Saturday, October 31, 2009

Engineering a Solution

I'm sure my windlass has not been serviced since I purchased Pelican and given human nature, probably not since it was installed. One of the major service items is to change the oil in the gear case. But it takes two men and a boy to get the darn thing out - and that's what's required to change the oil.


The measure of oil is that it is halfway up the sight glass. Since I couldn't even see the level either because it was too low or because the glass was scuzzed up, I wanted to refresh it but without dropping the motor and gear housing. Both tasks are onerous.

So I had a brilliant idea - namely, drill and tap a hole right in the middle of the sight glass. To drain the oil, remove the sight glass and let drain. I used a syringe to make sure all the oil was out. Then I put the sight glass back in, filled through the newly drilled and tapped hole in the center until the level was just higher than the hole with the syringe and finally, put the bolt back in the hole before it all leaks out - but even if it does leak out, it will leak to just a tiny bit below the optimum level.

The bolt is wrapped with teflon tape that keeps it from leaking, binding, and rotating out by itself. It is only finger tight so there's no strain on the plastic sight glass.

Now all that remains to be seen is what happens when I run the unit with the anchor on it. I expect nothing special besides the anchor going up and down.

You would think that Maxwell would have put a drain and fill plug on the gear case. There is room and it would make maintenance far more palatable.

See you on the water!

1 comment:

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