Plasma / Synthetic Rope on Winches

Submitted: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 18:45
ThreadID: 68984 Views:8490 Replies:8 FollowUps:12
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OK, I know it is an expensive option but with the weight being only 1.5kg for 40m, I would be losing about 35kg off the front end. This to me is a massive saving as this is a lot of weight hanging a metre forward of the IFS system which is the weak point in my lux.

I heard a while ago that you couldn't put these types of ropes onto low mount winches (mine is an XD9000) due to the heat effecting the integrity of the rope.

So my question is this. is it true about the heat, what type to get (brand), good bad and uglies.

Many thanks.

Broe
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Reply By: RobAck - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 19:09

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 19:09
Yes heat is a problem but if you select the correct rope you will reduce the issue considerably. We have been using Dyneema for years as when we purchased it the rope had the best temperature tolerance on the market. There are some newer ones around so do the checks. To reduce heat build up you also need to understand that an electric winch should only be run for around 60 seconds then rested for 30 seconds to cycle the battery demand as well as reduce heat build up. You also should appreciate that whilst heat affects the rope it also has a strong detrimental affect on voltage as heat increases resistance So even if you were using wire rope the suggested on and off times remain applicable.

Our winch is an OX 10,000lb and whilst we have been using the maximim amount of rope we could, 40M if we did it again I actually cannot see the benefit in the extra length. Given a winch works at its best with a single layer on the drum we figure it is more effective to use a couple of winch extension straps or have that extra length made up of plasma rope. Something to think about.

Plasma rope also requires the same care and attention as any webbing recovery strap. Dirt rapidly increases the wear rate.

We do a reasonable amount of winch training so pulling out plasma rope is much easier than wire rope any day.

As well you will need to purchase something like the Michelle Sacks rope protector for when you run the rope over rocks etc

Regards

RobA
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Follow Up By: Member - SR509 (WA) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:28

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:28
Good advice there Rob,

Many thanks. I was thinking of having as much on there as I could as it would mean that I would have to take one less extension strap etc and if it was too long then I would just double line it.

Understood about winching times and winch maintenance and voltage battery etc etc.

Also, good advice on the rope protector, something you don't normally consider too much with a cable.
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Reply By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 19:09

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 19:09
Hey Broe, researching the same myself.

From what I can gather the first metre or so of the rope comes with a heat sheilding already in place.
The rope does not respond well to the fairlead roller system and you need to change to the hawser [spelling] unit, which is a slotted steel plate.

Google 'Tigerz winch' and check out the rope and fairlead.
Some very interesting stuff.

Cheers.....Lionel.
AnswerID: 365711

Follow Up By: Member - SR509 (WA) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:29

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:29
Ahhh, now i know why some trucks have that funny looking fairlead system which is actually a hawser unit.

Thanks for the advice Lionel.
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Reply By: png62 - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 20:06

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 20:06
When I replaced my cable with Dynamica, Iweighed the winch cable I had removed from my Premier and ended up with a 9kg saving - where did you get 35kg saving? I would like to have taken that much weight of the front of my vehicle.
cheers
John
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Follow Up By: Member - SR509 (WA) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:25

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:25
To tell you the truth, I got it from one of the major outlet stores here in Perth. Against what I normally do I took it on face value thinking "yeah, I almost burst a pooper valve installing that bastard". The winch was bloody heavy so I naturally thought that most of the weight would be the cable. Then, with the specs of the rope being only 1.5kg........ I believed him. Cut a long story short, that is where I got it from.
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Reply By: Member - lyndon K (SA) - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 20:15

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 20:15
Anyone know how much Plasma you can fit on a Warn 8000 high mount. Also having used wire rope the fairlead is a bit scratched. Would this need to be replaced.
Thanks Lyndon
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 06:36

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 06:36
Lyndon, yes, the fairlead would need to be replaced. Not sure how much you can fit on the high mount, will find out today and let you know.
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Follow Up By: Member - lyndon K (SA) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 08:24

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 08:24
Thanks John
With my luck i need all the rope i can get !
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 11:33

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 11:33
Lyndon, depends on the diameter of the rope, most common being 10mm. If it is 10mm, 40 mts maximum length. Hope that helps. John
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Reply By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 20:17

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 20:17
you are right heat does play a role in destoying plasma on warn type winches . i have had to replace plasma with wire to combat heat .
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Follow Up By: Member - SR509 (WA) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:31

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:31
Thanks Stuart,

How did you know it was time to replace the plasma? Was it discoloured, fraying, thinning etc etc.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 00:24

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 00:24
it discoloured and was melted to the rest of the spool and is still at work on the winch thar was replaced under warranty!!!!!!!!
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Reply By: Crackles - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 20:47

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 20:47
Broe your entire winch weighs 35kg so upgrading to plasma would only save 10 to 12 kg including swapping the roller to an alloy fairlead. Any saving is good on an IFS particually on the Lux which mounts the winch almost 1 & 1/2 metres forward of the front axle.
Best rope is probably Masterpull. (check the comparison chart)
Unlikely heat would be an issue for most recreation low mounts but if you do many extended pulls then a protective sleeve is available for the 1st layer.
Cheers Craig...............
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Follow Up By: Member - SR509 (WA) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:34

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:34
Thanks Craig,

As per one of the posts above, I actually contacted the guy who said about the weight saving and said he was full of sh#t. He then explained himself that because the weight of the cable, which is as you say 10-12kg, is forward 1 1/2 odd metres from the front axle, it is equivalent to having 35kg sitting directly above the axle due to the torque moment.

Bit scratchy but from memory Torque = Distance x force so makes sense.
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Reply By: PajDIDauto - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 21:46

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 21:46
The heat build-up in a low mount winch is due to the brake for these winches being housed inside the winch drum. Winching forward produces very little heat and won't harm most of the synthetic ropes on the market. Reversing or lowering a vehicle with the winch using the brake is when the heat build-up occurs. Correct winching technique will ensure that you don't experience heat to a level that will affect your rope (60 secs on/30 secs rest). There are ropes on the market now that are designed to overcome the heat problem.

For recreational use a short rope (say 20m) will save you money as these ropes are expensive. As someone already mentioned the best performance is from the first layer on the drum and the winches performance drops off after this. 20m easily covers the first layer and a couple of much cheaper winch extensions wil give you extra distance if you require it - although this will create complications when using a snatch block. Another alternative is a 20m synthetic winch rope and a 20m synthetic extension rope which can be changed the winch rope needs to be changed.

Competition is a different requirement altogether - don't get the two mixed up.

You will need to change your roller fairlead if it is the standard steel version. These can be quite rough and will reduce the life of your rope. An alloy hawse is an ok option but there is still a lot of friction with this style. The best option is to replace your rollers with stainless steel rollers to reduce friction,and being a harder material they don't scratch as easily either.

There are many synthetic winch rope brands on the market and there are only a couple of different materials used by all these brands. Plasma, Dynamica and Supermax are manufactured fom UHMWPE which has a low melting temp (hence the heat issue) while B-Line and VR-Tech are made from Technora which has a much higher melting temp. I'm unsure of the specs for Masterpull and VR-Redline but both these latest ropes utilize an outer protective sheath for more abrasion resistance.

All the synthetic ropes on the market are stronger than the wire cable you have now.

Phew, I think that's about all I can muster for now - hope it helps you make a decision. I can guarantee that you'll never look back once you've used synthetic winch rope!
AnswerID: 365746

Follow Up By: Member - SR509 (WA) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:40

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:40
Many thanks PajDIDauto,

Some good advice there regarding types etc.

After looking at the Hawse system, I think (as you do) staying with roller but going high quality is the way to go. Less friction = less wear in my book.

On to lengths, as I do long range touring, I will probably be going for 35m of 8mm from what I can see in the specs as winch extension straps are bulky and for my mind, if you are in a situation where you are winching, there is no need for a rush. I normally pull it all out, double line if it is too long (plus reduces stress on the winch) and then have a cup of tea or beer (dependent on time) while I sit back and look at the situation.

Once again, thanks again for the sound advice.
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Reply By: Blaze (Berri) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 02:06

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 02:06
Broe,

I agree with most of what is written above, just wanted to add one point, Most competiton events are now outlawing cable and going to Plazma style ropes due to the safety factor.


AnswerID: 365770

Follow Up By: Member - SR509 (WA) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:42

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 10:42
Blaze,

I have heard that too, if it snaps then there is no recoil apparently. Amazing given the amount of potential energy that has to dissipate.

I hate snatching though it is quick, easy, and normally effective, but I don't think it can good to your vehicle and then you get situations like that poor girl up in the Kimberley. If you have a winch, use it, it is easier and nicer to all involved.
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Follow Up By: Blaze (Berri) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 13:21

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 13:21
SR

I seen about 5 rope winch lines snap at the Outback Challenge and there is no dangerous recoil as the rope doesn't store any energy like wire.





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