Installing Wire Rope Clips

Installing Wire Rope Clips

So you want to form an eye on your wire
rope or maybe even join two cables together using a lap splice; in this
video I’ll teach you everything you should know to make that connection
using wire rope clips. If you’re having any trouble selecting the right clips
for your application, please visit our website or watch the how to select wire
rope clips video which is linked in the description. A good foundation for
installing these clips properly is knowing the terminology. The parts of the
clip are the saddle, sometimes called the base or the body, the u-bolt
in the nuts. For the cable you need to know the difference between the live end
and the dead end. The live end of the cable is a longer portion of the cable
that extends to the other connection point. It will be holding the load. The
dead end is a shorter portion that is turned back just so the wire rope clips
have something else to grab. When the clips are used to make an eye or end on
the cable; it is called a termination, and the entire group of components is called
an assembly. Before you begin get your tools and reference information together
you’ll need a tape measure, seizing tape, cable cutters, a torque wrench, the proper
sized wire rope clips, and reference information. Reference information can be found on’s website in our wire rope clip pages. To start prepping
the cable for assembly, cut off any unraveled or kinked portion
of the cable. Before cutting it is best to seize the cable with tape to make
sure that the end is kept tight. For larger cable, soft wire may be a better
choice to hold the cable end together. After you seize your cable, you’ll need
to measure and mark the turnback length. Turnback is the length of the cable
from the base of the eye to the end of the dead end. First, measure and mark the turnback length specified in your reference material. Next, determine how large the eye on your cable will be and mark the live end of the cable where the turnback mark is. Lastly, mark the live end where the dead
end of the cable ends. Line up your markings and apply the first clip to the
assembly. Don’t saddle a dead horse is a common phrase to help people remember
the proper orientation to apply the clip. It means to never apply the saddle of
the clip to the dead end of the rope. Be sure to space it one saddle length from
the end of the dead end. Tighten and torque the nuts being sure they are
clean dry and free from lubrication. Alternate between the nuts to ensure
even pressure. The use of a torque wrench will help to achieve that recommended
torque required for holding the load. Be careful not to over tighten the nuts as
it can permanently kink the wire rope and lead to premature failure. Apply the
second clip to the assembly, remembering to put the saddle on the live end, and
push it snug up against the thimble. If you aren’t using a thimble push it up to
the lines you marked earlier. Using a torque wrench, tighten the nuts
remembering to alternate between the nuts for even pressure. If your assembly
requires three or more clips, space them evenly between the first two clips you
apply, remembering never to saddle a dead horse and never to alternate the clip
orientation. Begin tightening the remaining clips. Starting with the clip
closest to the dead end and working back to the eye. Remove any slack in the cable
between the clips by pushing the slack to the eye as you work your way down
tightening all the clips in the termination. After tightening all the clips it is
important to do a first load on the assembly to seat all the components. Load the assembly with the load equal or greater to the load you expect it to see
in service. Then, inspect, tighten, and retorque all the clips. Now, your wire
rope clip cable assembly is ready for service. After proper assembly, a wire
rope clip termination can be expected to hold 80 percent of the breaking strength
of the wire rope for cable diameters 1/8″ through 7/8″. This
number is typically referred to as termination efficiency. Sizes 1 inch
through 3 1/2″ have a termination efficiency of 90%. For
comparison, a swage sleeve termination has the termination efficiency of 90% to
96%. A benefit of using wire rope clips, instead of swaged sleeves for
making a termination, is their ability to be reused. There are some precautions you should take to ensure your wire rope clip is still fit for service. The first
thing to check is to make sure the u-bolt fits into the saddle with no
force required. If it is too difficult to make these two components, your u-bolt
or saddle may be bent, and you should discard the clip. Check the
threads on the u-bolt to make sure they aren’t damaged and that the nuts thread
into them easily. Next, inspect the peaks and ridges on the saddle for damage or
gouging. Lastly, when installing the reused clips ensure they can accept the
recommended torque. If you’re using a pulley as a thimble, add one more clip to
the assembly, being sure to space the clips at least one saddle length apart
from each other. The first clip near the pulley should be one pulley diameter
distance from the center of the pulley and achieve a 60-degree included angle
between the live and dead end. Fist grip clips are newer take on wire
rope clips and are designed to make installation easier. Their saddles are
mirrored allowing them to be installed any orientation relative to the live and
dead ends of the rope. In addition, they only have one nut on each side, so a
wrench can rotate freely when tightening. The size of vinyl coated cable and the
wire rope clips that fit may be confusing as some manufacturers measure
different things. At E-Rigging we list vinyl coated cable
by the cable diameter. The coating adds some thickness, which is called the
finished or final diameter, and is listed on our website’s product pages.
It typically coincides with the next size larger cable or clip. For example,
3/16″ vinyl coated cable is coated to 1/4″ diameter. So, after you strip
the coating off the cable it will still be 3/16″ so you’d use a 3/16″
clip. Stripping the vinyl coating from the cable in the area where the clips will be installed is recommended for maximum strength. To figure out just how much
cable to strip, measure and mark the cable and turn back just as you would if
the cable was uncoated. Where the end of the dead end meets the live end is where you’ll want to start stripping. Once marked, strip the vinyl coating off and apply the clips just as you would normally on uncoated cable. If you intend on not stripping the vinyl coating from your cable and apply the wire rope clips over the coating know that the strength of your assembly will greatly reduce and you should always test these types of connections before putting them into use. Never use this method for critical applications as the working load limit is greatly reduced and unpredictable. To size the connection
properly, measure the outside diameter of the coated cable or look to the product
specifications on E-Rigging’s website. If the coated or finished diameter is
quarter inch, use a quarter inch wire rope clip. The preferred method for
splicing two cables together using wire rope clips is forming two interconnected eyes, but for less critical applications a lap splice can be used. Overlap the two seized ends of the wire rope by twice the amount of turnback used in a traditional eye termination. Using twice the number of clips required for a single eye termination, place the first clip one saddle length from the end of one of
the dead ends, ensuring you don’t saddle a dead horse. Tighten and torque that
clip to the recommended torque value. Work your way down the length of the
cable equally spacing and hand tightening the
clips. Remove any slack in the line between the clips as you work your way
down. Once you’ve used half the clips, reverse their orientation to saddle the
live end of the other portion of the rope. Once all the clips have been
applied and the slack removed, work from the first clip you installed and tighten
and torque all the remaining clips. Your finished assembly should look as shown.This process is even easier for fist grip clips because saddle orientation
doesn’t matter which is due to their mirror design. Single and double stamped
cable clips require a slightly different assembly procedure.
First, make sure the cables final diameter matches the clips you are using.
Then, seize the end of the cable. Unscrew the nuts and remove the top plate. Place
the cable into the body of the clip and work it into the grooves and around the
bolts leaving at least two cable diameters of dead end protruding from
the body. Form the eye to the size you require and work the cable into the
other side. Place the top plate on to the body to capture the cable and tighten
the nuts by hand. Use a wrench for final tightening while alternating between
nuts to ensure equal pressure. Your finished assembly should look as shown.
For single stamped clips, use the same guidelines as you would for a double
stamped clips. To recap, the key points to consider when choosing wire rope clips for your rigging assembly are turn back length, torque values, number of clips
required, clip size, and clip spacing. If you have any further questions please
feel free to contact us on our website and please subscribe to our youtube
channel for more information on various rigging topics. I’m Tyler with E-Rigging. Thanks for watching.

About the Author: Garret Beatty


  1. You are showing people a good way to kill themself.Go watch a video on a steel choke. If you seperate the cable and use the steel choke method you get a full strength use of the cable design other than that I hope you have insurance against a law suit

  2. Outstanding video, thank you. I'm using this sort of cable to hang a plant in a basket from an oak tree. I plan for the cable to form a closed loop around the limb of the tree using two interconnected eyes. I've taped off the cable ends using duct tape and have the outer saddles placed over the duck tape, is that acceptable? Also, what is meant by the 5:1 design factor? I've cable that has a working load limit of 740 lbs. Is it safe to hang a plant weighing up to 592 lbs.? By the way, will the thickness of the cable expand or contract over time? Thanks for any additional info.

  3. Geeat learning. Can u do a video of which (n/m)tourque wrench should we use for different size of cable nd what r the torque need for different size cables

  4. Glad I saw this video or I wouldn't have known to "don't saddle a dead horse." I would have messed it up.

  5. When working with diameters, how do you slide the u bolt and saddle all the way to the thimble. Doing so by hand seems impossible, and I'm struggling to get within 3 inches of the thimble on a 3/8 1×19 application.

  6. Great video. What kind of tape do you use to tape the rope ends? I can't find anything called "seizing tape". Thanks.

  7. I noticed that there are no locknuts or lock washers on the u-bolts. Is it recommended to use either of these or to use Locktight?

  8. 안녕하세요…서울 청계천에 위치한 와이어로프,부속 전문점 "대광로프"입니다.
    와이어연결,고정할수 있는 클립(유볼트)을 판매하고 있으니 궁금하신점은 문의 주세요~~!!

  9. great video thank you! I would appreciate some help since I'm very amateur with these applications. I do some DIY installations for myself and I want a very thin wire that will go from wall to wall ( 4m length). Since my wire is a lot stronger than the weight I that intent to use (it can hold 40kg while i barely need 4kg) is it possible to just do a knot with the wire and not use all these bolts? thank you!

  10. I was reading a text description of the usage of wire rope clips in my school reading material and I could not make any sense of it. The visual demonstration offered by this video has made all of that clear. Thank you!

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