Questions on tire air pressure and winch cables vs ropes
First off, the sidewalls on my tires say inflate to 7psi max. How much pressure do you normally run and why? I set mine all at 4psi for now. Not sure if that is too soft or not.
Second, let's talk winches, not wenches. The cable on my Warn is flat in some spots and a few wires are broken here and there. Still, at what looks like 1/4" cable, it is plenty strong to pull a quad out of a hole. It does look pretty short though. There is lots of room left on the drum.
How many feet of cable do you run on your drum? Is there any reason not to put on the max that it will hold?
Have you ever used the Kevlar rope? What are the pros and cons about changing the wire rope out for Kevlar?
Well, on the tire pressure. I'd say if you are just puttin around 4 psi is probrably fine, but if your riding gets a bit spirited take the pressure to max. Quad or SxS? Higher tire pressure will help stiffen the side wall and allow the bike to handle better, plus it'll help keep your wheels from finding rocks, and pinching holes in the tire beads.
The winch, I use the kevlar rope, have been for some time. For me, its just easer to use. If it does break, it won't come flying back to ya, it just lays down on the ground. Wire rope/cable has a tendency to seek you, or anyone around you, out when it breaks. Kevlar cuts easier from chafing on trees or rocks.
Just a few of my observations. Both work fine, I think its just a matter of preferance.
I just replaced my kevlar rope, I belive it's 50'.
Last edited by 2dawgs; 05-24-2011 at 22:55.
Generally you can fit 50 ft of 3/16" synthetic winch rope on a drum, and 40 ft of 1/4". 3/16" rated ~ 5400 lbs, 1/4" rated ~ 8600 lbs, depending on brand. I have the 40' of 1/4" amsteel blue synthetic on a viper max 3500 lb winch. If you think 40' is just not long enough for you, you can always use extensions. I carry another rope around 50' just in case I am too far away from a anchor point, or if for some reason my rope breaks to the point it needs to be replaced. You can also carry a winch anchor. As stated before, when it breaks, it falls to the ground. If it does break, you can always tie it back together, unlike steel cable. 1/7th the weight of steel cable. It has no memory and will not kink like steel. It floats. Will not cut your hands on the fray like steel. Wont freeze, rust, or absorb water.
As far as tire pressure. I personally run mine at 4-5 psi. Better traction, softer ride, more tire roll under high speed cornering. If you go to low you might have a hard time keeping the bead seated. I've heard of some guys pressuring up to over 10 and beyond. You can float water very well with 10+, but it sure makes for a stiff ride.
Everything these guys said and here are couple more tips or information. Tire pressure - depends on the vehicle. Most tires are rated for wheeler use. If you're using a UTV then you may need to up the psi, if not on the sidewall or website give a call to the manufacturer. It's my experience that they don't make different tires for atv's vs. utv's so they are stamped with minimum and max psi or most of the users. I run my ITP 589's at 10 psi and I have a Ranger 6X6.
Winch rope - regarding how much to put on. I would not put on the max amount that it will hold. 50' is enough and carry extra tow straps. The reason being is that you will find yourself in a situation where you are winching off at an angle and the winch cable or rope will spool all to one side and if there is too much rope on the drum then you'll run out of room and it will pinch. 50' will allow you to leave the recommended one layer of wrap on the drum and winch all the rope to one side and not bind. Also, your winch has the most power when the most line is out. As the winch spools up rope it is loosing winching power. So, when winching yourself out you want to pull most of your 50' out leaving at least one layer of wrap on the drum to get maximum winching. I know it's a pain, but pulling your winch line out and then re-winching it back everytime in a nice wrap will keep the rope in better condition over longer period of time instead of using only the first 20 feet all the time.
Another reason not to run a full drum is that what ever your winch is rated for, the pulling power falls off rapidly the further from the drum you go. So if you only have the last wrap on the drum and you have a 3500lbs winch, that is where it is truly at 3500lbs Now if you spool it all up and full, and only winch off of that little bit on top, it is only pulling like 1500 to 2000lbs. This makes the winch work harder all the time. I dont often winch out further than 20 feet, as it is normally a monster hole i got stuck in rather than a big long swamp. 20' of rope or cable is fine, just wrap good strong straps around your racks so they are easy to get to.