So, how did I get the winch off the base once I got the stainless screws out (which took a long time). I was surprised that when the 4 screws were removed that the winch would not budge. It turns out that the corrosion
on the base was so great that the aluminum oxide was pushed into the gears and winch structure. I first used some bent steel
wire to poke out some of it, but only part of it was accessable. I spent over 6 years of my life doing destructive testing on military gear
, so I used some the techniques of the trade
I was familiar with: thermal cycling and mechanically induced fatigue. I used a heat gun, a rubber hammer, a piece of wood, and a 3 pound hammer. I would beat on the whole assembly, carefully, with the rudder
hammer, then heat the four areas by the screw holes, then use the piece of wood with one end pushed against the winch frame leg near a screw whole and carefully hit the wood with the 3 pound hammer in a direction to cause the winch frame to rotate on the base. After the winch cooled, I would go through the cycle again. Towards the end, it worked best to have my wife directing the heat gun on the frame leg while I was hitting the wood. I did use some penetrating oil
in the vicinity of the screw holes, but that really had no effect because there was so much aluminum oxide pushed up into the gears.
I did not work on the winch last year (still have some screws in the bottom of it to get loose; just soaked it in some diesel
, and worked my other projects.