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Repairing Winch Line On The Trail

Posted in How To on April 1, 2010
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Any 4x4's winch can break down in the field. Motors overheat, solenoid switches stop working, and mounting bolts break loose. But most of the time these problems can be overcome with preventive service and by not using the winch beyond its ability.

A broken winch line is another common problem that can really ruin a recovery. Whether it's synthetic rope or steel cable, if it breaks in the middle of a pull the vehicle could roll away, becoming stranded, and the cable's high-energy snapback could maim or kill someone. It is advised to stay clear of any winch cable, but if it does break don't give up hope. Here are some simple winch line repair techniques to get you back in action.

You should only repair cable when you're in dire straits, as it's better to replace broken cable as soon as possible. All you need is this $5 repair kit compiled of parts from a local hardware store: six appropriately sized cable clamps and two cable thimbles. For a cable end repair, simply loop the cable back on itself, install the thimble, and attach three cable clamps. Always put the U-bolt side on the hanging end of the cable; this is the "dead" end. You put the saddle part of the clamp on the end of the loop that runs to the winch, the "live" end. To remember, recite "never saddle a dead horse."
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