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The great cable debate goes on.


Super Moderator
Feb 24, 2010
Country Flag
Well, ask 10 experts for an answer and you'll get 12 replies.

I bought my new winch yesterday from Goodwinch, well I was sort of passing their place in Devon. And they gave me a kill switch wired with 35mm cable. I asked them why you'd do this as this would then be a restriction (for want of a better word) in the wiring. No, apparently not as the factory winch wires are 35mm too. I did not know this. Now we can do all the calc over and over again and I do understand the maths, but I also have to take account of a group of very experienced winch people. They workshops there are a thing to behold. Talk about experimental. They have even made a three motor winch.
They have tested winches to destruction there and their view is that I will fry the motor completely before I ever melt the cables. So I asked about power getting to the motor and wouldn't 40 or 50 mm cable be better. Their view on this particular product is that you will actually create problems with the motor doing that. 35mm IS the right cable for that winch under the sorts of winching that I said that I would be doing. I had LB very stuck on occasions and never had the cables getting hot, nor did I ever stall the motor. They also put me off buying the 12 000lb version and urged me to go for the faster 9500. They showed me the tests that they had done with the 9500 and the evidence spoke for itself. They have an 80 there which belongs to David and that has a 9500 on it. So, I went with that and a prebuilt winch tray. They even chucked in a remote! Whoo hoo. I did go with the thicker rope, not really because I was worried about the tensile strength of the 9mm but the thicker rope also contributes to free running spool in speeds which is handy at times. So we should have a winch on for next weekend but I will only have time for a temporary girder style bumper. I know we aren't winching, but hell I have it now so it's going on and that's that.

This is not really intended to start a debate or worse still, an argument, but there are times when calculations look right and make sense and there are times where I would lean toward experience and advice from someone I trust. Still going with thicker cable for the charging system for the reasons that we have discussed in another thread.

My t-max 12500 outback came with 35mm cable too. The glands on it wouldn't take 50mm anyway, but then it is mounted quite close the battery.
Mmmm.......this is interesting :think: That Dave really knows his maffs :D

This is common practice in large lighting installations ware you may have a 15amp radial leg of a lighting installation being protected by a 32amp fuse :shock: :? The fuse is not there to protect the circuit from overload but just short circuit the overload protection is being provided by the smaller internal fuses inside each individual light fitting & the fact that the entire installation has been designed by someone with a modicum of knowledge :) This is why it's so important to not just add another 3 or 4 light fittings to the end of a large lighting installation without first consulting someone qualified to do so :D

The fact that the cable has been underated compared to the main protective device can be proven functionaly by using an adiabatic equation Electrical Principles :)

What Dave is doing rather than using a fuse @ the terminal point of the winch circuit to protect the 35mm cable against overload he's saying that the winding in the motor will burnout therefore opening the circuit long before the 35mm cable catches fire :thumbup:

I have to take my hat off to Mr D he's a very talented man :clap:

I've read all of his How to's with David & highly recommend them to all :thumbup: His How to use an Hi-Lift jack goes on for pages & pages & is an evenings read in itself but worth every second of time invested in it :D I love his other uses for a spade & this alone makes me smile when others talk of buying a short store in your glovebox type of spade :lol:

Thanks for taking the time to post your findings Chris :thumbup: very interesting :)
Well I know that you dabble in electrics occasionally. Good to know that we're not all going to die. Just yet.

Now, all my cable dilemmas have been solved. I went to my welding supplier just now for some wire and gas. I asked him about cable. I came out with 14 meters of 50 mm flexible cable at £3.99 / meter. Come on - £3.99!!!! 40mm from most auto suppliers is in the £6 / m region. OK so it's all in black. Who cares, it's running under the vehicle.

Got mega fuses etc etc.

One question though chums. Fixing loads of large cables to your battery terminals gets a bit difficult after a while. Can I just take one 50 mm tail from the -ve and connect it to a terminal box with nice long studs and then run everything from that? Not so daft as to fail to realise that if everything were running then all the power would be going down that ONE tail (essentially acting as a bus bar) which is why I have a cut off switch planned in there. Does the winch cable HAVE to be bolted directly to the battery terminal to get max hamperage? I have some copper bar somewhere so I could actually make a solid bus bar thing.

Something to keep in mind is that winches usually have quite short runs of cable and so the voltage drop is deemed acceptable. If your winch were on the end of 6 or 7 meters of 35mm then it would be more significant. With your aux battery linked in then part of the load is coming down 6 meters of 35mm but if your main batteries are doing their fair share then the voltage drop should still be acceptable.

David tried talking me into having the 9.5k, I bought the 12k but you know what I'm like by now :mrgreen: speed is relative, I'm used to a slower than a slow thing hydraulic winch so the 12k goldfish will still seem like a speedy machine to me :lol: I've done enough double line pulls to know I want all the gearing advantage I can get on these trucks :)
Understood Jon and I wouldn't disagree with a word of that. Gone with the 50 mm for the battery. We know what sort of duty welding cable has to perform. I now have 3 snatch blocks so I shall be looking to practice triple line pulls somewhere. With planning you can also use the first layers of the drum to your advantage too. When on the flat, winch in, secure, spool out, take up the slack and winch in again. Often those initial layers are wasted taking up slack in the rope and don't get used to pull hardest when you need to. I have a spare Dyneema rope that I can put eyes into and make into a 100 ft extension. You can never have TOO MUCH rope.

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Chris said:
You can never have TOO MUCH rope.
handy stuff extra rope :thumbup: mine is in 20m and 10m lengths with eyes on and has been used. Even without using the winch the extension ropes can be handy for indirect pulls with a vehicle when used through a pully :)

Sounds like there might be a few of us trying winches out at Lincomb, mine has yet to do more than spool the rope on :roll: Do you think we'll be able to find somewhere to test them :lol:
Dunno Jon. It's all pretty flat isn't it?

Actually, I would really really like to have a go with my ground anchor.

If only there were a tree or a hill to use :D
Chris said:
Dunno Jon. It's all pretty flat isn't it?

Actually, I would really really like to have a go with my ground anchor.


Now to go off topic more!

what ground anchor did you get Chris?
i had a look at options, but many are £3-400....
then there are the heavy nato pin type too
Chris said:
Actually, I would really really like to have a go with my ground anchor.
Is it the wrong time of year for ploughing fields?