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Install Instructions

Installation Instructions for Automotive Winchlines

NOTE: Correct installation of the winchline is essential to safe operation and longevity of your synthetic winchline. Operation of winches is dangerous: read and follow your winch operators / owner’s manual and take a class in safe 4x4 recoveries from a certified trainer. Training resources: i4wdta.orgclick on “find a trainer” and overlandtraining.com

 Required Tools: Depending on your particular winch brand, one of the following is typically required:

  • Warn winches typically use a ¼” hex wrench
  • Superwinch uses 6 millimeter and 10 millimeter hex wrenches depending on the winch
  • Various box end and/or socket tools are needed for a fairlead replacement

 Step 1: Remove existing steel winch cable and replace fairlead if necessary. If your factory steel roller fairlead has deep scars or if the rollers no longer turn; replace it. Do not use cast steel Hawse fairleads, they have sharp edges and they do not have enough radius for the winchline to bend over.

 Step 2: >>> IMPORTANT<<< Protect your investment: Inspect the backing plate that the fairlead is mounted to; make sure it has at least ¼” larger opening than the slot in the fairlead. If there are any steel edges that could touch the winchline, the winchline WILL cut under tension. This is the most common reason for synthetic winchlines breaking.

 Step3: Most winches use a bolt to secure the winchline to winch drum; proceed to Illustration A (All winchlines are supplied with this attachment). If you have a through hole: see Illustration B, For Warn 8274: see Illustration C

 Illustration A – Bolted: Thread winchline through fairlead and UNDER drum as shown, and attach new bolt. Do not over tighten, or use longer bolts.

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Illustration B – Through Hole: Remove the Drum Attachment hardware the winchline comes with. Measure 8” from end, cut 3 individual strands and remove them. Apply 2-3 wraps of electrical tape to hold cut strands in place.

Thread winchline through fairlead and UNDER drum as shown, insert the line through the hole with about 6” to 8”. Place the line across the drum and tape the end down to hold it in place. Lightly tighten the set-screw to squeeze the line, do not over tighten.

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Illustration C – Single Hole - Warn 9274: Remove round cover on drivers side of the winch. Thread winchline through fairlead and UNDER drum as shown, insert the line through the hole and tie a square knot to keep the line from being pulled back through the hole. Re-attach cover.

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Step 4. Prepare to load the winchline on the drum. Follow your winch operator’s manual for properly loading and tensioning the winchline. The process is the same for steel and synthetic lines. Do NOT use the winchline without properly pre tensioning the line.

Step 5. Continue loading the winchline until your Safety Thimble™ touches the fairlead and give it one quicker bump on the control to tighten. For Hooks; mount the hook to your shackle or tow point and tighten enough so it will not rattle. This method can also be used for Safety Thimbles. Do not let the hook touch aluminum Hawse fairleads or Delrin roller fairleads.


  • Manufacturer is not responsible for the results of misuse, misapplication, faulty installation or abuse in any way
  • Never hook the rope back onto itself
  • Do not tie a knot to repair broken rope; this reduces line strength approximately in half. Repair winchlines with a splicing kit using only a Class II splicing method
  • The use of winches is dangerous! Follow your owners / operator’s manual for your winch and take a winching / recovery class. Make sure on-lookers are not in harm’s way by standing a minimum distance of the length of winchline pulled out
  • Read and follow all Rope Warnings
  • Under tension, winchlines will cut on sharp rocks and fairlead backing plates / bumpers
  • Avoid continuous pulls from extreme angles
  • Overheating the winch drum can melt the winchline! If the winchline has fused near the end (at the drum end), the winchline is not fit for use and must be discarded. If powering out on winches that have internal drum brakes, care must be taken and owner’s manual followed to avoid overheating. If you suspect the line has failed it can be tested by kneading the line with your fingers. If the line opens up and shapes back into a round form, it can be used. If it cannot be kneaded back into shape it has melted and must be discarded
  • AmSteel blue has a critical temperature of 150° Degrees F (65.5 C). This means under load the winchline will lose its strength at this temperature threshold

 Always keep people and pets away from the winching operation


·         Slide the Line Protector / Rock Guard to the point your line touches the ground or rocks. If there is a large change in direction, use a block of wood to keep the line from being damaged on sharp rocks

·         Whenever possible, use your winch to pull yourself. If you use your winch to pull other vehicles, the winchline will be moving relative to the ground. Whereas, if you pull your vehicle the winchline is stationary and your vehicle is the moving object


Care for Your Winchline

·         Use only automotive soap and water to clean your winchline; regular car washing will not hurt it

·         After heavy mud and sand recovery pull most of the line out, rinse it off and reinstall

·         Use a winch cover as much as possible to avoid premature color fading.

·         Figure 1: is a new rope. Figure 2: is a used rope in working condition. Figure 3: is a severely abraded rope and should be retired.

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Every inch of all winchlines are thoroughly inspected by Samson Rope Technologies for any defects, with a second round of inspections by Winchline.com. Winchline.com utilizes Class II splicing techniques in strict accordance with Samson Rope instructions.

Warranty - Returns

 Synthetic winchlines do not have a warranty. No returns on packaging that have been opened or custom lengths