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My spare wheel fell off reversing out of my drive. The cable holding it up, which seems riducuously thin, had sheared at the end swivel fixing of the cable. It could have been very nasty for the rear end of my car and anything the wheel hit if it had come off at 70mph on the motorway. This system is obviouly not up to the job for a heavy 16" wheel and im not fussed on just renewing it. Has anyone worked out an alterative fittment? Thinking about just a heavy bolt straingt through boot floor through the tube the cable went down. Not sure if this will clash with seat runners etc. Alternatively considering an older type cradle rigged up accross towbar members. Any ideas?
 

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To be fair these winches are used on lots of vehicles and although they do sometimes fail its not that common the more common issue is 1 of the owner not using it properly and jamming the cable i would just fit a new one as your car is probably 10 years old now thats not bad going really.

As for wheel weight you would be surprised that most wheel and tyre combos weigh about the same between 20-30 kg and the cable as easily capable of holding that weight the weak point as you rightly say is where the cable joins to the holding catch.

My espace has the cable type wheel holder too and it is still fine even with a full size spare instead of the space saver full size alloy was only 2kg heavier than spacesaver.
 
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