How to Attach Cable to Winch Drum?

The cable or rope is a vital component of a winch. Without a cable, a winch is just a heavy tool that is useless. It’s crucial to have the cable tied to the winch drum well since a snap-off can cause fatal accidents. When assembling the winch or in case of a replacement, you must know how to attach cable to winch drum to make or keep the winch functional.

To attach a cable to your winch drum, attach the rope grabber on the winch drum first, then get the rope to the end of the grabber. Wrap the rope around the drum about 4 to 6 times, then feed it to the rest of the drum spool. This will wrap the rope on the drum completely before you can rest the hook.

If you need a breakdown and a more comprehensive explanation of the process, the extensive guide below will help. We have also added safety precautions for putting the cables and the materials you need.

How to Attach Cable to Winch Drum?

You need to gather the materials and tools before we discuss how to attach cables to winch drums. Almost every component of a winch is weighty, and the cable itself is not any different, especially if you’re using steel cable. With synthetic rope, it’s lot more easier though.

How to Attach Cables to Winch Drums

Tools and Material You’ll Need

  • The Cable: This is one important part of the process, so you cannot complete this process without it. You can get one strongest ATV winch ropes to avoid quick breakage.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): To keep yourself safe, you need to wear your PPE, and your glove is the most important of them. Make sure the hand glove is thick.
  • Pliers: This is necessary for unlocking knobs and other hard properties of the winch.

Step 1: Wear Your Safety Equipment

Wear heavy-duty personal protective equipment (PPE) before further steps. This is to keep you safe from accidents, cuts, or any dangerous incident you might encounter while working. Generally, any work that is related to engineering necessitates putting PPEs.

Put on safety wear

Here, the most important personal protective equipment to wear is a glove. Your hands will be doing a lot of work, and you might risk them in the process. Metal winch cables can be dangerous, especially with tears and wear to them, which exposes your hands to too much danger. So, a heavy-duty glove is a must-have for this work.

Step 2: Unwind the Old Cable

If you’re replacing your existing winch cable, here comes the second step. You have to unwind the old cable, as you cannot apply the new cable to the old one. This is not as easy as it sounds because many other things are attached to this task.

First, take the hook of the winch and detach the power supply for the drum. Now, drag the end of the cable off the steel cable drum. Reach for the Allen wrench and use it to detach the cables. Some cables are locked by metal knobs and for such cables, apply pressure on the cable from opposite directions.

Step 3: Install the New Cable

Here is where you attach the new cable to the winch drum. There are different ways you can attach your new cable to the winch drum. We will take you through the different methods carefully.

  • First method: Some locking uses Alen screws and for such locking, but a little part of the new cable in the winch gap and make it tight with the screw.
  • Second method: If a metal knob was used to lock your old cable, you would need to insert a little part of the new cable through the knob hole. Then, take the cable out from the other side of the hole and re-insert it into the hole. After this, tighten the cable and place it in an accurate position.
  • Third method: Only synthetic cables can use this method. Attaching a synthetics cable to a drum works just like attaching a steel cable to a drum. If the cable lock is a knob, use the same process to attach it to the synthetic cable. You might as well take a photo of the way the knob locked the old cable to replicate it on the new cable.

Step 4: Wind the Cable In

After attaching the cable to the winch drum, you will need it to wrap around the drum, and this step is for that exactly. You need to turn on the motor to make the spooling process fast. There are several ways you can make this process fast, and you are at liberty to use any method that works for you.

  • Drag the cable through the spool wrap it around the drum
  • Hold the cable freely and direct it to the spool. Make the cables do not overlap, and they should move in one line.
  • Coil one end of the cable to the drum without overlapping one line on another.
  • Move to the other end of the cable and back to the other. Repeat the process until you get to the end of the cable end to access the drum properly.
  • Tighten the cable from both ends to make sure it does not overlap.
  • Keep your hands away from the winch attachment when you are spooling the cables. This is because the attachment might hurt your hand if it meets it.

Step 5: Replacing Components

Now, recouple the components of the winch. You took off many comIf you have taken off the personal protective equipment, you need to put them back on. You can also get injuries when you are recoupling the winch components.

Your glove is the most important safety wear for this process. Do this recoupling calmly and carefully so that you won’t miss any part of the winch.

Warning and Safety Tips

Winching and safety hazards live side by side if you don’t follow winching best practices and safety measures as mentioned:

  • Take pictures of the initial state of the winch before you start any work on it. This is for you to compare the picture with the looks of the winch when you finish working. You can see if you did a clean job or a part is missing, which you need to work on.
  • If you have not done a cable attachment, we advise you to invite an experienced person to help you. For you not to damage the winch, take it to a professional.
  • Make sure you’re the new cable is longer than the old one you are replacing. The length of the object they are to pull and how far they can let it. The new cable should be at least 10 to 20 feet longer than the old one. Note that the new cable can be longer than the old one with more feet than what we mentioned.

Final Words

Winches are a must-have for enthusiasts who go into the wild and people who deal with heavy lifting and pulling. Winches work in every industry from small workshops to aircraft. So, attaching the cable to the drum is important. It will not only make sure the pull is secure but also ensure maximum security for the user.

As you now know how to attach cable to winch drum, you can change the old cable with a new one. Remember double-checking everything before you finalize your spool and get the winch into work. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, be sure to it to a professional and see how it’s done.

Jason Pastor

Jason spent half of his life in ship loading, and after 25 years working in this sector, he took his retirement. Now in his free time, he loves to do research and write about things that he has expertise in. Offroadbuster is the result of that. He created this site to guide people with different types of winch for their profession.

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