Gearmatic 8a Winch/Controller Rebuild

General help and support for your Lindeman through 2010 John Deere crawler
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JDCrawlerdog3
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Gearmatic 8a Winch/Controller Rebuild

Post by JDCrawlerdog3 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:05 pm

Image

Thought I would list some lessons learned on a recent rebuild of an 8A winch and controller. Going to try posting first to test for debug error.

As it has been noted many times on the forum, before purchasing a winch, take the clutch/brake cover off to get a look at what you are up against. Unless it is free, or you can get it for scrap value, walk away if you can not get the cover off. These winches are very susceptible to moisture, that combined with years of leaking brake fluid can result in a rusted corroded mess. Look before you leap.

Get a manual/parts list for the winch/control. Study them. Things are easier to figure out if you can see them in diagram.

Slow wins the race. It takes a long time and lots of penetrates and persuasion to free stuff up. Easy on the flame wrench. A rose bud and even heat is the way to go when trying to remove parts like the clutch lever or the clutch spider.

When trying to remove the clutch spider, do not over tighten the jacking bolts. It is possible to bend one of the legs which will make adjustment of the clutch bands at reassembly difficult. Use a combination of heat and tightening of the bolts. Go slow, it will come off.

The brake adjustment screw is typically a bad place for corrosion. Get a new shiny one from Lavoy, but chase the threads in the winch casing with a 1-1/2-20 tap before you reinstall the drum/shaft and bearings. The threads for the adjustment screw can get pretty buggered up and you may need to chase them from inside the casing rather than from outside at the bottom of the casing.

Use broken hacksaw blades to center the clutch bands in the drum, then tighten the adjustment bolts on the clutch spider.

The cylinder rebuilt kits for the control are only available for the clutch cylinder and not the brake cylinder. The X710 controller uses two different cylinders for the clutch and the brake. The later controllers for the 19 used identical cylinders. Use a clutch rebuild kit for the brake, but reuse the old brake plunger with a new o ring. The old plunger for the brake has a hole in it that allows fluid to pass through. The clutch cylinder has a small hole in it that allows fluid to get behind the plunger. The brake cylinder does not.

Use copper washers in lieu of the fiber washers on both sides of the hydraulic gland. The fiber washers fail after they have been tightened a couple of times and will piss you off.

The Deluxe seat frame will need to be cut or shimmed up to avoid interference with the brake cylinder located on top of the winch.

If replacing the wire rope, the drum is an over-wound, right to left set up, so use left lay wire rope if you can. it will help with bird nesting.

The winch works great. All bearings, clutch and brake bands were replaced, including 100ft of 1/2 inch wire rope. It would pull the Queen Mary around if you could hold the 420 down. We use it for our small sugaring operation and for logging/firewood.

Thanks to Paul, Tom and Lavoy for their help on info/parts. Big help.

Happy winching....

Andrew
Last edited by JDCrawlerdog3 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

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notmeu
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Re: Gearmatic 8a Winch/Controller Rebuild

Post by notmeu » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:33 pm

Andrew, congratulations on getting your winch working, it will be a valuable asset for your crawler, as I am sure you already know. Now that you have a winch you will have to build a canopy or some sort of FOPS!!! I am glad that I could help you with with your rebuild, now get some logging chains and put some hooks on those log sliders and get it to work!!! Enjoy, Tom
1956 JD420, gearmatic 8a winch, custom 6 way blade and FOPS.

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Paul Buhler
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Post by Paul Buhler » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:50 am

Nice summary
Paul
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420c 5 roll with 62 blade, FOPS, and Gearmatic 8a winch

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Paul Buhler
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Post by Paul Buhler » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:53 am

Ok how do we post longer messages in this debug situation
Paul Buhler
Killington, VT
420c 5 roll with 62 blade, FOPS, and Gearmatic 8a winch

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gregjo1948
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Post by gregjo1948 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:25 am

Really like your building in the picture!!!
JD 350B diesel w/rops & 6way blade, Case 580B Loader/backhoe, Farmall 504 highcrop, International 404 utility, International 284 diesel w/belly mower, 1972 Ford F600 dump truck, Galion 3-5 roller

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Stan Disbrow
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Post by Stan Disbrow » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:07 am

Hi,

Post one short line, then submit.

Then, use the edit function to enter the rest of your post. It can then be as long as you wish. Do *not* use the single quote mark, aka apostrophe or it will not go. So, that means no contractions!

I think Mr Data is behind the issue! :P

Stan
There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
Have: '78 JD350C w/6310 outside manual blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350, '51 Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2005 x495, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

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notmeu
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Post by notmeu » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:55 am

Yes, I had to do exactly what Stan said, start out small then go back and edit. Once you get in the habit of going thru those motions

Its not that bad at all. Debug got me the this post too :?
1956 JD420, gearmatic 8a winch, custom 6 way blade and FOPS.

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Paul Buhler
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Post by Paul Buhler » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:01 am

Ok, thanks.
Andrew: Your write up contains a lot of good information that will be helpful to someone I am sure. Enjoy the fruits of your efforts. Paul
Paul Buhler
Killington, VT
420c 5 roll with 62 blade, FOPS, and Gearmatic 8a winch

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JDCrawlerdog3
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Post by JDCrawlerdog3 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:38 am

Tom, hooks and chokers are on. Also have been using a skidding cone for larger hitches. Easier than a mid 50s Buick hood. Keeps things a little cleaner. Not much snow here and the ground is still too squishy. Wimpy winter so far.

Gregjo, thanks. The sugarhouse is a timberframe. We used hemlock from the place for the frame. Fun to build.

Paul, unfortunately 60 years of knowledge on these winches is slowly being lost, like a lot of similar older equipment. I needed an Allen bolt for the hondu on the drum. Local fastener place had a bag of ten. Convinced the guy to sell me one. When he asked what is was for, he said he did not know Honda made winches. We both had a good laugh. Hope the info is helpful to someone in the future.
Andrew
Last edited by JDCrawlerdog3 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JDCrawlerdog3
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Post by JDCrawlerdog3 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:32 pm

One other item on the controller. If the brass bushing around the handle shaft needs to be replaced, use Loctite 603 on the bushing. The replacement bushing may not be a tight fit if the casting hole is worn. The 603 will seal the bushing to the casting so the fluid does not leak from the reservoir. It is compatible with brake fluid.

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notmeu
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Post by notmeu » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:14 pm

The only gasket material that I am aware of that is compatible with brake fluid is teflon and EPDM. There is other materials but I do not think they last as long. It does not look like 603 is compatible, lock tight has a compatibility chart for brake fluid, this is what is compatible
All Loctite® Anaerobic Sealants are Compatible Including #242®, 243, 542, 545, 565, 567, 569, 571, 572, 577, 580, 592
1956 JD420, gearmatic 8a winch, custom 6 way blade and FOPS.

Fj60
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Re: Gearmatic 8a Winch/Controller Rebuild

Post by Fj60 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:04 pm

Hello all, Very nice write up. I just picked up a 440ic with a gearmatic 8A winch. The previous owner said the controls need bled, and that after sitting for long periods you would have to run winch long time until it would engage?? Just starting to study it, any advice or direction on where to start would be appreciated, safety is my number one concern, thanks.

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notmeu
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Re: Gearmatic 8a Winch/Controller Rebuild

Post by notmeu » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:08 am

If it was me I would at least remove the right side cover of the winch to see what the condition is of the clutch and brake bands look like along with the general condition of the internal parts.
1956 JD420, gearmatic 8a winch, custom 6 way blade and FOPS.

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JDCrawlerdog3
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Re: Gearmatic 8a Winch/Controller Rebuild

Post by JDCrawlerdog3 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:37 am

As notmeu noted, take the cover off an get a look at how things are working. It's likely that vibration from having the PTO engaged and the crawler running is helping to self-bleeding the air out of the system into the controller reservoir, at least enough to get things working for a while. If it sits and things are leaking, air gets back into the system and nothing works again. With the cover off, clean up things enough so that you will be able to see potential leaks. Put the cover back on and pull on the controller lever in one direction and hold it to keep pressure on the system for a few minutes. Take the cover off, and with a bright light you should see any leaks on the circuit (brake or clutch) that was under pressure. Do the same/repeat in the opposite direction. BTW, the lever should stay engaged for the brake, holding the drum. Take a look at the manual/parts list to better understand where seals/connections are made and where the clutch and brake cylinders are located and how things operate. The brake cylinder will run fluid down the push rod if it is leaking. Also look at the fittings/seals on the cover that feeds the clutch slave cylinder. Put the cover back on to test for leaks at fittings/seals at this connection. If there are no leaks on the brake or clutch circuits, including lines/fittings, then inspect the seals in the controller.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Andrew
Last edited by JDCrawlerdog3 on Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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JDCrawlerdog3
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Re: Gearmatic 8a Winch/Controller Rebuild

Post by JDCrawlerdog3 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:41 am

Sorry, mental vapor lock - you do not need to install the cover to test the brake circuit, just the clutch.

Andrew

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