How many winch owners keep them covered to keep the day to day dust, dirt, mud, snow etc. out? I assume as with anything it will keep them in better shape over all, but is there a downside like moisture inside?
Mine has been uncovered for 6 yrs. and I never had a problem. But, I have steel cable not synthetic rope. If I was using synthetic I would try and cover it. About every 2-3 months I spray the steel cable with WD-40. That's what I know that works for me. Your experience might be different.
I have wire cable as well, I sprayed FF on the cable and will be covering the front with a license plate. I just figure that there is a lot of salt and spray of road grime that it might be good to cover. I remember when they had covers (vinyl) you could get to put over the whole thing, always thought they would blow off or some kid would take them just to piss you off! Wow now I am showing my age!
.....And I found another thread on winch covers! Its confirmed I am old and I can prove it by the lack of brain cells I am using at the moment!
Here is me. I do not know much either, but still got personal experience.
Got my warn 9500hs in 1999. Got the vinyl cover after couple of years, at the time for winter months when it was my daily driver. Was always a pain to put on and remove. Every time I would remove it, moisture everywhere, but not dirt. But powder coat paint was peeling of from the aluminuim and steel. Repainted it black with urethane based paint. Much better now.
The cable was and is still fine. Still the same steel wire. That make it what, 16 years old. Was sprayed with super lub synthetic teflon base the first fiew years. I have now been using what is called liquid moly as protector lubrican. Never was off, summer mud, sand dirt name it. Probably put that stuff on like once every other year. When dry, gloves are never dirty. And still no rust after all those years.
Now the jeep as not been the dd for more than 10 years, but always outside and on the road with salt and sand couple times a year. But have never put the cover back on.
So did I found the secret for keeping a rust free wire cable for a very long time, I do not know.
I have a 2 year old HF winch, never bothered to cover it, though when i bought it, i also got a cover for it, but somehow i ended up never using that cover. Same winch was installed in my FJ Cruiser originally, saw plenty of sun, rain and snow, now it's mounted in the JK, and i have only sprayed wd-40 once, it doesn't seem to rust, the wires are decolorating from the sun, but that's about it.
If i had synt line, i'll look to cover that spot or perhaps the entire winch, not really needed with steel line, unless perhaps if you were living in front of the beach, in which case, the winch would be the least of your concerns with rust
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