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winch extension line

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#1
ndamico

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what do most of your carry (who carry it) for extension line?  looking to get something but not sure what's adequate. i don't want to spend a fortune but i don't know anything about the no-name brand stuff.


Nick

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#2
DHappel

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I've got a CustomSplice 50' extension that's done fine.  The only drawback is that the thimbles on each end are too small for a regular shackle but the soft shackles work fine with it.  I think somebody at the shaver run had the same thing (Antonio maybe?)

 

It's light and takes up almost no space in my gear bag, so that's a plus.  Here's the one I have.  Looks like the price has come up a bit since I bought mine a couple years ago.

http://www.amazon.co...arch_detailpage

 

 

It's AmSteel Blue, which is the same line the 'fancy' guys use.   The only difference would be in the quality of the splices/thimbles/etc.  The line itself is the same stuff.


Don
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#3
JFuller

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I should probably carry one but usually just rely on tow straps which are usually plentiful.
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#4
DHappel

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I _had_ a tow strap.

 

BANG!

 

Now I don't....


Don
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#5
psykokid

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I _had_ a tow strap.

 

BANG!

 

Now I don't....

 

lol.. yeah that schittybilt strap wasn't up to the task of unbeaching the grey whale from its resting place at shaver. Glad the winch line went low instead of high when it snapped back.



#6
DHappel

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Which reminds me I need to re-spool the winch and cut off the damaged chaif guard that got all boogered up when it snapped back.  It may even be time to think about a new winch line all together, or at least a new hook since the spring-retainer thing got torn off.


Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

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#7
AdvRovr

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I _had_ a tow strap.

 

BANG!

 

Now I don't....

Hey, at least it was your tow strap and not the recovery point on your ARB bumper....


Chad // Instagram: @AdvRovr
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#8
JFuller

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Or the whole bumper. Aka Graeme on signal peak
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#9
DHappel

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Or the whole bumper. Aka Graeme on signal peak

haha!  GraemeSlam!

 

Wait, let me made that so the kids will understand-

 

#GraemeSlam!


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Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#10
TomOwen

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#11
DHappel

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Don
'07 LR3 HSE/HD - slightly non-stock

'96 D1 - even more non-stock


#12
lilcrawler

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Which reminds me I need to re-spool the winch and cut off the damaged chaif guard that got all boogered up when it snapped back. It may even be time to think about a new winch line all together, or at least a new hook since the spring-retainer thing got torn off.


Don, I'll buy your old winchline off of you if you end up replacing it and don't want it.

Edited by lilcrawler, 03 March 2016 - 04:49 AM.

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#13
Disco2Guy

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Nick, how much cable (or line) do you have on the winch right now? If you've needed an extension in the past, how much would you say was needed?

 

If you get an extension that is longer than than you've typically needed, you'll have to re-rig the line when the hook on your main line reaches the fairlead. At that point, you're using too much extension and not spooling enough of the line off the drum. That means you're not pulling at the full capacity of the winch if all of it is spooled onto the drum. Ideally, you'd want to remove the extension as soon as you have enough line on the winch to reach the stuck vehicle and finish the recovery. Usually 25' is enough.

 

So your rigging would go like this:

 

From your winch (you are doing the recovery here) take the line out to the first layer on the drum (assuming syn line), or half a layer with steel cable. Connect the extension to your hook. Shorten the extension (tere's a special technique for this) until it's just long enough to hook onto the stuck vehicle. Start the recovery. When the stuck vehicle has moved a distance equal to the length of the extension, remove it, and attach your line from the drum to continue the recovery. If a pully block is being used, make sure the hook doesn't hit it.

 

So we are all on the same page here:

 

A tow strap is usually considered those yellow straps with the metal hooks on either end. These are pretty much worthless to carry with you. The are designed to pull a car out of the garage and into your backyard. Not to pull someone over a rock or through the mire.

 

I'm assuming when you say tow strap, you are actually referring to a recovery strap, correct? They are usually 2-3" wide and have reinforced, looped ends with no metal hooks. These should never be used for winching. Their stretch factor (around 15-20%) can store a lot of energy. Should something break, it can come flying back at you or the truck with tremendous force. Especially if there is a bow shackle used for the connection. Would you rather stretch a rubber band or line of thread away from the front of your eye, and then cut it with scissors? Winches are designed to take a constant pulling load. The stretchiness of a recovery strap (expand, contract, expand contract) is also what can cause potential damage to the winch.

 

Along those lines, it's the same reason you don't use a bow shackle to connect two recovery straps. Use a rolled up magazine. Otherwise you'll never get the ends apart and you now have a single 60' recovery strap.

 

I'm still not sold on the soft shackle. The radius can be so tight when using them, there's no way they are performing at the rated strength. While the soft shackle that destroyed the "recovery point" survived, it seems to better illustrate that the metal part wasn't up to the task of the job and shouldn't be used in that fashion.

 

If you need an extension and don't have one, it is ok to use a tree saver. They have very little stretch and using a bow shackle is fine as well.

 

The extension:

 

You want an extension with thimbles that can accept a minimum 3/4" bow shackle pin. There are typically 3 varieties of thimbles you'll find on extensions with increasing protection for the line. At the minimum you want a tube thimble. I plan to make an extension out of the drum end of my current line and use gusseted thimbles, which helps prevent the thimble eye deforming.

 

Whatever you choose, make sure it's 3/8" AmSteel Blue, Dyneema, SK-75 and that the seller lists the specs of the rope. A 25' of extension should be about $100 from winchline.com. Buy from a reputable place, spend the extra $20 and have piece of mind that you're equipment will live up to your expectations.

 

I'm a big safety advocate and want to be sure everyone is taking the proper precautions out on the trail. You can be safe and still have fun at the same time!


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#14
Disco2Guy

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Which reminds me I need to re-spool the winch and cut off the damaged chaif guard that got all boogered up when it snapped back.  It may even be time to think about a new winch line all together, or at least a new hook since the spring-retainer thing got torn off.

 

Is there any damage to the line itself? It's a 12 strand rope. Any cuts or a diameter reduction equal to one of the strands means it's time to retire that part of the line. Slight fraying and collapsing/flattening of the line shows it's well loved.

 

It's easy to splice in a $70 safety thimble instead of buying a new line for $300-400. If the line is damaged, let's have an extension making party!


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#15
DHappel

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B, I need to spool it off and give it a good once-over.  I know there are some pretty crushed areas but I don't _think_ there are any cuts.  I do know my sliding chaif guard thing got torn up pretty good when the tow strap/tree strap broke and let the line pop back to me.

 

As for the strap that broke, it wasn't a recovery strap but a simple tow/tree strap (no steel hooks, just sewn eyes on each end).  I have an ARB recovery (snatch) strap and know better than to use that.  Even though this wasn't a recovery strap, when it broke it still allowed a lot more spring than I expected since my winch is synth line - it snapped back to the truck pretty good and let the winch get all snarled up.  I really should have stopped and made changes to the rigging but of course in the heat of the moment you just want to keep pushing.  I have a much stronger SuperWinch tree strap that's rated for 15,000 lbs I should have dug out instead of the schittybuilt 7500 lb tow strap.  I'm sure it would have been more than fine for simply flat-towing, but it's easy to exceed 7500 lbs on an extraction even on a lighter rig than mine.  FWIW, one of the eyes tore out of the strap.  I'm not sure if the sewing failed or if the webbing actually tore through and I've already tossed it so no chance for further inquiry. 

 

Looking at the Smittybuilt site, I don't think they even offer this strap anymore.


Edited by DHappel, 02 March 2016 - 10:24 PM.

Don
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#16
GraemeWare

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......  I'm not sure if the sewing failed or if the webbing actually tore through and I've already tossed it so no chance for further inquiry. 

 

 

The webbing tore straight through at the bend ....

 

Regards,

 

Graeme


Edited by GraemeWare, 02 March 2016 - 10:46 PM.

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#17
Disco2Guy

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B, I need to spool it off and give it a good once-over.  I know there are some pretty crushed areas but I don't _think_ there are any cuts.  I do know my sliding chaif guard thing got torn up pretty good when the tow strap/tree strap broke and let the line pop back to me.

 

As for the strap that broke, it wasn't a recovery strap but a simple tow/tree strap (no steel hooks, just sewn eyes on each end).  I have an ARB recovery (snatch) strap and know better than to use that.  Even though this wasn't a recovery strap, when it broke it still allowed a lot more spring than I expected since my winch is synth line - it snapped back to the truck pretty good and let the winch get all snarled up.  I really should have stopped and made changes to the rigging but of course in the heat of the moment you just want to keep pushing.  I have a much stronger SuperWinch tree strap that's rated for 15,000 lbs I should have dug out instead of the schittybuilt 7500 lb tow strap.  I'm sure it would have been more than fine for simply flat-towing, but it's easy to exceed 7500 lbs on an extraction even on a lighter rig than mine.  FWIW, one of the eyes tore out of the strap.  I'm not sure if the sewing failed or if the webbing actually tore through and I've already tossed it so no chance for further inquiry. 

 

Looking at the Smittybuilt site, I don't think they even offer this strap anymore.

 

The first two steps in my recovery process are to remain calm, and assess the situation, which includes the Stuck Assessment. Remember, the truck isn't going anywhere, so take your time.

 

Post some pics of your line when you check your line. When you say crushed, does the line look like the profile of a pill? Rounded edges, with flat top and bottom? If so, that's normal for synthetic line as that is the natural shape the line will take under load. It doesn't stay circular like steel rope. The line can also look shiny on the last couple of wraps. This too is perfectly normal. It should easily birdcage open as well.

 

What you want to look out for is excessive fraying, or any signs of melting. This leads back to the tight radius with the soft shackle. If the radius isn't large enough more strain is taken on the outside curvature, which can produce heat and melt the line. The last layer especially will seem like it's sticking to the drum. Unless you've done a lot of powering out with a load, like lowering a truck down a drop, the drum shouldn't get hot enough to melt the line. This really only applies to a planetary winch because the brake is inside the drum. Worn drive and spur gear winches are better designed for this sort of operation.

 

I have a broken line from Colin. Some of the strands look cut, and the others are melted together. It looks like the line was cut on something, and the remaining load was suddenly on half the strands. The pulling force made the rope hot enough to melt the strands together and completely fail, save for one strand.

 

I'm always up for taking broken equipment like that for learning purposes. Save your broken strap next time:)


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#18
psykokid

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The webbing tore straight through at the bend ....

 

Regards,

 

Graeme

Negative Ghostrider.. The webbing did not fail. The stitching securing the end of the strap back on itself failed. 



#19
ndamico

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B- i think i have 100 on the spool. Its what came from superwinch on the 11.5k tigershark unit. I dont have an extension so i just wanted something to put in with my recovery gear. I was thinking another 100'

Nick

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#20
Disco2Guy

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Wow, that's one big arse length of rope for an extension.

 

Another option would be to get 125' of line on the winch. That's about the most you can typically fit before the rope binds on something. You'd have to check with SW to be sure though. But that means you have to spool out more line to get into the full power range. It's a balance of what you typically need vs. what you may need. Your current line could then be made into 2-4 extensions. You do loose a little over 2' for each eye splice. And 4' if you join two ends (if it breaks in the middle). Keep an extension or two and sell the rest to cover some the cost of the longer line.


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