda thought there would be more to it then that. Thanks

Jerry Bransford 04-25-2013 11:21 AM

Respool the wire rope under more than a bit of tension... it needs to be tightly wound. I pull my parking brake on several clicks & use that to provide enough tension on the winch cable as I use the winch to pull my Jeep forward to a stationary object like another Jeep.

sevenservices 04-25-2013 11:24 AM

Right ^

most of the time it is recomended to pull AT LEAST 500 pounds of resistance to wrap a winch cable.

mikemounlio 04-25-2013 11:46 AM

thats what i was goning to do. It it hard on the drivetrain to pull like that?

Jerry Bransford 04-25-2013 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikemounlio (Post 3681302)
thats what i was goning to do. It it hard on the drivetrain to pull like that?

All you're doing is pulling against your brake which was designed for that.

Timberline 04-25-2013 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford (Post 3681337)
All you're doing is pulling against your brake which was designed for that.

Just to piggyback, remember you are doing this on a flat surface, not an incline.

geiman 04-25-2013 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angus Brown (Post 3681077)
Before you use the winch the first time, you need to unspool it until you have 5 turns of cable left on the drum. Hook it to a solid stationary object that won't budge. Have someone sit in your jeep with the engine running, put the transmission in neutral, and apply light brake pedal pressure. Then use the remote to draw the cable in. Make sure your vehicle is lined up straight with the object you're winching towards, you want the entire winch cable to respool tightly and evenly, you may have to stop on occasion and slide the cable together (wear gloves), or let some cable out to get it on the drum correctly. Stopping occasionally will allow the motor to cool off a bit. Get all of the cable back onto the winch drum.

This stretches your cable which will help it last a lot longer than if you just went out and started using it on the trail.

Please please please do this before you head out to the trail. Over the past year or two I've helped with a few "101" classes, and also have helped more than a few people out on the trail who needed assistance with recovery. I've lost count how many times we've come across someone trying to use a winch for the first time without having properly stretched the cable.

Last weekend was the latest time this happened. A group was behind us on the trail, and just as we were almost finished with that trail the lead Jeep was stuck and decided to try his new winch. Before I had a chance to stop him, he had pulled his tire into a rock and bent the rim, causing further issues. Long story short, he had pulled very hard on his new winch line and caused the wire to suck down into the spool of wire. Luckily we were able to get enough force to pull the wire out by reversing the Jeep down the hill, and then respooled the wire correctly. Of course then his winch line was kinked very badly.

Also make sure you respool the line properly after anytime you have it spooled out.

Sorry for the rant, just a reminder. If you ever see someone with a new (or new to them winch), make sure you mention this to them. It's surprising how many people don't know about this, and it can help save their winch line.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timberline (Post 3681348)
Just to piggyback, remember you are doing this on a flat surface, not an incline.

I do this on inclines frequently; just either lessen or remove completely the brake idea depending on the severity of the incline.

mikemounlio 04-25-2013 01:16 PM

Great info guys. You saved my winch line.

mikemounlio 04-25-2013 05:11 PM

Should the negative wire from the winch box go to the frame? Right now i have it going to the battery itself.

Jerry Bransford 04-25-2013 05:37 PM

The winch's negative/black heavy gauge power cable definitely needs to be connected directly to the battery.

Connecting it to the frame would cause many of the Jeep's internal frame-to-body ground connections to vaporize the first time a heavy winching job happened. :eek:

Some winch control boxes have an additional small-gauge ground wire (like 16-18 gauge) that needs to be grounded too, that small gauge ground wire can be grounded via the bumper or frame.

geiman 04-25-2013 08:15 PM

If you find yourself using your winch a good bit, a good synthetic line (preferably one with a safety thimble) would be a good upgrade. I just installed a new one myself from Viking offroad and can't say enough good things about them:

http://i.imgur.com/m7fIX64.jpg

When I ordred the line they were out of stock of all 3/8" and were waiting for more. I needed my line by this past weekend for a trip to Rausch, and Thor was nice enough to bump up my shipping speed so that I had it in time. They're great people to work with over there.

DBoat 04-25-2013 10:59 PM

Is there a need to "stretch" a synthetic cable too?

Lbear 04-25-2013 11:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DBoat (Post 3683852)
Is there a need to "stretch" a synthetic cable too?

Yes. The issue is preventing the cable or line from burying in between the lower wraps when you put it under load (see the story above from geiman about what happens when you don't pre-tension it). By pre-tensioning the line the wraps are tight and the line wont be able to wedge between the lower windings.

XwXCHADWICKYXwX 04-26-2013 12:55 AM

Good stuff to know since I'm in the process of installing mine and since neither me or my dad has had one until now.

geiman 04-26-2013 07:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lbear (Post 3683944)
Yes. The issue is preventing the cable or line from burying in between the lower wraps when you put it under load (see the story above from geiman about what happens when you don't pre-tension it). By pre-tensioning the line the wraps are tight and the line wont be able to wedge between the lower windings.

Exactly; I've seen people with synthetic line have the same issue. The one nice thing with synthetic line is you won't get a kink in the line like you would with steel.

The real benefits of synthetic, at least for me, is the weight savings and not having to worry nearly as much about killing or seriously maiming someone if the line snaps. I've never seen a steel cable snap in person, but it's not a "first" I'm anxious to have.

EnglishBulldog1 06-14-2013 12:27 AM

Thank you, this was just the info I was looking for!


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