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Old 28-03-2011, 22:53   #1
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Angry Maxwell 3000 Motor Replacement


We have been ''circumnavigating' slowly for 16yrs and are currently in Thailand. We use a Maxwell VWC 3000 anchor windlass and always anchor with all chain and a Spade anchor (great!).

Our windlass motor has burned out twice although we are very careful not to overload it and seldom anchor in over 30 ft. The design is an older VWC 3000 which had its motor vertical underneath the windlass, not a good idea!

Maxwell in New Zealand told us to buy a new windlass since they can no longer supply the motor for it. In other words they were very unhelpful. We have been able to adapt the armature of Jaguar starter motors (by machining the shaft) but can no longer find them.

Since we plan on sailing to places that may require us to anchor deep i.e. the Maldives, Chagos and the east coast of Africa and Madagascar we would like to ascertain that the motor will either not burn out or have a spare on hand.

The windlass has a vertical manual handle, also a very poor idea as it is difficult to apply power that way when anchoring deep and using it requires disassembly of the drum, equally poor!

Does anyone have experience with this problem? Should we adapt to a different motor? Are there motors out there that will fit?

Our motor is a Lucas with an armature pinion gear that has 21 teeth if memory serves me correctly. The Maxwell info that came with the motor tells me that if it has 17 teeth it is an older type and motors are not available but in spite of this they still told us several years ago that they cannot supply another motor.

Jim and Helen sv GAIA
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Old 29-03-2011, 00:33   #2
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Re: maxwell 3000 motor replacement

Electrical motors can also be rewound. Did you try to have that done? There are fewer and fewer shops that are able to do it, but if you try I bet you can find one. Did you save any of the old motors? If you burn them up so fast, you might want to have a couple of them rewound and keep spares on hand.
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Old 29-03-2011, 02:51   #3
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Re: maxwell 3000 motor replacement

Hi and thanks for that fast reply! In each case it was the armature and I was under the impression that one can only rewind the magnets. Three in 16 yrs is rather a lot but considering the number of times per year the windlass is used it is perhaps less so. The armatures were searched for in Holland by relatives and we do not have them. Right not the windlass is working fine but I would like to have a spare motor just in case. A better motor might also not be a bad idea!

Apparently the cause of failure was due to leakage of oil from the grease into the motor vertically underneath the gearbox. Hence my comment re that as new Maxwell motors are horizontally placed. I would have thought they could stand that but graphite or perhaps copper from the brushes is carried around the motor by the leaking oil. I stand to be corrected not being an expert on this (-:

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Old 29-03-2011, 05:08   #4
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Re: maxwell 3000 motor replacement

Ah, Lucas, Prince of Darkness, patent holder for the short circuit, and the Original Anti-Theft Device (Lucas Electrics).

Why not check with Lucas, or search their catalogue?
LooseUnsolderedConnectionsandSplices ➥Lucas Electrical

Motor Armatures can be rewound.
When rewinding, the motor can be changed to slower RPM, higher Torque, if desired.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 29-03-2011, 05:39   #5
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Re: maxwell 3000 motor replacement

hi i recently replaced the motor on the maxwell nielson 3000 vertical type whinch for a friend,replacement motors are available,but not the old lucas type,you will need to drill the shaft and drill and tap the casing to fit the new type of motor available through the designer in nz,there is also another company in aus that can supply but well have to try find the link.
James Nilsson Anchor, Mooring and Docking Winch. Capstan, Windlass, Captive Sheet, Seawinch
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Old 30-03-2011, 00:00   #6
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Re: maxwell 3000 motor replacement

Try talking to James Nilssons 1st, they are a very knowledgeable bunch who have worked wonders at times. The winch knowledge in that building is probably 2nd to none worldwide. You want to see their test rig, enough to get a grown man looking for a cold shower... but I digress.

If no joy PM me and I'll suss deeper, I deal with both almost daily so I will be able to get deeper in than you can.

I think you'll find that due to the winches age you have a motor that just isn't made anymore, a lot have gone by the wayside in the last 8-12 years, in favour of purpose built windlass motors, which are better really. Back in the day most motors were adapted from other industries so often had next to no moisture protection, used a lot more battery for less pull and were often huge. These days the good winch makers have some pretty tricked up motor options if you want them.

FYI - the 'Nilsson Maxwell' company became 2, James Nilsson and Maxwell, a long while back so if you have one of those it's best to speak to James Nilsson Ltd rather than Maxwell. And as a interesting snippet of info, until a mass move to manufacturing in a eastern country a few years back many Simpson Lawrence winches (now all Lewmar branded) were actually made by James Nilsson in NZ. And for another snippet, a stupid one, after JN made the winches they were shipped to the UK and the NZ dealers had to import them back. They weren't allowed to buy 'pre-shipping', how silly it that?

Woww, 6 posts after someone used that dreaded 'A' word and no scrapping, that makes a pleasant change
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