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Old 25-04-2023, 05:21   #1
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What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

Wow. It’s been a long time coming. I can’t believe I can actually post in this sub forum!

My used Mast has a Facnor track and cars.

some of the cars stick a little bit. Mostly at the bottom actually.

what is the best way to rejuvenate these?

Is it advisable to just take a Dremel or something and make sure any sticking points are leveled out?

is it typically possible to be able to do that?

Or do you need to replace things?
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Old 25-04-2023, 06:57   #2
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

You donít want to remove the finish, so Dremel or similar is probably not a good idea.

Remove the cars (you do mean mainsail batten and intermediate cars on the mast track, or do you mean traveller cars?) and check all their bearings. They may be crushed and/or deteriorated, hence not rolling well, or at all. In that case, hopefully you can get replacement bearings.

If the bearings are all OK, then washing everything with fresh, soapy water is the way to go. That includes the track. No lubricant at all on the track or cars as it can cause the balls to slip and not rotate.

Congratulations on now posting in maintenance areas of the forum. Iím looking forward to seeing more posts regarding sailing your cat!!
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Old 25-04-2023, 07:39   #3
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

When you take the cars off, make sure to be super careful, recirculating ball bearings are normally not held captive in place when you slide them off the track.
So, the moment you slide them of the balls go everywhere.
One trick that helps, tape a plastic bag around the end of the track and slide the car of inside.

Regarding the bearing balls, if they are brownish in color they are likely made of Torlon which can take much higher loads than the normal white Delrin balls.

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Old 25-04-2023, 08:14   #4
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

OK. Thank you. I’m heading toward the boat now. A few hours away. I will be working on this probably tomorrow.

The problem is there is some kind of damage to the track I think if I remember correctly. There’s a little bump. I was going to shave that down with a Dremel. If it’s already got a little bit of damage, that shouldn’t make it a big difference right?

also, I am referring to the batten cars and intermediate cars on the mainsail track.

Everything else is new.
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Old 25-04-2023, 09:43   #5
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

If the roller balls are in good shape [replace if you find flat spots] and clean, you could also try applying some 'One Drop' purpose made lube to the balls on each car.

This stuff is great, and one tube will last you for years.

As the product name implies only use One Drop per car... More is not better in this case.

I would try this before trying to correct imperfections in the track.

FWIW

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Old 25-04-2023, 09:57   #6
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
OK. Thank you. Iím heading toward the boat now. A few hours away. I will be working on this probably tomorrow.

The problem is there is some kind of damage to the track I think if I remember correctly. Thereís a little bump. I was going to shave that down with a Dremel. If itís already got a little bit of damage, that shouldnít make it a big difference right?

also, I am referring to the batten cars and intermediate cars on the mainsail track.

Everything else is new.
This is a job for hand file or even a sharp wood chisel, not a power tool. Even a Dremel will cut aluminum faster than you realize. To smooth out a "bump" or a nick use hand tools.
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Old 25-04-2023, 10:01   #7
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

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This is a job for hand file or even a sharp wood chisel, not a power tool. Even a Dremel will cut aluminum faster than you realize. To smooth out a "bump" or a nick use hand tools.
you make a very good point. Thank you for reminding me. Plus, the Dremel is not a flat surface. Gouges would be very easy.

I will take out the file for this.
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Old 25-04-2023, 17:30   #8
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
OK. Thank you. Iím heading toward the boat now. A few hours away. I will be working on this probably tomorrow.

The problem is there is some kind of damage to the track I think if I remember correctly. Thereís a little bump. I was going to shave that down with a Dremel. If itís already got a little bit of damage, that shouldnít make it a big difference right?

also, I am referring to the batten cars and intermediate cars on the mainsail track.

Everything else is new.

Is the Ďbumpí a spot where the track has detached one or more fasteners? If so, fix that and straighten out the track before you file anything. Other than corrosion, what else could a bump be?

If it is corrosion, you can file it down. However, you should also apply something that will protect the raw aluminium, otherwise you will have a rough spot that will damage the ball bearings.
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Old 27-04-2023, 15:35   #9
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

sorry for the little delay. My memory was partially correct and partially not.

there is a very small ding in the track way up near the top of the mast probably from moving it so much. That can be easily sanded down. The tiniest little thing. But it does stop the cars.

but as it turns out, apparently I need to get about 5000 (exaggerating, but not by much) Torlon bearings at 6.35mm or 1/4". I would need to take each car off the track, fill the bearings, and get it back on the track. Without losing the bearings.

am I missing anything? Do I have to spend all that money? These things are really expensive. is there a way to rejuvenate the bearings that are in there? They’re not that bad. But they are not great either.

my former gun boat Rigger says they’re no good. but if I can clean or lubricate them and have them work again that would be awesome. I have certainly brought roller furlers back to life just by cleaning them.
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Old 27-04-2023, 15:58   #10
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
sorry for the little delay. My memory was partially correct and partially not.

there is a very small ding in the track way up near the top of the mast probably from moving it so much. That can be easily sanded down. The tiniest little thing. But it does stop the cars.

but as it turns out, apparently I need to get about 5000 (exaggerating, but not by much) Torlon bearings at 6.35mm or 1/4". I would need to take each car off the track, fill the bearings, and get it back on the track. Without losing the bearings.

am I missing anything? Do I have to spend all that money? These things are really expensive. is there a way to rejuvenate the bearings that are in there? Theyíre not that bad. But they are not great either.

my former gun boat Rigger says theyíre no good. but if I can clean or lubricate them and have them work again that would be awesome. I have certainly brought roller furlers back to life just by cleaning them.

Get new bearings, surely itís not that expensive. Take them all out and figure out how many are actually out of round and/or damaged. AFAIK the cost to repair (to make them exactly round without loosing too much diameter) would be more than buying new. If theyíre a standard size you might be able to buy non-OEM balls for less.

On the mast the track should have a separate short length just above the gooseneck - this is a gate piece that is removed to get the cars off the main part of the track.

To get the cars off, you need to feed them individually onto a short piece of track that is the length of your longest car (or pair of cars at your headboard). This prevents you loosing all the balls as you remove the car. Often these are plastic, but since that probably didnít come with your mast you might need to find or fabricate a new piece if you canít use the gate piece. Maybe 3D print?

AFAIK there is no way to put the cars back in place without using a short track. You feed the balls into the car with the car upside down and with one end just past the track. Once the ball race is nearly full (documentation should tell you how many balls per batten and intermediate car) then fully slide the car onto the track piece. Then align the track piece with the mast track and slide the car onto the main track. Secure it so it canít fall down and repeat with the rest of your cars.

Do you have the correct batten fittings on your main to take the fitting on the cars? Did your sails come with the mast?
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Old 27-04-2023, 16:04   #11
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

I will have to see if I can figure out a way to do this. Without that track piece.

they are very expensive though. It’s Torlon. That’s the material. 6.35mm.

And yes. Everything came together as one. It was an entire rig taken off of a boat that wanted to get rid of the rig in order to be a power cat.

The only sail I bought was the spinnaker. Although I had to send these sails off for typical seasonal work.
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Old 28-04-2023, 02:12   #12
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
I will have to see if I can figure out a way to do this. Without that track piece.

they are very expensive though. Itís Torlon. Thatís the material. 6.35mm.

And yes. Everything came together as one. It was an entire rig taken off of a boat that wanted to get rid of the rig in order to be a power cat.

The only sail I bought was the spinnaker. Although I had to send these sails off for typical seasonal work.
How long are the individual sections of your track?
Slide them all onto the first piece, then take this first section off the mast.
Replace the bearings by sliding them off that piece and sliding them back onto it. Than remount that piece of track.

Good luck with the bearing hunt. There might be other industries who use them as well. Conveyor belt companies, chemical industry perhaps?
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Old 28-04-2023, 05:02   #13
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

silly me.

here I was thinking that the Torlon balls were pretty expensive at about $.70 to $1 each with 46 balls in each car.

I was thinking since they are so expensive maybe I should just get all new cars.

I have something like 16 cars on the track.

The balls are looking pretty cheap compared to that option.
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Old 03-05-2023, 14:45   #14
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

Are you sure all the bearings are bad? A lot of the time the cars will start to feel rough, but its only a few that are really damaged or no longer round. We just did a video on a 1997 Lagoon 47 that had cars that felt TERRIBLE. I talked the owner through removing them, cleaning up all the balls with soap and water, and only replacing the ones that were no longer round. He also cleaned up the track.
Reinstalled everything with Mclube 1 drop and they work amazingly now, I think he only replaced about 10 balls in total.
Also make sure to NOT lube with anything other than 1 drop. People use silicone based lubricants on synthetic ball bearings all the time and its a bad idea. Same with grease of any kind.
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Old 03-05-2023, 17:36   #15
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Re: What is the best strategy for rejuvenating my mainsheet cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
I will have to see if I can figure out a way to do this. Without that track piece.

they are very expensive though. Itís Torlon. Thatís the material. 6.35mm.

And yes. Everything came together as one. It was an entire rig taken off of a boat that wanted to get rid of the rig in order to be a power cat.

The only sail I bought was the spinnaker. Although I had to send these sails off for typical seasonal work.
You can stick the balls in when reassembling, with a water soluble jelly eg KY Jelly, then hose it out after fitting onto the track. Saves balls falling out everywhere.
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