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post #1 of 17 Old 04-08-2007 Thread Starter
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Stupid winch question.

I have a couple of old barlow 1 speed #16s that I took apart and stared at today. This is what I did to try to understand them.

1) Looked at a diagram for my make and model winch found at the C&C resource center along with general instructions on maintenance.

2) Read the article here on sailnet about winch maintenance.

3) Surfed the web and read various other winch rebuilding/servicing guides.

Here's my stupid question:

It looks like there are two wide needle cages with needle roller bearings inside the base of the drum that fit over the spindle just like I was expecting. However.... They don't move or come out, in fact on closer inspection the 'needle cages' are made of plastic, the needles of steel (spindle is bronze I think, which is what you would expect of bushings, not bearings). Basically they look like bushings to me. Could that be right? This is on a 24' sailboat, so the loads are not that high really, still it seems weird and I'm thinking that maybe the bearing needle rollers have just gotten really stuck, then a little flattened, and I need new bearings. But then I've never seen plastic needle roller cages either and why would the spindle be bronze. I have a feeling that everyone is calling bushings bearings and confusing the heck out of me, but what do I know my engineering degree is 20 years old at this point.

WTF?

Last edited by tenuki; 04-08-2007 at 06:52 AM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-08-2007
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They are needle bearings in a plastic cage. They are just stuck because of lack of maintenance. Try washing everything in a solvent and you will get it apart with gentle persuasion.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-08-2007
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Tenuki-

The spindle is bronze, because it is far easier to machine bronze than it is to machine stainless steel, and bronze is almost as strong and far more corrosion resistant than the steel that would normally be used for the spindle in a non-marine situation.

BTW, I agree with Robert—he is right, they are needle bearings, not bushings, but are frozen due to poor, if any, maintenance by the PO.

Varsol or kerosene will work as pretty good solvent. if the winch is still on the boat, then paint the bearings with it or spray it with a penetrating oil, like PB Blaster, and it will loosen up eventually.

If the bearings have been frozen like this, they are probably in dire need of replacement. Hopefully, the races on the spindle and in the drum haven't been scored by the frozen bearings. If they have been scored badly, they may need to be replaced or repaired.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-08-2007 at 08:59 AM.
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-08-2007
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Off topic comment, sorta

The depth and bredth of knowledge in this group is astounding. You people are fantastic. Not just Robert's comments about the bearings, but overall experience. Wow.

Cheers!

Phil Moyer
S/V Puddleduck
Columbia 26K
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-08-2007 Thread Starter
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Those needle bearings are too flat to turn now. Funny thing is, the winches work ok now, they don't exactly spin a bunch of times when you twirl em, but they do work.

Well, since barlow is out of biz and the winches are 30 years old I'll just replace em. I did find a place in australia that I can order parts from, but I also read that they are slow to ship. I wanna sail, not wait all summer for a 20 dollar plastic part.
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-08-2007
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"Varsol or kerosene will work as pretty good solvent. "
DANGER WILL ROBINSON! If the plastic cages are PLASTIC...they may swell, dissolve, or be damaged by petrochemicals. Especially by soaking in them for long periods.
Without knowing what the plastic is, it is hard to spec a safe solvent. I'd try Liquid Tide direct with an old toothbrush, followed by soaking in scalding water.
Then if the solvent question wasn't bothering me, or they were still really stuck, maybe some PBlaster or other penetrant, to be washed out again after it did the job.
IIRC plastics including nylon don't like petrochemicals, synthetic lubes have to be used with them for the long term.

"I wanna sail, not wait all summer for a 20 dollar plastic part."
Hear hear!
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-08-2007
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Hellosailor-

If the cages are nylon, they shouldn't be affected by varsol or kerosene. You can check various materials for their problems with various chemicals at this website. Nylon and Acetal (delrin) do just fine with kerosene and varsol. If they are some other plastic, there may be some issues... but many plastics, including the more common ones, like Polyethylene are not significantly affected by gasoline. Most plastic gas tanks are HDPE IIRC.

ABS and polycarbonate have problems with gasoline and kerosene. PVC is compatible with either solvent. Polypropylene has some issues with gasoline and kerosene.

ABS, Polycarbonate, PVC, PE, Polypropylene, Nylon, Acetal... That covers most of the really common plastics AFAIK.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-08-2007 at 04:32 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenuki
Those needle bearings are too flat to turn now. Funny thing is, the winches work ok now, they don't exactly spin a bunch of times when you twirl em, but they do work.

Well, since barlow is out of biz and the winches are 30 years old I'll just replace em. I did find a place in australia that I can order parts from, but I also read that they are slow to ship. I wanna sail, not wait all summer for a 20 dollar plastic part.
I just got parts from them a couple of weeks ago and they sent them right out and I had them in a few days. To keep the shipping cost down some friends and I all placed an order at the same time and split the shipping. They charged the same for shipping the parts for all of us as for one of us and splitting it saved us all quite a bit.

By the way, I clean them in gasoline. I owned a rigging shop for thirty years and that’s the way we cleaned them for all that time. Never had a problem.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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Gasoline, varsol or kerosene were the basic solvents I used for cleaning bicycle parts and car parts when I used to do a lot of work on them. Most parts that are designed to have grease on them for long periods of time are generally made of plastics that are resistant to the solvents used to clean grease off....

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gasoline and a match will clean all and even leave a "graphite" look on it....
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