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Discussion Starter #1
I installed one of the Harbor Freight Badlands 12,000lb. winches on my Jeep today. (Couldn't resist the sidewalk sale last weekend where I got it for $293, and went ahead and paid $30 more for the wireless remote for it.)

The installation went pretty smoothly, except I have one crazy problem I didn't expect. I can't get the winch cable to feed through the fairlead rollers past the loop on the end of it. The chunk of metal on the cable just behind the loop is a little too wide/thick to fit through.

I haven't seen any other complaints like this with the HF winches, so I'm assuming this isn't too common a problem? (I watched a YouTube video on installing one of these, and you can clearly see where the woman pulls it through the rollers on hers. It was obviously a tight fit but could be pulled through.)

I could probably disassemble the top roller on the fairlead, feed it through, and put the roller back on -- except these rollers don't look so easy to do that with. They're not bolted on, on the ends. Rather, it looks like there's a circular metal clip that holds them in place on each end and you may need a special tool to spread them open wide enough so they pop free.
 

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you can roll all the cable off, remove the set screw and remove the cable off the drum, feed the back end through the rollers and put it back to the drum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm... that's true.

That's one of those "so obvious, I didn't even think about it" things.

Thanks!

I may just do that. I know you're really supposed to re-spool it under tension anyway before the first real use.


you can roll all the cable off, remove the set screw and remove the cable off the drum, feed the back end through the rollers and put it back to the drum.
 

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you are welcome, don't ask how I know how to do it :)

BTW, you can save yourself some time and just get a synthetic rope right away. after dealing with wire cable on the trail in the cold mud, I did just thatn
 

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Discussion Starter #5
re: synthetic rope

I considered that too.....

I wasn't quite sure about the length though? On my winch, they included 65 feet of metal wire. If I switch to a synthetic (I guess 3/8" thick to keep the same 10,000lb. capacity), I don't know how much fits on the spool? I see most synthetic replacement lines for sale are more like 95-100ft. long.

As I have my control box mounted directly over the spool, I know there are potential issues if you have too much cable on the drum with it popping the control box off the top if it winds too much cable in one spot under it.


you are welcome, don't ask how I know how to do it :)

BTW, you can save yourself some time and just get a synthetic rope right away. after dealing with wire cable on the trail in the cold mud, I did just thatn
 

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mine is 85 ft long 3/8 thick. it is more compact than wire cable and spools easier. you do have to watch how you spool it and with wire cable if it bunches up, it will be a problem with control box as well and even more.

make sure you get a winch cover and a sleeve if you go synthetic
 

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It looks like you have it figured out already, but I had a similar issue and just removed the top roller of the fairlead. came out easily enough.
 

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You probably got it already but if not and even easier, just hook it to another truck or something else and pull it out.:beerme:
 
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