Barient 27 winch, how clean is clean?

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
On our sail from Port Townsend to Everett, we had some issues with the winches. During the first tack, one of the winches reversed. Thankfully we didn't have the handle in and my wife's fingers were far enough away from the drum. Servicing the winches quickly moved up the priority list.

Pulling them apart revealed the problem. It looks like the past few services just removed the drum and applied more greese. The pawls on the main shaft were encrusted with dirt and inoperable explaining the loss of the second grear. The outside pawls were packed with greese and would only engage intermittently explain the reverse.

I soaked them in kerosene, scrubbed for a few hours, and dryfit them to check operation. They function much better, but I'm a little concerned about the rust on some of the parts. Should I use an abrasive to remove the rust or simply grease it up (lightly this time) and call it good?
 

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Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
On our sail from Port Townsend to Everett, we had some issues with the winches. During the first tack, one of the winches reversed. Thankfully we didn't have the handle in and my wife's fingers were far enough away from the drum. Servicing the winches quickly moved up the priority list.

Pulling them apart revealed the problem. It looks like the past few services just removed the drum and applied more greese. The pawls on the main shaft were encrusted with dirt and inoperable explaining the loss of the second grear. The outside pawls were packed with greese and would only engage intermittently explain the reverse.

I soaked them in kerosene, scrubbed for a few hours, and dryfit them to check operation. They function much better, but I'm a little concerned about the rust on some of the parts. Should I use an abrasive to remove the rust or simply grease it up (lightly this time) and call it good?
Hi,
If those pics are after cleaning, I would suggest you still have lots of work to do before reassembling. It looks encrusted with salt or corrosion. Even older winches should be down to bare metal, clean, shiny even, before being lubricated with winch grease and light oil on the pawls and reassembled. Once together again, they should operate smoothly, freely. I personally would not trust anything less if the winches are to be reliable in a blow or under pressure.
I hope you can fix it replace them.
Frank
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I am puzzled about the "rust" description. My Lewmar's are all bronze and SS inside the Alum. drum. I agree with Frank, that some further cleaning is needed.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Gotta get all the glop off, probably takes soaking overnight in something like diesel oil and then manual scraping.

 

markvone

Sustaining Member
I doubt you have much corrosion, just various contaminants in old, dry grease and gunk. I concentrated cleaning on the bearings, pawls and all surfaces that rub on each other. I didn't super clean or polish my gear teeth, just cleaned out all the gunk and old grease that would cause wear gear to gear. Close up picture is gears pre-clean. Picture with drum in view is how clean my internal parts were at reassembly.

Mark
IMG_1764.JPGIMG_1789.JPG
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
The pictures are really helpful. My first two pics were after the first soak and scrub the third picture is before I soaked them. I have them soaking again and plan on scrubbing tomorrow. My concern is if I can't get them perfectly shiny tomorrow using a toothbrush, scotch bright pad, and rags do I turn to an abrasive? If so, what kind?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
The pictures are really helpful. My first two pics were after the first soak and scrub the third picture is before I soaked them. I have them soaking again and plan on scrubbing tomorrow. My concern is if I can't get them perfectly shiny tomorrow using a toothbrush, scotch bright pad, and rags do I turn to an abrasive? If so, what kind?
Perhaps others can step in to correct me, but this seems like metal cleaning that any automotive machine shop with an ultrasonic solvent washer could do very quickly. Perhaps.

FWIW, that $80. cleaner from Harbor Freight might pay for itself in one usage... !
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
I wouldn't go coarser than a scotch pad. Note that a lot of the surfaces are not smooth or shiny. Concentrate on the bearings and surfaces that rub against each other. I used gasoline for cleaning cause I don't smoke and it's fast.

Mark
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
I hadn't thought about that. The parts cleaner looks tempting, but I'm not sure I could justify the space in my garage. Hopefully this will be a one time deep clean followed up with regular yearly maintenance.
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
For a timeframe: My picture are from May 2012 when I bought these winches used on Craigslist. I haven't touched these winches since. These are my Barient 32ST primaries. They are covered all the time and my boat gets less than light use in brackish water and very light winds. In my case, a check and lube every few to five years would work fine.
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
Attempt #2. It's looking a lot better, but probably still needs at least one more soak and scrub. Using a brass wire brush instead of the toothbrush made a big difference. I also lightly sanded the face of the gears with 600 grit. The shaft and bearings are looking good, so I'll leave those out on the next soak. It's amazing how much gunk is left after they soak.
 

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Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Attempt #2. It's looking a lot better, but probably still needs at least one more soak and scrub. Using a brass wire brush instead of the toothbrush made a big difference. I also lightly sanded the face of the gears with 600 grit. The shaft and bearings are looking good, so I'll leave those out on the next soak. It's amazing how much gunk is left after they soak.
Oh, they look so much better!!!!
I'm so glad you asked, and then took out advice. Well done!!!
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
The winches are all back together and waiting a new shipment of butyl tape so they can be mounted.

A few take aways for people who find themselves having to do this:

1.) soaking overnight is a huge help, but something stiffer than a toothbrush is still needed. I used a bass brush, scouring pad, stuff pipe cleaner, screwdriver, q tips, and 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around a dowel (for the pawl sockets). This still didn't get everything, but after 3 soak and scrubs I called it good enough.

2.) check in the base between the 2 internal bearing faces for the central shaft. After the second cleaning everything was looking really good, but when I assembled the winch to check it, there was dirt on the central pawl assembly. I scrubbed the base, passed a rag through the center, and scrubbed with a toothbrush and brass wire brush. Inspecting with a flashlight it looked like it was just an unfinished part of the casting. I had to aggressively scrape the area with a screwdriver then follow up with a wire brush, and finally a rag on a dowel. It looked like area had never been touched by previous services. The first picture is after I started scraping, the second is what came out and what I was finding on top of the pawls.

3.) be careful pressing (or in my case, "lightly tapping") the pawl and gear assembly back on the shaft. When I tested the winch after what I thought was the final assembly, the second gear didn't turn and felt horrible. I disassembled the winch again and found one of the pawl springs wedged between the pawl socket and the pawl. I think the large gear fell down the shaft as I was tappig the assembly together (from what I can tell, this has to be done upside down). The pawl must have dropped enough to expose the spring which came out of the pawl and was sheared / wedged between the pawl and socket as I tapped it in place.

I was able to pull it apart, lightly sand the edges of the mark on the socket the spring left, and reassemble with a new spring. It's not ideal, but I couldnt feel any additional friction from the mark. I made sure to keep the pawl assembly pressed against the large gear to keep it from happening again as I trapped it in.

4.) my daughter loves working on projects like this. I think it had more to do with getting to ware cool gloves and getting dirty, but I'll take all the help I can get.

Hopefully future winch services won't be quite this bad. Now I just have to repair the headliner zipper pulls so I can access the other 3 winches.
 

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trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
My wife and I mounted the winches this weekend. Given my track record on projects, I'm happy with getting this done in a little over a week. I even pulled out the sewing machine and made some new winch covers. After seeing how easily water could get down the main shaft and land directly on one of the sets of pawls, I'm thinking keeping them covered is important.
 

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