How to Replace Winch Cable [ Step by Step] in 2024

A large percentage of jeep owners have almost certainly dealt with the problem of an electric winch wire breaking. 

It can break, even if it is built by a reputable and well-known business like WARN

It appears that even a reasonably strong cable, one that can easily endure the strain of transporting your vehicle, might break and fracture. 

Even powerful cables can break, not due to a lack of strength or bad quality. They might break for a variety of causes.

Let’s Learn how to replace winch cable in this article.

How to Replace Winch Cable [ 6 Steps ]

Preparation for Winding

Preparation for Winding

Pay attention to how the preceding line is attached to the drum before removing it from the winch. 

A corresponding bore on the wheel port of off-road vehicle winches is used to attach a cable or synthetic winch line with a bolt. 

Although there are various sorts of attachments for winches, this is the most important.

After Removing Old Cable

Removing Old Cable

After removing the old cable from your off-road vehicle winch using the roller guide, carefully inspect the drum for sharp items that might harm the new rope after installation. 

While operating, a steel cable might cause serious damage to the drum. Due to use, steel wires tend to burr, fray, or kink. The wire has jagged tiny edges, similar to the jagged little splinters in an aged piece of wood. 

These tiny burrs can damage and roughen the surface of your winch drum. 

If any projecting lumps are discovered, and their rough edges to smooth the drum’s surface. This will protect the new rope from being destroyed.

Before Winding The Rope

A fresh rope fairlead will be required before winding the rope. Aluminum fairleads are ideal for synthetic winch lines since they have a smooth surface that won’t damage the cable. 

On the other hand, cast steel fairleads are not suggested since they do not have a smooth enough coating for synthetic cable. 

Steel pulley fairleads work well, as long as the rollers are smooth and not hollowed out. Aside from that, the rollers must be positioned such that they overlap each other. 

Because certain older rollers lack overlapping ones, a clearance might occur in the guiding corner. During operation, the winch line may become trapped in this clearance, causing damage.

Use Correct Type of Fairlead

Use Correct Type of Fairlead

Aside from making sure you’re using the right sort of fairlead, make sure there’s enough space between the fairleads and the collage plate’s ends: at least 0.37 inches to 0.5 inches. 

Alternatively, a sharp edge may be used to cut the winch line. As previously said, you must be aware of how the prior wire was linked to the drum. 

You must now connect the new cable in the same manner as the previous connection. A tiny diameter loop is affixed to the line end of the winch line, which you use to attach to the winch drum

A bolt-on for usage with various drums may be included in the drum kit. Attach the one that best matches your drum to a line. 

Attaching the Winch Line

Attaching the Winch Line

To learn how to replace the winch cable, you must first understand how to attach the winch line. 

Pass the winch line beneath the drum and from above via the attachment point after inserting the rope line’s end through the fairlead. Connect the winch wire to the drum now.

Overheat protection on certain winch lines shuts the rope on the first reel if it becomes too hot. 

This protective cover is advised when winding onto the drum for the first time since it protects against rubbing and alleged drum heat. This will aid in the preservation of your line’s integrity.

Spooling the Winch Line

Keep your hands aside from the winch and direct the rope into clean and tight wraps. It will be tough to steer the winch line and operate the winch controller alone at this point, so having help would be beneficial. 

As a result, one person will be in charge of the rope while the other will be in charge of the winch. Wearing protective gloves is suggested in addition to keeping your hands away from the drum.

It is critical to have a full layer of cable on the winch drum for the winch line to remain attached to the winch at all times. 

The rope is kept on the winch by the friction created by the turns. A tighter set of wraps will perform better and allow you to load the winch with more cable.

Make sure the line doesn’t overlap with itself before covering the whole width of the drum. Gently wind the line and lead it cleanly and uniformly from one drum to the next.


Is it worthwhile to invest in synthetic winch rope?

Synthetic rope is used in a variety of vehicle recovery scenarios. Synthetic is a good choice if you winch frequently and are worried about weight because it is light and simple to handle. 

It doesn’t form sharp burrs as iron rope does, and it doesn’t hold as much energy stored when loaded.

Is it possible to weld the winch cable?

After the ends of the metal wire have been warmed and fluxed, the complete cable may be welded. Apply flux to the whole cable before tonging it into the gas forge. 

One-half of the chopped steel cable component should be heated at a time. This will aid in the stronger welding of the steel cable.

Also check: How to Spool a Winch Cable


With this, we end up with today’s tutorial on replacing winch cable by following the steps given in the article. 

Make sure you have the right equipment and materials before you start disassembling. 

You’ve probably determined whether to put in a new winch cable or a synthetic winch rope at this point.

We suggest that you get a rope with an intermediate loop. 

This will save you time and reduce the chance of making a mistake when splicing the rope. 

As a result, how to build an eye splice will not be covered in this article.

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As an avid off-road enthusiast, I know firsthand the importance of having a reliable winch. That's why I created WinchAdvice – to help fellow off-roaders like myself make informed decisions when selecting their next winch. So whether you're an experienced pro or a beginner just starting out, my website offers valuable advice and guidance on all things winching.

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