How Do You Replace a Winch Cable?

Replacing a winch cable requires sanding off sharp edges on the drum, adjusting the fairlead and correctly mounting the new cable. Replacing the winch line ensures the winch performs at an optimal level, even in the most rigorous conditions.

When winch lines are used continuously, the cables may stretch or even snap. If the cable is showing signs of wear, it should immediately be replaced, as a snapped cable can cause serious injury. The following instructions explain how to safely replace a winch cable

  1. Inspect the winch
  2. Over time, the winch drum may have developed sharp burs. Inspect the winch and sand off anything on the drum that may be able to damage the new cable.

  3. Look over the fairlead
  4. The fairlead is used to guide the cable into the winch. Be sure the fairlead is not rubbing on the cable, and replace if necessary.

  5. Check the attachment type
  6. There are two types of attachments used on winch cables: the mounting screw allows a bracket to mount it to the side of the drum, while a pilot hole funnels the cable through the drum.

  7. Lay out the cable
  8. Loosely lay the cable out on the ground.

  9. Attach the cable to the drum
  10. Attach the new cable to the winch drum and begin to feed it in. Keep a safe distance, and make sure the cable flows evenly onto the drum. Spool the winch until the cable is completely on.