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Over the last year I have been seeing post about Synthetic this and Synthetic that, then people start buying it then companies that were selling it are now saying "NOT TO BE USED WITH A WINCH FOR OFF-ROADING" so my ? is............

Who's BS'ing...........which one is the right one for the job? Here is some research I came up with. Note that Master Pull says not to buy a Technora™ Fiber rope on their WARNING link on their site.

X-line Article:

http://www.4x4wire.com/reviews/oro_xline02/
http://www.4x4wire.com/news/offroadonly/xline02/
http://www.offroadonly.com/products/rec ... /index.htm

Master-Pull Article:

http://www.4x4wire.com/reviews/masterpull/
http://www.masterpull.com/document.cfm

Amsteel Blue Article:

http://128.83.80.200/taco/cable.html

Anyone who has any knowledge please add to this............thanks.
 

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I haven't read your links but I've heard that heat is damaging to the lines. I'm thinking that frequent use of an electric winch generates enough heat to cause failure of the line. Also, dragging that type of winch line through dirt and rocks likely degrades it more quickly as well???

My question (not trying to be a smart ass) is why use it? How much weight savings is there?
 
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Ned said:
My question (not trying to be a smart ass) is why use it? How much weight savings is there?
Ned,

I believe I saw that you had a winch on your Xterra in the Mug Shot post...........so I assume you have used it before and know what I pain in the a$$ it is to spool up when wheeling. What ends up happening is you rush it, pinch the cable, get flat spots then it starts tearing into a hand slicing machine :?

You are right though, they don't have a very good heat displacement.
 

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Heat weakens the metal cable too. If you don't believe me, just drive around some rural areas and take a look at the power lines. After a few years of summer heat and the odd overcurrent they start to sag from its own weight.

From the offroadonly.com website:

"What is the maximum operating temperature for X-Line?
At 432° F (250°c) it still retains over 9000 lbs of strength. At 932° F (500°c) X-Line will start to thermally decompose. "


I wheel with a couple of guys who use the synthetic winch line and they love it. They have had it on their winches for a couple of years now and it still looks brand new. I have seen no fraying or wear at all. I would definitely put it on my winch (if I could afford it).
 
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I read somewhere that many competition rockcrawling organizations require synthetic winch line in order to compete. As I recall, one of their main reasons for this was that if the line breaks, it falls to the ground quickly. In any case though, I think it says something that these groups are requiring this line. I'm planning on switching over to it sometime in the not too distant future.
 

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I have synthetic winch line on my TJ and have used it for a couple of years. I also protect it with a cover to keep the sun and the road dirt off of it. I never worry about losing a limb if the synthetic line breaks. Just my .02
 

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Safety is the number one reason for using it. Ever see a winch line snap? Check it on Youtube. I would say it does require a bit more maintenance. The cover for road dirt is a great idea.
 

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If you're worried about dirt and abrasion then just pony up for Master Pull's Superline XD:
http://www.masterpull.com/item.cfm?itemid=9167

It has an extra outer layer wound around the entire rope that protects against abrasion and dirt as well as UV decay.



That's likely the route I'll be going so I won't have to worry much since I play in the rocks.

It's not cheap though...
 

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I got synthetic line on my winch for a couple reason. I wanted to save some weight. when i looked up the weight online it saved me about 20lbs. does not sound like much but it over time of going up and down on te springs every little bit takes it tole. I have been around a steel line breaking and lucky no one was hurt but i almost shat myself as the line whipped back and brok the windshield right in front of me. I dont want to worry about that again. last reason is cool factor. im a hitech redneck remember i have to account for coolness when im out mall crawling :rotflmao: Nice to see you over here by te way.
 

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I bought the Amsteel Blue winch rope about 5 years ago and have never regretted it. I have used both the steel and synthetic winch cables, and personally would never run steel cable again.

Not only is the line much lighter than steel, but I got rid of the big steel roller fairlead for a lightweight aluminium hawes type. I would estimate the overall weight savings at 40 ~ 50 lbs. And that is weight hung out at the end of the frame.

I keep a cover over the winch because UV will deteriorate synthetic rope over time. My line also came with two 5 ft. sleeves so if the rope has to go over a rock or other sharp object, just put the sleve on the rock and the line smoothly slides inside.

Spooling is no problem (in or out) but you want to keep a tight wrap spooling it in, if it's loose when it's under load it will 'bury' itself inside the loose inner layers. Not a big deal, but it will be harder to unspool the next time you need it.

It can easily be repaired on the trail, (although the chances of it breaking are very low).

It is more heat sensitive, that's why Warn's rope is two types woven together. The inner part that wraps around the drum is a more heat resistant material. I use a hydraulic winch (which I also like very much) so there is no heat buildup problem.

Maybe it's not for everybody, maybe you can't afford it (it is about 4 times the price of steel), or maybe you think it's macho to have steel line. I like the safety aspect (it won't kill or maim anyone if it breaks under load, and I don't need to wear heavy leather gloves to handle it), the lightness and ease of handling. The load rating for 3/8" line is also over twice that of steel cable.

I've never personally met anyone who bought the synthetic rope that was unhappy with it.

I would love to hear opinions from people who have owned and used BOTH types of cable.
 

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A length of synthetic line is what, $125 or so?

UV isn't a problem if you get a winch cover for the 99% of the time you're not off-road.

You can get it with the first 1/3 or so of the line is more heat resistant (the length closest to the drum).

it's lighter.

It's stronger.

It's safer.

It's easier to use.


I'd spring to replace it every couple of years or so for all those advantages over cable. :grab:
 

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I've never used either steel OR synthetic.

Many folks who sell pre-built winch line assemblies offer them with a protective sheath over the portion of the rope that will come into direct contact with the winch drum. This is intended to (or sold with the promise of) protecting the rope from high drum temperatures. I have no idea how well this works, but I do know that of the sheath materials used that I'm somewhat familiar with (e.g., Cordura), it is fairly insulative (doesn't conduct heat too well).

I actually have used steel rope on many occasions, just not on a winch. Whoever said (above) that it's a PITA was understating things. It's a PITA. I have yet to handle steel rope without finding, eventually, the one sharp strand of errant wire. Sure, you should be wearing gloves--but that Mechanix POS crap isn't going to do you any good!! Better have a pair of leather gauntlets handy. :)

As for how light it is, from what I've read it ranges from 1/5 to 1/7 the weight of steel for the same strength. Approximate weight of 100' of steel rope is: 5/16": 18 lbs, 3/8": 25 lbs 7/16": 35 lbs. (source: http://versales.com/ns/wire_rope/wirerope.html#anchor02).

I have read most if not all of the articles you cited above, and I don't see any outright falsehoods that I'm smart enough to find. Try to differentiate between differences, the benefits folks claim those differences provide, and the importance of those benefits. "Floats on water!!" is a difference, and it could be a benefit. How important that is to is something I think each person has to decide. "Comes in orange!!". Now we got somethin'. :)

Also, there's at least one other thread here at ROF, under Safety & Recovery, I think the title is Synthetic Rope Alternatives or something like that, where folks talk a bit about the various flavors of synthetic, what the underlying materials & trade names are, and who offers it.

Blanket comments such as "don't use offroad" have little meaning to me...I need to know what it is that you really don't want me doing with it. I assume if I don't shock load it, don't drag it across broken shards of granite & obsydian, and don't tie knots in it, I should be pretty much okay.
 

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I just ordered a Superwinch EPi9.0 yesterday, and I ordered a synthetic line for it from Winchline.com (which is Viking Offroad). I ordered it because of the lighter weight (both line and fairlead), no slivers, easier to work with, more forgiving when spooled on the drum, safer if there is a break, relatively easy to fix on the trail... Sure it is more expensive than steel but not by too much, and I think all the pros greatly outweigh the cons.

As for heat, the Superwinch EPi9.0 has the brake outside the drum, so I could get by with a regular line. For other winches, winchline.com also sells combo lines, which have a short length of heat resistant fire line attached to a longer piece of regular line. The fire line goes on the drum first sothere is a layer or two on the drum by the time the regular line is spooled on. Or, you can get a full length of fire line to use but it is more expensive.

http://www.winchline.com

Check out their site or give them a call - Thor was super helpful and answered all my questions. They have some good info on their FAQ page. One of the FAQs is all about weight savings between various lengths and sizes of steel vs. synthetic.

If you call them, make sure to ask them when they are going to start producing their fastback top again (especially for the LJ)!!
 

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I have winchline too...
 

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I'll stick with my steel rope, I just make sure everyone is out of the way
the way your suppose to anyway.

I have pulled 4 Jeeps out so far since I've had my winch, they all had
synthetic rope and all failed when they needed it most.

Personally I have never broke a cable but I have seen several synthetic
ropes break. Don't seem that reliable to me....IMO
 

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Zach said:
I have pulled 4 Jeeps out so far since I've had my winch, they all had
synthetic rope and all failed when they needed it most.
Just to be clear, are you saying that, on four different occasions 4 different synthetic winch lines have broken? That is, the winch line itself broke? I'd sure like to know more details--there aren't any common winches I know of that have capacities within more than 50% of most winch lines I see sold, so it would be good to know what happened.
 

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Yes i also would like some more details on this as well. like how old their lines were and if they were running over sharp rocks or what the case was.
 

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I would never run a synthetic winchline...
it doesnt stretch so it cannot absorb any amount of shock load,, hence the breakage seen on "easy" pulls, one little jerk and that line is snapped in two. sounds more dangerous than a flying wire to me. I'd rather have a line that can handle some abuse without sending me rolling backwards because the vehicle rocked a little bit and the rope couldnt absorb a little bump.
sure,rope is easy to tie back up in a knot,
cable is very easy to do a flemish splice.
i could tie two bowlines in rope in about 10 seconds or less,, i could flemish splice two cable ends in about a minute-thirty. but its not a time trial for trail repair.
mythbusters tried this myth of the killer snapped cable, they could barely leave a mark on a pig cadaver..... busted
though i must admit I still flip up my hood to save any possible windshield damage :wink:
just use some common sense while winching, wire rope or synthetic rope, know your limits. dont do anything stupid, better safe than sorry either way
 

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sean42069 said:
I would never run a synthetic winchline...
it doesnt stretch so it cannot absorb any amount of shock load,, hence the breakage seen on "easy" pulls, one little jerk and that line is snapped in two. anything stupid, better safe than sorry either way
The difference is that a "shock load" is not intended with a winch..sure it can happen.....but the single factor is safety as you stated...when a syn line breaks it falls to the ground like a butterfly..when steel breaks it releases energy.

I bought a superwinch with the plan on going to syn. line..I have dragged my steel over rocks, and used it with great results....but I'm still getting syn. line because it can easily safe a life or a serious injury.

SEEING a steel line recovery "fail" vs.a syn line "fail" makes it almost a no-brainer for me.

There are many things that can "FAIL" during a recovery..loops, winches, bumpers, brakes, bolts, d-rings,on both ends... if "FAIL" happens and nobody gets hurt...I/we'll try another way.
 
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