How to service winches - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2009
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I just did both Lewmar 48s on my boat the other day. It was my first time and I did not find it difficult. Take the winch drum off one of the other winches but leave it put together as it makes a good reference to how all the gears go back together.

I used grease on everything, including the pawls, when I did mine. It was only later that I read somewhere that the pawls should be oiled, not greased. I'm going to leave it as is for now and see how it does. If they are sticking I am going to have to re-do it.

Have lots of rags/paper towels handy as it is a messy job!
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Old 03-13-2009
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I have access to the through bolts holding my winches down, so I think I could have removed them...but...weather wasn't bad for Maine, this time of year...so...I did the job on board. Didn't lose anything...but did stab my finger with one of the springs...minor!

The single speed winches were very easy. The 2 speeds took longer...much more to clean. No surprise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapperwhite View Post
now that i think about it, in order to get the entire winch off the boat you'd have to strip it down.
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Old 03-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tausap View Post
I just did both Lewmar 48s on my boat ...I used grease on everything, including the pawls,.... I'm going to leave it as is for now and see how it does. If they are sticking I am going to have to re-do it.
...
A way bad idea, as you run the risk of finding out they are sticking when a loaded winch unloads while the handle is in, you can take someone's teeth out or crack a skull. Note you will only notice the pawls are sticking AFTER the last one sticks...only one needs to be working for the operation to look normal. When the last pawl sticks open - BAM!

Take the winches apart clean and properly oil the pawls. Be sure that the teeth and races that the pawls set in have not been greased either.
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Old 03-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SollaSollew View Post
Thanks much. Looks like a half an hour per winch once you get established.
I'm wondering how a proper winch stripping & maintenance can be done in 30 minutes:

1. remove the winch from it's base (usually necessary to get all the parts disassembled) (est. 5 min)
2. disassemble the winch (down to singular parts) (est. 10-15 min).
3. soak all parts in solvent (gasoline, kerosene, diesel, or other solvent) (est. 10 min)
4. clean all grease and solvent off parts with tooth brush and clean rags (est 20 min).
5. reassemble and lubricate parts as reassembly proceeds (oil on pawls, light coat of grease on everything else, plus tefgel on dis-similar metals) (est 20 min.)
6. remount reassembled winch on its base (est 5 min).

....and those times are after you've been doing it for a while.

I've done it on and off the boat, but my favorite way to do it is sitting at my garden table, under the unbrella, with cold beer at hand. That way, it doesn't matter how long it takes!

Tip: Buy extra allen wrenches of the required sizes and other necessary tools and keep them, along with all the grease, oil and spares, in a separate box marked "Winch Stuff". That way when its time to mess around with your wench you just grab the box and have at it.
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Old 03-13-2009
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And I opened this post thinking the title was "How to service wenches..."
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Old 03-13-2009
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I noticed that the link in the second post suggested using "Lewmar grease" - whatever that is... I've always used and been pleased with the white lithium grease for this application.
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Old 03-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post
That way when its time to mess around with your wench you just grab the box and have at it.
Oh my...
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Old 03-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainForce View Post
I noticed that the link in the second post suggested using "Lewmar grease" - whatever that is... I've always used and been pleased with the white lithium grease for this application.
"Lewmar grease" is just a tube of grease w/the Lewmar name on it. Comes in the winch kit you can get from Lewmar. It's their special, proprietary blend. HA!
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Old 03-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c40eb View Post
"Lewmar grease" is just a tube of grease w/the Lewmar name on it. Comes in the winch kit you can get from Lewmar. It's their special, proprietary blend. HA!
Mine are not that old either. Do I need to get the winch service kit or could I just use the lithium grease? What about the oil? What type would you recommend?
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Old 03-14-2009
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Tausap—

I'd have to second what SF said, you really need to take the winch apart and clean off the pawls. That's really not a good idea to leave them as is.. A Lewmar48 is a decent size winch and the loads on it are going to be high enough to be dangerous. By the time they start sticking you may not realize it and you're risking getting mauled by it, like the old wire reel winches used to do to people...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tausap View Post
I used grease on everything, including the pawls, when I did mine. It was only later that I read somewhere that the pawls should be oiled, not greased. I'm going to leave it as is for now and see how it does. If they are sticking I am going to have to re-do it.
Just be aware that there are commonly two spare parts kits for Lewmar winches. One is for their single-speed winches, the other for their two-speed winches.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 03-14-2009 at 03:35 PM.
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