Simple Maintenance Tips for your 4x4 Winch
Making sure that your battery is in good condition with a simple battery test and ensurig it won't fail if a recovery is needed is a good start. This can be done at your local Supercheap Auto store free of charge. They'll also test your Alternator and Starter as well. Next we need to ensure that the battery has a good electrical connection to the winch, make sure all the terminals are bolted on tight and are not lose.
Next is to make sure the Battery terminals are clean and protected from the elements, we sell terminal cleaners and protectors in stores that you can find here to help with this task.
Winch Electrical Cables
Follow the Winch cable from the battery terminals down to the winch to ensure they're are not weathered, damaged or lose. Next check the terminals on the winch and ensure that they're nice and tight. Once they're tight, use your battery cleaner and protector to ensure they're protected from corrosion.
Metal Winch Cable Rope
Put the clutch into free wheeling mode and pull out the entire winch cable. Check for any kincks or flares in the cable, if you find that the cable has any serious flares or damage, do not use this rope and replace with a new rope. Next is to lay the cable onto the drum evenly having the cable sit side by side. Consider wearing gloves and keep hands one metre from fairlead. You may need a mate or a tree to help pull tension on the rope whilst lining the cable up and using the remote to have the winch pull in the cable.
Synthetic Winch Cable Rope
Put the clutch into freewheeling mode and pull out the entire winch cable. Check for any kinks or flares in the cable, if you find that the cable has any serious flares or damage, do not use this rope and replace with a new rope.
Inspect the rope to see if there are any bits of dirt, dunk the winch cable into a bucket of water and wash the cable to free the dirt and grime. Alternatively you can lay out the cable in the sun and blast with a garden hose. When clean, leave the cable out to dry.
Next is to lay the cable onto the drum, To do this you may need a mate or a tree to help pull tension on the rope whilst lining the cable up and using the remote to have the winch pull in the cable. When feeding in the cable, make sure lay the cable in a cross hash pattern, this is recommended for synthetic cable to stop the cable burying into itself.
When feeding out Synthetic cable, don’t feed out for too long, the brake inside the drum gets really hot and it can melt the lower layers of the cable against the drum.
Check Everything Works Before Tackling Anything
It may sound silly, but there is nothing worse getting stuck without a working winch and having your mates dig you out. Make sure you test your winch before you head out into the bush to ensure you can use it if need be.
If you're confident and mechanically minded another good tip is to pull apart your winch once a year to ensure it’s greased up and working perfectly. The winch user manual will give you a good breakdown on how to pull it apart. If you're not sure, you can head into your local mechanic to do this for you.
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