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Rebuilding Harken Cam Cleats


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32 minutes ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

My boat has 14 metal Harken cam cleats and the teeth are all good. However some need to new balls and a couple could use new red top plates.

Is it possible to easily rebuild them? I have seen balls for sale at least.

At $65/each for the big boys, I tried new ball bearings. Worked perfectly fine. Went from "won't move" to just like new. A bit tricky until I figured out how they assemble without balls bouncing all over the place. I didn't try to replace the red plastic, which actually extends all the way to the base. If you have issues getting the red plastic out, the best I found was to get a pin the same OD as the red tube, clamp everything best you can, and use the pin to drive it out. Little bouncing balls will let you know you are having success. There are 39 balls in each of sides on the big ones. 13/level, 3 levels.

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1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

At $65/each for the big boys, I tried new ball bearings. Worked perfectly fine. Went from "won't move" to just like new. A bit tricky until I figured out how they assemble without balls bouncing all over the place. I didn't try to replace the red plastic, which actually extends all the way to the base. If you have issues getting the red plastic out, the best I found was to get a pin the same OD as the red tube, clamp everything best you can, and use the pin to drive it out. Little bouncing balls will let you know you are having success. There are 39 balls in each of sides on the big ones. 13/level, 3 levels.

thanks razr

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The early ones had white balls that disintegrated in UV. Harken figured that out eventually and now build them with black/brown balls that don't disintegrate so readily.

Typically only the top level gets the UV. The balls from the lower levels can be reused.

I have heard that the trick to assembling them is shaving cream ...

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I HATE the shaving cream trick. I find that the shaving cream pushes other balls off as you place new balls. I find a quiet place, put the whole thing in a sheet pan (so the balls don't roll away), sip some good quality rum, and use a tweezers to stack the balls on the levels. After the first cleat, subsequent cleats are easy. The rebuild kits are gold. 

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3 hours ago, Feisty! said:

The early ones had white balls that disintegrated in UV. Harken figured that out eventually and now build them with black/brown balls that don't disintegrate so readily.

Typically only the top level gets the UV. The balls from the lower levels can be reused.

I have heard that the trick to assembling them is shaving cream ...

 

1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

Great idea

Use Shaving GEL!  

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