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1993 F150 XLT 302 MAF A/T 4x4 2.5" Lift
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at winches and when I was growing up there was no synthetic rope just cable. Looking to get my first winch and my first question is on this. Which is better synthetic or cable? In the past we used steel cable winches and they worked well. Just we wore gloves when handling these cables.

I have new gears bout to go in and Truetrac differentials front and rear, yet I'm still debating to swap out the rear axle shafts for new seeing they have over 350K miles on them. Anyways, during this my buddy and I were talking about all the wheeling we did back when we were kids. Talking bout breaking driveshafts, axles, transmissions and what nots, then winches popped up. Now I feel the money I didn't spend on going air locker or e locker over the TT, I'll look into a winch.

I do a lot of rigging when I'm working on powerhouses and we use lots of nylon slings to move pipe. Sometimes synthetic. Soon as we see a small cut any type of cut we remove them from service. Lifting pipe and pulling your truck out of a jam are two different things, the way I see it. Angle/s for the most part.

Now in regards to the synthetic rope on the winch, I would tend to believe the same must be done, No? - Removing it from service when you see a slight cut? How strong, durable, or well made is this synthetic rope for pulling? Is it prone to getting cut a lot? How is it when wet? Is there a drying period before use? how much stretching will one expect? Must you wash the mud off of it after use if used in mud? Should I treat this synthetic rope for pulling like the slings we use for lifting? Or is steel cable still king? Yes lots of questions and some might not be good / noob questions.

Anyone who has any experience with these please chime in.
 

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1993 F150 XLT 302 MAF A/T 4x4 2.5" Lift
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One other question is would I need to run a second battery and get a bigger alt?
 

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I kind of depends on how much you'll be using it. If you get stuck A LOT then dragging that heavy-ass cable get old in a hurry. Especially if you live somewhere where anchor points are few and far between. Here in the PNW where I wheel there's almost always a big ass fir tree nearby. Synthetic cables are more fragile, no doubt about it, especially if you buy some cheap no-name imported line (I'm sure there are good imports, but anything good will cost). I run steel cable in my HS9500 simply because aside from getting a gnarly kink in it, I pretty much don't have to worry about it.
 

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I’ve poked around some info for when I recable my winch and I’ll be going with a synthetic rope. They aren’t as durable as cable but they won’t cut you and all your buddies in half when it breaks like cable. I know the arguments about body position, but my day job is eliminating hazards, not administratively controlling them, and rope seems to do a good job eliminating deadly recoil. EDIT: Challenged on my use of eliminating. Rope doesn't eliminate recoil issues.

Another plus is they come in stupid colors and sometimes I get a wild hair to do stupid. If it’s non-permanent, it’s that much more fun.
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0 M/T, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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Synthetic will save about 20 lbs off the front of your truck vs steel cable. If you do a removable cradle setup, that becomes even more significant in terms of moving it around.

My winch came with a protective sleeve for the synthetic rope. If you have a rock or tree or something you're worried about pulling across and causing rope abbrasions, move the sleeve to that spot and you should be okay.

Wind the synthetic rope under light tension the first time (I used the truck's weight on a slight incline) and there shouldn't be any additional stretching issues.

My 130A 3G alternator powers the winch just fine for light duty pulling -- fortunately, I've never had to use it for emergencies with the resistance of mud and rocks or whatever -- but the old battery which tested well for CCA's was a little slow to catch back up, so I put in a new 850 CCA battery. That combination seems sufficient.
 

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I’ve poked around some info for when I recable my winch and I’ll be going with a synthetic rope. They aren’t as durable as cable but they won’t cut you and all your buddies in half when it breaks like cable. I know the arguments about body position, but my day job is eliminating hazards, not administratively controlling them, and rope seems to do a good job eliminating deadly recoil.

Another plus is they come in stupid colors and sometimes I get a wild hair to do stupid. If it’s non-permanent, it’s that much more fun.
Have you been around a snapped synthetic line? I have have, and all the hype around synthetic line is safer than steel cable is just that... hype... a very close friend of mine lost his arm when the line snapped and whipped back at him.... and he was behind an open car door... another time watched the hook slingshot back through a Jeep window... now I’m not saying steel cable won’t do the same, in the same situation steel might have actually done more damage, but to say that synthetic cable eliminates the risk is just untrue...
 

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Maybe today's steel cables are made like crap, but my original line on my XD9000i lasted 20 years. Back in the day getting an FSB on 44 boggers stuck
in the mud meant taxing the crap out of it too. I did always use a snatch block, but no way a synthetic would have held up even 5 years under that, and I'm guessing
way less.

Do these synthetic rope covers really hold up to dragging the cable over jagged rocks, usually full of mud too? Many times there is no choice but
dragging cable under full load. Sticking with my steel cables
 

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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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I've got a HF badlands 9K winch with masterpull synthetic line..You can't beat the price on the badlands winches and they work good.In my opinion, 9K is right on the edge of being sufficient for the Broncos weight, so if ever get to the point where I need to replace this one, I'm stepping up to the 12K..It's powered off a 130 amp 3G and I run an x2 dual purpose battery..Only time the winch has ever stopped is when I pulled too long and it tripped breaker so I had to let it cool down..otherwise, that setup was more than sufficient

regarding the line, there's something to be said for the ruggedness of the cable, but the ease with which you can spool out the synthetic line and the light weight made me make the switch..sure, if you're not careful you can drag it over stuff and fray the line but I've got a rock guard I put on when pulling in rough conditions and it hasn't been a problem for me..If/when the line get's in mud, I just hose it off..
 

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Have you been around a snapped synthetic line? I have have, and all the hype around synthetic line is safer than steel cable is just that... hype... a very close friend of mine lost his arm when the line snapped and whipped back at him.... and he was behind an open car door... another time watched the hook slingshot back through a Jeep window... now I’m not saying steel cable won’t do the same, in the same situation steel might have actually done more damage, but to say that synthetic cable eliminates the risk is just untrue...
I have not. And eliminates was a bad word to use there. Anything under tension is going to have some amount of energy stored in it. Sorry to hear about your friend.

There's a durability versus collateral damage tradeoff with the two. I'd opt for more of the former than the latter, and make up the durability concerns with inspections and other protective gear to the point I could. But to each his own, as neither is risk free. Thanks for challenging that.
 

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85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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Ive seen a synthetic 1.25" diameter rope snap and take out a headlight and dent the body around it. Guess my F250 was too much for it!
 
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ate lug
88 + 96 broncos, 96 F250
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Maybe today's steel cables are made like crap, but my original line on my XD9000i lasted 20 years. Back in the day getting an FSB on 44 boggers stuck
in the mud meant taxing the crap out of it too. I did always use a snatch block, but no way a synthetic would have held up even 5 years under that, and I'm guessing
way less.

Do these synthetic rope covers really hold up to dragging the cable over jagged rocks, usually full of mud too? Many times there is no choice but
dragging cable under full load. Sticking with my steel cables

This is why i like steel. I have the same cable on my 8000xi since.....2004? 2005? Still good. These days i use it primarily on the trailer so its gets drug across the edge of the steel deck constantly, which i dont think rope would hold up to. Cant tell you how many times ive stalled that winch (pulling loads way over what its rated), but its a lot.
 

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I just bought a winch and I went synthetic. I don’t like wire rope. It rusts, kinks and has memory, not to mention added weight and is more dangerous in a breaking situation with snap back. If you take care of your winch and hook up properly it should last you. Buy and use the appropriately rated rope for your application. A winch has limits...operate within the limits. I have a 13,000 lb winch and rope is rated over that. Don’t use an 8k winch on a fullsize truck that weighs 6-7k. Factor in your deadweight load of being stuck with gear and double your capacity. If your rig is 6k get a 12k winch.
On aside note....synthetic rope is used on digger derricks and line trucks with large winches and hoists to lift quite a bit of weight and the materials are corrosion and abrasive resistant....that’s resistant so it resists .....it’s not impermeable to damage and neither is wire rope.
 

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Btw....look for a winch with Dyneema rope if you choose synthetic

Dyneema® is an UHMwPE (Ultra High Molecular weight Polyethylene) or HMPE (High Modulus Polyethylene) fibre developed by DSM in the Netherlands some 30 years ago. Known as the world’s strongest, lightest fiber – 15 times stronger than steel, yet floats on water – Dyneema® works to stop bullets, repair human joints and improve the longevity of apparel. For Marlow, Dyneema® is an ingredient material in many of our highest performance ropes and is used across our range from kite lines to heavy lift slings. So what makes Dyneema® so special?

High Strength: On a weight for weight basis, Dyneema® is 15 times stronger than steel wire


Light Weight: Size for size, a rope made with Dyneema® is 8 times lighter than steel wire rope.

Water resistant: Dyneema® is hydrophobic and does not absorb water, meaning it remains light when working in wet conditions.

It Floats: Dyneema® has a Specific Gravity of 0.97 which means it floats in water (specific gravity is a mesure of density. Water has an SG of 1, so anything with SG<1 will float and an SG>1 means it will sink)

Chemical resistance: Dyneema® is chemically inert, and performs well in dry, wet, salty and humid conditions, as well as other situations where chemicals are present.


UV Resistant: Dyneema® has very good resistance to photo degradation, maintaining its performance when exposed to UV light
 

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This is why i like steel. I have the same cable on my 8000xi since.....2004? 2005? Still good. These days i use it primarily on the trailer so its gets drug across the edge of the steel deck constantly, which i dont think rope would hold up to. Cant tell you how many times ive stalled that winch (pulling loads way over what its rated), but its a lot.
Yeah. We use steel cable on the traverse winches to move 23Klb H60's, in and out of the hangar on CG's (very few left), DDG's, and soon on the new FFG(x) Frigates.
Never considered synthetic rope in the 25 years I've been working on that system.
 

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Most higher end winches come synthetic rope these days.
Obviously there are different grades of rope, American made ripe is better quality than the Chinese version, and of course you pay for that.

I just got this new winch, a Warn 9.0rc, amazing little winch. I needed the compact size to fit between the headlights.
It came with a rope rated for 10,500#. I started using synthetic winch lines 6 or 7 years ago and never looked back, easier to pull, hook up and spool, as well much more flexible so I can be used for suck down purposes.
 

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