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s/v Cool Breez'n
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a VRC vertical electric rope-chain windlass on my
1993 Pacific Seacraft-37 that I am going to rebuild.

I removed the motor but have some concerns about removing the gear box.
(the ger box is below deck in the chain locker).

It looks like the gear box is bolted to the windlass (obove deck) with 4 stainless hex head bolts. The grear box flange is aluminum and I believe the windlass flange is bronze (at this point I cannot see the flange above the gear box flange so I'm guessing its bronze). Does anyone know if the flange that the hex bolts are threaded into is bronze?

Does anyone have any experience removing the bolts that hold the gear box to the windless? Or removing the gear box? Am I going to find that the bolts are frozen to the aluminum flange? Any suggestions to make disassembly easier?

Thanks

Craig
 

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Coastal Sailor
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Rebuilding Muir Windlass its not as hard as it looks

Last weekend I removed my vertical Muir windlass with help from the experts at IMTRA Corp. I was concerned that the 4 stainless steel bolts would be frozen to the aluminum gear box but that wasn't really a problem...seperating the shaft from the gear box was.

I was told by the service manager at IMTRA that after removing the 4 stainless steel bolts that connect the aluminum gear box to the brass windlass, I might not be able to slide the gear box off of the shaft. He was correct.

He then told me that its easier to take apart the windlass from the top down, and discribed how to remove the rope capstan, chain capstan and clutch plate (with pawls). Remove the rope capstan using a winch handle (if you already removed the bolts you'll have to put them back first). Remove the chain gear by removing the screw with a 1/8 allen key (this was really hard and I when the screw finally loosened I thought I actually broke the allan key instead.
The clutch plate is removed by tapping out a retainer pin. YOu might have to rotate the shaft to allow the pin to clear the windlass deck plate.

Put a old deck cushon under the gear box so when it drops it makes a soft landing. Once the clutch plate is removed just tap on the shaft and it will drop through the deck.

The IMTRA service manager said I'd need to take the gear box with shaft still connected to a machine shop to have the shaft pressed out with a hydaulic press. I took mine to Ballard Electric and they used their 20-ton press to push out the shaft. It took a great amount of force before it budged and when it did it made a loud pop. Shaft and gear box appeared unharmed.

I'm waiting for shipment of a new motor and gear box now. I'll update this thread after I install the new parts.

Craig
 

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I have just read your blog about removing a muir winch .I am doing that now and can not seperate the deck plate(everything above deck removed) from the gear box .Any tips? thanks hank
 

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I have had my Muir 800 vertical windlass apart twice; both times due to the destruction by corrosion of the aluminum spacer (or adaptor) between the aluminum gear box and the bronze windlass base. Muir in Australia provided me with assembly and installation information for their newer windlasses which are near matches for my older one. Imtra in the U.S. sold me the parts needed for the repairs. Both companies were a pleasure to deal with.

In addition to the spacer, the first failure destroyed both the gearbox and the motor shaft keyway and required the replacement of all the below deck equipment. We caught the second failure of the spacer before any additional damage was done to the drive components and only the spacer had to be replaced. Both times I was able to easily remove the Bonfiglioli spacer and gearbox along with the attached CIMA Motori 12v motor from the bottom of the windlass without any real problem. After removing the wiring and the four bolts, the entire assembly simply slid off the shaft.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
 

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Re: Rebuilding Muir Windlass its not as hard as it looks

I am trying to remove my Muir vrc 800 from my PS34. I have removed the 4 SS bolts from below and everything down to the collar that holds the pawl. Tried to tap the pin out with a punch but nothing. I could hit it harder but wonder if the gear and motor need to be supported from the bottom in order to take pressure off to get the pin to move. Any thoughts?
Thanks, Andy
 

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Remove the four bolts holding the gearbox to the bottom of the windlass then remove the single bolt and big washer at the bottom of the drive shaft. The motor and gearbox will slide off the end of the shaft.


The four bolts are back in their holes.

The single bolt and the big washer are at the lower left near the shaft key.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
 

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I have spent many hours trying to remove the gearbox of a VRC-1000 from a PSC 32PH. The gearbox works intermittently after being tapped with a hammer. However, one of the four bolts holding the gearbox to windlass base is barely reachable, with a fully extended arm, through a locker, behind the motor and in front of a stainless steel shield. It is quite impossible to exert any force on it. I doubt if the motor can be removed in situe (probably frozen to the shaft). It looks as though it will be a tedious job of hacksawing through the base - I cannot hold a reciprocating saw with*one outstretched arm. I would then install a considerably cheaper Maxwell windlass...
Anyone with a 32PH had more success?
 

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I find the far two windlass mounting bolts on my PSC 34 hard to reach as well. I pad out the edge of the entrance to the chain locker with a couple thicknesses of bath towel and slide myself partway into the chain locker with my soon to be bruised back down and resting on the towels. I can then get to the two forward bolts with a combination wrench. It helps if the other two bolts are already loose and the bolt at the end of the shaft is backed out a bit. The gear box can then be wobbled on the bolts to help free them. They are stainless bolts set into bronze and do not stick too badly except where they pass thorough the aluminum gearbox adaptor. It also helps that I weigh 135 lb and wear a size 36R jacket. And, I don't have your sheet metal drip shield to deal with.

The gearbox assembly (ex $626.50 motor) was $552.50 + shipping from Imtra in February 2010, cheaper than buying it directly from the maker, Bonfiglioli in the USA. [At the time Bonfiglioli's US HQ was just a couple of miles from my house.]

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
 

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Thanks, Bill Murdoch, for the encouragement. I will renew the fight in the Spring (me in central Canada, boat in Nova Scotia). Good info on the Bonfiglioli gear box cost.
 
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