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Old 06-09-2013, 07:33   #16
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Re: Windlass Might Be Dying -- Need Help

The flip side of the brushes is the commutator. We have had your symptoms that were caused by the commutator contact segments wearing down to the insulators between the contact segments. Carefully filing the insulators back down below the contact segments solved the problem.

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Old 06-09-2013, 07:49   #17
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Re: Windlass Might Be Dying -- Need Help

It sounds like the wiring is OK, so the problem is either something mechanical is binding, or the motor isn't putting out what it used to. The fact that prolonged use triggered the problem points to possible overheating in the motor (how does it smell?).

Does the windlass sound like its laboring when it isn't loaded (chain off the gypsy)? This could indicate a problem in the gear train or bearings.

Or does it only slow down when you are trying to hoist the chain and anchor? This would be more likely the motor, but not necessarily.

One of the other things I'd do is use my clamp-on ammeter to see what kind of current the windlass is drawing (should be on the order of 100 amps)
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:47   #18
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Here are some ideas. 1) Can you test it under load. Voltage drop is OK when running but what about under load. Could there be hidden corrosion that only shows up with more amperage? 2) A bad bearing in the motor? I had this happen on a starter where a bearing would work for half a turn and then stall as if there wasn't enough juice, 3) feel te motor after it stops checking it for hot spots. That is all I can come up with. Good luck.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:53   #19
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Re: Windlass Might Be Dying -- Need Help

What do the windings look like? If the insulation has worn though, they short and create heat instead of magnetic field strength, so motor doesn't work well. Usually you can spot this with darkened wires in the windings.

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Old 06-09-2013, 09:03   #20
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Colemj and Nimblemotors, we are going to take a blower look at those things after lunch today. Thanks for the pic.

Robyn
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:16   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
It sounds like the wiring is OK, so the problem is either something mechanical is binding, or the motor isn't putting out what it used to. The fact that prolonged use triggered the problem points to possible overheating in the motor (how does it smell?).

Does the windlass sound like its laboring when it isn't loaded (chain off the gypsy)? This could indicate a problem in the gear train or bearings.

Or does it only slow down when you are trying to hoist the chain and anchor? This would be more likely the motor, but not necessarily.

One of the other things I'd do is use my clamp-on ammeter to see what kind of current the windlass is drawing (should be on the order of 100 amps)
There was no smell and in general the housing was not hot. I say in general because at the time I didn't think of moving my hand all around on the housing looking for a hot spot. My reasoning was that if something had overheated everything would be hot, maybe naive.

The windless sounds pretty much as it always has with or without chain in the gypsy. But after lunch I will go run it up and down and pay more attention. It didn't really sound like it was laboring though just getting slower. We haven't really run it long enough without the chain to see if it happens without load -- I'll check that.

We will check the amps too.

Thanks,
Robyn
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:18   #22
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Here are some ideas. 1) Can you test it under load. Voltage drop is OK when running but what about under load. Could there be hidden corrosion that only shows up with more amperage? 2) A bad bearing in the motor? I had this happen on a starter where a bearing would work for half a turn and then stall as if there wasn't enough juice, 3) feel te motor after it stops checking it for hot spots. That is all I can come up with. Good luck.
Hi Charlie,

I will test it under load today and check voltage along with the stuff I have posted above. Thanks for your help.

Robyn
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Old 06-09-2013, 13:35   #23
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Re: Windless Might Be Dying -- Need Help

Quote:
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I had a similar problem and it turned out to be the carbon brushes were heating up and causing them to bind in there sleeve. When I opened the motor for inspection the bushes where stuck in place.

I carefully pried them out and sanded all the sides to give a bit more clearance and then the windless worked flawless for the next five years that I owned the 38 foot boat.
Me too, purchased new brushes and found that I did not need them as cleaning up the old and filing out the slots in the holders to get rid of the sharp edges from when they were punched at manufacture fixed the sticking brush problem.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:01   #24
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After looking more into the electrical side yesterday, we have three wires on the motor two positive, one negative. Both the positives have voltage when the winch is going up, or down. When going down, one terminal reads about half a volt less, and then when going up, the other terminal drops about half a volt. With no load, the motor is sounding fine, and coasts like there is no excess friction. Voltage at the windlass (no load) is 12V with the engine at fast idle.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:18   #25
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After looking more into the electrical side yesterday, we have three wires on the motor two positive, one negative. Both the positives have voltage when the winch is going up, or down. When going down, one terminal reads about half a volt less, and then when going up, the other terminal drops about half a volt. With no load, the motor is sounding fine, and coasts like there is no excess friction. Voltage at the windlass (no load) is 12V with the engine at fast idle.
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I am a shade tree mechanic so please verify this with someone with more knowledge then I but I would think that with the engine running at a fast idle the alternator should be putting out something in the high 13v range lets say 13.5v for arguments sake. 10% voltage drop would be 1.35v so if you have 12v your voltage drop is better then 10% w/o a load. I would think a sustained load would make it drop even more. That might be the cause of your problem. Have you taken off the connections cleaned/sanded them and reattached them? Sometimes a visual inspection misses the corrosion.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:05   #26
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Re: Windlass Might Be Dying -- Need Help

There are some good suggestions here but I agree with Charlie, to me it sounds like an electrical problem. You say you are getting 11.6V at the windlass. That doesn't sound that great. If the engine is running at higher than idle RPMs (you should have a button on the throttle that allows you to take it out of gear and rev it up) then the alternator will be putting 13+ volts into the batteries if it is working properly (check that).

Our windlass (24 volt system) used to complain in the morning after a night at anchor because we were just under 24 volts in the battery bank after running the normal electrical stuff on board the night before. The windlass would move very slowly and reluctantly, like an old man getting out of bed. We do have a generator so my practice now is to start the gennie and flick on the battery charger which puts out 55 amps and then go and raise the anchor. The windlass works now like it is on crack.

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Old 08-09-2013, 14:40   #27
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Well we're making progress I think. The windless is now in pieces on the table in the salon.



This is the second part on the galley counter. There is a definite problem here, we can not completely spin the shaft, it hangs up at one point and cannot be turned past that point by hand.



Hubby is getting close to figuring out where the problem is. Keep your fingers crossed!
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Old 08-09-2013, 16:38   #28
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Re: Windlass Might Be Dying -- Need Help

Do you mean the motor shaft? If this is a large motor, you may not be able to spin the shaft easily (by hand). You should certainly have a lot of resistance. Also, if the bearing plate is removed (can't really see in pic), then it won't turn at all.

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Old 08-09-2013, 17:36   #29
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Do you mean the motor shaft? If this is a large motor, you may not be able to spin the shaft easily (by hand). You should certainly have a lot of resistance. Also, if the bearing plate is removed (can't really see in pic), then it won't turn at all.

Mark
It turns out that the armature was dragging on the the field magnets/coils at just one point in the revolution. The brushes appear fine. The commutator appears fine, although hubby has lightly sanded it to be sure. All of the bearings and gears look to be OK. The armature has been filed then sanded and everything spins easily now. One of the screws holding one of the field magnets was just slightly loose and has been tighten. Because of all of the posts about sticking brushes, we are going to sand the edges of the brushes tomorrow even though none appear to be sticking.

If we had to guess, we think the combination of the heat from the motor and the friction from the armature hitting the field magnet made it bind up. The hotter it got, the more it bound, the slower it got. We will put it all back together tomorrow with all new seals and see how things work.

One thing we found that was disturbing, but doesn't have to do with how things were working was the corrosion between the aluminum housing and all of the stainless steel fasteners. It appears that there was no anti corrosion coating used on any of the fasteners. We would recommend that even if your windless is working you take all your fasteners out and inspect the housing and coat the fasteners with Lanacoate or something similar. Almost half of the threads were gone from the aluminum boss at the chain stripper fasteners.



Thinking about the posts regarding the voltage being low, we are beginning to think the wiring may be a bit undersized -- now that we have stepped back and looked at everything. However, that is a seriously major job to replace the wiring, so our goal right now is to get everything back to the way it was working before and put it on the future project list.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:56   #30
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Than for the update. Glad you were able to get the motor working. If you have the time I would be very curious to see what the voltage drop is with the motor under load.
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