The four ESL winches have "Real Balls" end plates that are machined out of aluminum. The two main case bolts that hold the winch motor together thread into these end plates. The worryhas always been that only a short length of the case bolt threads into the aluminum end plate. Since the winch motors are frequently disassembled for maintenance it was only a matter of time before one or more of these threaded holes in the end plates got stripped threads. It finally happened at the end of last season and so a fix was required in the offseason.
Pete Schlitzkus provided a very nice fix for the problem. He drilled new, larger holes in the end caps, made threaded steel inserts and pressed these inserts into the end caps. The inserts extend a little bit into the winch motor so now the case bolts thread into the steel inserts and also more thread length is engaged on the bolts. This should completely eliminate the hazard of stripped threads.
If the units are being constantly disassembled they probably should have Helicoil threaded inserts installed. This will eliminate any "wear out" problems. It is a pretty standard fabrication method for high wear threaded assemblies in aluminum produced for military applications. Helicoil (or one of the clones) is a reasonably standard method for repair of stripped threads in aluminum.
The fix that Pete did was better even than the helicoil method. Pete was a professional machinist (now retired). The helicoil method was discussed in another thread but Pete offered up and provided an even better solution. The bolts now thread into about 3/8" of steal threads rather than the original 3/16" of aluminum threads.