Originally Posted by Monty23Guy
Does anyone have experience servicing a Barient 17 S/T winch? The bearings are white Delrin in a black race. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to grease the Delrin bearings, and if so, with what type of grease?
Almost all the winches I've ever had were Barients but, full disclosure, I've never had a 17.
I'm a big fan of white lithium grease on winches. I've seen more than one type of grease called white lithium so be sure to get the type that is a pale cream colour and has a texture or viscosity about like stiff yogurt.
I currently have a cup of Gunk brand that is very satisfactory.
Strip and clean all the parts as per normal then coat them all with the white lithium. Spread it on the bearing race surface inside the drum and fill the bearings as you would an automotive wheel bearing. Put a good coat on the gears as well. After reassembling the winch, don't fasten the drum down, spin it several rotations then slip it off and check for any grease that has "piled up" or squeezed out anywhere. Wipe any such surplus off and reassemble the winch.
I have found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, you CAN grease the pawls and springs with this stuff - its light viscosity doesn't cause the stiction that is the basis for the conventional attitude of oil only on them.
A LIGHT coat on them clings better than oil and will also quiet them down noticeably.
Lastly, don't use PTFE grease with roller bearings - it is so slippery that it will cause the rollers to "skid" on the race instead of rolling. And don't waste your money on proprietary winch grease from the manufacturers - it is absurdly expensive and isn't as good as white lithium. I spent $17 on a little tube of Lewmar grease that was only enough to do two winches and it was very sticky and made the winches very stiff to turn. The Gunk white lithium cost $5 for a cup that will last me a decade.