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Check the brushes and if they are short just replace them.
This will solve the problem.
There is thermal cut out which will protect the winding if its hot and will stop windlass and after cooling down it can run again.
I would check the wire leads off the windless to switch and from switch to battery (typically ground) During times of extreme load thoes thick wires heat up expand and contract and might loose a little contact or corrosion. Thoes windlesses are pretty bullet proof and very rarely have i seen one break. So I don't think its the winch itself. I would start there. Good luck Aloha
First, put a volt meter across the winch's power terminals to verify that the voltage is not dropping several volts when comanded to run, indicating a bad cable connection somewhere. Anchor winch's pull alot of current from a battery.
For a test, use car jumper cables from a good battery to the winch to see if it runs better.
If you have another heat sink laying around, perhaps in an old computer you don't use? Try using the anchors from that.
I have also had success mounting fans to heat sinks using wire ties. Not sure that will work with your problem though because it seems you're talking about the actual gadget (usually a piece of metal) that locks the heat sink down onto the CPU.
Of course, first check the voltage at the connections to the windlass. Have someone operate the switch while you measure with a volt meter. If no voltage check breakers, or fuses. Heavy current devices like a windlass will often require fuses near where they connect to battery power.
A windlass requires a LOT of current to run. Not just voltage. Trace the wires from the battery connection all the way to the windlass. If possible, loosen any connections (ex; a lug with a nut or bolt) and clean with a wire brush then reconnect. Be sure to disconnect the battery while cleaning. Many times wires will corrode past the insulation. Especially if they were not tinned wire to begin with (tinned wire has a silver shine, regular copper has a copper color and typically turns dark or even black when corroded).
Since a windlass requires a lot of current, often there may be a relay near the windlass that might go bad. Listen to see if this is activating while someone operates the switch.
I had the same problem this past weekend. Took the complete unit apart and found salt and all kind of moisture in the motor itself. It sure was not sealed very well from the factory. I am unable to find the motor sold separately, therefore I am taking my unit to an electric motor shop. I am guessing it will cost me about $100-$125 to get the motor reworked. It was extremely easy to take apart.
With the moisture in the motor, there was simply too much resistance for the windlass to turn, If you get your tension wrench and work the windlass back and forth, then hit the button. It should work temporarily.