Brian on Winch Maintenance


Brian Dill

To Replace a faulty motor


Smartwinch 380

Uses a Graupner Speed 400 NR 1794 7.2V 4045 (45 turns of  0.4 mm wire) – available on ebay from US @ $32.12 + $27.45  postage (+ possibly import duty approx. $15). This is a Mabushi motor but I could not locate it on the Mabushi website.

You might be able to find an equivqlent one on eBay.


Winch specs – shaft dia. 2.3 mm, free shaft 13.8 mm, motor case 29 dia X 38 long,


Easy task – unsolder red and black wires from motor, remove the two retaining screws, gently pull motor down to remove the gear from the shaft. You can dismantle the whole gear assembly if you so wish.

Assembly of the new motor is reverse procedure.


Smartwinch 280


Not sure of motor supplier but here are the specs – Idle current 23mA,no load current 500 mA, Stall current 6.8A, max V 9V, min V 5V, max output 9W.


To Change the Trimpot – Sailwinch 380

If your winch is erratic such as chattering, the cause is usually a faulty trimpot. This can be easily replaced, or if you are adventurous you can dismantle the old one and clean up the contacts.

The original pot is a Spektrol Mod 534 1134 MEX 10 Turn Precision which is available on eBay for around $32.


Unsolder the three wires noting their position for reassembly. Remove the pot by part unscrewing the nut and pulling the pot down (the gear should be fairly tight on the shaft). Note the gear position. Continue unscrewing the nut and pulling down to eventually remove the pot from the gear.

You can fully dismantle the gear assembly if you wish.


Reassembly is the reverse procedure.

NOTE: if the new pot is plastic coated as mine was (blue), do not remove the coating from the shaft as the gear will then be too loose. You can either/or Supa glue the gear on, or use a soldering iron to melt the coating into the gear at a couple of spots around the shaft.


(You can carefully remove the coating on your old motor and pot to expose the original specifications but don’t tell Rob G. I said to do that.)