Factor 55 FlatLink Rope Guard – Review & Overview

Factor 55 FlatLink Rope Guard

Introducing the Factor 55 Rope Guard – Wait, what is a rope guard for? Are they really worth $50?

After our detailed overview of the Factor 55 FlatLink E and the Hawse Fairlead, you should have a pretty good idea of how the closed system winch setup works.

Both the FlatLink and the Fairlead are great recovery additions but to close the loop, you can add the Factor 55 Rope Guard. The Rope Guard is a good addition to your winch and synthetic rope if you are looking for even more protection.

With a Rope Guard installed, you are protecting the synthetic rope eye and line from dust, dirt, and debris. You are also protecting it from front-end collisions with ledges, rocks and other obstacles. When you approach a rock or hard-surface obstacle, you are going to ensure that nothing get’s jammed inside your shackle mount.

If you smash your front-end against a loose rock with the weight of your 4Runner, for example, that rock will smash up inside your shackle mount. This can potentially damage your synthetic rope eye and line. In order to keep this area clean and working smooth, installing a Factor 55 Rope Guard will help.

The Factor 55 Closed Winching System


Factor 55 Rope Guard Install Tools

Do not try to install the Factor 55 Rope Guard while it’s on your 4Runner. It’s much easier to install this product on a workbench or on the ground where you can put a lot of force into driving the rivet heads down. Remove the shackle from your vehicle before installing.

Installation of a Factor 55 Rope Guard is really easy and requires minimal tools.

  • Punch with a diameter larger than the post of the rivets
  • Plastic pry tools to remove rubber pieces on FlatLink
  • Hammer
  • Optional Windex to reinsert the rubber pieces

Step 1: Remove all four (4) rubber pieces

Factor 55 Rope Guard Install - 01

Start by removing all the rubber pieces so when you’re pounding down on the rivets, you don’t feel the rebound effect of the rubber. We are going to remove all the rubber pieces now and reinsert two of these on the backside once you are finished. The side with the rubber pieces will get sucked down to your fairlead.

You want to make sure that you orient the rope guard in the way you want it to sit on the FlatLink as well as the Fairlead.

Install the closed end of the rope guard towards the front of the part so you can see the open end towards the tube of the FlatLink.

Step 2: Install Drive Rivets

Factor 55 Rope Guard Install - 02

Take the drive rivets and insert four of them into the holes and then pound into the posts just a little bit to secure all the rivets. Once you have all the rivets in place, you can finish up and pound them each down, all the way.

You want to drive them down until they’re flush with the top of the rivet head. Once you are finished up, you will see the rivets sitting flush with the top of the rivet heads.

All that’s left to do now is to just reinsert two of the rubber pieces on the backside.

Factor 55 recommends that you spray Windex on the backside of the rubber pieces as it lubricates the barbs. We didn’t find that necessary, they snapped right in for us.

Factor 55 Rope Guard Review – Is it really worth $50?

Factor 55 FlatLink Rope Guard

It really depends on how much and how hard you wheel.

If you often put your truck in situations where you nose up to ledges and rocks, they yes, the Rope Guard is worth it. It will protect your winch rope, keeping the line free and clear of unwanted debris. It’s a small investment to protect one of the most important recovery tools you have onboard; your winching system.

If you don’t wheel that often and never picture yourself really pushing the limits on your truck, that’s fine, the Rope Guard is still a good investment. When you’re on the road, small rocks, dust, dirt, bugs and debris will hit your rope line.

Over time, this debris starts to build up and collect on the eye of your rope line and your line in general.

The longer this debris sits on the line, the more it will degrade the integrity of your line, theoretically making it less strong during recovery pulls.

The point here is to protect your closed winching system and with Factor 55 Rope Guard, you do just that.

The price tag is a little high but in the long run, it’s a great investment to protect your winch rope.

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