Spent some time this weekend sleeving some bearings, so I though I would post my results. I used K&S engineering stock #130, 7/32 X .014 brass tubing for all five of my BX2 reels. The final length of the tubing was as follows:
BX2-400 - 0.9565"
BX2-400 - 0.9560"
BX2-500 - 1.1515"
BX2-600 - 1.2410"
Now for my comments and commentary.
1. I used a lot of the information that Alan has already posted. Very helpful. Since I don't have a drill press, I used my Sato line winder instead. I just mounted the drill in the mounting bracket and pressed a mill bastard file against the brass tube being held in the drill bit. I used a sharpening stone to dress the outside edge of the tube so the filings wouldnít cut me or get in the way. I also dressed the inside edge of the tube using the L-shaped tool pictured here:http://alantani.com/index.php?topic=1971.0
2. It was a real challenge getting a good starting measurement to cut the tube. I generally ended up just cutting it 1/8" to 3/16" too long and then grinding it down. When you are grinding with a mill bastard file, it takes some time. Especially since I had to keep popping the tube into the reel to make sure I didn't cut off too much.
3. One thing to watch for is the tube cutter bending the tube inward and reducing the inside diameter. What happens then is that the tube wonít fit over the spool shaft. If you start out with the tube being too long, your problem is solved because you end up grinding off the part where the ID is too small. However, a couple of times I had to use the L-shaped tool to pull on the inside wall of the tube to stretch the tube wall back out. Surprisingly, it worked.
4. In looking for that perfect fit, a couple of times I filed off too much tube. Bummer! But there is a fix. I found that using the L-shaped tool to stretch out the tube wall also adds a couple of thousands of an inch to the tube length. Who knew?!? So if you only cut off a teeny bit too much, starting tugging on that tube wall and see if you can make the save.
5. After the first tube was done, the rest took about an hour apiece. Not too bad, really.
6. I should comment that for all of these reels I have already removed the spool bearing side shields, cleaned the bearings and lubricated with TSI 301. With that as a starting place, I found that sleeving the bearings increased the spin time for the reels by about a factor of two. For the 600N, the spin time started at a very respectable one minute, and jumped to an amazing 3 minutes. However, my worst performing reel, the 400, started at about 10 seconds and increased to about 20 seconds. The rest were somewhere in between.
So in sum, Iím glad I did it. It didnít take all that long, and the improvement was noticeable. However, I was hoping to get them all over a one-minute spin time, and that didnít happen. If anyone has suggestions on why I didnít get that one minute, I would love to hear it. Thanks.
P.S. I found that my tube length did not match the length that Pelagic Playtime posted at the beginning of this thread. I have no explanation. Probably, one of us needs to calibrate our measuring instrument.