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Steel Cable or Synthic Rope

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by RDNK TAZ, Dec 16, 2012.

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Steel Cable or Synthic Rope

  1. Steel Cable

    15 vote(s)
    19.5%
  2. Synthic Rope

    62 vote(s)
    80.5%
  1. Dec 16, 2012 at 8:48 PM
    #1
    RDNK TAZ

    RDNK TAZ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was just curious what everyone's opinion is on steel cable vs. synthic rope for their winch. What type of winch and cable you are using and why? Your post is worthless without a reason for your choice.
     
  2. Dec 16, 2012 at 9:57 PM
    #2
    Hurtin Albertan

    Hurtin Albertan Free Man

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    Kingone 9500lb with Dyneema synthetic. Saving a little weight on a heavy front end and rumor has it the synthetic may be safer when it breaks (dunno) but at least it floats.
     
  3. Dec 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM
    #3
    blake5995

    blake5995 Well-Known Member

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    so this is what i heard from some Rubicon guys and this is just opinions. steel is the way to go if you are winching a lot and is harder to break and a lot less expensive. synthetic is a ton safer when it breaks because it just falls to the ground because it doesn't hold much energy in the line. synthetic is terrible where there are rocks or anything abrasiveness on the line because they will brake when rubbing up against these so basically steel is a good way to go.
     
  4. Dec 17, 2012 at 5:08 AM
    #4
    itsakeeper

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    8274 with 150' of 3/8" amsteel - I have had both and stepped up to 3/8" from 5/16" - the 5/16" just isn't strong enough; cable is better for abrasion but the rope is way superior when/if it breaks and it can easily be tied back together or the ends repaired
     
  5. Dec 17, 2012 at 5:16 AM
    #5
    Brunes

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    You can kink, create burrs, and break strands going over rocks with a wire rope too. They can also develop permanent twists when used around corners under heavy load. With the proper tools, synthetic is far for terrible around rocks. You should be using abrasion guard either way to protect the rocks...
    Synthetic line isn't perfect, but it can stand up to plenty of use and it's lighter and not prone to snap back.
     
  6. Dec 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM
    #6
    RDNK TAZ

    RDNK TAZ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The thing I'm conserned about is the ropes strength life. How many times or how long will it last until it breaks? You don't see rock climbers using the same rope for long periods of time. I know that a different rope for a different use but still. The rope has to be tested so often. With the cable, as long as you don't have any bad kinks or such, you can keep on pulling with it.
     
  7. Dec 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM
    #7
    Deadcrowm

    Deadcrowm Well-Known Member

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    Neck and neck... this should be interesting :popcorn:
     
  8. Dec 18, 2012 at 12:11 PM
    #8
    Janster

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    Synthetic rope all the way!!
    For reasons already mentioned... It's just easier and safer to work with.

    I work with a lot if cable at the factory. OSHA standards are very HIGH and daily inspections of cable are critical. There is a standard probably online but I'm outta time (at work).

    I've seen cables break.... And it ain't pretty!
     
  9. Dec 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM
    #9
    That Dude Tim

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    I vote for synthetic for when I will buy a winch b/c of these reasons:

    1) safer for the user and bystanders if/when it breaks
    2) weight, less weight than cable and saving weight helps
    3) easier to repair a rope cable than cable, if you can braid
    4 won't kink and easier to unspool vs cable

    I don't plan to offroad in the rocks so that was another point for my choice.

    Also read this Four Wheeler mag. had a good article about Cable vs Rope in their December 2012 issue. Good mag. for info and wheeling tips and gear.

    http://www.fourwheeler.com/techarticles/129_1212_steel_winch_cable_vs_synthetic_rope/
     
  10. Dec 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM
    #10
    ForeRunner

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    Synthetic all the way. Safer, lighter and easy to splice. I'm running a Warn M8k with 100' 3/8" Amsteel blue.

    Here's an artcle from Bill Burke regarding his use of Amsteel and the durability he's found with it.

    http://www.bb4wa.com/articles/amsteel2.html
     
  11. Dec 19, 2012 at 6:38 AM
    #11
    RDNK TAZ

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    Thanks Tim for that great article. It had some great information and answered any and all quetions that I had. As a fireman, I've been to a few calls where a winch was all we needed. I've also stopped to help a stranded motorest and a winch could have helped out alot. I think a steel cable will be my best choice due to the fact of life and maintenance. Synthetic just needs a little more TLC and if I forget to wash the cable I know it want fail on me when I need it most. I don't do any trail riding mainly because there are no places I can go around here and plus I didn't buy my Taco for toy.
     
  12. Dec 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM
    #12
    2012expedition

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    Just buy the steel. People used it for years before synthetic was ever around. You can always replace it later down the road with synthetic. In reality you probably aren't going to be using a winch an aweful lot. If you're concerned about safety, use somethign to dampen the energy if the cable does break one day.
     
  13. Dec 20, 2012 at 7:11 PM
    #13
    whahahajr

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    One thing I've wondered about is how synthetic holds up to the elements. Tow straps that are exposed to moisture and the sun become brittle. I'm not saying this will happen to synthetic I've just been curious.:confused:
     
  14. Dec 20, 2012 at 7:27 PM
    #14
    cameronlane

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    Synthetic is the only way to go. It is much safer. Just as strong. Quality synthetic will come with line protection covers that will protect it from the elements.
     
  15. Dec 21, 2012 at 4:56 AM
    #15
    Janster

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    http://www.propickupmag.com/synthetic-winch-line-care/

    We owned synthetic line for several years. That same line lasted the entire time and was still on the Jeep when we sold it.

    You can buy a heat shield & rock guard to help protect it. It's a fabric sheath that goes over the line. The heat shield goes over the line that goes around the drum to help protect it against heat. The rock guard.... well, you put that on the line where the line would rub against rocks or other items.

    Keeping the line properly spooled on the drum is essential. Each and every time you use the winch......you probably don't have the time to spool it up properly while out in the field. When you get home, you should un-spool it and re-spool it (under load) so the line is nicely wrapped around the drum and ready for next usage. My husband and I would re-spool it at home using our 96 tacoma as our 'load' (foot on brakes slightly).

    You can also buy a winch cover..... to keep the elements & water off the line.

    With synthetic winch line - NEVER use a roller fair lead. The line can get kinked in between the rollers & on the edges.

    Always keep 2 full wraps of line around the drum at all times.

    You guys worry about how synthetic rope lasts and/or withstands the weather & abuse..... Wire & Synthetic rope will both fail. The results of WIRE rope failure could land you in the hospital for some serious injuries. PERIOD. Don't take any chances with either.... REPLACE it if/when it reaches a 'questionable' condition.
     
  16. Dec 21, 2012 at 5:11 AM
    #16
    RDNK TAZ

    RDNK TAZ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That's why you put a towel or blanket on the cable everytime.
     
  17. Dec 21, 2012 at 5:49 AM
    #17
    Janster

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    Just a towel or blanket? Are you serious?

    Do you realize how much force is behind a cable when it snaps under load?

    Whatever you lay on the cable, better have a lot more weight to it......Synthetic rope doesn't need anything. It drops when it breaks.
     
  18. Dec 21, 2012 at 11:07 AM
    #18
    whahahajr

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  19. Dec 21, 2012 at 11:16 AM
    #19
    blake5995

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    yea i have seen a synthetic snap (actually a few of them) and they just fall to the ground like you dropped it.
    but when steel cables brake that is a different story. everyone will probably have to change there underwear cause those things will fuck up anything in there path including you.
     
  20. Dec 21, 2012 at 2:32 PM
    #20
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    There are weighted bags you can buy specifically to lay on a cable.... but I can't remember what they're called (been out of the hobby too long). Offroad shops will have 'em (or should). Or you can make your own.... like a pair of sandbags to drape over the cable. I would think it would need to be 20lbs or more to be effective (just guessing).
     
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