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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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.

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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.....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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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) ;-)

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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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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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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I didn't have time to find this last night but here is a video I made for my Barient. (i'm guessing its similar to the Lewmar) Skip to about 20:00 to see the ratchet gear getting assembled. I skip through it a little fast but you can see the correct and incorrect way to install it. Go to the very end of the video to see how too much grease affects the pawls.

 

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I didn't have time to find this last night but here is a video I made for my Barient. (i'm guessing its similar to the Lewmar) Skip to about 20:00 to see the ratchet gear getting assembled. I skip through it a little fast but you can see the correct and incorrect way to install it. Go to the very end of the video to see how too much grease affects the pawls.

GREASE ON PAWLS NO
:)

good vid
 
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When I say "moved upward", I'm talking about 2 millimeters. It's a Lewmar 42
Lewmar? Up 2mm?

Have you unscrewed the whole winch base from the fibreglass and removed the inner core? because that little sucker ain't often removed in general maintenance. From my memory :rolleyes: theres two problems that can occur, one is a buildup of hard stuff that binds up the inner shaft, and the other is the spacers.... hang on, let me look at the parts diagram again... it was a few years since I did it.
It part 9 you want out and I think then you clean up 10,11,12.

Maybe someone else who has a Lewmar will remember or know what I am talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm frustrated to no end. I've cleaned and re-greased two other winches with no problems but I can't figure out what the hell is wrong with these. I've re-stripped one, completely cleaned everything again with mineral spirits, replaced the springs, and lightly oiled the parts using Lewmar's oil. I had also removed and cleaned the inner shart. Problem persists. With the drum off and cranking with the winch handle, all if the gears and pawls appear to be working smoothly. When put the drum back on, it turns correctly when I crank but it slips when I grab it and rotate it in the opposite direction. It catches occasionally. I went sailing today and it kept slipping. What really drives me nuts is that I have the same problem with the companion winch that I cleaned (these are my main jib winches). I'll be calling Lewmar on Tuesday in case anyone there has any ideas.
 

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You do say you replaced the springs

What you describe, though, sounds like the pawls aren't catching correctly

There is, at least for Harken, a particular way to install the springs

There is also the possibility that the pawl pockets are worn, or the pawls themselves worn
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I did replace the springs with new ones. Pawls can only be inserted one way ( I tried the other way--no go). Pawls have sharp edges. The irony is that everything was fine before I cleaned them!!!
 

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In your first post you mentioned you cleaned the winches and went sailing and they slipped.
Were they slipping before you cleaned them initially? Or dont you know because you just bought the boat?

If they wern't slipping before the initial clean then somewhere, somehow you have stuffed it up. There must be a bit of dislodged grease or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'd agree with you but I've completely cleaned every nook and cranny. And why would it happen to both winches? I'm not a mechanical incompetent having working with my hands for many years, so I'm baffled.
 

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it could just be that the extra grease and stuff in there before made up enough space for the pawls to work correctly now that you are back to original and correctly lubed it might just be that they are worn enough to slip in certain cases

just throwing it out there

its common for example on old engines for tolerances to be too big once you do the "cleaning" sometimes grudge, buildup and other scenarios work to your advantage

SOMETIMES
 
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