Thanks, will look into having them locally machined.
Now the harder question. In disassembling the mainsail furling gearbox some
water flowed out. I found the top bearing pretty well shot, the gearbox
grease pretty well solidified, the gear worn, and the bearing for the motor
shaft solidly caked in hard grease. Likely that some water penetrated
through the drive shaft top seal. Has anyone taken this assembly apart,
removing the aluminum slotted drive socket from the top, and pressed off the
bearings to replace them? In this case the gear and the shaft seals would
also need replacement. Are such kit's available?
Secondly, has anyone been successful in removing the gear box from the
motor? This would be necessary to clean and re-grease the motor shaft thrust
bearing, or, as ugly as the inside was upon opening, to replace the entire
gearbox and re-utilize the motor.
As the furling process is so critical to safety and pleasure when cruising,
I would think that furling motor gearbox maintenance is something that
owners should be able to perform from time to time, and that rebuild kits or
replacement gear boxes would be available. What are others doing in this
regard after 5 to 10 years?
I have posted photos of both the outhaul and main furling gearboxes in the
ALETES photo album. Note that getting the screws out of the gear box covers
was exceptionally difficult, requiring the use of an impact screwdriver and
much exertion. I will replace the screws with new ones as the slots were
damaged, re-tap the treads they screw into to loosen them up, and use
anti-seize compound on them when assembling to allow an easier extraction
ALETES SM 240