So you’ve already made the switch to synthetic winch rope or plan on making the switch to synthetic. Or, you have used your new synthetic winch rope and it failed almost immediately? How about you see abrasion on the rope and you have no clue how it happened? Chances are the fairlead mount opening on your winch bumper is the incorrect size for use with synthetic winch rope. The fairlead mount is where your Hawse Fairlead mounts to and your synthetic winch rope passes through from the winch drum. During the winching operation, your winch rope will pass through your winch fairlead opening. While the Hawse Fairlead acts a guide for your winch rope, it is rare to get a perfectly straight pull all the time. So the rope must come in contact with a smooth surface on angled pulls to avoid abrasion which damages the synthetic winch rope. If the first thing the rope comes in contact with is the mount opening before the fairlead surface, you have a huge issue. The single most important feature of your winch bumper is the fairlead mount opening size when making the switch to synthetic. Many winch bumper manufactures overlook this detail. The correct winch fairlead mount minimum opening for synthetic winch rope is 1.75″. We typically see openings of 1″ to 1.25″, this is simply too small for using rope and must be addressed. Don’t risk breaking or damaging your new winch rope by overlooking this!
How TRE Fairleads are Designed for Checking Your Fairlead Mount Opening
Our Hawse Fairleads are precision machined with a scribe line on the back. This provides both a visual and physical indication of whether your bumper’s fairlead mount opening is correct. We also ensure our fairlead design has the correct entry radius for the winch rope on the opening. This provides for the least amount of abrasion and friction during an angled pull. To take advantage of this feature, you test fit our fairlead to your bumper then check the backside of the opening. You must be able to just see the entire scribe line around the opening, OR by by feeling for the scribe line. If you happen to find that your opening is too small, you will need to enlarge it by cutting some material away.
How to Fix the Fairlead Mount Opening to the Correct Size
We have found it easiest to use a cut-off wheel to remove the majority of the required material. Be sure to wear your PPE. If you are uncomfortable performing this step, please seek help from a competent shop or someone familiar with using these tools. You must remove equal parts from the mount top side and bottom side. For example: If your current opening is 1”, then you will remove ⅜” material from the top inner edge, and ⅜” material from the bottom inner edge to get your 1.75”. Then use a dremel or similar rotary tool to remove any remaining material in the rounded ends. Make sure you do not leave any sharp edges! Test fit your TRE Hawse Fairlead again until you are satisfied that the scribe line is visible. You may also paint any raw surfaces if you so choose. All TRE Hawse Fairleads are manufactured from 6061-T6 aluminum, Mil-Spec Type III Hard-Anodized, and 100% Made in USA!