Factor 55 FlatLink

Winches can be a lifesaver and a life taker.  Things can go from bad to worse in a split second.  Along with having a winch comes the responsibility of knowing how to use this tool safely.  The hook, winch line, and hard shackles are where you can get in trouble really fast.  Synthetic line is safer than steel cable.  Both have limitations, but if a synthetic line breaks, it holds little to no kinetic energy and most likely will just fall down, whereas if steel cable breaks, it  has a tendency to rip in any and all directions and take out anything in its way.  When you’re in a winching situation, and using the hook, be sure the opening of the hook is facing the ground so if it breaks, it should fall toward the ground and not fly backward.  FYI, the road salt from the winter roads of northeast Ohio takes a toll on the hook.

Removing one of these potentially dangerous parts of my winch was by replacing the hook with a closed loop system, like a Factor 55 FlatLink.  It’s an easy and fairly inexpensive upgrade.  Besides, it just looks cool!  Go to Factor 55’s website and YouTube channel to review all the specs and test videos, and you may choose like I did to upgrade to this safer system.  I met the Factor 55 guys at Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah at the vendor show and was very impressed with their products.  Talking to the vendor in person – asking questions, feeling and seeing the product – is invaluable.

To upgrade your hook to the Factor 55 FlatLink you will need a pair a pliers to remove the hook (it’s just held in with a cotter pin).  You will need a snap ring plier to get the snap ring onto and secure the FlatLink pin. You can get creative with small screw drivers, but these snap ring pliers get the job done in no time.  

https://www.expeditionteamoverland.com/2018-JKU-Rubicon-Recon-Gobi-Build/Factor-55-Install

Published by Expedition Team. Overland

As a Boy Scout Eagle Scout, camping, camp fires and maps have always been a passion. After getting my professional carrier established as a Boeing 737 Captain for a Major US Airline, I was able to get back to my routes of playing in the woods, mud and building things. I got my first Jeep in 2012. It was a 2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ, I did not modify it, and it had many mechanical problems, as I was a novice, and not mechanical, I sold it for a new 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sport Unlimited. In 2014 I installed an American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) 2.5" lift with Kelly Safari 35" tires. In 2015 I continued my build with AEV front and rear bumpers, snorkel, skid plates, and off road lights. Up until now, I did off-roading at the local Southington Off Road Park, Rausch Creek in Pennsylvania, and Badlands Park in Indiana. JKFreaks.com was an outstanding resource and I was able to make life-long friendship. In 2015 I did my first big trip with the jeep, first we stopped in Ouray, Colorado. We had two days of trails and did Imogene & Engineer Passes. I left part of myself in the San Juan Mountains and my want to return has been strong since. After Ouray, we went to Moab, Utah for Jeep Jamboree. Moab is "Jeepers Paradise". Endless miles of trails, from dirt roads to the most extreme, Moab offers endless possibilities for the Jeeper, hiker, mountain biker, everyone. Since 2015 I have returned to Moab in 2017 & 2019. In 2018, I traded in my 2013 JKU Sport for a 2018 JKU Rubicon Recon. I did this drastic move, because I was at the point in my build where I needed to upgrade my axels. I made the very difficult decision and striped as much as I could from my 2013 Jeep to move to the new jeep, as they were both the same style of jeeps; JKU's. I spent the spring and summer of 2018 to build my jeep. I once again installed an AEV 3.5" lift, 35" BFGoodrich KO2's and AEV front and rear bumpers. With this build I wanted to move from the "Rock Crawler" to an Overland build. I can still do all the difficult trail of Moab, Rubicon Trail, but also the fire roads and cover many miles full of camping and off road gear. With Overlanding in mind, I have build a cargo platform for my ARB 50q Fridge, and specific loading of the camping gear. Where is the Future? Buying an Earth Roamer and exploring as much of the country as possible? Thats a goal, but I hope in the coming years to get a roof rack, roof top tent, and then doing more Expeditions though Appalachian, Rocky Mountains, desert of New Mexico and Arizona, and the National Parks west of the Rocky Mountains.

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