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Old 08-17-2014
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Winches slipping

Apparently no good deed goes unpunished. I elected to clean and re-grease the winches since I had no idea when the PO had done so. At the first sail after the cleaning, both winches began to slip back after winching in the jib sheets. I was even to do replicate the problem when they weren't even under a load. I opened and rechecked the assembly and everything appears in order. The one thing I did not do was replace the pawl springs with new ones since the existing ones appeared OK. Is it possible that the springs are the problem? I've purchased replacements but haven't had a chance to install them but wondering if that's even going to affect a change.
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Old 08-17-2014
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Re: Winches slipping

It's possible..that the springs are in need of replacement. Just to be sure though..you didn't grease the pawls did you? they should only be lightly oiled. The gears get greased.
If grease got on the pawl..that could be the problem.
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Old 08-18-2014
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Re: Winches slipping

Yup, grease on the pawls is a no no and could be the issue, if you did so. If you over greased surrounding gears, it may be slid into the pawls, I suppose. Winch grease only needs to be applied lightly with a brush.

Could you describe what you mean by slipping? I assume you mean the drum is rotating backwards, not the lines are slipping. Is it crunching and banging as the drum spins backwards, like the pawls are trying to catch, but miss the ratchet? Or is it not holding at all?

The pawls themselves wear out too, usually noted by a rounded edge that fits into the ratchet, rather than a nice square edge.
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Old 08-18-2014
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Re: Winches slipping

Seems like the consensus is I got grease on the pawls. I used Lewmar winch grease for the gears and Lewmar oil for the pawls and thought I was using them sparingly. Apparently another disassembly is in the cards!

By slipping I mean the drum rotates backward. If I lift it a fraction of an inch, it catches and "sticks", so slipping pawls seem to be the culprit. They're in good shape with sharp edges.

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Yup, grease on the pawls is a no no and could be the issue, if you did so. If you over greased surrounding gears, it may be slid into the pawls, I suppose. Winch grease only needs to be applied lightly with a brush.

Could you describe what you mean by slipping? I assume you mean the drum is rotating backwards, not the lines are slipping. Is it crunching and banging as the drum spins backwards, like the pawls are trying to catch, but miss the ratchet? Or is it not holding at all?

The pawls themselves wear out too, usually noted by a rounded edge that fits into the ratchet, rather than a nice square edge.
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Old 08-18-2014
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Re: Winches slipping

the advice re: type of lube is salient, but don't discount the possibility of failed springs
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Re: Winches slipping

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Originally Posted by nestorph View Post
.....If I lift it a fraction of an inch, it catches and "sticks".....
You mean the drum will move upward? That doesn't seem right, but maybe it is for your winch. I'm not a winch expert. While I've serviced several models of Harken 2-speed, their drum gear doesn't even come in contact with the pawls. I'm sure others do. Still, one wouldn't think that moving the drum gear upward would suddenly cause a stuck pawl to flap closed. Could a bushing or other insert be missing that is causing misalignment? Just shots in the dark. What winch do you have?
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Re: Winches slipping

When I say "moved upward", I'm talking about 2 millimeters. It's a Lewmar 42 and I've attached a drawing of it's parts. The drum gear does not come in contact with any pawls--they're inside the smaller gears. I'll degrease them again and only apply oil to the areas touched by the pawls.

It's apparent to me that greased pawls on sailboats are as bad as greased palms in politics... (barum-bump) ;-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
You mean the drum will move upward? That doesn't seem right, but maybe it is for your winch. I'm not a winch expert. While I've serviced several models of Harken 2-speed, their drum gear doesn't even come in contact with the pawls. I'm sure others do. Still, one wouldn't think that moving the drum gear upward would suddenly cause a stuck pawl to flap closed. Could a bushing or other insert be missing that is causing misalignment? Just shots in the dark. What winch do you have?
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Old 08-18-2014
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Re: Winches slipping

Clean everything down with mineral spirits and start over. Good luck.
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Old 08-19-2014
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Re: Winches slipping

also you can respring the springs by bending back, that way you can determine if its a grease issue, a spring issue or a worn pawl issue

good luck
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Old 08-19-2014
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Re: Winches slipping

If you took the whole winch apart and reassembled it, you could have put the ratchet gear on backwards. (I think it's called that) The gear the pawls click into. It's easy to do and will seem ok when it's reassembled but the pawls wont catch.

Oh, btw, You should defiantly replace those springs. They may seem fine but you'll notice a huge difference in the winch. $10 well spent.
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Last edited by GMFL; 08-19-2014 at 10:53 PM.
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