How To Attach Cable To Winch Drum

Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by Automobile Note

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Do you go to the doctor every month for check-ups? We’re pretty sure you do, especially if you want to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle.

As like you, your winch also requires frequent check-ups in order that you can dramatically upgrade the overall performance of your power tool and make it last for a long time.

Changing the cable after a certain period is a part of maintenance, and sometimes, it’s a “must” to ensure a safe working environment of your winch.

But if you don't know how to attach cable to winch drum by yourself and you call your friends every single time to change the cables, then this article is just for you.

So, without more chit-chat, let’s get familiar with all the knows-hows concerning cable attachment.

Necessary Equipment To Put Cable On A Winch

If you want to make the "cable attaching" job successfully done, at first, it's necessary to collect a number of different things, including:

In case you're going to use synthetic rope instead of wire cable, having some additional materials will be needed, these are as follows:

  • A set of socket wrench
  • Pliers
  • Hex keys or Allen wrenches
Note: Be sure the rope you're going to attach is able to hold more weight than the usual capability of your winch, for which you can keep yourself out of hot water while installing it.

Attaching Cable To Winch Drum In 6 Steps

You're just one step away from knowing all the nooks and crannies about attaching cable or wire to a winch drum. Make sure to stick with us and note down the following things thoroughly.

Step 1: Wear Safety Gear

Putting on safety goggles and hand gloves is the key to prevent all types of accidents and unexpected injuries. Chances are your hands might get crushed while replacing wires or cables. So, wearing safety gear won't be a house of cards at all, even it'll be a wise and safest decision.

Step 2: Unspooling the Old Cable

After wearing safety gears, unspool the old installed cable before replacing it with the new one. For that, you have to disengage the motor after the removal of the winch fairlead and hook; also you have to disengage the motor.

When you're done with the motor disengagement, you can start pulling the cable to unspool it from the drum by hand or motor.

But we highly recommend you to unspool the cable with your hand rather than using the motor so that you can handle the tied-up parts with ease. You can simply hold the end of the cable and then you're good to go for pulling.

Step 3: Detaching the Cable

The detachment of the cable is necessary once you're finished with unspooling. If you are dealing with a steel cable then it's just a simple task of detaching the cable from the drum.

There's a possibility that the cable can be attached in several ways. But don't worry at all! You just need a screwdriver or an Allen wrench type of tool for the detachment.

Now, the hard part comes if a metal bead locks the cable. Then you have to untie the cable by pushing the metal bead in the reverse direction.

By the way, if you have synthetic ropes, you can apply a similar technique used in the steel cables. Most of the time, the ropes are firmly attached to the winch drum; otherwise, they're just tangled all over it.

Tips: Before you untie the knot, make sure to take a snapshot just in case you forget where the ropes were positioned.

Step 4: Attaching the New Cable

To attach the new cables, you must ensure that the new ones fit exactly like the old cables in the drum. In order to do that, the previously taken snapshot of the cables can guide you. But if you didn’t take the picture yet, then you have to leave it to your brain tissues.

Now, to set up the steel cable, check whether the old cable is fastened with an Allen screw or a locked metal bead. For Allen screws, you have to put a small portion of the cable into the slot; also use the screw to tighten up a bit. The same mechanism is applicable for the cables that are secured by the regular screws.

But for locked metal bead, feed some small length of the wire into the holes throughout the sides. And on the shorter end, make the cable of the shape of a horseshoe ("U" shape) and put it inside the hole, and also put the metal bead in the middle to lock it down.

The same actions can be repeated when you install a synthetic rope. In case the old cable had a knot to fasten up, you can just mirror the new ropes for better results.

Attaching Steel Cable To Winch Drum

Step 5: Winding-up The Wire

To run the process faster, you can make the spool run on the motor by engaging it after the successful initial attachment of the cable. Then we start the wire winding process on the machine.

Hold the cable with a loose grip and cover up the spool's top, back, and every other part around it with the help of the cable. Guide the wire into the direction of the spool by controlling it through your hands.

You have to spool until the cable reaches the end. After that, you go back and start over to cover the other end. By doing it continuously, you will finally manage to spool the cable to the end. Keep in mind that you are following the policy of no layering in this regard.

The wrap-up of the wire should be done without overlapping, from the sides of the inserted slot to the spools' opposite side.

Unless you reach the opposite side of the spool, you should always lay the loop for the following layer. Then you start wrapping the wire until you discover the inserted slot again.

You have to keep wrapping around the spool from side to side in layers. No matter what, you must ensure that there should be zero overlaps until it reaches the last loop where you start changing the layers.

Also, for preventing accidents like getting your hand caught in the wire or getting crushed, you have to keep your hands at a safe distance, and that too without losing the grip of the cable.

Attaching Synthetic Cable to Drum

Step 6: Assembling All

Finally, assemble all of the other components, such as the fairlead and the winch hook that were initially removed at the beginning of the installation. Now, you are ready to use the fully repaired winch for a number of different purposes.

Safety Tips While Attaching Cable To Winch Drum

During this installation process, don't rush or try to hurry up to change the cables faster. Just follow the safety precautions and slow down to run the task smoothly before you start to attach the wire to the winch drum. Or else, you might find yourself on the hospital bed!


We tried our best to show you how to attach cable to winch drum. Now, you don't need to rely on others for changing the cables. You can do it by yourself and also you can share the tricks with your friends and neighbors.

Happy Winching!

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