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Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

Old 09-30-2008, 09:07 PM
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Default Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

I installed the Lewmar Pro-Fish 1000 1.5 years ago (5 year warranty but I'd have to send it in to Maryland) and it seems that the clutch mechanism has failed.

Operation pays out and I see the outer thing move away from the gypsy. Operate "up" and the outer thing moves inward but not far enough to grab onto the gypsy and start bringing in rode. The gypsy is free falling and not under any tension.

Took the back side apart to see if there was a stripped gear or something fallen off a post, and no problems are evident there. Again - everything appears normal, but it never gets tight enough to pull in the rode. Has anyone faced this problem, and how did you fix it?
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:10 PM
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Default RE: Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

Shot in the dark here, but...

I had a Powerwinch that broke under warranty once, and they had me bring it to local electrical shop for repairs. Luckily, the electrical shop was very close.

Have you inquired about having someone close look at it?
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:50 AM
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Default RE: Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

Thanks Mitch, but clearly the problem is not an electrical malfunction, its purely mechanical.

The "outer thing" I referred to is more properly called "Pro-Fish Drive Cap", part #36 on the assembly drawing and parts list from the owners manual. It is supposed to screw into the gypsy to bring in rode, but it seems to stop about 1/8" short of full engagement. All the other components (Shoulder Screw, Drive Cap Spacer, Stripper Arm, etc.) are present and secure.

I don't believe that this problem was related to high loads when anchored, because I always tie it off. Not related to lack of lube - its full of the special grease under the cover. Instead, this malfunction seems to have just popped-up while I was taking my rode off for cleaning and softening. I'm perplexed. Anyone been there, done that?
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:05 AM
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Default Re: Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

I'm not an expert at all on windlass, I'm just using MY logic train of thought on these cases..... so take it FWIW
Things do not brake spontaneously, to brake them, you need to apply force, heat, drop them hit them or something.
It happened a lot of times, yo get a new toy, you wonder how it works, you open it up, close it and all the sudden stops working. you open it up again, and wonder for a couple of ours until you find that little spring that must got out of place when you opened and didn't realized, rendering the whole thing useless.

I would think that noting is broken.... if the fail came up when you where just removing the rod to for cleaning, some little thing might have moved, something got entangled or stuck preventing the gypsy to bring in rode that last 1/8" to reach full engagement. Check for little things.

It's like saying that you opened your car door and when you went to close it, it didn't go all the way.... either, somebody is holding the door for you, the safety belt is on the middle or your squashing your fingers, but the door is not broken....

Sorry I can't help with something more specific, just trying to help.

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Old 10-01-2008, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

Is it possible that the issue is with your rode and not the windlass? I also have a lewmar. Although I have not installed it yet, I do remember hearing that a new rode may slip until is has been wet a couple times. You mentioned cleaning and softening your rode so is it possible that your soft clean rode is actually slipping in the windlass due to how soft it is?
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:08 AM
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Default RE: Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

I had a similar issue with a different model/design. The windlass wouldn't 'catch' the rode. The fix in my case was to tighten the clutch. Have you tried this? Should be instructions in your manual -- usually it is done via a nut on the side or top.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

I agree with Wetfeet. In fact, I think on my Lewmar I can only get free fall by making the clutch loose. I would have to tighten the clutch if I want the windlass to pick up the anchor after it has been in free fall. I have the V700 and that is what the instructions state.

Good luck and let us know when you find the solution to your issue.
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:36 PM
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Default RE: Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

It's not the rode - 5/8" nylon three-strand that has been in use for 1.5 years.

Not an adjustment of the clutch - the Pro-Fish model has a clutch that cranks itself out in the "DOWN" mode and cranks in to a point that it should engage the gypsy after running a few seconds in the "UP" direction. Problem is that the Drive Cap seems to stop about 1/8" short of engaging the gypsy, despite the fact that the Shoulder Screw and spacer are present and secure.

It's my feeling that something failed (drive pin, dowel, keyway, etc.) inside the gearbox, while I was operating the windlass without a load while I was taking the rode out for annual cleaning. Hoping that I don't have to take the entire mechanism off the bow, package it for international shipping, and send it off to the UK factory. Hasn't any owner faced this problem?
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:50 PM
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Default RE: Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

I just re-read your posts several times and downloaded the manual from the Lewmar website. You have the best vantage point & I don't claim to be an expert, so I'll defer to you...but hear/read me out (worst case, I'll bore you with a non-applicable story )

My situation: I have a horizontal Maxwell windlass. I used it for a year with no issues. One day, it stopped retrieving and I had no idea why. It would pay out (not free fall) fine, it just wouldn't pull. Under load, the drive cap would spin but the gypsy would not.

I was convinced I had a mechanical problem because if it were the clutch a) I thought I should see an issue on pay out as well and b) I didn't think I should be seeing the drive cap spinning and the gypsy not.

As a last ditch effort before calling the manuf., I tried tightening the clutch...that was the issue...and it didn't need much tightening.

Just something to consider...either way, please keep us posted. I know it will be a lesson learned for me, regardless.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:46 AM
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Default RE: Lewmar Windlass Clutch Trouble

Windlass is fixed! Working great again. Here's what happened.

If you are familiar with the Lewmar Pro-Fish 1000, there is a drive cap that moves in and out under power, to activate the clutch. When it's out after running a few seconds in the DOWN mode, it looks like the following image, where the cap moves away from the gypsy, the gap clearly evident:

http://www.thehulltruth.com/members/...re36183-a.html

In this way the gypsy slips and the rode free-falls. Engage the UP mode and the cap drives in, screwing down tight, and the gypsy is engaged, pulling in the rode. I should mention that there is another part of the cap, where the spring-loaded plunger either rides over the Stopper Cam or is stopped by the cam, enabling the cap to tighten up against the gypsy.

A representative from Lewmar contacted me through an private message the other day, and wrote that I needed to obtain a 5/8" - 11 tap and die, to renew the threads of the drive cap and gypsy drive shaft, because the cap isn't going as far in as it should. OK - search through the big-box stores, the auto parts stores, and finally found the 5/8" - 11 set at the Ace Hardware (wasting two lunch hours and many miles running around). Under $20 for the pair.

Got to the boat Sunday and tried the recommended 5/8 - 11 set:

http://www.thehulltruth.com/members/...re36184-a.html

Clearly the thread count is different and the specified tool will not work. Curses.
Time to go shopping - more miles and more stores. The auto parts store doesn't have anything that big, the local Ace is closed Sundays, but the Sears store has a Thread Restoring Kit (43 pieces, Metric and Standard) for $50, and one of the listed components is a 5/8 - 18 die (but not the tap)

Back on the boat, I run the die around the Gypsy Drive Shaft fully, and then test if that's enough thread clean-out and it's not enough. Cap is still about three threads short of full engagement. Same as before.

So I'm watching the plunger ride over the stopper cam with each rotation and that's when the epiphany struck... Take this monkey wrench here in my hand and jam it between the plunger pin and the stopper cam. This will stop the plunger pin from doing the thing it does and the cap will keep screwing tight against the gypsy drive.

A couple of rotations of the gypsy drive and the cap is driven all the way in, the gypsy is moving, and everything is good once again!
http://www.thehulltruth.com/members/...re36185-a.html

Cap is driving the gypsy and Neptune is pleased. I hope that this information helps someone else, and I feel certain that it will.

Last edited by savage; 03-12-2009 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:02 PM
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Smile same problem but only temp fix

i am having the same problem with my Lewmar pro-fish 700. if i do as you suggest the clutch will tighten up and retrieve the anchor line however the next time you use free fall it goes right back to the same problem of the clutch falling about 1/8 inch short of locking in the clutch as the stopper which causes the tightening of the clutch ends and it begins to spin. the stopper in not adjustable so i am thinking there must be some rubber washer/spacer gone bad on the gypsie/spindle side causing excessive play?
any thoughts of fixes
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:10 AM
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FYI there is a repair shop here in Jax Fla
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by eclecticcephalopod View Post
i am having the same problem with my Lewmar pro-fish 700. if i do as you suggest the clutch will tighten up and retrieve the anchor line however the next time you use free fall it goes right back to the same problem of the clutch falling about 1/8 inch short of locking in the clutch as the stopper which causes the tightening of the clutch ends and it begins to spin. the stopper in not adjustable so i am thinking there must be some rubber washer/spacer gone bad on the gypsie/spindle side causing excessive play?
any thoughts of fixes
I see that the change in IB has taken away my previously posted photos which helped explain this complicated procedure.

What I was saying about placing a wrench under the spring pin was to prevent the tapered edge of the clutch stopper from compressing the spring pin inward, instead, my hand-held wrench stops the pin from compressing inward much the same way as the clutch operates when heading down. With the spring pin held out, the clutch cap and gypsy turns hard on the threaded shaft when lifting the anchor. In this way, I was able to operate the UP switch to drive the clutch cap all the way inward, and overcame the "blockage" present on the threaded shaft.

I cannot explain why my threaded shaft became blocked up, but after I jammed the pin and threaded the gypsy cap all the way in, I have not had any more trouble with it. We'll see if this is a long term fix - sure hope so!
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:03 PM
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Default lewmar profish 700 windlass trouble

Thanks for the clarification and i think i now understand your issue as well as mine. it seams these threads in the clutch are rather delicate as i noticed many of my threads were broken with some loose metal parts floating around which could easily jam the clutch mechanism. i had this issue but no problem with jamming. i did notice after much careful inspection there is a hardly noticeable angle on the edge of the stopper from wear. this causes the stopper mechanism to disengage prematurely before engaging the clutch after free fall re-engagement. this slight wearing (maybe 1/16 of an inch) may be enough to cause the clutch to fall short of engaging. i will try to order the part in the morning and see if this resolves the issue, if not the only other possibility i see is the oposing plates on the gypsie are worn and need replacement
brian
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:50 AM
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To resurrect an old thread; had the same problem, figured out why and how - and how to fix it permanently. I wanted to pass along the info:

The trouble was the two halves of the rope-chain gypsy had gotten smashed together, its just a friction fit where one slides onto the others spindle and with three pins keeping both halves synchronized. There is supposed to be a gap on the spindle of EXACTLY .125 inches.

It’s a bad design, they would have better off with using a threaded connection or even toothed spindles.

It probably happened when I got a chain jam from too much chain in the locker under the windlass and the plunger hit a chain link thus stopping the free rotation of the cap and the cap screwed itself in like it does when resetting the gypsy from a free fall and the plunger hits the stopper cam and screws in the cap. It was completely smashed together.

Because the two halves were too close my chain scored the chain and rope “teeth” and caused many burrs which were grabbing my line and causing it to get plucked and tufted. It was also causing my line to jump out of the gypsy at inopportune moments.

Took it apart (getting them apart required wood wedges, a small punch for the pins and a lot of patience) sanded off the burrs with a flat jewelers file and 600 grit sandpaper, when I put it back together I left a .125 inch (1/8 inch) space on the spindle and used a piece of .125" plumbing solder as my temp spacer as I was tapping the pins back in.

To keep it from happening again I filled the spindle gap with aluminox – a marine epoxy putty made to permanently patch aluminum hulls.

Put it on the windlass and ops checked it – works like a champ again. With the epoxy putty spacer it should never happen again.

Hope this is useful to somebody!

Dave
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:28 PM
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Hi Guys,

It's now 2014 and the problem still occurs - my Profish 1000 is doing the exact same thing! Will have a crack at the solutions mentioned above and will let you know how I go!!

In the meantime, 4 years later - do you have anything else to add? Did both of your solutions work permanently and you managed to get years of good service from your winches?

Cheers
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:59 PM
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Have you tried talking with Lewmar about it? 203-458-6200

http://www.lewmar.com/ContactUs.asp
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:27 AM
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Thanks, I'm in Brazil so I've tried emailing them several times, but haven't received a response. Neither of the two solutions used above worked for me either, I think the thread may be the problem, although it's pretty new.
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