I did this job last summer. Diesel
thinner and the ECO degreasers did not work. First you need to mechanically scrape or wire brush away all that you can get to. After doing it the hard way with the first winch
(the solvents that did not work), I used lacquer thinner and a three gallon bucket with a lid to soak the big parts
. Get a good set of parts
that do not melt (Mcmaster Carr).
The smaller parts like gears, bearings, palls and springs were loaded into an ultrasonic cleaner inside large yogurt containers (with lids) and Berryman Chemtool (from auto parts). The ultrasonic cleaner is filled half way with water
. The water
and solvent heat up with time so do not let the solvent overheat. After 20 to 40 minutes the parts are clean or require light brushing.
After doing this, you will have clean parts to assemble and the incentive to rebuild
your winches once a year. I did anyway.
P.S. Get some good solvent resistant gloves and do this outdoors away from any ignition sources.