Are These Winches Salvageable? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 39 Old 06-09-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Are These Winches Salvageable?

I got them cleaned up as well as I could. At least the bearings spin freely...I did use hot, soapy water to clean them before applying MilSpec white lithium grease and oiled the pawls and springs. Unfortunately, I was not able to find the correct replacement pawls. All the ones I found were too tall. I compensated by moving the old pawls from the bottom to the top of the winch, where the worn ones are at the top instead of the more crucial bottom. I hope that this allows for a few more years of use...
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post #32 of 39 Old 06-09-2014
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Re: Are These Winches Salvageable?

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Originally Posted by christian.hess View Post
I never ever use water or soapy water for cleaning parts...like engine parts. or especially bearings. Cheers
Marine winches are designed to get wet - water wont hurt them but acetone or brake cleaner for the final spritz is fine too.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #33 of 39 Old 06-09-2014
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Re: Are These Winches Salvageable?

I think (but wouldn't swear) that little tubes of something akin to white lithium grease used to come with Lionel train engines and Zebco fishing reels. And the US automakers still use it for hood and door strikes, mainly because it will not stain clothing and it will WASH OUT if it does. Not very durable, not a great lube, but cheap and easy to clean up and that counts.

In a winch...eh...easy to clean out means easy to wash out but I guess if you like to clean and strip your winches frequently, that keeps grit out instead of trapping it in old grease. (Wow, it's Sunday, time to rebuild the winches again! (G)

I'd second the vote for brake cleaner, or engine degreaser, as a way to displace any water and grease and leave clean dry metal when you are done. Brake cleaner in the US comes as carbon tetrachloride, which is sometimes banned since it isn't healthy stuff, and "green" alternatives to that. But a hair dryer or heat gun should do the job without any surface rusting, or health issues.
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post #34 of 39 Old 06-09-2014
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Re: Are These Winches Salvageable?

I've been using white lithium for 30 years and never had it wash out - I've tried everything and it is the best. The cup of Gunk brand I currently have states "boat winches" right on the side. It takes detergent to clean my hands after using it.

If you use oil for anything you need to strip regularly but white lithium will last several seasons at least (I usually strip them once a year but have gone to 3 years).

Spend $5 for a cup and do a winch the way I described - including the pawls and ratchet teeth. They will be so smooth, free & quiet I bet you never go back to anything else

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #35 of 39 Old 06-09-2014
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Re: Are These Winches Salvageable?

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Marine winches are designed to get wet - water wont hurt them but acetone or brake cleaner for the final spritz is fine too.

yeah I was talking about internal parts, engine parts...sorry for the off topic info...

in relation to bearings NO even winch BEARINGS are not designed for the water thats why some winches are beyond repair...

edit Ill add when I did mine there was one winch, my port genoa winch a big lewwar that was seized despite being full of grease...it was apparent that water(maybe the po dunked the boat or got a big greener over the side or something) had corroded 2 of the gear pins...even though they were quality bronze and stainless parts(can you say dissimilar metals?)...the bearing cages on the shaft, were also seized but after much use of wd40 and other cleaners and degreasers they came free...then it was off to wiping off the old grease much like the OP is doing just worse...and was back in business.

anywhoo

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Last edited by christian.hess; 06-09-2014 at 04:58 PM.
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post #36 of 39 Old 06-09-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Are These Winches Salvageable?

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
I've been using white lithium for 30 years and never had it wash out - I've tried everything and it is the best. The cup of Gunk brand I currently have states "boat winches" right on the side. It takes detergent to clean my hands after using it.

If you use oil for anything you need to strip regularly but white lithium will last several seasons at least (I usually strip them once a year but have gone to 3 years).

Spend $5 for a cup and do a winch the way I described - including the pawls and ratchet teeth. They will be so smooth, free & quiet I bet you never go back to anything else

Are you of the opinion that you should use as much as feasibly possible, or use just enough to cover all surfaces?
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Re: Are These Winches Salvageable?

I put it on generously, reassemble the winch, crank it through several revolutions, backwind it and rotate it some more. Then I pop the drum off and wipe off all the squeeze out. That leave the right amount everywhere. Then the drum goes back on and I move on to the next one.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #38 of 39 Old 02-22-2015
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Re: Are These Winches Salvageable?

Nice to have a winch maven on SailNet thanks JonB
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post #39 of 39 Old 02-23-2015
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Re: Are These Winches Salvageable?

I do this once a year to eight winches. Use mineral spirits and a small brushes in a dish pan. Using more volatile stuff like brake cleaner or gasoline is insane. Those winches had 100 times more grease on them than necessary. I paint on a minimal amount with a paint brush as I assemble the winch. Wayyy easier to clean the next time. Any excess gets wastefully pushed to the side the first time you use the winch ... Useless. Never put any grease on the pawls. Maybe a little light oil. If they stick with grease someone could get hurt. Take the winch all the way apart every time.

Those main bearings look like they are shot, unless they clean up nice.

Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art. Charles McCabe
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