Lewmar old-school winch maintenance - SailNet Community

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Old 10-22-2007
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Lewmar old-school winch maintenance

Hi, guys.

I have a 20-ish year old set of Lewmar winches. 2 x #30, 1 x #10. Not self tailing.

My friend tells me I should dip all the parts in thinner, replace the pawls, etc.

1) any suggestion for good (cheap) sources for pawls, and

2) what do you guys typically do, on a winch overhaul?

3) Does one always need to replace the pawls? Springs make sense.

Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2007
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Replacement of the Pawls & Springs can only be determined through an inspection upon disassembly. I have a pair of 20 year #30 winches as well and service them annually by following the steps outlined in this Lewmar Winch Service Manual.
If grease was used on the pawls, chances are it's hardened and needs to be cleaned off with a solvent - such as thinner.
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Thanks, TB. source for parts?
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No, afraid I can't direct you since I've not had the need for them yet.

Have you tried Defender?
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Not sure if this kit works with #30 winches . . Spares I would contact defender's customer service for advice.

Edit:
This Spares kit includes service parts (springs, pawls, clips) for up to (6) #30 winches.
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Last edited by TrueBlue; 10-22-2007 at 03:01 PM.
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Just wanted to add that you should not use grease on the pawls. Use a light machine oil or the lewmar oil (not the grease). As for the grease; don't use the thick "marine grade" grease that you would normally use on things like your rudder post. It is too thick and will gum up your winch bearings. After having this happen I have switched back to the Lewmar grease (damn expensive; is there another type that works as well?).
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Don't know if the solvent really matters but Lewmar calls for "Parafin oil" which is British for kerosene.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geary126 View Post
My friend tells me I should dip all the parts in thinner, replace the pawls, etc.
In my experience, the pawls are made of hardened steel and should not require replacement. The problem I have encountered with aluminum bodied winches is that the pawl sockets get enlarged and no longer can retain the pawls. When that happens it is time to replace the winch.

Maybe your friend meant to replace the pawl springs?
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The paint thinner has worked fine for me; but I did not soak the plastic parts very long. I just used the solvent to brush out the old grease and then dried them with rags.

Another couple of things to note is that you need to be careful not to lose the caged bearings and spacers; sometimes when you lift the drum off they stay stuck on the inside; but fall out of the drum at the most in-opportune moment and go in the drink! Same for the pawl springs, they tend to go flying when you take the pawls out.

This time I have chosen to remove all of the internals and winch drums, bring them home and do all of the cleaning and re-assembly of the pawls here. Then when I go back to the boat all I need to do is clean up the base, re-assemble and grease the gears and bearings. It will save me the hassle making a mess with solvents and oil soaked rags onboard. Last time despite being careful I had to clean up the mess of grease and thinner in the cockpit; every splash of solvent while brushing the gears makes an oily spot on the gelcoat. I know this is not an option if you are cruising but for those of us in marinas it can be easier to bag the parts and do the work at home.

Pawls should not have severely rounded corners, no chips, etc. Some mild rounding on the wear edge is OK. Always have replacement pawls, springs, clips aboard should you need to do a quick-fix. Lewmar sells a kit that has an extra plastic keeper for the shaft and a circlip for the top in addition to the pawls/springs.

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?...311604&id=4640 it says "for winches less than 10 years old"; but I'm pretty sure that older winches can use this kit also. If in doubt call Defender customer service and ask for the correct kit for your winch.

Last edited by KeelHaulin; 10-23-2007 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 10-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeelHaulin View Post
Another couple of things to note is that you need to be careful not to lose the caged bearings and spacers; sometimes when you lift the drum off they stay stuck on the inside; but fall out of the drum at the most in-opportune moment and go in the drink! Same for the pawl springs, they tend to go flying when you take the pawls out.
A nice trick that people use is to get a box whose bottom is about 30cmx30cm (1ft x 1 ft for you Luddites) and cut a round hole in the middle about the size of the winch base. Lower the box over the winch and it will catch the bits and pieces that might slip out of your fingers.
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