Review Master-Pull winch line (5/2002) ...
This is just too sweet! This is almost better then ... ok, well, maybe not THAT good, but its pretty darn good! I finally got the chance to use the new winch line. Two things stood out immediately. The first thing: it weights NOTHING. Important when you're pulling 100' of line up a hill covered in snow and ice. Nothing worse then trying to pull a steel cable up a 30 degree incline covered in a foot and a half of snow and ice in below freezing weather! The line stayed supple, refused to tangle and true to their advertising didn't fray when dragged across the sharp crushed granite frequently found in the mining country of the Rockies.
The second thing that stood out is my line is maybe just a tad too long for my XD9000 winch. This is not a fault of the line or the winch line maker or even the winch. As previously mentioned elsewhere, re-spooling the XD9000 when installed inside the ARB bull bar is kind of a pain. No, let me rephrase that. Its REALLY a pain! Its a time consuming and not particularly safe task to re-spool the cable exactly right so it fits completely on the spool. You don't have to be quite as precise with the steel cable so its slightly easier to spool. But the Master-Pull line is a little thicker so it requires that you spool the line back on the winch exactly right. That task is made almost impossible by the lack of access to the winch. Its obvious that ARB had no intentions of the Montero Sport Bull Bar being a practical, serviceable unit. If you're using the winch frequently then its safer and quicker to just loop the line around the bumper and tie it off. With an externally mounted winch or a differently designed bumper re-spooling would not be a problem.
My only complaint is with the hook. Its a wonderful feature for safety, but it has two major failings. The first problem I ran into is it's very awkward to manipulate one-handed. After its been on the vehicle for a couple winters and starts getting rusty it moves from 'very awkward' to pretty much impossible. I really do like the design, which makes this kind of a 'love/hate' relationship. Once it's cliped onto something its not going to fall off the minute you turn your back. Unfortunately, you don't always have both hands free when you're trying to manipulate the hook and THAT can be a serious problem. I don't think anyone took into account that you might be needing at least one hand to keep yourself from sliding downhill under the truck!
Which leads me to problem number two. My 1997 Montero Sport is also my daily driver. It's driven almost every day of the year, no matter what the weather is like. Winter in Colorado means snow, slush, ice and generous amounts of road salt and de-icer. No matter how hard I try to keep the hook oiled durring the winter its difficult to do when it's crusted in ice and snow and saturated with de-icer and salt. This is a great imitation of German engineering. It's fancy, it's cool, it definitely works, but it's too expensive, too complicated and requires too much maintenance. This is at least a bi-weekly task in the fall, winter and spring, especially after it starts getting older and a little rusty. It usually takes 20-30 minutes of working the oil into the hook - a really anoying task when you have to do it every week or two. If you hook it onto something for storage as I do, make sure you don't let the hook freeze closed or you'll need a torch or grinder to get the hook back off.
Annoying hook or no, this is a great product! Extremely light weight - MUCH lighter then the steel cable - durable, light weight, easy to handle, light weight (did I mention this one??) and easy to handle!:-) Light weight is important on our Sports, since the ARB and XD9000 with steel cable will soon turn your stock torsion bars into toast!