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Synthetic winch line and heat


Well-Known Member
so while working at my last job, I leanred a lot about synthetic winch line as I spec'd it to be used to recover NASA's capsule they are launching in December. I learned that it floats, salt water doesn't degrade it, being wrapped oddly on the drum doesn't effect it..... But because heat was not a factor in it's use, I didn't learn about that.

Now I want to get a winch for my rig. The mounting point I have selected is under the grill and just in front of the radiator/condenser.

I'm going back and forth between steel line and synthetic. Weight really isn't an issue for the steel line. Is the heat going to adversely effect synthetic line being mounted there? I don't drive my rig much so it won't see too many heat cycles. And it doesn't get parked outside much either.

Steel or synthetic line?


Active Member
how often do you use your winch? that will make a huge difference. if you don't use it often, it may be wasted dollars. i've used mine a bit since a couple of the guys i wheel with like to test their limits and i'm not patient enough to nicely spool my cable, so i went synthetic. that will add anywhere from $200 if you build your own to $350 if you get an aftermarket line unless you buy a winch already outfitted with the synthetic.

heat is an issue, but not much of one. uv is more of an issue. the line will degrade after a while. heat will only really be an issue if your anchor point on the drum comes loose and your drum spins in the cable, or you run the cable along the edge of something, which you wouldn't do anyways.


Staff member
I second what Ige said. I run also run synthetic for the safety issues as well as weight. It's also nice that you can field splice it if there is a problem. It would take a lot of heat to melt it and unless something was rubbing up against it or hot and touching it you should be fine.


Active Member
I prefer synthetic because it doesn't rust. I think a lot of people probably have a similar heat issue, and the manufacturer probably has a heat spec. But if you check that and are still concerned, Home Depot sells some kind of shiny foil insulation that is about 1/4" thick, and is designed to block radiant heat. So you could create your own heat shield pretty easily.