Types of Winches for your Jeep Wrangler

 

What are the Available Winch Ropes?

Winch ropes are classified into two categories; wire ropes and synthetic winch ropes, with each having their advantages and disadvantages.

The rope’s diameter and tensile strength are used to rate the strength of the rope. Tensile strength is the point at which the rope breaks or parts. Tensile strength varies according to the type, characteristics, and diameter of the rope. The ratings of these ropes have some allowance to account for wear and tear.

 

Wire Rope

The wire rope is the most common winch rope and has been in use for quite some time. It consists of strands of carbon steel wire that are bundled together and form the basis for their classification. There are two major types with the common one consisting of seven bundles each containing 19 strands, commonly referred to as 7×19. Most winches, from factories, comes with this rope. The other type is the 6×37 rope, which offers more flexibility compared to the 7×19 wire rope. Another advantage of the 6×37 rope is its resistance to fatigue.

Pros

  • Wire ropes have a higher resistance to abrasion force compared to synthetic ropes. The 6×37 rope, however, has thin wires that lower its resistance to abrasion compared than the 7×19.
  • It is highly heat resistant.
  • Generally affordable.

 Cons

  • It is susceptible to crushing when not properly re-spooled.
  • It is relatively heavy. For example, a 120-foot roll of 5/16 inch cable has an approximate weight of 28 pounds with a hook.
  • Beginners can find splicing the wire rope to be a tough task.
  • Individual wire strands frequently break creating small hooks that tear up flesh. It is, therefore, a requirement to wear gloves every time you are using the wire rope.
  • Wire rope tends to store large amounts of kinetic energy, this can be considered as a poor property since it can whip with deadly effect if something breaks loose.

Synthetic Rope

Synthetic winch ropes are the trending winches in the market today, constituting majority of the  premium winch packages being produced. Wrangler owners can purchase synthetic rope and use it to upgrade their older winch. Synthetic ropes have many advantages compared to the traditional wire rope.

Pros

  • Synthetic rope is generally light. A 120-foot roll with a hook has an approximate weight of 5 pounds.
  • It is stronger compared to a wire rope with an equal diameter.
  • Splicing 12 strands synthetic rope is easier compared to the wire rope.
  • It floats, and tying a knot on it is quite simple
  • Synthetic rope drops dead with minimal “snap” when something breaks.

Cons

  • It’s more susceptible to abrasion than wire rope.
  • It is expensive as compared to the wire rope. However, its excellent performance ensures you get value for your money.

 

*Note

One problem that exists when using the synthetic rope during operation is its inability to withstand heat. Temperatures as low as 150 degrees can cause damage to the rope and can go unrecognized on the first layer.  For example, the planetary winch has a one-way brake found in the centre of the winch drum and when spooling out under power this brake will generate some serious heat, and could cause colossal damage to the rope.

There are some ways of dealing with the heat problem that affects the synthetic rope.

One is to use a rope with a larger diameter which will increase its temperature resistance and at the same time maintain the tensile strength. Another way is to splice the high-temperature rope with a stronger one which will cover the winch drum.

Also, another method of solving the heat problem is placing an insulating sheath of nylon over that first layer. However, the best way of solving this is to follow the winch manufacturer’s recommendation, since winches such as most worm or spur gears may not have this problem.