lighthouse 1501 windlass motor burned (?) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-28-2011 Thread Starter
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lighthouse 1501 windlass motor burned (?)

hello all, i encountered a serious problem with my 1501:

while trying out the windlass (hooked up only to the bank battery; boat engine undergoing repair and NOT running), the motor at first operated normally, but before finishing pulling 30 ft of chain or so, the motor stopped working, probably because of using up all the power in the battery bank, and became very hot. the heat also melted the perko switch, which no longer conducts current.

after this happened, the battery bank went flat but later accepted charge.

the unit's motor housing has been very much rusted. the unit is probably 18 years old. worked quite well up to now.

question: (1) what happened? (2) would the motor be burned & now destroyed beyond repair? -- i hope not... the 1501 motor is supposed to be overload-proof, etc, right? (3) what may have caused it to happen?
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-28-2011
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Just a guess but as the voltage dropped in your battery bank and perhaps already low, that required the current to increase for windlass operation. Eventually as the voltage became very low, the current was way over specification. Chances are you fried it. Once you have burned it, you have seriously degraded the wiring and insulation. If your batteries are good deep cycles, they can be recharged and will be OK, but not the windlass and its wiring.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-28-2011 Thread Starter
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now i have problem taking out the motor from the drive shaft... does anyone know if i can go to the deck, unscrew the nuts securing the winch baseplate and haul out the whole thing there including the motor?

or is the baseplate secured to the deck and the shaft goes through the fiberglass only through a small bore?
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-28-2011
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What brodsky said.

Try the lighthouse web site Lighthouse Manufacturing USA for details on removing the motor.

Many electrical devices, especially motors, will try to pull a certain amount of watts, regardless of the voltage being supplied to them. And if the voltage drops, they do that by pulling excessive amperage and overheating. But if it is old enough, and has gotten salt water inside over the years, maybe it was just time.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-29-2011
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The motor has to come out from below before you can remove the windlass from the deck. Lighthouse will email technical documents describing the procedure.

Send an email to J. Walker at

The document "Motor Brushes" pdf has motor removal details but you might as well have him send the six or so he sent me.

If you have a problem getting a response send me an email offline and I'll send you the docs


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post #6 of 7 Old 03-29-2011
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Remove chain stripper by removing the forward two mounting bolts. Remove the
hawse cover nut by removing the aft mounting screw from the under side of
deck. At each end of the axle on which capstans and chain gypsy are mounted,
note the hex socket for manual override. Inside of socket is a 10-32 FH screw,
which secures the socked to the splined shaft; remove the socket from the shaft
ends both port and starboard. Unscrew the three-pronged clutch handle off the
end of the shaft and slide the chain wheel and two clutch plates off the axel.
Remove the threaded nut with two spanner holes from the capstan side by
unscrewing counter clockwise, and then remove the capstan and key by sliding
them off the shaft.
The following would be required of you to complete the repairs:
Removal of the motor from the down tube, by removing the three socket cap
screws, then remove the winch from the deck. Remove capstan and chain gypsy
from shaft. Remove upper kedging socket seal by levering out with a flat blade
screwdriver. Turn winch upside down with rubber pad removed, you will see
eight (8) socked head cap screws securing the base plate to the winch body, six
96) are 3/8”, two (2) are ¼” size. Remove these screws and lift off base plate,
clear of down tube. Now using a blade type screwdriver pry the down tube out of
the body using the snap ring on the down tube for leverage, be careful no to lose
the ¼” key which located the down tube and remember its orientation. With the
down tube removed, you will see an oil seal pressed into the end of the down
tube, we will be replacing his also. Do not yet remove the worm from the
gearbox. Now place the gearbox on its side with the shaft on the opposite side
protruding through a surface that will not interfere with its removal. You will note
one side of the round protrusion of the gear box is embossed “Lighthouse USA”
or you will see three screws located at 120 degrees on this side, Face this side
up for disassembly.
To remove the round access door from the gear case it is necessary to unscrew
the three screws, which are visible on this side. You will note that the screws are
not threaded into the case but threaded into shaped aluminum dogs; these
should be replaced when reassembling with new parts. Once the door is
removed, the main gear will be visible and can be removed by lifting upward
using the main shaft to raise he entire gear assembly, the large ball bearings will
probably only need cleaning and relubricating. At this time I would not advise
removing the shaft from the over running mechanism in the gear hub, just clean
it up and leave it together.
Now remove the worm from the gear case by removing it from the bottom of the
gear case. Remove what is left of the upper bearing from the worm shaft,
remove the lower bearing and clean the worm using mild abrasive or phosphoric
acid, try
To polish the areas the seals ride on using a polishing compound, toothpaste will
The upper worm-bearing race is removed by piercing the race with an acetylenecutting
torch and removing the slag. Note: The SS gearbox will not be affected
during this process as the bearing race stores all the transferred heat. Access
the upper race from the large ‘door; opening through the worm slot aiming the
cutting torch at the bearing race material where it can be visible when the bearing
race is pierced.
Remove the seal from both the gear case and the door that the main shaft goes
REASSEMBLY: The following parts are required
1 Upper kedging socket oil seal
1 Upper worm oil seal
1 Upper worm bearing & range
1 Lower sealed ball bearing
1 lower oil seal
2 gear case & door oil seals
3 Door mounting dogs
3/16” allen wrench
¼” allen wrench
5/16” allen wrench
Blade screwdriver
Snap ring pliers, expanding type
¾” wrench for removal of mounting bolts
Tube of clear silicone sealant
3 lbs Lithium based grease
ASSEMBLY: Clean all parts with a solvent solution to remove old grease
silicone, any hard to get places can be washed in white vinegar to neutralize any
residual salt deposits.
After removing any debris and cleaning the gear case in the area the upper
bearing race resides. Locate an aluminum o hardwood dowel long enough to
reach the upper bearing seat and extend out of the gear case and approximately
one and one half inches (1 ½”) or (37/38 mm) in diameter. Using this dowel and
a suitable hammer, seat the conical race firmly against the seat in the gear box
making certain that he smaller opening in the race is at the top of the gear case
and the widest part of the taper is facing down or toward the base of the winch.
Pack upper conical bearing full of grease, by depositing a quantity of grease in
one hand and forcing grease into roller cage assembly of bearing with the other
Install upper worm seal in top cavity of gear case using silicone sealant on the
seal outer dimension to insure sealing. Install seal with gear box flat on work
surface and pressing straight down with a ¾” to 1” diameter pushing mandrel
(wood or a socket wrench might suffice)
Install grease packed worm bearing on worm shaft. Lubricate lip of upper worm
seal. Push worm shaft & bearing assembly into gear case and through upper
seal. Do not yet install lower bearing.
Pack large ball bearings with grease. Fill outer cavity surrounding baring retainer
with grease. Install bearing in bearing retainer in case. You should now have
the gear, hub & shaft assembly with one bearing still in place. Slide the gear,
hub, shaft assembly into the side bearing in the gear case. Engage the worm
shaft teeth with the gear teeth and move the worm shaft upward to seat the
conical bearings in its race. Now we will install the lower worm ball bearing by
sliding the new bearing onto the keyed portion of the worm and then further up
the worm shaft until the bearings progress is stopped by the gar case. Using the
coupler & shaft assembly turn the worm right and then left with pressure always
exerted upward toward the conical bearing. With the gear case on its port side,
fill the bear cavity with grease and pack the large ball bearings with grease as
We will now close up the gear box with the door. The three ¼-20 screws are
engaged in the aluminum dogs approximately 3 turns, this will secure the dogs or
clips in the slots in the door with the blade pointed up and the radius coming in
contact with and facing the bearing retainer of the door, this is done on all three
of the door clip dogs. The reason for the radius shape of the clip dogs provides
the simultaneous upward and inward movement of the clips as the ¼” screws are
tightened. The flat outer edge of the clip dogs engage in the square slot
machined radially in the gear case.
We will now install the down tube and the base plate. First, install the new oil
seal in the down tube to the same depth as the seal being removed. Wipe the
seal lip surface and the worm shaft liberally with grease in the area of seal
friction. With the large snap ring in place on the down tube, slide the down tube
into the worm bore, making sure that the snap ring does not extend below the
base of the gear case. Use a straight edge to determine that the snap ring will
not pre load the bearing when the base plate is bolted on.
Remove the down tube and apply a coating of silicone to the engagement portion
of the down tube, now install the key, making certain it goes back precisely as it
was removed. (Ordinarily the keys are thinner in one dimension; The thin
dimension being orientated fore & aft) Apply a coating of silicone to the base
surfaces of the gear case and bolt the base plate back in place with the eight
To install side case oil seals, after assembly is complete, we will need a 3” length
of 1” plastic (PVC) pipe. Slip lubricated oil seal over shaft, flat side out up close
to gear case on both port & starboard side. Apply silicone sealant around
circumference of oil seals. Slip 3” length of 1” PVC pipe over shaft. Using your
three levered clutch nut, thread onto shaft allowing plastic pipe to press side
seals into gear case, only until flush with outside case. Unscrew clutch nut,
remove PVC pipe and reinstall capstan & gypsy.

s/v Little Wing
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-31-2011 Thread Starter
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thanks all for the tons of useful info. now i have taken off the motor, pried it apart and an electrician thought it was too far gone, and recommended a new motor. am going to buy that from lighthouse.

however, i was not able to take the motor collar off from the down shaft. the collar is the hat-shaped thing secured by three nuts, sitting on top of the motor casing, with several nuts going through it to hold the motor in place. if i replace the motor, would i have to take off this old collar and put on the new? (does if it come with the replacement motor)? thanks!
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