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Eug

DIY: Replacing winch cable with dyneema rope

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Bit of a DIY tutorial on how to replace the steel winch cable with dyneema rope and one way to do a correctly rated eye splice.

So as some forum members know Tina helps me drive on and drive off the trailer with minimal fuss and stress (we do use the winch but not as heavily as I would be using when solo), our trailer is 3 years old and has had quite a well maintained life thus far. So it kind of surprised me that the inevitable eventually happened and the winch cable failed (with no injuries luckily). So take this opportunity for those with steel cables to check for kinks or frays.

The cable failed at the crimp where a kink slowly worked its way through.

Step 1: Remove the winch from the winch post, should be 3 bolts.

Step 2: Undo the locking nut holding the tail end of the steel cable.

Step 3: Strip the cable, you should always use gloves when handling steel cable.

Steel cable has memory, it's heavy, it flies through the air when it snaps, sinks in water and requires a fair amount of maintenance, etc.

Dyneema rope has very little to no memory, it's light, it drops limp when it snaps and floats on water. The only negative I have about it is that a little care must be paid when using it to avoid cutting it and getting dirt/rocks caught in the fibers. This one is rated to 3500 kg and cost me $6 per meter (I got 6 meters) and I will be reusing my original S-hook. Average price was around $60+ for a similarly rated item off the shelf. Perks of Dyneema is that if it snaps you can retie it and keep going (also applies to 4x4 winches - many of which also use Dyneema now).

Step 4: Give the winch a good clean to remove all the grease.

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Step 5: Electrical tape the head end of the rope.

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Step 6: Ideally you will use a fib, but I learnt how to do this while we were out in the bush so we made do with what we had. I'll show you the same way so you know what to do in future. In this instance the tube of a pen is perfectly acceptable.

Step 7: Determine how big you need your loop and using the "fib" feed the head end back through the center of the rope (in this instance it's 8 fibers) so 4 each side. Consider that you will need extra length to tuck back into the core (this will be explained later).

Step 8: Pull the rope through.

Step 9: Remove the fib and attach it to the tail end. Feed this back through the head end of the rope (again through the middle).

Step 10: Pull the tail end through.

Step 11: Pull the ends slowly and firmly, you'll find that both cross over points will tighten up snug against one another.

Step 12: This is the confusing bit. With the head end, feed the fib through the center core of the rope near where the cross over points from Step 11.

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Step 13: Feed the entire fib through the core and start bunching up the rope around the fib until there is enough so that the rope will sit inside itself.

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nicely done mate. You can just use a uni knot if you are to lazy. Just to note not all winches are suitable for this. I have a winch where the sprocket is not protected like yours so the rope gets frayed when the boat is towards that side on the rollers. Great Job

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Hahahaha.... I was waiting for the pic to say that you had spliced in a loop but had not put the hook on first ;-)

The loop you have put on the hook is commonly called a larks head as it used to be used around the neck of larks I assume.

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Hahahaha.... I was waiting for the pic to say that you had spliced in a loop but had not put the hook on first ;-)

The loop you have put on the hook is commonly called a larks head as it used to be used around the neck of larks I assume.

AHHHH no... I did think to splice the hook into the loop but decided that I'd use a "larks head" instead. Thanks for that, I've always called it a reef knot (well one half of it anyway). Will make the correction.

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Eug did forget to put the hook in and furiously searched youtube for a fix
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HAH! Possible scenario, but that would have annoyed me and I would have untied the lot and started from scratch.

Cheers for the comments, I've learnt a thing or two from various members over the years and thought it's time I start returning the favour.

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I replaced mine a while back with the dyneema works a treat all down to the part where I came back to the ramp after a trip and someone had cut the factory splice of and half hitched the hook back on? Beats me why. thanks for the pics will resplice ASAP

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Great post. I was always a bit confused about putting the long tail end through the short tag of the loop. I have put up a link for the fids I like to use. I don't think they do a better job than your pen solution but I needed to do a stack of simple loops for a job last year and found these pretty fast to use... not to mention I didn't know your clever bushmans solution with the pen.

thanks

Dropbear

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On 21/04/2012 at 11:33 AM, Eug said:

Once everything seated properly apply a fair amount of force by stretching the loop and pulling the tail end of the rope.

Good one Eug,

Know thread is old but had to comment,

This is the same way to do halter ropes for horses.

Instead of tape on the end I use heat shrink, just don't apply to much heat.

              Thanks for the tutorial,,,  Gary

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