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Watch Yer Spare Tire Winch


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There are reports on the net about the winch cable failing from rust or the 'dog bone' rusting thru and loosing the spare wheel.

In some cases near fatal accidents have happened.

Other reports are that the winch won't come down leaving folks stranded without a spare.

Todays project is to mod this problem out of the equation.

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yep.  been there!

my ol  dodge Dakota  gave birth to it's  spare..   I was  bouncing across the  hayfield,  hit a series of  badger holes.   I was running about  30 mph,  and  it   cannonballed...  after   it bounced and  polevaulted  the  back end of the   little pickup!   Bent the crap out of the rear bumper. (up)  

 

rusted out   cable..

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Mike, I just can't trust that cheesy little cable with other peoples lives on the highway. It's really cheesy IMHO. I don't live in salted road country and it's showing signs it won't last long with the amount of rust at the dog bone end.

Then what's actually holding it from coming unraveled anyway? You don't hear any positive clicking sound like a ratchet wrench or boat winch sound?

Edited by JAG1
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To me it's not worth the risk after googling/ reading about 'spare tire came loose on my Dodge Ram', without something to hold it in place. The small rust prone cable is the common cause. So I hooked the right length of chain across and put on a small chain binder.

Edited by JAG1
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I have not seen one break on its own around here, luckily we are not in a big rust belt area but it is getting worse with the new chemicals they are using on the roads in current years.

The only thing I have seen rust out and break in my area was on early 2nd gens the fuel tank straps would rot out and drop the fuel tank on the road, actually saw it happen one day, following a neighbor with a 97 cummins cross some RR tracks by my house and all of a sudden there was a large puddle as the front strap broke the front of the tank dropped and ground a hole in it almost instantly. He wasn't impressed lol.... :cry:

 

That said I have had to cut a few cables over the years from lack of use and or excessive gravel roads where the winch was locked up and would not move. I had a flat a few weeks ago and a LEO pulled up and we were talking and he said the new GM vehicles are horrible about the winches not working, he said in the last few months he has come up on many vehicles with flats where they had to call for tows due to locked up winches, he said all were newer GM vehicles.

 

I told him about having a small cable cutter to reach up and cut the cable and he was going to look into one to carry in his cruiser.

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I have also heard of a lot more GM's having an issue with the winch/cable than the dodges. Like Mike said earlier, as long as the tire is hanging under there correctly it shouldnt move at all. I think the if is able to move or swing around at all, that is probably what is causing issues with the cable. Just like anything else thats metal, if it keeps flexing,  it will eventually break. All this said, At least once a year I will string that cable out all the way and actually coat it with some wheel bearing grease, then roll it in and out a few times. This keeps the cable rust free and the winch nice and lubed up. Two birds with one stone I would say.

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As long as they are maintained and not allowed to corrode the cable is more than adequate. 3/16 cable has a SWL of 840 pounds and a breaking strength of over 4k.

I lower mine twice a year to inspect the tire/wheel assembly and check air pressure. I also wash the wheel as it gets pretty nasty and spray the cable with a wire rope lube.

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