alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial ABU Garcia Cardinal 3, 4, 5, C3, C4, C4X, 5, etc. Tutorial
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
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Author Topic: ABU Garcia Cardinal 3, 4, 5, C3, C4, C4X, 5, etc. Tutorial  (Read 12966 times)
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Midway Tommy
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« on: March 02, 2018, 11:12:21 PM »

I hadn't done an ABU Garcia Cardinal fulcrum brake tutorial because all of the reels I had were serviced and I really didn't feel like tearing one down. Well, I went to a small bass boat/tackle Flea Market recently, and even though I really didn't need them, I couldn't pass up these C3, Cardinal 4 & C5 spinners for $20.00 for the lot. I figured they might at least come in handy for spares. Since I had them and they needed a good cleaning & service I thought I'd do a tutorial in case someone needs a little help down the road.

First let me explain that this tutorial covers all of the following ABU Garcia Cardinal black fulcrum brake models, the Cardinal (aka green line) 3, 4, 5, Cardinal C3, C4, C4X, C5, Cardinal Royal Plus C3, C4 and the green and cream Cardinal Special C3, C4 and C4X. The procedure is exactly the same for all those previously listed reels. The only differences between the models is their size, part numbers and the 4, 4X & 5 reels have two more drag washers than the 3. I used a C3 for the reassembly example.

Here are the different drag components and configurations. The parts are in their correct installation order.



First step, after removing the handle and side plate, is to remove the main shaft by removing the E-clip behind the oscillation arm block. There is supposed to be a small spring washer in front of the block. Don't lose it.



From this point on, disassembly is basically just the opposite of the reassembly I'm showing. Here are all the parts from all three reels cleaned and ready to reassemble.



As always, before my fingers get greasy, I install all of the parts on the rotor.



Lube and install the bail trip levers. I lube them with ArmorAll to reduce dirt accumulation. One lever & spring go on the under side of the rotor and the other lever goes in the recess on the bail plate side. Once in place, screw on the cover.




Lube and install the bail spring and bail arm on the opposite side. I use ArmorAll on those, too. When in place screw on the cover.




Install the bail on the bail plate side and adjust the bail so that the roller side aligns perfectly with the bail arm screw hole. Eliminating any bind or twist here will allow the bail to snap back at its full potential.



Once aligned, lube and install the line guide bushing and roller. I lube them with ArmorAll. Set the completed rotor aside to install later.



I install the drag mechanism and anti-reverse dog in the body first. Lube and install the drag washers onto the click washer. I put a very thin layer of grease between each washer.



Lube and install the drag knob cashing and brake arm. Turn the brake screw tight into the cashing. Lube the bushing and install the drag assembly.



Lube and install the insert support. Lube and install the anti-reverse button and dog. I also add a drop of oil on the dog screw before I tighten it down.



At this point I insert the main shaft to make sure the drag washers turn freely as they should. I also add a light drop of oil to the drag stack.



Next is to install the pinion worm gear, bearing and anti-inertia band. Lube the pinion worm gear and bearing recess. Install the bearing and retention clip. I add a drop of oil to the outside of the bearing even though it is shielded. Also, install the anti-inertia band and add a thin layer of grease.




Time to install the rotor, main and oscillation gears, oscillation arm and main shaft. Install the rotor first making sure the nut is tight on the pinion worm gear. That will allow the main gear to mesh correctly with the worm gear. Lube and insert the main gear into the handle bushing. Lube and install the oscillation gear. Be aware that the oscillation gear screw has reverse threads. It is quite common for people, not knowing this, to snap off the screw or bugger the slot so bad that the screw cannot be extracted. Lube the oscillation arm, including the slide track in the body and install it onto the oscillation gear with the E-clip, and add a drop of oil there and at the block pivot. Lube and insert the main shaft. I add a drop of oil to the pinion worm gear tube before inserting the main shaft. Make sure to install the spring washer on the shaft in front of the oscillation arm block. Install the E-clip onto the main shaft behind the block.




Install the drag knob indicator spring and anti-reverse spring. The anti-reverse spring fits in the groove on the main gear tube just above the teeth for the oscillation gear. Make sure that the first bend, only, is is under the dog when inserting it into the hole, otherwise the anti-reverse will not work correctly.



Time to install the drag knob, side plate, dust cover, handle and spool. There is generally a thin spring washer or shim between the main gear and the side plate. Also, be aware that the drag knob screw is reverse thread. These also have a tendency to get buggered or stripped when a person doesn't realize the thread is reverse.



Here are all three, C3, Cardinal 4 & C5, complete and ready to fish.          
      


 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 07:18:06 AM by Midway Tommy » Logged

Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE



Favorite Activity? ............... In our boat fishing
RELAXING w/ MY BEST FRIEND (My wife Bonnie)
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2018, 07:15:59 AM »

Another winning post, Tommy.  And, a more than decent flea market find.

Frank
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 07:14:59 PM by happyhooker » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2018, 07:20:37 AM »

Great tutorial, Tommy!

These Cardinals are amazing pieces of engineering.

Are these slated for the water, or for the shelf?

Obviously, they are ready for either.

Thanks!

Best,

Fred
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Midway Tommy
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2018, 07:36:11 AM »

The shelf until I build a couple of new rods or need a spare/replacement, but they are to be used.  Smiley
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Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE



Favorite Activity? ............... In our boat fishing
RELAXING w/ MY BEST FRIEND (My wife Bonnie)
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2018, 10:58:21 AM »

Great Work as Usual Tommy!
This will come in handy. Wink
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2018, 03:04:00 PM »

Tommy,
Thank you for the tutorial. I donít own any yet, but hope to stumble upon a few one day...this will help, appreciate the time you put in😀
Brett
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2018, 05:38:53 PM »

Great write up!
How do you find these fulcrum drags stack up against conventional spool drags? In range, smoothness, pluses, minuses?

Cheers,
Andrew
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Midway Tommy
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2018, 07:34:11 PM »

In comparatively sized reels I find them equal or better smoothness and much easier to adjust while playing a fish, but then all of my fishing is freshwater with Trilene XL, i.e. 6# UL (C3), 8# Lite (C4) & 12# Heavy (C5 & Zebco Cardinal 6).
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Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE



Favorite Activity? ............... In our boat fishing
RELAXING w/ MY BEST FRIEND (My wife Bonnie)
Gfish
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2018, 07:47:06 PM »

Landed a nice Needlefish over the reef today, and the Zebco Card. 4's fulcrum drag with it's clicker a screamin was flawless.
Another great tutorial Tommy. I like the detail you put in, such as the lubricant used in specific areas. Do the reels in this tutorial have graphite gear boxes and rotors?
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Midway Tommy
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2018, 07:57:16 PM »

Landed a nice Needlefish over the reef today, and the Zebco Card. 4's fulcrum drag with it's clicker a screamin was flawless.
Another great tutorial Tommy. I like the detail you put in, such as the lubricant used in specific areas. Do the reels in this tutorial have graphite gear boxes and rotors?


Nice to hear you had good luck, Greg!

No, they are all metal except that the spools are graphite. While you can get an after market aluminum spool for them I have never heard of one of these graphite spools cracking or breaking. I have seen a couple of rim chips but that can happen to aluminum, too.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 07:58:08 PM by Midway Tommy » Logged

Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE



Favorite Activity? ............... In our boat fishing
RELAXING w/ MY BEST FRIEND (My wife Bonnie)
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2018, 08:14:03 PM »

Those Needlefish don't really jump, they launch themselves like a wiggling missile and don't give-up 'till they seem to have no energy left. Lot's a fun on a light spinner. The mouth is solid bone covered with skin and they are next to impossible to hook. Yeah good luck today, 2 for 5.
Years ago I had a late 70's or 1980 Cardinal, number escapes me now, a 752?, somethin like that. Poped the graphite spool clean in 1/2 after winding probably too much line in under pressure.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 06:46:29 AM by Gfish » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2018, 05:38:28 AM »

   Excellent tutorial Tommy. I'm gonna nab one of these Cardinals someday.
 They are hard to find locally here, and fleabay is a "market value only" option, unless you are very quick on the newly listed "buy it now" items. I'm holding out for a steal. I have never fished one of these Cardinals. I remember my uncle yelling at me to quit fingering his reel...LOL...he called it an "Abo Garcious". We had some good times. Cool
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2018, 09:30:51 PM »

Great tutorial, Tom, you made it look easy.  I've never owned a Cardinal of any type, but hope this changes in the near future. Maybe I can find a 3 or 4 series.

Landed a nice Needlefish over the reef today, and the Zebco Card. 4's fulcrum drag with it's clicker a screamin was flawless.
Another great tutorial Tommy. I like the detail you put in, such as the lubricant used in specific areas. Do the reels in this tutorial have graphite gear boxes and rotors?
Would you believe that we now have needlefish in Tennessee in the Cumberland River?  After the Tennessee-Tombigee Waterway was built in the mid-1980s they swam up from the Gulf of Mexico. At first they were mistaken for gar.


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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2018, 01:47:15 PM »

Midway Tommy and anyone else,

How does the Abu Cardinal 54/55/57 series of reels stack up with the C3, 4,5, etc,  that you have been discussing?

Similar quality, better, worse?

Also, has anyone had a Abu Suveran? They must have been the cream of the Abu crop from what I've read.

Thanks for any info and opinions.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 01:50:01 PM by Flounder Boy 3 » Logged
Midway Tommy
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2018, 09:58:29 PM »

Midway Tommy and anyone else,

How does the Abu Cardinal 54/55/57 series of reels stack up with the C3, 4,5, etc,  that you have been discussing?

Similar quality, better, worse?

Also, has anyone had a Abu Suveran? They must have been the cream of the Abu crop from what I've read.

Thanks for any info and opinions.

The ABU Cardinal 54/55/57 is the exact same reel as the tan Zebco Cardinal 554/555/557, and similar to the ABU Cardinal 154/155/157, which in my opinion are step lower. They are all well made reels but, again in my opinion, not quite the quality of the C3, 4, 5, etc. The "50, 150 & 550" series reels have a few plastic internal parts like bail trips, oscillation gears & blocks. The fulcrum brake series' don't have any plastic internal parts other than the nylon click washer. The "50 & 500" series' are both LH & RH. The "150" series is RH only and also has a plastic side plate. The body is aluminum, though. The spools of the coordinating sizes in all three models are interchangeable, they just have different writing on them. 

Many say the Suveran may be one of, if not the best, spinning reel ever made. It is truly a high quality reel. I've had one in my hand and cranked it. It is definitely smooth operating, but I don't own one and have never fished with one.     
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Love those open face spinning reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco Cardinals)

Tommy D (ORCA), NE



Favorite Activity? ............... In our boat fishing
RELAXING w/ MY BEST FRIEND (My wife Bonnie)
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