OK, so here goes my first attempt at a full rebuild thread. Hope it helps someone out there! The owner of this reel wanted no replacement parts or conversions, so we're working only with the parts that came in the mail. Here goes!
I received this Abu in the mail on Thursday. It looked exactly like this when I took it out of the Ziplock bag it came in:
If you're starting with a complete reel and want to follow this tutorial, reaching this point is simple. Remove every reachable screw, c-clip and spring in the reel and lay the parts out on a towel. You're now ready to go.
This model is the Ambassadeur 6000 design from 1969. Based on the reel foot markings, this particular reel was apparently made in April of 1971. First, we'll start with the schematic:http://www.mikesreelrepair.com/schematics/albums/ambassadeur/Ambassadeur_6000_%281969%29.pdf
The frame has a good bit of wear on the thumb rest and some light corrosion on all the joints. I can't do anything about the finish wearing away, but a quick dip in the ultrasonic will have all the corrosion cleaned up.
The brake plate has a moderate amount of old grease on it, in a addition to some corrosion/rust on the parts.
We'll clean them off best we can using lighter fluid, hot water and the ultrasonic before reinstalling.
This reel is a fixed-spindle model that uses bushings in the end caps. Both bushings are identical (P/N 5153). These are convertible to bearings, but I'll cover that later.
We'll start with the spool. Here is the left side with everything removed.
First, install the nylon clicker ratchet (P/N 8748).
Next on is the stainless steel "Left Pinion Gear" and c-clip (P/N's 5167 and 5168, respectively).
Set the spool aside for now. Pick up the left sideplate and apply a healthy coat of grease to prevent corrosion.
Install the spool tension indicator (P/N 5150). There is a good chance this has not been removed. But if it has, make sure the end of the wire points towards the spool, not away from it.
This reel utilizes bushing retainers (P/N 5142), which are simply partial circles of metal with holes drilled in them. They look like this:
These things can be a real pain. Abu made a tool to remove them, but I don't have one. I improvised, using a set of dividers I found in the garage. I simply inserted the points of the dividers into the holes in the retainers and tightened down the spacer screw. Once I had the retainer in position, I simply loosened the spacer and the retainer clicked into its slot.
You can accomplish the same thing with a set of cir-clip pliers or a concentrated effort with a small flat-head screwdriver.
After you install the interior clip, place the bushing into the hole in the spool. Keep in mind that there is a groove in the holder that must line up with a stud on the bushing.
Install the outer bushing retainer in the same manner as the inner retainer. This is the second of three that you have to install, so don't put away the pliers just yet.
This is the lineup of parts inside the spool end caps. The setup is the same for both side plates on this reel. Two spacers (P/N 5145) and a felt oil retainer (P/N# 5146). I like to put two drops of Corrosion-X or Red Rocket Fuel on the felt washer before I reinstall it.
When reinstalling the left end cap (P/N 5151), make sure you line up the slot in the cap with the tension indicator. Inattention can cause the spring wire to break.
Next comes the clicker assembly, which is different than the more modern Abus. Put a light coat of grease on the click plate assembly (P/N 8742) and place in the sideplate, making sure that the screw holes line up properly.
Place the loop of the click springs (P/N 9838) over the studs on the nylon click arms. These are the only two springs that are the same size, if you get confused.
Install the click button and plate (P/N 8744, 8904) in the appropriate hole. Place the click pawl (P/N 8745) over the button stud and attach the hooks on the click springs to the button.
Grease the cog wheel stud and install the cog wheel (P/N 5152). Secure the wheel with the cog wheel screw (P/N 266).
Install the levelwind mechanism (P/N's 5174, 5176, 5177, 5205 & 5206). Secure using the carriage screw lock arm (P/N 5178). Attach the left plate with the three pillar screws (P/N 199).
Set this assembly aside for the moment. Now we move on to the right plate and the winding mechanism.
The whole brake plate and mechanism is covered by P/N 5101, but this one is partly disassembled. I would highly recommend leaving all these parts together if possible, as the press arm spring and the free-spool yoke require a considerable amount of effort to get back in place.
Here are the three springs that go on the brake plate. Keeping them straight and putting them in the proper place can be confusing. I've labeled them in this picture with their part numbers and the designators S1, S2 and S3.
Here is the proper placement of all three springs on the plate. A good rule of thumb: The larger loop goes over the brass. If the wire bends out of shape, simply bend it back with some pliers.
I didn't get a picture of it, but make sure you install the pinion gear (P/N 5137) into the pinion yoke. The wider side goes down.
Grease all accessible parts of the brake plate and set it aside.
This is our steel main gear and click spring. There was some rusting between the teeth, but WD-40 and a good cleaning eliminated most of that.
Here's a layout of the main gear stack on this reel. It goes drive shaft (P/N 5188), base drag washer (3902), drive gear (5126), drag washer (3903), click wheel (5130), spring washer (curved, 5131), drag spacer (silver, 3904), nylon drive shaft bushing (5133) and drag shim (copper, 3915).
This is what it looks like assembled:
Affix the AR dog (P/N 5134) to the ratchet wheel by sliding the teeth of the wheel between the wings of the AR dog.
Apply a thin coat of grease to the main gear, then install the main gear assembly on the brake plate. Make sure the AR dog seats on its stud and that it does not come off the ratchet wheel during the final steps.
Grease the inside of the left plate to combat corrosion.
The right sideplate has only one bushing retainer, on the spool side. Install it just like the other ones.
Install the bushing, making sure the stud lines up with the groove.
Screw on the right tension knob. Remember, it has the same setup as the left knob. The felt washer gets two drops of oil. This reel is getting Red Rocket Fuel.
Place one brake block (P/N 1844B, for this reel) on each brake pin of the spool.
Place the right plate over the brake plate and attach using the bridge screws (P/N 246). Fix the star drag knob (P/N 9830) to the main shaft.
Place the spool into the cage. The shaft of this spool measures .125 inches. Keep that in mind for later.
Install the right plate and tighten down the side plate screws. All that's left now is the friction washer (P/N 5116), the handle (P/N 5210) and the retaining screw (P/N 5182).
Enjoy your reel!
Notes and observations:
-This is absolutely one of the most beautiful reels I've worked on. The classic design, red/black color scheme and bulletproof construction come together perfectly.
-There is a carbon fiber drag washer upgrade available from SmoothDrag for this reel, but the owner wanted all original parts so I did not add in the washers.
-The bushings in this Abu can be replaced with bearings for increased smoothness and casting distance. The bearings would measure 3.175mm x 10mm x 4mm. They are available in stainless version from Boca and in matched pairs from TG Developments. Again, the instructions here were "All original parts."
-This reel has a steel main gear and pinion. I like the strength and durability, but I found a good bit of rust in the teeth of the main gear. This can be cleaned out with an ultrasonic cleaner and a WD-40 bath, but make sure you grease both gears well with Penn Blue, Abu PTFE or Yamaha Marine.
-I also like the level wind mechanism on this Abu. The worm gear and the idler gear both have metal teeth, eliminating the slivering problem on some newer Abus. Unfortunately, the level wind pinion on the spool is made of metal while the large cog is plastic, so there is the potential for slivering there.
-All together, a great design and a solid reel. Capable of decent distance (better than decent with a bearing upgrade) and a solid drag. Plus, I love the sound of the clicker spring going off when the drag slips.
Until next time!