The other problem with the furler sagging when the forestay is loose, was solved by the use of the top swivel. I made a loop which goes around the temporary forestay like the genoa halyard. Then hoist the swivel plus loop halfway and the sagging is gone!
(the photo's of the furling drum are on the previous page)
This is the loop around the temporary forestay. Use some metal piece to slide it easy.
Here you can see the top swivel in action hoisted halfway up. No sagging!
I know that it isn't possible to dismantle the swivel without removing it from the forstay. The foil prevents access to reach the circlips and other parts.
I've never removed the lower drum but imagine it wouldn't be a good idea to try dismantling in place. You'd probably lose a lot of bits even if it was possible. I doubt you'd be able to get access to dismantle.
You certainly can't remove the drum completely without disconnecting the forestay. It runs down through the centre of the drum. I hope you get replies from someone who has worked on the drum.
Hi - I have serviced my LS 180 drum, as described elsewhere. In theory, you could do this without removing it from the stay, but the foil would need to be lifted clear and it would be a very awkward task. There is a youtube video of someone doing this on a cat which would give you an idea, but i would not recommend it at all. I removed mine and serviced it in a workshop
Contrary to the information given by Facnor (and some of their agents) it is possible to service the LS 180 type Facnor furler. It seems these furlers have a reputation for becoming very stiff after a few years (in my case 6 years) to the point that they can only be used with a winch however, in my case, it was possible to bring it back to virtually as good as new by cleaning and lubricating.
The first problem is removing the drum from the forestay. This will vary from boat to boat but the way of doing this on the SO 439 was to slacken the back stay off completely, attach two halyards to a strong point on the stem fitting (spinnaker or code 0 attachment point for example), measure the distances between the threads of the shrouds with vernier type calipers so you know how much to re-tighten afterwards, slack off the shrouds and harden up on the halyards so as to take any pressure off the forestay. This will allow the forestay to be detached from the stem fitting.
Unscrew the grub screws in the foil and the Allen bolt on the top of the drum that holds the 'feeder' piece and the telescopic section in place and slide this section up (best to try and tape the telescopic section or hold it up with a spare halyard to stop it continually sliding down – be careful the dark grey plastic bearing inside the foil itself does not fall out). Remove the clevis pin type bolt with the split pin at the base of the forestay (dont try to undo the bolt with nyloc nuts as trickier to get back on) and once the stay is free, just slide the drum off the end. Tie the loose stay to the pulpit or rail to stop it swinging around.
It is best to work on the furler somewhere where pinging circlips and bearings do not go over the side! There are 4 long bolts on the top that need to be removed and the top cap then comes off. The construction of the bearing unit is now apparent - an inner metal tube (through which the forestay goes) and an outer tube, and between the two are the bushes and bearings that allow it to turn. You can then see the first circlip that needs to be removed so as to get to the bearings. You will need a medium/large pair of internal circlip pliers to get this out and then you will see a white delrin/nylon bush. By tapping the housing upside down this can be manoeuvred to the top and then prised out with a something suitable (the points of two pairs of dividers from the chart table worked well!) The next circlip is an external one around the inner tube that goes round the forestay. Carefully remove and the ball race should now be exposed. Lift out the top ring holding the torlon balls and then the bottom ring (the balls are free once the top ring is off so remove with care). The furler and its bushes and bearings are the technical equivalent of a 'palindrome', a symmetrical arrangement with a ball race sandwiched between two delrin/nylon bushes. The sequence of parts that make up the unit itself listed from top to bottom is as follows:
- Internal large circlip - top - delrin/nylon bush - smaller external circlip - top half of ball race - torlon ball bearings - middle - bottom half of ball race - smaller external circlip - delrin/nylon bush - large internal circlip - bottom
The cause of the stiffness was immediately obvious - the circlips are mild steel and had rusted. The circlips still functioned but all the loose scale and associated muck had clogged the ball race and the rusty circlips had expanded (with all the scale) to create increased pressure within the assembly which had added to the overall friction. It was possible to clean the circlips, bearing races, etc, with a wire brush and/or toothbrush and WD40 and then spray with silicon and, once reassembled, it spun like a top.
The hardest part is getting the forestay back on the stem fitting - the weight of the forestay with the foil attached causes it to sag slightly which means it will be too short to get the clevis pin back through the eye on the end of the forestay. We found the best way was to tie a length of dyneema to the forestay just above the eye and then pull it down as hard as possible through the jaws of the attachment point and secure to a cleat on the pontoon so as to get the eye to line up with the tang so the pin could slot back in. This was a two man job.
The furler should have been fitted with stainless steel circlips in the first place and when it starts to rust again as it inevitably will then the same procedure will have to be repeated but this time replacing the mild steel circlips with stainless ones.
It was quite a time consuming job but not technically difficult and the only specialist tools required were circlip pliers. Unfortunately I did not get any photographs but it was all fairly logical once you got the top circlip off.
Many thanks to panoramix for his pictures. It looks as if the drum on my 2009 42DS is the same model. I was told the top swivel had Torlon bearings when I had to work on it in 2013 but I think it was ohana who found his were steel.
I wonder if any owners know the measurements of the Torlon bearings? It would be useful information in case someone wants to order them before dismantling.
The circlips on my swivel were in perfectly good condition but only 4 years old at that time and well away from spray as you mentioned. It does seem likely that the same procedure would work if I needed to dismantle my top swivel again. I still pack with grease, then seal with cling film and duct tape for the winter. I remove the grease in spring and spray in Pro-lube before re-packing with grease. The grease doesn't provide any lubrication and just sits under the seal to slow ingress of water and dust.
I hate to think of condition the circlips on my drum after almost 14 years. I'll probably buy some as spares before the drum begins to stick. It would be useful if I can find their dimensions.
I wonder if I can lift the foil and upper part of the drum without removing the forestay. Replacement would be impossible but I could look at the condition of the circlip. A clean up and some grease might buy some time (perhaps brush on some phosphoric acid for protection ).
Our 2014 Facnor LX200 furler became almost inoperable. This model has Torlon bearings. Flushing with fresh water had no effect and there is no grease involved.
So having eased off the shrouds I set about removing it for repair. We have a flying inner stay for a storm jib and between rigging that tight, setting up the genoa halyard tight and loosening off the genoa forestay (inside the drum), it was easy enough work.
Anyway on dismantling the lower drum, found that the mild steel circlips were badly rusted and the black paint flaking off. Its clear that the rusted circlips cause compression on the bearing race (which itself was stainless steel and rust free).
The components of the upper swivel were in relatively good condition but got a little scratched during removal.
I could not find a source of A4/ 316 stainless circlips (at a reasonable price and order quantity) so settled on 420 stainless from Caleb Components UK.
Components involved were:
Internal SS circlips bore 95mm (OD 100.5mm): 3 off External SS circlip shaft 75mm 1 off Torlon loose ball bearings 5/16" 32 off Bearing race is pair of moulded SS discs
Internal SS circlips bore 95mm (OD 100.5mm): 5 off External SS circlip shaft 78mm 1 off Torlon loose ball bearings 5/16" 34 off Bearing race is pair of simple SS washers perhaps 5mm thick.
Both assemblies contained acetal/ Delrin spacers as well. These dropped out with no bother and in good condition. The torlon ball bearings are all in good condition and fine to reuse (apart from the one that got away somewhere in the bilges).
A set of internal and external circlip pliers (size 40-100mm) were most necessary.
Both assemblies now turn as new. Wish I had tackled this much sooner - it took no more that a day of actual work, albeit with interruptions for the weather and sourcing parts. Total cost of parts about £40 plus the circlip pliers another £40.
My furler was stuck so.I’d at the start of this season (I blamed cobwebs…). After MUCH flushing with cold running water, it eased up and has been fine for the rest of the season. I thought that I had cleared the problem but reading this makes me think that I have just delayed it!!,
At least I now know that there is a solution for the future, all I have to do is make the time…