How to Attach a Winch Cable

by C.L. Rease

An improperly installed winch cable can cause serious injury to anyone in the area of the winch or cause serious damage to objects near the winch. It's critical to understand that the connecting point that holds the very end of a winch cable to the winch itself does not actually support the weight of a load pulled with the winch, it merely holds the cable in position to keep it from sliding off the winch when the cable is fully extended. Proper tension on the line ensures the safety of you and others working in the area of the winch.

Turn the two bolts holding the cable clamp on the size of the cable drum counterclockwise with a socket attached to a ratchet handle. Remove the bolts and set the cable clamp aside.

Run a wire brush over the threads of both bolts until the threads are free of dirt and corrosion. Apply three drops of threadlocking sealant to the threads of each bolt. Stand the bolts upright.

Slide one end of the winch cable through a hole in the side of the winch drum. Pull three inches of cable through the hole. Set the cable clamp over the end of the cable. Push the cable clamp and cable end tight to the outside edge of the winch drum.

Thread one threadlocker coated bolt into each threaded winch drum hole. Tighten the bolts with the ratchet handle to secure the cable to the winch.

Items you will need

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera filin de treuil image by Mitch Chanet from