alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial 320gti/320gt2/321gti
Reel Repair by Alan Tani
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Author Topic: 320gti/320gt2/321gti  (Read 91058 times)
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alantani
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« on: December 07, 2008, 08:19:42 AM »

this rebuild post has been long overdue.  the penn 3 series graphite reels have been workhorses since the day they were introduced.  there are 5 reel sizes and 9 models, including the 310gti, 320gti, 321gti, 320gt2, 320ld, 330gti, 330ld, 340gti and 345gti.



we will start with the largest selling single model reel in the world, the penn 320 gti.    



it is one of the easiest reels to work on when it comes to routine bearing service.  removing the right side plate assembly (key #1) requires only the removal of four right side plate screws (key #32).



the reel breaks down to the frame assembly (key #183), the spool (key #29L), and right side plate assembly (key #1).  




this gives you easy access to left side plate bearing (key #40).  it's an abec 5 and the size is 4x11x4 if you ever need to replace it.



you also have easy access to the right spool bearing (no key #) in the bridge assembly (key #3).



one of the problem i see with this reel is corrosion.  in the worst cases, the spool shaft is totally rusted to the pinion gear (key #13).  good thing we got to this one when we did.



lube the right side plate bearing (key #40).



lube the worm gear (key #42) in the levelwind assembly.



reinstall the spool (key #29L) into the frame (key #183) and set both aside.



now for the right side plate assembly.  remove the handle lock screw (key #23A).



remove the handle nut (key #23).



remove the handle assembly (key #24).



remove the tension spring (key #8) and the drag star (key #10).  you may save the tension spring to reinstall later, but i typically discard these because they promote corrosion.  



push the eccentric lever (key #21) forward and in gear.  back out each of the four bridge screws (key #'s 16 and 17).  



the bridge assembly (key #3) should fall out easily, so catch it before it does.  leave the right side plate (key #1) in the "up" position so that the bridge screws do not fall out.  



a quick inspection of the main gear (key #5) reveals a little surface corrosion.  this will have to be cleaned out or you may have a few "bumps" when you crank the handle.  



here is an exploded view of the bridge assembly (key #3) and drag stack.



now we're going to rebuild the drag stack.  we will start by replacing the fiber washer (key #4), found underneath the main gear, with a penn ht-100 carbon fiber washer (part #6-875).  



slap a thick coat of cal's drag grease on the drag washer.  



slide the washer down over the gear sleeve of the bridge (key #3), then install the main gear (key #5).



grease each drag washer (key #6) in turn and install them in order, alternating with the keyed and slotted metal washers (key #7).  don't worry about the excess grease, it will simply squeeze out the sides.  



one thing to make sure of is that the little tab of the keyed metal washer seats properly in the groove of the main gear.  sometimes it rises up and rotates a little and you functionally have only a single drag washer instead of 5.



you left the right side plate intact, right?  ok, place two fingers over the four bridge screws (key #'s 16 and 17).



you can now flip it over and not loose the bridge screws.



install the pinion gear (key #13).



install the bridge and main gear assembly as a unit and turn the bridge plate counterclockwise 90 degrees.  



note carefully the orientation of the dog spring (key #14) on the dog (key #15).  it will be installed in this position.  



lay the dog spring (key #14) over the peg first.



pull the dog (key #15) over the top of and down onto the bridge screw (key #16).



rotate the bridge plate (key #3) 90 degrees clockwise and press the bridge plate down until it seats properly.



with a right hand assist, flip the right side plate assembly (key #1) over to give you access to the bridge screws (key #'s 16 and 17).



seat all four bridge screws (key #'s 16 and 17) halfway, then screw them all down snugly.



check the function of the anti-reverse system.





check the function of the eccentric lever assembly (key #21) or freespool lever.



lube the bridge bearing (key #3).



lube the spool shaft (key #29L).  remember, you will have to keep after this.  the spool shaft has a nasty habit of seizing up inside the pinion gear.  



install the right side plate (key #1) and screws (key #32).  



here is the upgraded spool tension control cap (key #26B).  the flare on top is large enough to insure that the cap will not fall off.  quite a few of these have.  remove the old cap and install the new one.  





install the star drag (key #10) and turn it down until it clears the shoulder of the the gear sleeve (key #98) that the handle (key #24) rests on.



we are going to upgrade the reel with a 4/0 senator power handle (part #24-349H).  the price just went up on these and are now $24, from $13 several months ago.  



install the new power handle (key #24) and the handle screw (key #23).



install the handle lock screw (key #23A).  



and you're done!  congratulations.  



now for a couple of comments.  first, the positives - it has a 4/0 senator drag set capable of delivering 25 pounds of drag or better.  the drag #6-320 drags have the same inside and outside diameters as the #6-113H drag washers from the 4/0 penn 113h.  here you have 113h drags on the left, 320 drags on the right.



the difference is the thickness.  the #6-113h drag washers on the left have a fiberglass core, making them thicker.  the #6-320 drag washers on the right do not.  the performance of these washers is identical.



the gears are similar as well.  you have a #5-320 main gear with a 4:1 ratio on the left and a #5-113h main gear with a 3.25:1 gear ratio on the right.



note, however, that the teeth on the main and pinion gears of the penn 113h (right side) are much larger than the teeth of the main and pinion gears of the penn 320 gti (left side).  the smaller teeth of the 320 main gear will shred much easily than the heaver teeth of the 113h main gear.  



i damaged the main gear of this left handed penn 321 when i cranked the drags down to 28 pounds. well, um, i was curious.  just ordered a new main and pinion gear.  it was a $23 mistake.  let's keep these drag settings under 20#'s of drag from now on.  



the 320 has a small spool that will hold 300 yards of 80# spectra.  the soft brass main gear limits the drag range to under 20#'s.  i would not call the 320 a true third generation reel, but it can take excellent advantage of the new spectras and high test monofilaments.  the spool in the middle is from a penn 320 gti.  on the right is a jigmaster spool, on left is a squidder spool.  



there are a pair of spool bearings that can easily be cleaned and lubed to deliver excellent freespool times.  



and finally, there are also handle options available for this reel.  



now, the negatives - the levelwind is the single most problematic assembly that i have ever dealt with. maybe it's just me, but i order up alot of worm gears from mysticparts.com.  i believe this is due to the drag sticking under a heavy load when the line and the leveler are 180 degrees out of sync.  special care must be taken to always keep the line and the leveler in sync and the drags can be greased.  this should take care of the levelwind problem.  



but think about this.  what if we took the levelwind assembly out?  you would have to remove the idler gear (key #64), the line guide carriage (key #46), the pawl (key #47) and the pawl cover screw (key #48).  you can actually leave the worm assembly (key #42) in place so that you don't have holes in the frame.  here's a left handed penn 321 gti that has been stripped down.  



since this reel is going to have to cast well, we will pull out the left side plate bearing (key #40).



we'll pull the shields off, clean out the old grease, lube it with corrosion x and re-install the bearing open.  



to service the bearing in the bridge (key #3), you need to gently tap out the bearing with a hex socket.  careful here.  by banging on this bearing too much, i damaged and had to replace it.  if your bridge bearing is still smooth, please service this bearing just from the outside, leaving the bearing in place.  



the bearing is an abec 5 measuring 8x16x5, just in case you need a new one.  



remove the shields, clean out all of the old crud and lube it up.



i used the sanding bit for a dremmel to open the bearing cup a little. now the bearing slides in an out more easily.



with the bearing installed open, the new owner will be able to pull the side plate, remove the spool and service (or at least relube) both bearings after every trip.  he will be casting for yellowtail.  clean bearings are critical.



and this is the result!



so now you have a pocket rocket with a very strong light graphite frame, easy to throw all day long, a small spool that's gives you great casting distance, the capacity to hold 300 yards of 80# spectra and a short 30, 40, 50 or 60# topshot, a drag stack that will deliver 20#'s of drag, decent spool bearings, plenty of handle options and (ta da!) a levelwind option.  ok, i know that's lame, but you actually could put the levelwind assembly back in.  it's also available in right hand and left hand models.

i would still call the shimano tld star 15/30 the best reel in this class, but the penn 320gti, 320gt2 and 321gti have to be the most versatile!



written 4/30/2008  at
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 10:13:21 AM by mizmo67 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 12:09:29 AM »

Quote

Is there a trick to removing the spool? Have removed the Right side plate and L/W assembly. The spool will turn freely but it will not pull out of cage.


sometimes the spool is rusted to the left spool bearing and you have to crow bar out the spool.  that will damage the idler gear.  other times the spool is rusted to the pinion gear.  that requires that you remove the freespool lever.  all of the guts of the right side plate will come out and then you can work on the pinion gear.  alan
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2010, 02:50:45 PM »

Quote

Hi Mr. Tani,
 
    My name is Mike Ackal. I own and operate a rod and reel repair shop in south Louisiana, LA Reel Repair. I am also an Airframe and Powerplant technician for a large helicopter leasing company (I stay pretty busy). I have read and enjoyed many of your posts pertaining to reel rebuilds and upgrades and just became a member of your Alan Tani.com site.  The reason I am writing you, besides the formal introduction, is in response to your article about the Penn 3 series reel rebuild.  You said that you damaged the bearing in the bridge assembly when you removed it by hammering it out with a socket.  I not long ago rebuilt a Penn 330 GTi, which is very similar (as you know, sorry) and needed to remove the worn bearing in the bridge assembly.  I used a technique that I have used for removing bearings in everything from lawn mower wheels to universal joints.  I do not own a hydraulic press, but hopefully I will get one soon.  In the meantime, I use a C-clamp (6 to 8 inch preferably) with a socket placed over the bearing opening on the egress (inner) side of the bridge bearing housing large enough to allow the bearing to enter the socket, and a smaller socket that fits in the opening on the outside of the bridge bearing housing in contact with the bearing. Place your C-clamp around the two sockets, turn the crank, and press the bearing out. It comes out easily, with no damage to your bearing or bridge. Just be sure and stake it back in carefully. I like a 1/16" pin punch for that.
    That's all for now, just a small way of thanking you for all of your helpful tips and tricks. I have a few others I will try and share now and then as I think of them.  I also have a large inventory of hard to find parts for older Penn, Ambassadeur, Bantam, Diawa, some Lew's, some Shakespeare.  If you need anything that you cannot find anywhere else, look my way! I may have it. If you would like to contact me by phone, my number is 337-380-0989.  I look forward to having another fellow workbench-er for a friend. Thank you for all you do for and contribute to our hobby and livelihood.
 
Sincerely,
Mike Ackal
LA Reel Repair
St. Martinville, LA


thanks, mike!
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 09:08:20 AM »

Alan, I read on another forum you were thinking of putting lugs on your 320GTi and see what the reel is capable of.  Can you give us an update on it? 
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 06:31:30 PM »

i don't recall that one, but it would not really be necessary.  the 320 is a pretty light duty reel. 
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 10:31:12 AM »

Here's a silly question.  On the 321 GTI LH Penn reel, is the screw thread for the handle actually a left handed thread?  So, instead of righty tighty, lefty loosy....the handle wrench actually needs to be turned righty to go LOOSY.  Correct?  The star drag appears to follow the same thread and looks like a left handed thread - I can't imagine two different threads (right and left spirals) on the same drive shaft.  Thanks for the help.  Might do a 321GTI LH if I can get into it.
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 04:49:16 PM »

The star on a 321 tightens and you move it forward, so it has the reverse thread to the 320. But the two reels use the same handle nut and have the same threads inside the gear sleeve.
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2013, 09:51:04 AM »

Hi

I was trying to get information in order to lubricate my Penn GTI 320, like that you have posted,  I can't get the left side of the reel to  detach from frame as you have in the photograph.  It seems like the entire left side is attached to the reel in one peice without access to any geers other than a little visable gear.  It doesn't seem to come apart.  Anyway, in the process of this, I managed to drop all the little springs and cams out of the right side of the reel and I can't put it together again.

How do you guys learn to do this?  Those expossive diagrapms are about useless.

So I need to send it out to someone to put it together again.  I have all the parts in a box.  Should I ship it to Penn (3week turn around) or does someone have a better idea?  I can spend a few bucks on it.

Ruben
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 09:54:27 AM »

Here is a question I can never figure out

What is the diofference betweena  320 and a 321?
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Alto Mare
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2013, 11:06:48 AM »

Here is a question I can never figure out

What is the diofference betweena  320 and a 321?

The difference is the #1, sorry I couldn't help myself Grin.
I believe the 321 is the left hand model.
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2013, 11:32:00 AM »

Hi Rubin,

Yes, the left side plate is part of the frame.  Don't try to remove it.  Only the chrome ring will come off, and if you don't need to mess with the line winder worm gear, it's best not to touch it.

Unfortunately, I've got boxes of reels and am looking at a Time to Start is around 4 weeks.  It's fishing season now and us full and part time reel techs are busy.  I could probably squeeze in 1 reel if needed with a 2 week turnaround if no parts need to be ordered.  PM me if you need me.

Hi

I was trying to get information in order to lubricate my Penn GTI 320, like that you have posted,  I can't get the left side of the reel to  detach from frame as you have in the photograph.  It seems like the entire left side is attached to the reel in one peice without access to any geers other than a little visable gear.  It doesn't seem to come apart.  Anyway, in the process of this, I managed to drop all the little springs and cams out of the right side of the reel and I can't put it together again.

How do you guys learn to do this?  Those expossive diagrapms are about useless.

So I need to send it out to someone to put it together again.  I have all the parts in a box.  Should I ship it to Penn (3week turn around) or does someone have a better idea?  I can spend a few bucks on it.

Ruben

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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2013, 11:49:32 AM »

yeah - it looks like no matter what I do, I've lost this reel for the season.  Seems like I've lost both for the season.  Worse things can happen, I suppose.  But this is how one ends up stocking reels.  Buy a new one, send 2 out for repair ... end up with 3.

A Fishing Reel Exchange ... that is what I need in NYC.  Bring in a used reel and exchange it for another, while the guy in the back fixes them, replenishing supply.

Ruben
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2013, 11:51:43 AM »



See this image, that is what I couldn't get done.  It wouldn't seperate.  The spool wouldn't detatch from the body.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 11:52:38 AM by mrbrklyn » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 02:41:36 AM »

Looks like the spool shaft got rusted to the pinion gear - the common problem of the GTI series. In this case separate the geartrain assembly and spool as a whole. Then remove the handle, the drag star, the bridge screws and the decoupler lever screw which allow you to remove the handle side plate. After the handle side plate is removed you can remove the main gear and the other parts. You will be left with the spool assembly, bridge assembly and the pinion gear. Get a piece of small diameter brass pipe, slide it on the spool shaft against the pinion and whack the assembly a few times with a hammer to break free the pinion from the shaft. After the pinion is removed clean the shaft with a fine grit sandpaper.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 02:07:37 PM by Tile » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 09:22:13 AM »

Sometimes, but not every time, you can use the 2 fully threaded bridge screws in reverse: screw them into the bridge, so they butt and push against the spool, thereby walking the pinion off the spool. Tighten one screw a bit then the other, and it may work. If you put a coin on the spool, you won't get a small spot of anodize removal.
Doing this, I am 5 off, one stuck. The one stuck, I did what Mr. tile did.
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