Winch Cable Stopper – Easy and Inexpensive
If you’re familiar with hunting on an ATV in Alaska, you know it can get a bit gnarly sometimes, and going out without a winch (at a minimum) is asking for trouble, in my opinion. Your ATV winch is one of the most essential pieces of equipment for your bike and I know that when I’m using mine heavily, moving it in and out often, it seems that my winch will invariably get sucked up too tightly, damaging my ferrule. I haven’t damaged my roller fairlead, but I still think that having a winch cable stop is important. Just recently I saw a picture where someone used a dog toy as an inexpensive winch cable stopper, so I thought I’d try it!
This is really a no-brainer job and only consists of having the tools to cut and crimp, which I mentioned earlier, a ferrule/thimble kit, and the dog toy. The toy is a Kong Ball and comes in two colors, red and black. The black is the tougher of the two compounds, so I chose to go with that.
The only place I was able to find the toy locally in the black version was at Alaska Mill & Feed in Anchorage. Places like Fred Meyer, local pet shops, etc., had the red one, but I wanted the black. You can also get them on Amazon and snag a two pack for under $16, shipped Prime. The sizes are small and medium/large. The small is a touch cheaper and still works fine as a winch cable stopper, allowing the ferrule and part of the thimble to fit inside of it, keeping the hook snugged up closer to the winch.
I have the crimping tool and a pair of cutters on hand for re-doing my winch cable, and have had to fix it up roughly every other season from damage. When I was using my wheeler as a plow, I was also having to cut a tiny bit off due to wear and having the crimping tool in my toolbox has been handy. I’ve now put this on 3 different wheelers and everyone running one likes it!
If you’ve done this upgrade, I’d love to hear what you thought of the process and what you think after running it for a while. Do you have photos of your winch cable stopper? Send them in!