wikiHow to Repair a Tow Rope

Using a tow rope to pull another vehicle can damage or even completely cut the line in two. Here is a simple method to repair the line so that it can be used again.

Steps

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    Inspect the rope for damage or wear.
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    Cut away the damaged area by cutting the rope in two.
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    Cut away the frayed end of the usable rope.
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    Scrunch the rope on the damaged piece.
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    Pull out the end of the rope from inside this damaged piece.
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    Remove the hook.
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    Use duct tape to taper the end of the line that is usable.
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    Loop tapered end through the eye of the hook.
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    Scrunch the end of the rope leaving about six inches of rope.
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    Use your thumb to separate the braids to make an opening in the rope.
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    Insert the tapered end of rope inside the opening.
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    Once the rope is completely inside itself, pull the rope and the hook to tighten.
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    Repair is now complete.

Warnings

  • NEVER use a "tow rope" in place of a "recovery strap" for recovery work. A "tow rope" has metal hooks on the ends, and is designed to pull a disabled vehicle on flat ground. A "recovery strap" has no metal hooks; instead, the ends of the strap are formed into loops. A recovery strap is designed to extricate a vehicle mired in mud, sand, snow, or rough terrain.
    • When used in a recovery situation, the open hooks on the tow rope may break under extreme tension. Broken hooks have been known to rebound with enough force to break through a windshield, travel through the passenger compartment, and break through the rear window.
    • Lay a heavy blanket across a tow rope to slow it down if the rope breaks.
  • Use common sense, do not use tow line if line is beyond repair.
  • Take care when cutting with sharp blades.
  • Consider why your first rope broke in the first place. If the rope snapped under pressure, the rope is now so stressed and damaged that it should be retired. If on the other hand the rope broke because it was sliced accidentally over a sharp edge, the rope may be strong enough to keep using.
  • Use a repaired tow rope only in an emergency. Always replace a broken rope when possible.
  • Use a repaired tow rope at your own risk.
  • Some insurance companies will not cover damages caused when using any tow rope. Beware.
  • Recovering a stuck vehicle is very different from towing a vehicle that is not stuck. The forces exerted on the rope are much more severe. Ropes and their connection points have been known to break loose and fly through windshields, injuring vehicle occupants and bystanders.
  • Many states have laws regarding what roads you can tow a vehicle on and for how far. Be sure to know your local regulations before towing a vehicle on a public road to avoid fines and possibly getting your vehicle(s) impounded.

Things You'll Need

  • Damaged tow line
  • Duct tape
  • Sharp knife

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