Jeep Install - How to Attach/Tie Synthetic Winch Rope to Jeep Drum December 2016

Makenzie and Adam's
4 Door JK - Jeep
Smittybilt 9500 XRC

Custom Splice 10" Double Thick Hawse Fairlead and 3/8" X 80' Diamond Line Main Line Winch Rope

Our good friends and customers, Makenzie and Adam, decided that they were ready to take the plunge and convert from steel cable to synthetic winch rope.  We suggest that everyone transitioning from steel cable should upgrade to a Billet Aluminum Hawse Fairlead and Synthetic Winch Rope.  

Here is a photographic walkthrough of replacing winch cable with rope.

They are running a Smittybilt 9500 XRC on their rig.  We suggested they go with our 10" Double Thick Hawse Fairlead and 3/8" X 80' Diamond Line Main Line.  

Custom Splice 10" Double Thick Hawse Fairlead and 3/8" X 100' Diamond Line Main Line.

1. First we needed to remove the hook from the end of the steel cable.  

Removing the pin on the used hook to take it off of the winch cable.

2.  Next we unspooled the steel cable.  It is very important to use gloves when working with steel cable.  This is one of the many drawbacks to using steel cable.  It has burs and can cause you to injure your hands.

Pulling off old Steel Cable from the Smittybilt 9500 XRC Winch. Converting to Synthetic Winch Rope.

3. Now we can remove the set screw (or retainer screw) that is holding the steel cable to the winch.

Detaching the Steel Cable from the winch, by taking out the set screw.

 4. Now it is time to switch out that fairlead.  We are using the same hardware to connect the hawse fairlead.  

Loosen the bolts and remove the Roller Fairlead but leave the bolts to attach the new Billet Aluminum Hawse Fairlead to the bumper or winch.

5. In order to to have access to the bolts we are flipping the bolts around to the front and putting the nuts on the back of the bumper.

Line up the bolts and tighten them up on the Custom Splice Hawse Fairlead.

Tighten the bolts on the Fairlead and be sure that everything is fitting correctly.

6. Now we need to attach it by feeding the synthetic winch rope through the fairlead and bumper and over the drum 6 full wraps and tie an overhand knot.

Put the Crimped Eye of the Main Line Winch Rope through the fairlead and over the drum of the winch to attach it.

7. We attach the crimped eye end of the rope to the winch before tightening the rope and knot on the drum.

Wrap the rope around the drum a few times and tie an overhand knot before attaching the set screw to the winch.

Then we tighten up the wraps and the knot.

Make sure that the overhand knot is tight on the drum so that the winch rope does not pull off of the drum.

8.  Time to winch in! 

Re-Spool the new Synthetic Winch Rope on the drum and then you are good to go.


Upgraded Synthetic Winch Rope and Aluminum Hawse Fairlead installation complete.


  • Todd Stauffer - Custom Splice: June 13, 2017

    Jaime, Synthetic requires the extra wraps to get enough friction to hook up to the drum.

  • Jamie Mitchell: January 24, 2017

    Why do you tie a knot with 6 wraps on the drum? Doesn’t that cause you to lose about half of the highest pulling power layer for the winch? I’ve never used anything but wire rope, & I know that I’m not supposed to run it out without leaving at least 3 wraps on the drum, 6 seems excessive.

  • Adam Hazelwood: January 24, 2017

    We could not be happier with the quality and service we received from Custom Splice. Thank you Todd and crew!

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