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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do all you guys with cable do for maintenance of the cable?

I have heard rubbing it down with oil or WD40 and others say to leave it alone...


What is the concensus out there?
 

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bump id like to know this as well
 

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Keep it clean. Use penetrating oil on the line every once a while... more often if you're in an environment with a lot of salt. Leaving it alone will lead to premature failure.

Maintenance on things such as the handles, rollers, etc is always a good idea as well. Also battery terminal "stuff" on the connections going into the motor. Can't think of what the brand is called off the top of my head, but that sealer stuff you spray on the terminals of your battery.
 

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Its a good idea to lube steel cable every once in a while. First of all it reduces corrosion and more importantly you want to keep it lubed because wire rope or winch cable tends to untwist as a load is applied and as it stretches. This is a natural (and normal) characteristic of the winch cable. Oiling it occasionally reduces the friction and thus the wear as it stretches and untwists.

Edit: I just thought about this...I haven't really seen it written anywhere but it might be a good idea to use a lube that has teflon in it as it will tend to leave a dry residue on the cable and thus will help keep it lubricated even when the oil is no longer present. Something like a gun oil or a good knife blade oil with teflon in it should work great. An added benefit is that these oils are meant to protect against rust over a period of time.

Here's a good thread on recovery gear maintenance and winch line maintenance:

http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39459
 

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Make sure you have gloves on when handeling it. I once had a broken strand cut into a finger that has left a skar to this day.
 

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Edit: I just thought about this...I haven't really seen it written anywhere but it might be a good idea to use a lube that has teflon in it as it will tend to leave a dry residue on the cable and thus will help keep it lubricated even when the oil is no longer present. Something like a gun oil or a good knife blade oil with teflon in it should work great. An added benefit is that these oils are meant to protect against rust over a period of time.
I read this and motorcycle chain wax came to mind. Don't know for sure if it's appropriate for this application, but it's meant to lubricate, protect against rust, and it doesn't drip off like oil does. Stays where you put it once it sets up. Just a thought.
 

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I've heard that before, but because it contains a wax I don't know well it would work long term. Seems like if there was build up then it could cause you not to be able to clean parts of the rope, which if something that was corrosive was in there, it would stay... which isn't good obviously and would cause me to shy away from using a product like that.

I'm open-minded to the idea, but would like to hear other opinions on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lots of great info guys, Thanks!!

In response to the chain lube idea, I know motocross chain lube has a dirt repellant in it as well as the wax and is fairly easy to clean off with an appropriate cleaner. It is also meant not to degrade rubber o-rings so should be safe to use and same with the cleaner......just a thought...
 

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Synthetic

I run Synthetic line. I just let the rain take care of it. If it breaks one day then I'll order a new cable. This cable is on it's second winch....
 

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Here is what I do.

Keep it well wound. Don’t let it get all messed up on the spool that will really mess up the cable
Hit it with WD40 or any other oil. I don’t like to use thick oil because it also lets mud stick to it because mud is abrasive.
When I get home I spool it out and wash it down with soap and water and use a rag. Then after is all clean I spool it back up and give it a once over with WD40. Then cover it till next time I need it.
 

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bump id like to know this as well
<<----

You rang?

After wheeling I use the pressure washer to clean off the cable while its spooled. A couple times a year I pull the cable out, clean it with a scrub brush then rinse, and respool tightly. I don't think that using oil is a good idea as that would cause dust and dirt to stick to the cable, increasing moisture retention and the possibility of rust.
 

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With steel cable you should unspool and clean it periodically. I the put a big glob of grease in my hand and work it onto/into the cable as I spool it back up. It keeps the cable corrosion free and works into the cable as you use it. It's not nearly as messy as you may think either.

With synthetic I pull the cable off, pressure wash it and let it dry before reinstalling it.
 

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For what its worth, if you drive around in a dusty enviornment allot, WD-40 and allot of the penetrating oils actually attract and bind to dirt. Thats why they arent the best for chains and what not. The Waxy based lubes seem to work the best, I use them on bike and motorcycle chains ( ride alot in the desert and dry dusty summer mountains ) and it keeps everything smooth. Yes the waxy stuff can build up a bit but it wipes right off and dosent attract the dirt. The other thing that works really well is a good silicone spray, it will chase all the water out of the cable and dosent leave it sticky.
 
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