Checking Oil Level: The Lewis Winch requires very little maintenance, but one thing is very important, there must be sufficient oil in the gearbox or gear damage will occur.
When you receive your new Lewis Winch from the factory, it will already be filled with 5 ounces of 80/90 weight gear oil. As long as there was no leakage in transit, then you should be good to go,
right out of the box.
After every few uses it is a good idea to check the oil level. This is a very simple procedure, kind of like checking the oil in the differential on your car or pick-up truck.
Oil fill and check plug on modern Lewis Winch
The first step is to stand the Lewis Winch on it's spool with the back end pointing straight in the air, then locate the oil fill plug (see picture).
Remove oil fill plug while maintaining the Lewis Winch in a vertical position. When the plug is removed insert your finger tip into the hole slightly and tip the winch slightly forward. If your finger gets wet with oil then it is full enough. Replace plug and continue working.
If you have an older model Lewis Winch then you will find the fill plug on the bottom (see second picture). The procedure is still the same, stand the winch on its spool then remove fill plug. Tilt the winch slightly forward and oil should start to drip out.
Old style check and fill plug
If you have to tilt the winch too far forward to get a drip or to wet your finger then the level is low and should be topped up to the bottom of the hole when the winch is vertical.
Remember, 5 ounces of 80/90 weight gear oil is best, too much oil can cause damage also.
While you are checking the oil, have a quick look at all the nuts and bolts on your Lewis Winch
and make sure everything is tight.
Then give the chain, sprocket and other moving parts a squirt of oil as well. That should keep everything moving freely.