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Winch servicing lubricants

5593 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  pdqaltair
I come from the Mercedes enthusiast community into sailing, and take my service procedures and research methods with me. I'd like to begin by saying that I've found some nice products that I use on our low RPM roller bearing assembly and pawls of sailboat winches. (Barient 22, two speed with self tailing)

If you have a particular selection of lubricant I'd be interested in hearing them, the usual advice for "boat trailer bearing grease" or "3-in-1" doesn't seem complicated enough to me so I researched a few;

I'm using Fuchs Silkolene Pro FG2 as was recommended to me by OpieOils of the UK, over other options I asked about for sailboat winches. It's water resistant bearing grease used for it's low rolling resistance on high speed automobiles, motorcycles, etc..

Pedro's and Phil Woods bicycle grease is also available, but havn't use it.

Swepco 101 is a another fantastic Moly-rich grease with much of the properties above and feels like a buttery cream.

My pawls are doing great with Ardent Reel-Butter fishing reel lubricant, designed for salt environments and light action.
Other light weight oils are Mouse-Milk, used by turbo engine guys to lubricate the pivot point of the wastegate actuator.

If anything is rusty or corroded, I soak it in a mix of water and Esprit Rust Remover over night. Great for spraying down parts assemblies to prevent rust.

Reassembly goes great with a dab of 3M Marine Grade ant-seize on the right threads (If using a torque wrench, remember to always remove 20% of the final torque rating of anything using thread lubricant to account for the additional bolt stretch, but not a concern on winches and hand tools.)

I may seem overboard on my selections, and maybe when I have a wife and kids and a lot less time I'll think different, but I currently order engine and hydraulic fluids in up to 5-gallon containers so I can't imagine how a person could find satisfaction at Walmart or Ace/TrueValue hardware. It's been 8 years since I've stepped foot in an autoparts store for anything but PowerService or oil disposal, and hope to find another forum roamer who has gone the extra distance to find good lubricants. Anybody?
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"good [motor] oil is hard to find"

Really ?!

Stunned by the news. I must be part truffle-snuffling pig, because I've always just walked right up to it on the shelves.
Where (can you?) find objective results showing Schaeffer Moly-Bond 15w-40 is as good as, or any better than, any commercial synthetic motor oil?

How did Bob the Oil Guy miss them?

I've seen objective comparisons, lab results, and teardowns for other products. What's your objective basis for saying this isn't just...commodity grade oil?
Oddly enough Home Depot sells two Super Lube SKU's, one twice the price of the other, both apparently identical except for old/new packaging or some difference they don't list.

But the SuperLube is a 3 ounce tube, and the Lewmar grease is a 3.5 oz. tube. And, again oddly, Defender and West show two differently packaged Lewmar branded products.

Silicone grease doped with Teflon particles shouldn't be hard to do well though. I can't see that winches are an extreme service category. They work in a relatively benign environment, compared to some of the stuff out there. Narrow temperature range, fairly low speed and horsepower, no harsh chemicals, acids, oxidizers. They're not race car motors turning at 11,000 rpm and channeling a thousand horsepower.
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