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Discussion Starter #1
ive always had cable winches and was wondering if anyone could enlighten me on the differences/advantages of each?


Thanks!
 

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Synthetic is safer, stronger, lighter, easier to splice if broken, and a lot more friendly on the hands. Also, it won't rust. On the downside it is very sensitize to abrasion damage and probably not so happy about UV exposure. Also, it costs a bundle more and can void the warrantee on a few winches.
 

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i haven't had any personal experience with synthetic but i've read a little on it... i read that it doesn't store engery.... so when it breaks it doesn't turn into a death trap.. it also doesn't kink or fray like cable will... worth the $$$$
 

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The only down side to using synthetic I've found is using it on a snatch block. Cable usually finds its way to the groove on the pulley...if you're not careful with rope, it may get caught between the pulley and the plate(s)...
 

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There is one more down side. Apparently some winch drums can get hot with extreme use. The synthetics won't take the heat. That is why Warn line has a different type of line on the first layer, and of course more expensive.
 

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I have zero winch experience (well there's the ex-wife but that's another story). My first winch will be cable. I'm going with the old technology first.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't remember seeing any tow trucks with synthetic lines on their trucks.
 

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So the synthetic is more for weight savings, and use on winches that don't see as much action as a tow truck?
 

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Synthetic lines are great. They're MUCH safer than steel cables, bind up less, are lighter, don't stick you in the fingers (ie don't require the use of gloves) with little shards that may stick out from it. If you use synthetic line, you don't need the weight blanket to absorb the shock should the cable break (unlike steel lines, you should always put some sort of weight on them incase they break.

Synthetic lines can hold up to a good amount of abuse and pulling. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on my rig.
 

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I have zero winch experience (well there's the ex-wife but that's another story). My first winch will be cable. I'm going with the old technology first.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't remember seeing any tow trucks with synthetic lines on their trucks.
The one thing that you need to remember when using a steel cable is to not kink or bind it. It needs to be wound on to the drum with 500# of pressure and wound with one turn tight against the next. If you don't do that, you can get a cable pinched. That is always lots of fun trying to get it un pinched when you are pulling it out. Also, after each use, the cable needs to be rewound neatly and tight for the next use. If a cable gets wound so that it crosses a turn or two of cable underneath it can get a kink in it and will break there under heavy usage.

Synthetic line minimizes all these problems.
 

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well i also dont have any experience with a winch, but i wouldn't go with synthetic if u go rock crawlin a lot due to the abrasion, here in florida i dont have to worry about that so synthetic is that way to go, plus everything ^^^^they said..
 

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well i also dont have any experience with a winch, but i wouldn't go with synthetic if u go rock crawlin a lot due to the abrasion, here in florida i dont have to worry about that so synthetic is that way to go, plus everything ^^^^they said..
I use Amsteel and spend the majority of my off-road time on the rocks.
 

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The trick with synthetic in rocks is to slip a section of heater hose around it and let the hose contact the rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
very nice info everyone! Living in north georgia I get a little of everything as far as rocks and mud. With my winch being mounted on the under side of my bumper (ARB) i wouldnt have to worry with UV problems.

Used my cable with to pull a building down the other day and that was good fun but was worried because i dont know what abuse the cable got with the previous owner. So i figured id throw around the possibility of using synthetic.

I have a 9.5k Warn Winch so im not sure of the heat from the drum so ill definitely look into that.

Everytime i use my winch while wheeling if i dont do it right then when i get home i hook up to the tree trunk protector and let the winch pull the jeeps weight while in neutral to reel it in tight and straight.

Thanks a million everyone:thumbsup:
 

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The trick with synthetic in rocks is to slip a section of heater hose around it and let the hose contact the rocks.
Most winch ropes now come with a chafe protector as part of the package.

We've been running rope (MasterPull) on both our winches for about 5 years now, and I'd never go back to running steel cable. Much safer, much lighter, and much easier to use vs steel cable.

As for the tow truck analogy... steel cable is prohibited from use in all professional rock crawling competitions -- you can only use synth rope (due to the safety factory). IMHO that's a much closer analogy to our vehicles than a tow truck. ;) Also, tow trucks generally all use hydraulic winches, and while there are hydro winches available for Jeeps, most folks would recommend electric over hydro (myself included).
 
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