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Synthethic winch cable...fitment question.

2583 Views 22 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  TEEJ
I have a Warn 8000xi winch and my steel 5/16" cable is about shot. I am going to go with a 3/8" synthetic line to replace it.

Does anyone know if 100 ft of 3/8'' synthetic line will spool up completely on the drum? If it was 100 ft of 5/16" then I wouldn't be concerned...but with the thicker diameter line, I am wondering (?).

Also, I am considering the Viking combo fire line, but can't decide if that's overkill. The first wrap of this line is heat resistant to 450 degrees (I think). Has anyone experienced a synthetic winch line "melting" onto the drum? I never realized that heat may be an issue with synthetic line, however...if anyone has seen this happen ...please advise. Thanks for help on this.
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I have 125' of MasterPull Superwinch Line on my Warn 9.5 xp....been there for many years now, never ever a problem. Its 5/16", with a a breaking strength over 20k lbs....and an abrasion and UV resistant coating over the rope.

The overheating on the thermo sensor units is to help prevent overheating the winch MOTOR, not the drum.

The drum doesn't get hot enough to be an issue, unless you are LOWERING under power, like letting yourself or another truck down.

That generates heat.

There are some winches (Superwinch IIRC for example...), that have a different brake mechanism, which doesn't heat the drum, and would, in that respect, be better in general for synthetic lines.

I've never had too much need for long lowering periods, maybe its the terrain or wheeling style...but, when needed, you can FEEL the heat being generated, and, pace the drop accordingly.

The most common use is to pull, so, generally, heat is not an issue. If you lower with the brake a lot, its a good idea when lowering to either use a winch with the brake outside the drum, like the Superwinch, or lower with an eye (Hand?) on the heat build-up, and consider a winch line with good heat resistance.

I have never heard of a factory splice breaking, and the lines with higher temp ranges are weaker in general.

If the winch only pulls 8k lbs for example, how much more than 10k or so needed in line strength may be more academic.

As for 3/8" and 5/16" swaps...generally, the 5/16" stuff allows more linear feet of rope to fit on the spool. Some ropes are more giving on that issue.

The softer/floppier ropes can pack very tightly. The MasterPull line with the outer layer is harder, and doesn't collapse like the softer lines, so it wraps more like steel, and less will fit on the spool than with a softer rope.

IE: I spooled 125' of synth rope onto the winch that came with 125' of steel rope...and it was tight...if I'd gone with 3/8", it would NOT have fit.

The same winch now only ships with 100' of line, mostly because the 125' of wire rope was a really tight fit.

Where I wheel a lot I NEED 125' though. In rocks, sure, I rarely use anywhere near that (Sometimes...), but in mud bogs...almost ALWAYS.

Its just that in the Pine Barrens, etc...you have to go FAR to find SOMETHING to hook up a line to. Scraggy little pines are NOT going to anchor a pull from sucking mud....

...If recovering another truck...you can't be IN the muck they were stuck in, you must be out, on solid ground, or at least more solid ground...and sometimes, tethered to a conga line of OTHER trucks who are acting as anchors...to keep YOU from being pulled to the stuck rig, instead of the stuck rig being pulled TO you, etc.

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The MasterPull winch ropes at 5/16" are good for 21,000 - 23,000 lb.

That's stronger than the Viking 3/8" line listed above. :D

So - If you WANT 125' of line, and you want it strong, get 125' of 5/16 line that can pull over 20K lb, instead of 100' of 3/8" line that can't pull that much.

Me, I'd rather reach further AND pull harder.


(The lines are not all the same. They have common elements, but, they have important differences. That includes price. After a point of diminishing return, the line is stronger than you need it to be, and, using a telephone pole thick cable is not going to make your recoveries easier. Think camera megapixels...after 3-4 million, most of the extra is typically just using up hard drive, w/o making the picture nicer. - If you don't NEED the extra length, or strength, a less expensive line can be a great choice :D)
As I said, that's just me....you can use what ever YOUR use justifies.


As for the camera part...LOL, as I said, typically...more than 3-4 megapixels is wasted hard drive.

That's because, typically, most people DO NOT blow up their images past ~ 8x10.

Just like ocean liners, sure, they tie off with rope, but, its a bigger rope than the rest of us TYPICALLY use, as THEIR needs are greater.

They use synthetic lines too, before the off roaders did actually.

So - IF you are one of the people making murals, etc...sure, you need stronger lines (That may be the first time anyone ever said that...)


Of course, that also means the WINCH should be stronger, to take advantage of the added line strength...

Especially if you have to use a block and tackle to multiply force because the winch could not pull hard enough...and the shorter available line reach would then be a limiting factor in recovery range, etc.

Its a slippery slope...

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