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Old 26-05-2009, 04:54   #1
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Grease Winch Ball Bearings?

I know well enough to oil the pawls, not grease them. But what about the ball bearings? I am rebuilding some Harken 48s and they have one race with about 40 SS ball bearings. Do I grease them?
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Old 26-05-2009, 05:21   #2
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Grease! I seem to remember that Harken and other sell the grease.
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Old 26-05-2009, 06:44   #3
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Yup - There aer several brands of winch grease. We bought some Harken grease when we cleaned our winches. The cleaning part is the mess. The packing a reassembling is a breeze.

Be very careful if doing this in the water. Many winches have circlips or snap rings and decorative cover plates that are all but irreplaceable. Ask my buddy how I know...

He launched a Barent decorative plate into the drink and ended up having to buy a winch, which didn't match. So he bought 2 - ouch...
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Old 26-05-2009, 10:19   #4
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But what about the ball bearings? I know about the needle bearings. But I have about 40 little steel balls in a 2-piece race. Do they get greased?
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Old 26-05-2009, 12:22   #5
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But what about the ball bearings? I know about the needle bearings. But I have about 40 little steel balls in a 2-piece race. Do they get greased?
YESSSS
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Old 26-05-2009, 12:39   #6
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You can always cut a hole in the bottom of a box to disassemble if you don't know what parts are in there. Drop the box over the winch, and it will most likely catch any flying parts, or parts that might get dropped......i2f
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Old 26-05-2009, 13:06   #7
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You don't grease the pawls.
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Old 26-05-2009, 13:35   #8
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yes the ball bearing race gets greased, the problem with most grease is that they are thick, use three and one oil and mix it with the grease and paint it on with a throw away brush. I use thinner to break down the old grunge and spray it off with brake cleaner or electric contact cleaner spray, this gives you a fresh metal surface for the reassembly. We do this every month but if you use less 3/1 you can do it bi-annually as Harken recommends (my friend Oakley is a salesman from Harken and he is listed in the RI section in the front of the parts book). Hope this helps.
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Old 26-05-2009, 14:01   #9
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I believe the instructions with my Andersen winches directed that the pawls and pawl springs be given a light coat of winch grease, not oil. Anyway, that is what I do. That said, I am aware that other manufacturers say to use oil.

Also, Andersen claims that greasing need be done every other year.
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Old 28-05-2009, 09:03   #10
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I couldn't imagine taking my 5 winches apart every month. Once every year is a messy enough chore for me.
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Old 28-05-2009, 09:26   #11
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Studying up on my Harkens, this is what I have developed...

Clean annually
Clean w/ gasoline (commonly available)
Grease all contact surfaces...except pawls
3-in-1 oil pawls

The box works great under way
An old gallon jug of oil, cut in half works great as a cleaner tub (I cut it lengthwise and use the part with the spout. That way I can pour the gook into a bottle afterwards.
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Old 28-05-2009, 12:07   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelson.peter View Post
Studying up on my Harkens, this is what I have developed...

Clean annually
Clean w/ gasoline (commonly available)
Grease all contact surfaces...except pawls
3-in-1 oil pawls

The box works great under way
An old gallon jug of oil, cut in half works great as a cleaner tub (I cut it lengthwise and use the part with the spout. That way I can pour the gook into a bottle afterwards.
That's a good idea with the cut bottle! One question though...what do you do with the dirty gasoline?
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Old 28-05-2009, 12:17   #13
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I throw it overboard.

Nahhh. Just kdding! Had ya there for awhile, eh?

I usually just throw the bottle away. It isn't very environmentally friendly, I know. But we aren't talking Exxon Valez amounts here. And the oil in the bottle could be considered about as toxic to the environment as the plastic bottle it is in -- which was made out of oil!!
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Old 28-05-2009, 23:12   #14
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I throw it overboard.

Nahhh. Just kdding! Had ya there for awhile, eh?

I usually just throw the bottle away. It isn't very environmentally friendly, I know. But we aren't talking Exxon Valez amounts here. And the oil in the bottle could be considered about as toxic to the environment as the plastic bottle it is in -- which was made out of oil!!
I wonder if there's a place that will take substances like gas like they do coolant and oil?
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