How to rebuild a Shimano Roller Clutch (Sedona, Sahara, Stradic, Saros et al)

Started by johndtuttle, September 09, 2015, 07:03:05 PM

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Hey guys,

This is one of those I have been meaning to do for a while and the opportunity arose to help an new SOL member so here we are!

The Shimano Clutches for their spinning reels all use the same principle so if you can do one, you can do them all. Shimano clutches are famously strong and reliable and are made of excellent materials (all stainless and composite) so they have little trouble with corrosion other than their sleeve on the main shaft. Which is no knock on Shimano as everyone has trouble with their sleeves as they have to be of softer stuff than the stainless steel rollers to let the rollers bite.

This is one of those "Black Boxes" where Angels fear to tread but if you have some photos to guide you and a properly prepared work space so you don't lose any bits it really is not hard at all ;D.

So, if you want to thoroughly clean out your clutch then this tutorial is for can also simply soak the clutch in your favorite plastic safe solution to remove dirt and grease then dry without taking it apart for general cleaning if you don't have the nerve...And if your clutch is really a true basket case and fails these attempts at rehabbing it then the good news is they are very cheap from Shimano and come with a new sleeve inside.

Here is the little devil:

The three keeper screws to mount it on the body have already been removed and the two that keep it together (smaller ones) are shown. Note the position of the screws to the "no grease" lettering (above). If yours is different then come up with your own method to be sure you use the same ones (the ones not used correspond to the proper tapped holes in the reel body to anchor the clutch). You really want it to go back together smoothly with a minimum of attempts and fiddling as these parts can notoriously get lost. A picture with your phone or some such works wonders to remember key parts/positions as you go.

With the cover off we see a felt-like seal. Careful, everything is just resting in there! I prepare a landing zone with a white towel spread out at my feet to catch anything that makes it off the bench:

That felt seal can be pulled off with the "keeper" ring below. Note the ring is keyed to the body of the clutch and can only be replaced one way. This is essential as there are little "nooks" in the keeper ring that have to accept the rollers perfectly:

Note carefully how the springs set next to the barrel rollers and how the ears coming off the top of the springs are flapping in the breeze with the cover removed. The longer leg coming off the bottom of the spring is oriented down. This is good and how it should look before you try and close it again:

The springs and rollers lift right off their posts and nooks respectively:

The "Cage" lifts right out:

Showing the "metal piece" below that is keyed to posts on the back of the black cage. Depending on the model it lines up with a post to allow you to turn the clutch on or off to allow back reeling:

The posts (a little fuzzy, but when you put it back together and realize this later you are a bit reluctant to redo the image :) ):

When the Cage with the metal piece is back in the body of the clutch from below it looks like this:

So putting it back together is best clean and dry. If you are fighting a lot of corrosion then Corrosion-X is fine just be aware that you don't want an oil that leaves a "varnish" when dry. You can oil or grease the interface between the sleeve and the shaft but don't get any grease on the barrel rollers. Simply reverse the steps to re-assemble.

The key is that the final black cover goes on with a clockwise twist to load the springs and this lines up the screw holes properly. Put the screws in the same holes you found them by the "no grease" lettering etc as shown in the photo so everything goes smoothly with a minimum of fuss and it doesn't come apart unexpectedly. If your clutch looks a little different use another method to remember where they go.

To get it back in the reel line it up with keeper posts in the body of the reel (watch for a bushing for the worm gear that wants to get in the way on some models) and you are done!

The black box has been peered into despite our better judgement and the demons defeated!

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


Good job John..!!

It looks so simple in the pictures but those springs are tiny and will fly!

Good note on the clockwise twist. If you try to put the black cover straight down on the body it just won't work..!!
OCD Reel Service & Repair
Gulf Breeze, FL


Thanks John, I am taking baby steps with your help.

EDIT 4/5/16  Thank you again John.  I completely forgot this was here. I took the easy way out and just kind of flushed and swabbed the rollers. Someday I'll need to do the full deal but...
I woke today and suddenly nothing happened.


I always thought this one should be stickied despite the photobucket photo bomb.


I did the ones on my Stradic's. Didn't see this beforehand. Immediately I could see; may have'ta do several reassembles, slow way down for this and use a marker pen. Turned-out to be kinda fun. I'd bet alota repair guy's just buy a new unit. IMO, a well made part with the metal springs.
Fishing tackle is an art form and all fish caught on the right tackle are"Gfish"!


If anyone needs to tap out I have a ton of these for shimano spinners in many sizes.
Any machine is a smoke machine if you use it wrong enough.


Anyone rebuild a roller clutch bearing ?I had to remove one from a Shimano slx reel and the pins came out of the anti reverse roller clutch


Quote from: phishxxii on September 21, 2023, 05:51:48 PMAnyone rebuild a roller clutch bearing ?I had to remove one from a Shimano slx reel and the pins came out of the anti reverse roller clutch

Give us a picture of yours and we'll figure it out. :)