Rewinding steel winch cable

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 14:15
ThreadID: 83748 Views:3972 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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Does anyone have a you beaut idea for rewinding a steel winch cable.

On my Warn winch while rewinding I recently snaped one of the end caps that hold the aluminium spreader bars, this happened by the cable stacking in one mound instead of spreading out along the drum, this bent the bars and pulled the end caps in snapping one.

At the time I was in Tasmania on the track from Ansons Bay to Eddystone Point and got stuck in one of the deep pools on the track. Foolishly, (I must have had a brain snap) instead of going straight through the pool I followed other tracks that led around the pool, someone must have been stuck previously because there were large holes that traped me. Took me six hours to extracate myself, there are no winching points.

Finally got out around 6:00pm and was booked on the ferry to return the following day. Relived, tired and dirty I quickly packed up to head for Eddystone Point. Brain dead I rewound the cable and did not notice the damage until I arrived home.

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Reply By: Roughasguts - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 15:49

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 15:49
For me boat winch I just fill up a milk crate with some heavy stuff, or put the kids in it for a ride put the hook on the bottom of the crate and wind it up seems enough tension for the job.

AnswerID: 442349

Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 16:13

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 16:13
Just spool it all the way out....leaving one turn of cable on drum.
Attach it to a tree on flat ground ...and winch the truck towards tree in neutral with engine running. A lot easier if you have a remote lead as well. With gloves on ...just guide cable from side to side of drum...while staying about 10 feet in front of truck. when it gets down to last 10-12 feet...unhook from tree and use your body weight to load up cable to the last.
Have done this hundreds of times...and works for me.

Cheers Keith
Nothin is ever the same once I own it ...........

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FollowupID: 714434

Reply By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 16:23

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 16:23
I have the car on a gentle ( < 5 degree) slope so that there is not a lot of tension on the wire but enough to keep it tidy. I then release the brake and let the winch hold the car and wind it in and with a long thick dowel, not my hand as I saw one clown do albeit with a glove, I "guide" the rope across the drum. I let it go to the end of the drum and then "guide" it back. You may even get an assistant sit in the drivers seat to keep the car running straight and handle the winch control. Being on your own you have to be very conscious of keeping the car lined up with the cable anchor point, tree etc etc.

The dowel is pointed at one end to allow me to jab it into the ground. I never wind it in without tension from an anchor point such as a tree etc. Even a mate is better than nothing.

In the bush I do not worry too much about how extra tidy it is. I just ensure it is not looped, knotted, twisted or a birds nest. I always run it out and back in after every trip and at least three times a year anyway.


AnswerID: 442358

Reply By: River Swaggie - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 17:17

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 17:17
If i am on flat ground i pull out hand brake and wind her in...
AnswerID: 442367

Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 18:28

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 18:28
That'll get back : )


The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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FollowupID: 714447

Reply By: Will 76 Series - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 18:35

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 18:35
Hello Michael,

I park the car on a slight rise and have an old tyre and rim that I winch up to the vehicle. I have safety gloves on and guide the cable onto the winch spool if it needs it atliest a metre out from the cable. Another safer method is to use a pick handle or similiar hard piece of wood to guide the cable across the spool as it winds in. I have found you do need some sort of light weight to get it wound tight and nice on the spool.
For deservicing i also add a bit of grease to the cable if it (water/mud) needs it as it goes on.

Regards Will
AnswerID: 442375

Reply By: Travis22 - Thursday, Jan 20, 2011 at 01:08

Thursday, Jan 20, 2011 at 01:08
I have a local power pole on a hill that i use to respool my winch cable once every couple of months or after trips involving river crossings. If i can ill have the misses gently ride the brake and hold the steering wheel straight while i stand infront and guide the cable side to side, but most of the time i do it on my own.

You really need to respool it nice and tight so that when used the outer layer does not pull down into the layers below potentially damaging the cable.


AnswerID: 442400

Reply By: get outmore - Thursday, Jan 20, 2011 at 11:03

Thursday, Jan 20, 2011 at 11:03
go down to your woolies or coles when its closed and spool the winch out to something sturdy like the bays for the trolleys, then which the handbrake on and winch it in
AnswerID: 442420

Follow Up By: Begaboy - Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 18:26

Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 18:26
This can also be done to the ATM , but best to have brake ON and do it at 3 am :)
FollowupID: 714627

Reply By: Michael46 - Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 13:22

Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 13:22
Thanks for all the replies. I particularly like the idea of the dowel or axe handle to feed the cable accross the drum. I will have a go at various options this weekend.

This site is a great source of information

Thanks again

AnswerID: 442555

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