A good customer with a 150’ Palmer Johnson had a problem with his old Maxwell Windlass units. The system was running slowly and it appeared that it would not pull the full 300’ of chain. After troubleshooting the hydraulics – flow and pressure – it was determined that the windlass was binding and needed a rebuild.
Everything was stripped from the bow for rebuild. The winch and wildcat were sent out to be re-plated with chrome. The gear box and external components were sandblasted and powder coated. During the tear-down, we discovered one of the shims for the thrust bearings was missing. This caused the entire gear and shaft to shift up and bind on the top of the aluminum case. New bearing and seals were ordered from Maxwell and the aluminum case was repaired in our machine shop.
One last detail – the area on the shaft where the lip seals run had worn with time. New shafts from Maxwell on the 10000 unit (no longer in production) are a 6 week lead time. Fortunately, our skilled machine shop cut the seal area down from 95mm to 90mm and a smaller seal was ordered – problem solved and good-to-go for many years to come.