Smittybilt synthetic rope broke on second pull?

jlandry287

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2022
Threads
26
Messages
189
Reaction score
197
Location
SWLA
Vehicle(s)
2022 JLUR Diesel
I bought the Smittybilt XRC gen 3 back in April and installed it shortly after.

I’ve never had to use the winch until yesterday to pull 2 people out. The first truck came out no problem, then on the second truck the rope snapped about 2 feet from the jeep.

I’m kinda shocked the rope broke so easily, considering it’s never been used and the beginning of the rope wasn’t exposed to excess UV.

Has anybody seen this happen before, know if there’s a warranty (doubt it but couldn’t hurt to ask), and/or advice on how to reuse a frayed rope?

 
  • Like
Reactions: J0E

roaniecowpony

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Threads
92
Messages
4,734
Reaction score
5,714
Location
SoCal
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLUR, 14 GMC 1500 CC All TERRAIN
Occupation
Retired Engineer
Synthetic rope is bend radius sensitive. If you have pulled it tight with a small radius it can break fibers and weaken the rope. Only you can answer whether that occurred on your recoveries.

As for putting a new end on the rope, that's pretty straightforward. There are a lot of Youtube videos on that.
 

CaJLMetalHead

Well-Known Member
First Name
CAJLMetalHead
Joined
Sep 6, 2018
Threads
14
Messages
617
Reaction score
1,143
Location
96049
Vehicle(s)
Jeep Wrangler Sport Unlimited
pics ??

I have a Smittybuilt and I have used it many times with no issues
 

cornercanyon

Well-Known Member
First Name
bruce
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Threads
12
Messages
608
Reaction score
2,048
Location
Texas Hill Country
Vehicle(s)
2014 JKUR, 2021 JLUR XR
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
. . . realizing each day–
We need more details about the recoveries and maybe how your rope was stored and spooled. L2S-FBC has very good videos on YouTube for recovery scenarios and the loads that come up we may not expect—
 

Reinen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Threads
12
Messages
1,782
Reaction score
4,139
Location
Utah
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Wrangler JL Rubicon
That seems strange.
If it snapped 2' from the Jeep it wasn't UV, that part of the line would have been buried deep in the spool. I don't think you had it too unspooled (synthetic should always have at least 7 wraps on the spool) because that would just rip the line off the spool.

I'm inclined to think that the point of the line that failed was in a critical spot on the first truck, such as right at a bend at the fairlead, at the winch spool or at a pulley block if you used one. This would make the first truck weaken the line at that point and the 2nd truck caused the weak spot to fail.
You did just pull with the winch and not snatch, right?

Another possibility is dirt. Synthetic is prone to both UV and abrasion which can happen over time. Dirt & rocks can penetrate deep into the spool depending on how it's wound.

But nevertheless, that does seem unusual.
 


J0E

Well-Known Member
First Name
J0e
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Threads
51
Messages
1,027
Reaction score
763
Location
Hawaii, MT, SLC, NYC
Website
bt39.com
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLR, 2023 JLUR ordered
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Drywall construction - reel estate
I bought the Smittybilt XRC gen 3 back in April and installed it shortly after.
9,500 or 12,000lb? Guessing 9,500

Another possibility is dirt. Synthetic is prone to both UV and abrasion which can happen over time. Dirt & rocks can penetrate deep into the spool depending on how it's wound.
That's why I'm going old school, wire rope. Half the recoveries we do, the rope is going through the dirt and rocks (pulling a jeep that got sideways on a big hill, recovery rig at the top of the hill and back a bit). I've already got my welding gloves ready.
 

2DR OVRLND

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chris
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Threads
7
Messages
58
Reaction score
105
Location
Georgia
Website
www.youtube.com
Vehicle(s)
2021 Wrangler JLR 2.0T
Build Thread
Link
I bought the Smittybilt XRC gen 3 back in April and installed it shortly after.

I’ve never had to use the winch until yesterday to pull 2 people out. The first truck came out no problem, then on the second truck the rope snapped about 2 feet from the jeep.

I’m kinda shocked the rope broke so easily, considering it’s never been used and the beginning of the rope wasn’t exposed to excess UV.

Has anybody seen this happen before, know if there’s a warranty (doubt it but couldn’t hurt to ask), and/or advice on how to reuse a frayed rope?
That's concerning considering I just replaced my cable on my XRC Gen 2 with a synthetic rope.
 
  • Like
Reactions: J0E

roaniecowpony

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Threads
92
Messages
4,734
Reaction score
5,714
Location
SoCal
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLUR, 14 GMC 1500 CC All TERRAIN
Occupation
Retired Engineer
9,500 or 12,000lb? Guessing 9,500


That's why I'm going old school, wire rope. Half the recoveries we do, the rope is going through the dirt and rocks (pulling a jeep that got sideways on a big hill, recovery rig at the top of the hill and back a bit). I've already got my welding gloves ready.
Lots of us have those situations and yet the synthetics still don't fail like this. A protective sleeve made for doing what you're talking about will help save the rope, whether steel or synthetic. In a pinch a floormat works too.
 

J0E

Well-Known Member
First Name
J0e
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Threads
51
Messages
1,027
Reaction score
763
Location
Hawaii, MT, SLC, NYC
Website
bt39.com
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLR, 2023 JLUR ordered
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Drywall construction - reel estate
Lots of us have those situations and yet the synthetics still don't fail like this. A protective sleeve made for doing what you're talking about will help save the rope, whether steel or synthetic. In a pinch a floormat works too.
Abrasion Sleeves are a PITA and require constant adjustment, especially just over the top of the hill with 80% of the line down the hill. Abrasion Sleeves wear out pretty fast too.

I carry two floormats and will use them with wire rope, but wire rope if far more durable in the dirt & rocks. We also do recoveries in the mud where it's impossible to keep mud off the line. Wire rope is much easier to clean.

I know synthetic rope is in vogue and I won't make any converts.

A good rule of thumb is to assume that your synthetic rope will lose approximately 1.5-2% of its rated capacity every year. This would mean that a ten (10) year old rope will have lost approximately 15-20% of its rated capacity, which is a solid indicator that you should replace it.​
And that's best case.

#3 90-Day Cleaning

pulling the line fully out every 90 days for a cleaning with low-pressure water is crucial for its longevity.

Rope should be replaced when (also from link above), and the list is long. Frequent usage, no way to get 10 years.

On a recent trip I got stuck on a challenge obstacle (bunch of telephone poles at various angles and spacing) and used my winch to get me over the last couple that were spaced just right and held me in place. It was a fun obstacle and I enjoyed the challenge, however after pulling myself over I made an observation of how my winch line stacked up on the drum during the pull. Since my anchor was slightly to the passenger side, my line stacked up on one side of the drum to the point in chaffed against the cross bars.
Another good reason to go with wire.

 
Last edited:

AutoCompanion
 
Top