Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "ABI Bronze Manual Windlass"
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Post: "ABI Bronze Manual Windlass"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Aaron Norlund


I got my windlass and have taken it apart. I'm going to write a little tutorial that'll include pictures on how to tear down the ABI windlass. Since you're doing it now or soon, here is what I learned.

There are three keys on the main stainless shaft - these are in three separate, fitted keyways. The gypsy and wildcat are "slid" onto the shaft and kept from spinning by the keys, and kept horizontally on the shaft by the small allen set screw. That is in a perfect world - in reality, they are stuck to the shaft like white on rice due to age and corrosion. Next time I would use a pulley puller to remove the gypsy drum. This time around I used a wedge and torch.

Once one side, either the gypsy or wildcat shaft, is off, you can take that side's keyway out. Once one side of the shaft is bare, you should be able to hammer the shaft out. Again, this is optimal as the innards are seized in place; I heated the innards, but it was still a lot of hammering! There are bronze bushings between the main housing and shaft that might move, so don't get worried if you see them sliding out of place.

Things to help; start spraying everything with PB Blaster or another catalyst. WD-40 won't cut it. Also, do not hammer directly on the end of shafts - use a bolt or something smaller than the end of the shaft so as to prevent its mushrooming. Also, for the lower gears, note that there are allen set screws holding them in place that can be accessed from the bottom of the body.

Time and patients. It took me about four hours to get it apart. Now I'm going to have it walnut-shell blasted to remove the oxidation (I tried naval jelly and muriatic, but there is still a lot). Then I'll buff with tripoli and polish with red and white rouge.

I'll do an article for Windblown or a how-to to be added to the member's area when I'm done.

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