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How to Splice & Repair Your Wire Rope Cable

  • Post author:Viper WRL
  • Post category:Wire Ropes
  • Reading time:5 mins read

Splicing is a useful technique if you have a broken cable or need to adjust your existing cable for a new purpose. Traditionally a splice is the creation of a semi-permanent joint either between two separate ropes or two parts of the same rope. This is achieved by unravelling the strands of the rope(s) before intertwining them again with another part of the rope. 

In this blog, we’ll look at some common splicing techniques and ways to repair your damaged steel ropes. On top of that, we’ll examine the best way to avoid damaged ropes in the first place.

Common Splicing Techniques for Wire Ropes

There are many ways to splice your wire rope, but the two most common are:

Back or End Splice

Ideal for when you need to interweave two separate ropes together.

Eye Splices

The most popular type of splice is when the wire rope strands are separated and then rewoven into the original rope. This will create a loop or eye that can be used for various purposes. (Rope Slings etc.)

How to Splice Wire Rope Cables

While different types of splices will have slightly different steps, for the most part, this repair technique follows a familiar pattern. Unlike fabric ropes, which tend to have three strands, a wire rope will have six, sometimes up to 12 individual wires.

Steel wire ropes or cables also have a core you’ll need to consider when splicing.

Splicing Tools

There are various methods people use to splice wire rope. However, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Wooden mallet
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Metal spike or a screwdriver or something like separate wire
  • Press, which is sometimes used for larger wires.
  • Cable clips or wire rope clips

Splicing steps

  1. Measure and mark where you wish to splice your cable

Before starting, measure and mark your cable wherever you plan to entwine.

For example, if you’re making a splice, figure out how big you need the loop. Mark on your wire rope where you need the intersection.

  1. Prepare strands for rolling

To splice your rope, you’ll need to separate the wire strands.

Start by loosening the wires at the end of your rope. A screwdriver, pliers or metal spike can help with the initial unravelling. Once the wires are loose, you’ll be able to unwind the length of the steel rope efficiently from each loose end.

  1. Weave strands

You’ll need to weave these steel cable strands into the existing rope’s core to create a splice. This may be a separate piece of wire rope or, in the case of an eye splice, the same rope you’re looping back into.

First, use your metal spike to help open the body of the rope you’re weaving into. Then, begin weaving your loose strand into the length of the rope.

  1. Tighten the rope

Using your metal spike, twist your wires and ensure they’re tightly intertwined. You can take additional steps like adding tape or a U-bolt if you want extra security.

  1. Test rope

When done correctly, a spliced rope should be able to hold 80-95% of the steel rope’s original capacity, depending on the quality of any type of splice performed.

How to repair steel cables

  1. Locate the break in the cable

First things first. You’ll need to find the location of the problem. In eye-loop joints, the loop is the most likely area you’ll discover wear and tear. Use cable cutters to remove frayed material.

  1. Retwist any loose ends

Using your fingers, retwist loose ends that have frayed or been dislodged.

  1. Tighten the wire rope

Wrap some baling wire around the cable’s live end (about half an inch). Make sure the winds are tight.

Cut away any wire end with your cable cutters and slip the wire back under into the existing loop. Remove any excess wire with your cutters and use electrical tape to tape up the end of the wire.

  1. Create a loop

Bend the cable back over itself for around a foot in length (this is known as the dead end of the cable). Then, inside the loop, place an eyelet thimble and tighten the cable around it. Then, place a U-bolt over the dead end of the cable.

  1. Add U-bolt studs and ensure the cable is tight

With the serrated side of your saddle facing upwards, push the clip up into the U-bolt. Initially, screw the nuts in by hand before tightening them with a socket and wrench.

Alternate between the two nuts to ensure they are equally tight. Then, pull your cable tight to ensure there’s no slack in the thimble eye.

Place a second cable clip midway down the dead end of the cable. The installation will be the same as the first. Then, install the third clip about a half inch down from the end of the dead-end side of the cable. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specifics on the correct installation of clip nuts.

The Benefits of Maintaining your Wire Ropes

Regular wire rope preventative maintenance and upkeep is the best way to prevent damage to your wire rope. This allows you to spot any fraying, splits or damage and address this sooner rather than later. There’s nothing more important to increase the lifespan of your rope than lubrication.

Benefits of lubricating your wire ropes

  • Increases lifespan
  • Improves and maintains the rope’s functionality.
  • Prevents rust
  • Removes dirt and debris trapped in the fibers and valleys of the ropes

For the best lubrication for your wire rope, use our Viper WRL MKII Series.

Using a wire rope lubricator ensures the lubrication penetrates deep into the rope, making the process more effective, which provides a longer lifespan for your rope.

To learn more about Viper’s wire rope lubricators, wire rope cleaners or range of approved wire rope lubricants, get in touch with Viper WRL’s team today