Did you know winches need to be maintained? It's true! Shocking, I know. WTB Comprehensive list of maintenance.

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,736
1,115
San Diego
All winch grease IS lithium grease. At the low RPM's that winch gears operate at, any grease will work. Try using a much thicker grease, or a 'waterproof' grease. pawls MUST use a light oil!!!!

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
68,611
12,305
Great Wet North
It's not all light, white lithium - all the OEM winch grease I've seen is heavy, sticky and accumulates grime which hardens it. I tried water pump grease years ago with the same result.

IME your recommendation of going heavier is totally counterproductive.

As I said, the light stuff works better and has never failed me in over 40 years - including on the pawls & springs.

Can you say the same?

 

Max Rockatansky

holy fuckfarts!
3,807
970
My trick for flying bits is a cardboard box. Cut a winch sized hole in the bottom and put it over the winch so to catch any dropped parts.

REEL BUTTER oil seems to be working well for the pawls. I’ve been known to use PHIL bike grease on the gears

 

El Borracho

Verified User
6,660
2,635
Pacific Rim
It's not all light, white lithium - all the OEM winch grease I've seen is heavy, sticky and accumulates grime which hardens it. I tried water pump grease years ago with the same result.

IME your recommendation of going heavier is totally counterproductive.

As I said, the light stuff works better and has never failed me in over 40 years - including on the pawls & springs.

Can you say the same?
I'm with Sloop on this. I've tried them all: White lithium, Wichard, trailer axel grease. They all get hard as salt accumulates from the wet/heat cycles. Lighter is better because the stickyness.

Not sure what the "white" aspect means, but it is aesthetically nicer to work with. I brush a coating on all the inside surfaces since I found that they clean up nicer the next time. Also avoid big gobs of grease because whatever globs squeeze out of the gears the very first day never migrate back in to do any good....not like oil in an engine pan.

If a winch does not spin when flicked (Zzzzz...) it is due. Once a year whether they need it or not.

 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,736
1,115
San Diego
It's not all light, white lithium - all the OEM winch grease I've seen is heavy, sticky and accumulates grime which hardens it. I tried water pump grease years ago with the same result.

IME your recommendation of going heavier is totally counterproductive.

As I said, the light stuff works better and has never failed me in over 40 years - including on the pawls & springs.

Can you say the same?
Yes, and this was experimented with while still living in HI, where salt & heat were much higher. Not for racers, as it does slow down the free- wheel speed of the drum.

Actually did watch a guy ladling white lithium grease (clearly marked on the drum) out of a 55 g drum into small metal tins - labelled BARIENT WINCH GREASE.

DO NOT use grease on pawls & springs. If these pieces get sticky/stuck many bad things happen. Yes, I have seen this, also. ALL winch manufactory's say to use oil on pawls.

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
68,611
12,305
Great Wet North
Also avoid big gobs of grease because whatever globs squeeze out of the gears the very first day never migrate back in to do any good....not like oil in an engine pan.
What I do is to grease everything heavily (except the pawls & springs - just a dab there), reassemble everything, rotate the winch a number of times. pop off the drum and wipe off all the squeeze out.

What's left is exactly what the winch wants.

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
68,611
12,305
Great Wet North
Actually did watch a guy ladling white lithium grease (clearly marked on the drum) out of a 55 g drum into small metal tins - labelled BARIENT WINCH GREASE.

DO NOT use grease on pawls & springs. If these pieces get sticky/stuck many bad things happen. Yes, I have seen this, also. ALL winch manufactory's say to use oil on pawls.
I've run across 2 kinds of "white lithium" grease. One is normal, sticky, wheel bearing type grease and is a dark amber colour. This is similar to the "usual" winch grease.

The stuff I'm talking about is much lower viscosity and is a pale cream colour - it comes in tubs & squeeze tubes. It is not sticky but it does cling better than oil.

Trust me on this - it is better in every way than the stuff the winch makers sell. Their shit is way too sticky which is the reason for the "oil only" on pawls & springs. Oil has very little clingability. I've never stripped a winch yet that had any oil left on the pawls - the prime reason for broken springs IMO. The stuff I'm talking about does not cause the stiction you refer to - that is the province of the heavy sticky greases the manufacturers sell - in an effort to cover the lowest common denominator, as I noted

Spend $5 and try it on one winch - you'll be a convert.

 
I’ve tried “white” lithium grease—much easier to use, but it didn’t last any longer—and when I stripped down the winches, there was still gunk, but also there was no lube left at all on the insides of the bearing races.

 

Soho

Member
419
7
Bermuda..
I have found that with my Barients,  having winch covers on them does wonders for keeping them running smooth.  Once a year teardown and service also.   These are 38 year old winches,  pretty good I reckon.   YMMV

 

CaptainAhab

Anarchist
844
230
South Australia
My mentor had us take all of the winches off of a 1980 32' IOR. We were repainting her so all of the winches came off. This included the 8 on cabin house for all of those halyards and the like. No jammers back in the day. I got the removal job. One of the other young guys was the cleaner guy. He was setup on a table with cooking pan filled with gasoline(petrol). He stood there for the better part of a day washing all of that shite off while breathing those fumes. He was litterly stumbling around.

White lithium grease from NAPA was the go. He had been using it every year on the main winches, it was still in decent shape. Definitely a bit thicker time, but not caked on like the other greases. High quality white lithium is very good grease.

 
My trick for flying bits is a cardboard box. Cut a winch sized hole in the bottom and put it over the winch so to catch any dropped parts.

REEL BUTTER oil seems to be working well for the pawls. I’ve been known to use PHIL bike grease on the gears
You mean Phil Wood's grease?  Those guys know a little bit about making low RPM hubs filled with pawls work correctly.  (Aside: I've built a couple bike wheels with Phil hubs.  They are extremely high quality and smooth, and work better the longer they are used. Quality product.)

I use a very light coat of Lewmar or Harken winch grease (a tube lasts for two winches, somebody says above... holy God, are they trying to help some Saudi prince buy a new Lambo?)  My two tubes of grease are about 6 years old. They last.  

I typically use 3-in-1 oil on the pawls and the tiny springs.  It doesn't gum up.  As you mentioned Phil's, I am thinking about trying Phil's Tenacious Oil as I have some around, but that stuff does draw dirt a bit more, it seems to have stickum in it to get it to cling to bike chains the way chainsaw bar oil has the same stuff but with the clever name of "anti-fling additive."  I always look for better ways but that 3-in-1 is very old school and thus appealing to me, and my dad used ot use it to lube things all the time, including motor parts, and I'm going to have trouble weaning myself... If it ain't broke?  

I use Gunk de-greaser for the cleaner. Works a lot faster than toothbrush + sweat.  Needs to be off the boat or carefully used on top of an old towel plus some cardboard though.  That solvent, when added to a little grease, will stain non-skid paint with a discolorment that lasts until the paint is stripped.  

 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,736
1,115
San Diego
Pro tip _ incontenance pads are great at absorbing solvents & not letting anything thru to the deck. Tape them down or put them inside your shallow bin. They do have an up side & a downside. And they are cheap

 

Latest posts




Top