How to Replace Winch Cable – (Avoid Doing This)

The winch cable is truly the most important accessory when it comes to winches. This is the part of the winch that you use to connect the anchor with the vehicle or object being pulled. Sooner or later, you may have to replace this winch and therefore we have decided to help you out with this article that helps you understand how to replace the winch cable. There must be a lot of questions on your mind such as how to replace winch rope? We will answer them all in this article Let’s go!

Our Top Winch Cable

The right tools

Before you begin replacing the winch cable, it is very important to make sure that you have all the right tools. Following is a list of all the tools that you may need:

  • Heavy duty gloves for safety
  • Needle-nose pliers or any other set
  • Hex key or Allen wrench
  • Socket wrench set along with the right bits and sockets

Removing the old winch cable

Now that you have all the right tools for replacing the winch, you may move on to the actual process. Follow the steps below in order to replace the winch cable with ease.

1. Disconnect the winch hook

Begin by removing the bolt connecting the eye loop with the hook as well as the locking pin which is usually a split pin. Once you have removed these parts, you will be able to move on to removing the fair lead. If you ensure that the hook remains intact even after removal then you will be able to use the same hook with the new cable or rope.

2. Removing the fairlead

To get access to the drum, you will have to first remove the fair lead. The fair lead is usually fastened using 2 bolts. You may use the Allen wrench to loosen these bolts and remove the fair lead.

3. Disengaging the winch motor

You can use the switch on the side of the winch to disconnect the motor. Once you do this, you will be able to unspool the winch cable with your hand as the winch is not in free spool position. In this position, the drum will spin freely so you can easily pull out the winch cable.

4. Removing winch line from spool

Before doing this step, make sure you have the safety gloves on. Grab onto the old winch cable and begin unspooling by pulling on it. Unspooling manually allows you to easily handle the wire even if it is bound-up in some places.

5. Inspect the fairlead and winch drum

Sometimes steel cables damage fairlead rollers and winch drums. Therefore, it is important to make sure that everything is in good shape before you install the new cable. If you find any sharp edges or burrs, you may file them down using sandpaper.

Mounting the replacement cable

Now that you have removed the old cable, you may move on to installing the new winch cable or rope. Now this might be a cable wire, rope or strap. Let’s discuss all these cases in detail.

1. How to replace winch cable with rope?

Tie a knot around the drum using the rope. This helps keep the rope in place once you begin wrapping it around the drum. Begin wrapping the rope in neat rotations and try to avoid any overlapping. Wrap the complete rope around the winch drum to complete the process.

2. How to replace winch cable with strap?

Begin by putting a hook onto the strap. Put the bolt inside the winch cage. Take the loop that is sewn at the strap’s end and slide the bolt into it. Now, you have to use the wrench to tighten the nuts on the central bolt. Don’t tighten too hard as the axis must remain mobile. Use the crank to neatly wind the strap onto the drum.

Finishing off

Now that everything is place, you may put back all the components that you removed in the beginning. Your winch cable has now been replaced and you may use it with ease now.

How to replace winch cable on Polaris ranger?

To do this you will have to first tie a shoemaker’s knot on the cable wire. The complete procedure for tying this knot can be found anywhere on the internet. Use this knot to attach the cable to the winch.

How to replace winch cable on warn winch?

With a warn winch, you have to loop the cable through the drum and back to a hole. A metal disk is present in the loop that prevents the loop from collapsing in itself. To remove and insert the cable, you have to push it through the drum and straighten the loop. The rest of the process is similar to the steps described above.


Learning how to replace the winch cable is quite important if you intend on using a winch. You won’t always have help from experts so you must learn to do it on your own. We hope this article helped you understand the process of replacing the winch cable. If you have other queries, you may reach out to us and we would be more than glad to help you out.


How to replace winch cable on shore station boat lift?

Answer: The process of doing this is quite similar to the one described above. You may consult the user manual for further details.

How to replace winch cable hook?

Answer: You can sue two saddle clamps to replace the winch cable hook. Both clamps must go in the same direction.

How to replace winch cable on can am ATV?

Answer: Use electrical tape to tie the end of the cable and a thin screwdriver for passing the winch cable through the hole in the roller. Use another screwdriver to push the cable through the hole.

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