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chenness 06-02-2002 09:53 PM

Harken Magic Box (help!)
Hello, I''ve purchased an older sailboat, and I''ve been going through all the rigging and hardware and cleaning it up. I''ve been doing ok so far, but have run into a little trouble with the magic box for the back stay. The lines running into the magic box were seized, so I took out the pins, and to my suprise, many little plastic bearing balls dropped out. I collected them all and am now trying to re-assemble the thing.

For starters, is this something people do on purpose (for maintenance? Or re-rigging?) I don''t see how you could re-rig the lines if one had come off the pulleys without taking it apart.

Anyways, there are 8 pulleys, with room for 13 balls between each, for a total of 104 balls. But I only have 12 balls for each, for a total of 96 balls, 1 less than the max that would fit in. Did I lose 8 balls or are they supposed to only have 12?

Next, I''ve assembled it back together, but can''t figure out the way to run the lines through the pulleys. I realize this would be hard to describe but is there a picture on the web somewhere?

Lastly, to rejuvinate pulleys (blocks), what sort of grease to use? Is it ok to use WD-40, and lithium grease, even though it may get on the lines running through the pulleys?

Thanks for all your help,


Jeff_H 06-03-2002 02:39 AM

Harken Magic Box (help!)
You are a person with a lot more patience than I ever had. I''ve never disassembled a Harken Magic box so I can''t tell you how many ball bearings you are supposed to have. My suggestion is that you email Harken directly at You can email their techincal department at <>

I belive that they also have an 800 number which I can''t find right now but its in their U.S. Catalogue.

Harken is a great company to deal with in terms of warrentee. They have taken back, almost no questions asked a failed 8 year old ratchet block and a 10 year old bullet block from me and sent me brand new ones in the past. I doubt they''d send a new magic box but I would not be surprized if they''d send the missing ball bearings (if there are any). I don''t think you are supposed to lube Harken gear except with one product and I can''t recall what that is but they don''t make the product; someone else does.

Good luck

miahmouse 06-03-2002 06:26 AM

Harken Magic Box (help!)
Most bb blocks have a little bit of space where it looks like an extra bearing could fit.

The most important thing in regards to the well being of your bb blocks is that they be clean. Rinse your blocks regularly for a long, happy working life. If dirt/grime build up, clean w/soap and water. Use only dry lubricants if you must(ie McLube) other stuff will work good at first but collect gunk.

One phone # is (262) 691-3320, they might be able to send some diagrams or something of that sort. If I remember correctly the line should dead end somewhere at the fixed part of the box, not really sure though. just look at it as a mainsheet system that you can''t see. Tape the line (3/16" or smaller) to a straightened coat hanger and feed it around until you don''t have any more sheaves to go around.......if you end up exiting where the becket is, you started at the wrong end(working end should exit at the bottom)

good luck

MaryBeth 06-03-2002 08:21 PM

Harken Magic Box (help!)


I so agree with Jeff. Get assistance from Harken. I, too, have chased those bouncing, expensive, little balls everywhere before I learned better. Talk about panic!! So do not be ashamed to say you may have lost a few. Who knew they could disappear so quickly??

Very Best of Luck,
Mary Beth

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