How To Attach Cable To Winch Drum: All to Know

If you never knew, there are lots of steps to try out when figuring out how to attach cable to winch drum. However, it is all dependent on the make of your winch and the model. 

For those interested, it must be made known that having to connect a cable to the winch drum will need to be done cautiously in a bid to avoid any unforeseen circumstances. 

Irrespective of if it is your first time or not, you will need to make sure the winch cable is spooled or attached tightly around the drum before you begin any winching operation. 

You are not to merely leave or attach the winch cable to be hanging unwound or loose, however, you will figure out how to make it work with this article. 

Attaching Cable To A Winch Drum 

When learning how to attach the cable to the winch drum, note that, before you begin, you are to: 

• Make sure you have the needed steel cable or synthetic rope that your winch needs

• Remove the existing cable on your drum with free spooling and you will need to do this by disengaging the lever or the clutch

• Attach the winch cable before mounting it on your vehicle

For those with a steel cable, the method to follow is: 

Step One: The Allen Head Screw

If your winch drum is made with the Allen set screw type, you will discover three holes on your winch drum. With it, you can feed the end of your winch cable through the holes of the drum, starting from the inside and then the outside. 

How To Attach Cable To Winch Drum
Discover The Three Holes On Your Winch Drum

Everything will be secured using the screw. In proceeding, the first thing you need to do is to ensure the rope ends do not have any eyelets. So, you are to cut the wire and seal it with fire. 

Then, you will have to tape the rope end so that it will be easy to insert it inside the hole. When this is done, feed the cable via the threaded hole of your winch drum till it comes out of the other hole. 

You are to use the Allen wrench in tightening the set screw onto the hole that is perpendicular to your cable. Make sure you have a minimum of two to three wraps all over the drum when winching so that the rope will be kept in place. 

Step Two: The loop and metal bead

By the second step, you are to feed your winch cable through the opening of the locking mechanism that is on the drum. You are to make sure enough cable pass through so that you can create a loop out of it. 

Then, bend the cable like the shape of the letter U, proceed to thread it back via the same slot. More so, ensure you place the metal bead through this looped space before you tighten or pull back on the free end of the cable to ensure a firm locked position. 

Bending The Cable

Step Three: The clamp

Go to the end of the cable and just roughly two inches from the end, create a U-shaped loop with your pliers. You are to thread this end via the oblong slot on the side plate of your winch drum and this is to be done from the inside. 

The next thing to do is to position your cable by taking it around the drum’s outside so that the U-shaped end will be aligned just above the square-shaped hole.

 Then, place the clamp bolt through the square hole from the interior whole placing the winged clamp on the outside of the bolt. Note that, the U-shaped cable must firmly fit under the wings of the winged clamp before you start securing the nut on the bolt. 

You are to pull back on your cable to disrupt any slack before you wind up the cable on the drum. 

Placing The Clamp Bolt And Cable

Step Four: The lever release

Some winch drums are made available with a release lever on the drum’s side from where your cable can be inserted as it holds the cable clamp jaws in position. 

If yours is like that, you are to open the lever, pass the cable over the top of your drum to the back and proceed from the top of the winch spool towards its back. You are to thread the end of your cable from the side slot and position it between the jaws of the clamp. 

When all this is done, close your release lever in a bid to lock the cable firmly. Once you have attached the winch cable to the drum, you are to attach the hook to your cable and cautiously reel in and wind your cable all over the winch drum securely. 

How To Attach Cable To Winch Drum
Attaching  The Winch Cable To The Drum

How To Get A Winch Spool Evenly

Now that you know how to attach cable to winch drum, you should learn how to get a winch spool evenly. In doing this, you need to simply spool only till the rope gets an uneven balance even though spooling everything means you will not redo the work. 

Then disconnect the lever off the clutch which is situated beside the drum. When this is done, you are to activate the winch though modern winches have remote controllers. This will make your spooling work very easy and quite convenient. 

Once the rope is pulled off the winch drum, just plug the winch remote. Then, you are to slowly pull. Do this with someone as it gets difficult to manage the rope and make sure the spool is adequate simultaneously. 

Having to spool the winch is easy but there are some technicalities that the amateur will not know. You can learn more details here

Attaching Cable To Warn Winch Drum 

The first thing to do is to thread your winch cable via the fair-lead that is in front of the Warn winch and ensure it rolls from the base of your drum when you are spooling.

The next thing to do is to thread the cable retention bolt via the eyelet on the winch cable then into the drum. 

You are to tighten the retention bolt before unwinding the winch cable so that it runs in a straight line.

The end of the winch cable must be secure to another vehicle or a post. Your transmission should be placed in neutral to enable the vehicle to roll. 

More so, you are to spool the line on the drum in very tight loops though you are to make sure the cable is wound closely on the drum. The whole winch line should be rolled on the drum in layers. 

Finally, unhook your cable from the vehicle or the post then spool the remaining line on the drum. 

How To Attach Cable To Winch Drum
Attaching Cable To Warn Winch Drum

Bear in mind that the warn winch cable screw is important for maintaining and repairing specific WARN models. And, it mostly includes service parts that entail screw and terminal. 

Can You Put Synthetic Rope On A Cable Winch? 

The same answer is yes you can do such on a winch that is crafted for steel cable. But, the brake drum will not be capable of cooling so well because the steel cable gets to act like a heat sink while the synthetic rope acts like an insulator that traps heat. 

Note that, you can attach the cable to a hand winch by making use of two cable clamps for pulling and brake winches to fasten each of the cables to the pivoted holes on the bigger gear. 


On a general note, we have provided you with steps on how to attach cable to winch drum. You must take caution in doing it to avoid any form of injury in your mission. 

More so, you will learn how to spool evenly from this article as well as how you can attach the cable to your Warn winch drum.

Ricardo Vaughn
Ricardo Vaughn

Vaughn is a seasoned off-roading expert and professional winch specialist. When he's not out on the trails, he shares his knowledge and experiences through his writing as a blog author in the off-roading and outdoor lifestyle space.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *