Winch steel cable vs winch rope

Submitted: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 15:18
ThreadID: 22614 Views:13276 Replies:7 FollowUps:10
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Does anyone have any experience with synthetic winch ropes like Dynamica, Brawn Bronze, etc, over regular steel cable? There's got to be a serious weight difference - I'm looking at fitting out a 4WD, and am a bit of a subscriber to the alpinist theory of lightweight gear borrowed from hiking - if you can shave 100kg off the weight of a vehicle through smart gear choice throughout, it's like driving around with one less permanent passenger, which over the course of several years has got to have some worthwhile fuel savings. A 30m roll of steel cable hanging off the bar... well, that's a stack of weight. A winch is on the list, but the dead weight or a stock standard setup is making me reconsider, and I'd rather be with than without one.
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Reply By: Member - Troopytrek - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 16:09

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 16:09
G'Day Scubaroo,
Haven't personally had any experience with rope type but know some people who compete in competitions with it. There opinion is that for comps etc its worth the extra cost because of the ease and speed to use it but as for on an every day 4x4 doesn,t pay to spend the extra because if it gets a slight cut or freigh it will break and also apparently doesn't like sitting in the sun on your vehicle for an extended time as it is not uv stabilised and thus looses its strength also. as i said no expert but that is what i have been told.

Troopytrek
AnswerID: 109474

Follow Up By: Moggs - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 17:38

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 17:38
I use Amsteel Blue which was developed for the offshore fishing industry - there is no problem re: UV stabilisation.

It is ludicrous the prices you pay for the stuff in Aus.

I bought mine and an aluminium hawse from oklahoma offroad in the US.

Check out their website at www.okoffroad.com

They were excellent to deal with and ship regularly to Australia.

BTW, before anyone mentions it - not sure whether it would melt powering out re: the heat generated by the drum brake - will never find out as, in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, I will never power the line out for extended periods - I will freespool it. No heat is generated in the drum powering in.

I reckon the Amsteel Blue is good stuff. It also comes standard with a 10 foot sheath to protect the rop from rocks, which neatly winds onto the drum with the rope.

I actually bought the Amsteel Blue and sold my wire rope for more than what I paid for the Amsteel :)
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 17:41

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 17:41
sorry...5/16 x 100ft is USD150, which is about AUD190. This is the equivalent of 8mm rope by 40 meters as sold here. It comes with the sheath, a thimble for attaching to the drum, and is spliced with a metal guard on the loop.

It's good stuff :) especially at that price.
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Follow Up By: Patrolman Pat - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 18:09

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 18:09
"I will never power the line out for extended periods - I will freespool it. No heat is generated in the drum powering in."

You are tempting Mr Murphy with that one. You are bound to get stuck somewhere now and need to lower yourself down a slope with the winch. : ((
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 18:44

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 18:44
Maybe, but I'd rather tempt Mr Murphy on the remote chance I will need to winch backwards rather than tempt Mr Murphy every time I use the winch re: a recoiling broken wire rope. Not trying to be smart, that is just the way I see it. Anyway, tests in the US have shown that powering out for 15 to 20 foot of Amsteel does not effect it - I wouldn't do it, but apparantly you can safely - even though the stuff isn't heat rated.

To be honest, I and my Pathy do not go rock crawling - I am more likely to use my winch if I get hung up or bogged in mud when travelling by myself, which is usually on tracks so I should be able to winch through it forward.

I still stand by the comment that no electric winches with in the drum brakes are designed to be used to power out, especially nder load. It is the equivalent of driving with the handbrake on. Powering out should only be used to release tension on the line after winching to unhook. That's just what I have read and also been taught.
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FollowupID: 366252

Follow Up By: Glenn D - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 22:53

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 22:53
MR Moggs

In a popular 4 x 4 magazine it was alleged that powering out on a winch under load was acceptable??

Glenn
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:09

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:09
Maybe so...but if the magazine was referring to brake in drum electric winches, then they didn't do their research properly or read the instruction manual. Doesn't surprise me really, incorrect info and bias advertorials were thereasons I stopped buying the mags.

I am no winch expert, but it is clearly stated by the Warn (and I assume the others) that 4wd recovery winches are under no circumstances to be used as hoists ie. powering out.

It really is a bit of common logic as well. The in-drum brake is there to hold the vehicle when you stop winching. If you power out you will wear the brake out, and over time it will become damaged or not perfor it's intended job ie. holding the vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:13

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:13
For those interested, check out this article:

http://www.bb4wa.com/articles/amsteel2.htm

It has some info on Amsteel Blue Rope and also some commentary on powering out a planetary winch.
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FollowupID: 366302

Follow Up By: Moggs - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:18

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:18
....and this one just on Amsteel Blue

http://www.bb4wa.com/articles/amsteel.htm
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FollowupID: 366303

Reply By: Scubaroo - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 16:50

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 16:50
Yikes - just saw some prices, $628 for 40m of 8500kg rope, but the net weight is only 2kg. Sounds like an expensive place to save 15kg of vehicle weight :-(
AnswerID: 109478

Reply By: Lone Wolf - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 18:27

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 18:27
I don't have a winch...
I have never used a winch...

Just wanted to get that out of the way.

On all the DVD's I have watched, showing the Outback Challenge, the wire cable was by far the more robust. The synthetics had to be handled a little differently, and cleaned of sand, otherwise it is abraded through.

Again, I don't own or use a winch, but it was interesting to see these in action, and the problems associated.

Wolfie

AnswerID: 109490

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 19:18

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 19:18
A winch challenge competitor friend tried one of the synthetic ropes.... it works a treat except, as he found out, when you're hangin' ya 4by off it down a cliff and the rope goes "TWANG" over a rock.......
end-over-end-over-end!
Ouch!
AnswerID: 109494

Follow Up By: Rosco - Bris. - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 23:02

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 23:02
Interesting comment Brian ... and certainly quite pertinent.
I fully comprehend the scenario in winch challenge events, but the whole thing is ... THE WINCH SHALL NOT BE USED TO SUSPEND PPLS.

Having said that I know it's a diffferent situation, but it's interesting nevertheless that in these events .. all the rules of the book get left behind.

Merely the musings of one who has escaped a chackleathon ... read herself had one of those interminable girlie thingees. Me .. went to the pub with the cobbers.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 366155

Reply By: motherhen - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 23:14

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 23:14
is that the "plasma" rope my son was telling me about? - light weight, acid & sun resistant; sounded great, but expensive as yet.
AnswerID: 109548

Reply By: prado-wolf - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 13:59

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 13:59
Scubaroo,

i have the 45 m Dynamica rope on my 9500lbs Brawn winch and would never go back to steel rope.
Consider the weight difference right at at the front of the vehicle and also consider the ease of handling the rope vs. steel and the potential haz. if the steel rope breaks.

well spend money in my view.
AnswerID: 109613

Follow Up By: theratt - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 15:45

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 15:45
i got 45 meters on my warn XD9000 would never go back to wire
at least if my rope breaks tie a not in it and start again
also a advantage of being able to have more meters as well as lighter and safer
the only downfall is cost
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FollowupID: 366227

Reply By: madCrow - Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 16:59

Sunday, May 08, 2005 at 16:59
Hi Scubaroo,
just a note about which winch rope to get. Synthetic or wire?
I have never used synthetic on a winch, but I have been rock climbing a long time, since the late '70's & your choice of rope relied on what u were going to do with it. Water proof if you were going snow & ice climbing, abrassive resistant if you were going you use it rubbing against rock edges. So consider where & in what situations the rope is going to be used.
A big factor in considering the enviroment of the rope is DUST, it breaks + wears down ropes incredibly, so if your planning the Canning Stock Route (which I have heard is a dust lovers paradise), choose wisely.
Anyway I cursedly am going to recommend an article to read in 4X4 Trader, current issue 178 Apr 15 -> May 13 page 20, it gives simple pros & cons of synthetic or wire ropes for winches
Enjoy & "May the force (of the winch) be with you!"

madCrow "u get out of life what u put in"
AnswerID: 110313

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