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Old 06-18-2017, 02:09 AM   #1
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URGENT help with electric windlass.

Can anyone please help with my issue.

We have a Maxwell windlass and found the problem as to why it will go down, but not up.
150lb + chain is out.
Is there a workaround besides manual pull.

Pic is obvious, one of the posts has sheered off clean internally, no idea why.
Not melted. Just a clean break.
I pulled the silver end off but wasn't quite prepared to bust it apart further.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:54 AM   #2
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Simi,
Copper posts on windlasses and starter motors often break due to over tightening as they are quite soft. The bottom locknut maybe wasn't locked when the top nut was tightened at some stage.

Are you in a position to get the windlass motor to an auto electrician who could replace the stud?

Another thought - It may be a stupid idea. I've had a couple red wines. Get a 2nd opinion on this.
Will it run backwards with the positive & negative cables reversed? So it will go up but not down??

No - forget I said that. Too bad it's not 3-phase AC.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:59 AM   #3
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Simi

Do you have a hand or powered winch elsewhere on vessel you can use to lift rode? If not -

Do you have a sizeable dinghy davit? If so you can power up to the vertical chain and get the davit over it and snag the chain and start lifting it in roughly 10 foot increments onto the side deck. Eventually the anchor will break and you can lift it out of water and like wise sling it onto side deck or secure to side (with padding protection). Now you're good to go somewhere.

Do you have a lighter anchor and rope rode you can manhandle?
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:51 AM   #4
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Same itching happened to my motor.

Took it to my alterator/starter shop who rebuilt it for $100 buckc.

If not an option, on my motor, if I left off the covers, I might have been able to hold the cable in the hole long enough to get the anchor up. Just would have to be careful to not ground the cable out to the frame (if it would even do that).
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Simi

Do you have a hand or powered winch elsewhere on vessel you can use to lift rode? If not -

Do you have a sizeable dinghy davit? If so you can power up to the vertical chain and get the davit over it and snag the chain and start lifting it in roughly 10 foot increments onto the side deck. Eventually the anchor will break and you can lift it out of water and like wise sling it onto side deck or secure to side (with padding protection). Now you're good to go somewhere.

Do you have a lighter anchor and rope rode you can manhandle?
Or I could just use the emergency handle and pull it manually.
Sounds a hell of a lot easier and safer.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AusCan View Post
Simi,
Copper posts on windlasses and starter motors often break due to over tightening as they are quite soft. The bottom locknut maybe wasn't locked when the top nut was tightened at some stage.

Are you in a position to get the windlass motor to an auto electrician who could replace the stud?

Another thought - It may be a stupid idea. I've had a couple red wines. Get a 2nd opinion on this.
Will it run backwards with the positive & negative cables reversed? So it will go up but not down??

No - forget I said that. Too bad it's not 3-phase AC.
I reckon that's exactly what happened and is what we will try after speaking to Maxwell in a couple of hours time.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:59 PM   #7
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Same itching happened to my motor.

Took it to my alterator/starter shop who rebuilt it for $100 buck
And this will be what we try as well, sure as hell don't want to get reamed on a new motor , be near $1000 here, when this one is essentially new.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:17 PM   #8
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if you are in a pinch most dc motors will reverse if you reverse the polarity.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:21 PM   #9
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I think AusCan's suggestion may well work, and is easy to bench test. But I would be a bit worried about the wire end that's inside he motor case and unsecured. If that makes contact with ground, it could get ugly.

If you are up for it, take apart the motor end and see what's going on in there. You might even spot an easy way to reattach the wire and stud, or at a minimum insulate the wire end, then try the AusCan reverse wire trick.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:58 PM   #10
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If you do open the motor, temporally the stud can be any bolt you have on board. Use the insulating washers, etc., on the broken one.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:02 PM   #11
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Like Scott, same thing happened on my old original. Fortunately, I had a couple of these in my stock. The screw end grabbed enough of something in there to get me home, but I rebuilt the motor before using it again. To test it initially, I used an independent battery set.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:32 PM   #12
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Those coach bolts would work in this case, but non on hand and after pulling the end off the bolt can't simply be replaced without a solder job to big for what I have.

Unfortunately, all other suggestions failed.

Swapped cables, + to - as suggested and spun the same way
Tried every other combo and it spun the same way.

The only way we get a reverse in direction is to put the post back in and hold it in, then the motor reverses.

Unfortunately, there is no way of accessing the motor when its all assembled, a clear advantage of a vertical windlass with under deck motor vs a horizontal where the motor is enclosed in a big cast alloy housing.

So on this afternoons ferry it goes and hopefully the auto lecy will perform his magic and we get it back in a couple of days

Thanks all.
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:17 PM   #13
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Hope everything works out. Might want to try the manual crank handle to see if it's a realistic option should you have another failure in a remote location. Plan B is only worth having if it works.

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Old 06-22-2017, 05:42 AM   #14
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And this will be what we try as well, sure as hell don't want to get reamed on a new motor , be near $1000 here, when this one is essentially new.

For folks contemplating a windlass purchase , remember to check Ideal Windlass , US made and used to fit auto style starter motors .

NAPA spare for $40?
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Old 06-22-2017, 06:13 AM   #15
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Ideal Windless may be auto style starter motors but are actually special heavy duty units.
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:21 AM   #16
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Try putting the single ground/return wire on the outside terminal and the hot wire from the down switch on the center terminal. hit the down switch and I think it will go up.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:32 PM   #17
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Try putting the single ground/return wire on the outside terminal and the hot wire from the down switch on the center terminal. hit the down switch and I think it will go up.
Read post 12.

The only thing that worked was getting the lug silver soldered back on.
Working faster than it ever has so obviously a failing connection since install.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:04 PM   #18
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Good news, Simi.

it certainly sounds like the lock nut wasn't locked during the install.

A good reminder to check high amp electrical connections with a little IR temp gun once in a while.
( I know - its on my list of things to do as well)
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:34 AM   #19
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Sounds to me that the copper lug was damaged sometime by over tightening .

Copper is the perfect boat conductor material , the flaws are usually the workmanship.
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