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SERVICING - ABU Ambassadeur 4500C

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  • SERVICING - ABU Ambassadeur 4500C

    Here is another reel from my friend's collection of Ambassadeurs that he passed me to service. Even though this is a relatively modern incarnation of the venerable ABU Record Ambassadeur Casting reel, it has retained most of the simple design so servicing this after doing the Shimano Antares DC7 was a breeze by contrast.


    I'll start this step by step guide with a few shots of the reel before I cracked it open.


    Familiar Ambassadeur Sideplate
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    A wise author once said, fashion comes and goes, but a good style will stand the test of time. ABU Ambassadeurs have worn this same face for decades. Yet each time I look at it, I never feel that it is out of style!


    "500" in the model number tells us that this is a high speed reel, and "C" says its got ball bearings for the spool.


    Retro Look
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    Creases on the sideplate flanges hark back to the old pioneering days of the ABU Record Ambassadeur.


    No more need for oil?
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    The Handle nut on this newer reel has lost it's distinctive "Oil" word stamped into the face. The finish is also rather crude compared to the older Handle nuts. The dimpled-finish handle crank looks cheap compared to the dimpled-finish spool cap. I got this feeling that these are aftermarket replacements.


    New reel foot numbers.
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    I'm not familiar with the new reel foot numbers and what they represent. Anyone care to enlighten?


    Pitting on spool flanges
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    Corrosion on the spool flange does not bode well. Hopefully, things are better inside.


    Panoramic shot Fail. Reel parts Pass!
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    I took off the left sideplate to service first. The GREAT thing of an Ambassadeur is its modular nature. You can commit to only servicing one part at a time, compared to other reels where you are COMMITTED to finish the full monty once you crack the reel open. AS for my photography skills? I'm still learning to use my phone. hahaha.


    Marine Grease protection
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    Coat the inner surfaces of this left sideplate with Quiksilver 2-4-C marine grease for corrosion resistance. The idler gear seem to have become permanently riveted down. Since the owner will be using this reel for casting, I'll use a light oil for lubrication.


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    Grease the frame in similar fashion but take care to avoid getting grease on the aperture where the spool flanges rotate. Doing so will adversely retard casting distance.


    Levelwind Assembly
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    Slide worm gear cover through levelwind guide, ensuring you match the worm cover with keyholes in the frame and the guide is sitting in a groove in the frame.

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    Oil worm gear. I used a dry lube called TSI-301 on it since this will be used for casting. Slide worm gear into its cover.


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    Snap levelwind yoke over the plastic collar of worm gear to secure.


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    Oil levelwind pawl with a light oil and install. Here, I also used TSI-301 dry lube.


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    Thread in the pawl cap and tighten, taking care not to over torque.


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    Fit back the left side plate and secure with 3 stainless screws. Remember to grease the threads before you thread them in and do not over torque when tightening.


    Finishing up left sideplate assembly
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    The 4500C uses a brass cone in place of bearings. The ball bearings are sited within the spool. Oil the cone with a light oil and drop in with the hole facing down.


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    Thread on the cast control knob and the left side is done!

    Thats the end of Part 1. Standby for part 2 and 3.




    brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.


    Philippians 4:8

  • #2
    Part 2 Continued...

    Spool and Bearings

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    The Ball bearings are protected within the spool. To access them, carefully pry out retaining circlip within a clear plastic bag to prevent them flying off and spoiling your day. The centrifugal braking assembly, right ball bearing and a copper spring washer will slide out.
    For the left side, carefully snap the nylon levelwind gear off to expose the left ball bearing.


    Unshielded bearings can spin better
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    When I tried to spin the bearings, it could only give me a second or two of rotation. I used a sharp hook to dig out the C clips on each side of the ball bearing and the shields will come out after the grease has been washed away.


    After cleaning the two ball bearings, I'm pleased to find out that ABU ball bearings are still so silky smooth, they're capable of out-spinning some modern ABEC 7 bearings! Here's how smooth it is after cleaning… I decided to record how long the bearing will spin after cleaning so I gave it a blast of air when I recorded it on video. I didn't expect it to spin for so long that I almost ran out of things to say and yet the bearing continued to spin… I lubricated the ball bearings with TSI-301 dry lube.


    Spool reassembly
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    Drop in copper spring washer with the convex side facing outwards.


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    Next to go in is the lubricated ball bearing.


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    And then the Centrifugal brake assembly secured by a Circlip.


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    Drop second ball bearing into the left side. This bearing is lubricated with a very light oil called TSI-301 that enhances casting distance and reduces breakaway torque.


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    Carefully align the sprockets on nylon levelwind gear with those on spool and snap in place. Your spool servicing is done.


    That's the End of Part 2. Standby for Part 3.
    brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.


    Philippians 4:8

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    • #3
      Part 3 Continued...

      The right side dismantled

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      The Ambassadeur design is still as uncomplicated as before, despite the addition of a multi-piece carbon drag.


      Smoother, more powerful drag
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      With the addition of 2 steel washers, this Ambassadeur will have 3 times more drag power than its earlier ancestors.


      Neat freespool mechanism is riveted in place.
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      With a Delrin yoke, copper springs and everything riveted in place, there seem to be little left to be done here.


      Assembly of right side plate
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      Start with grease protecting the components. I also greased the pinion with Cal's Universal Drag and Reel Grease.


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      Slide copper spring washer down drive shaft spindle with the convex side facing down.


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      Grease drive shaft and anti reverse ratchet. Slide down drive shaft spindle.


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      Drop in small carbon matrix disc, lightly grease with Cal's grease.


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      Drop in main drive gear.


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      Lightly grease both sides of a large carbon matrix disc and drop into main drive gear.


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      Lightly grease keyed washer with Cal's grease and drop in main drive gear.


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      Lightly grease both sides of 2nd large carbon matrix disc and drop into main drive gear.


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      Lightly grease both sides of eared washer and drop into main drive gear.


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      Lightly grease both sides of 3rd large carbon matrix disc and drop into main drive gear.


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      Drop in thick keyed washer with the convex side facing up.


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      Grease main drive gear with Cal's Grease, working the grease between the teeth.


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      The roller clutch has a keyed end and a round end.


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      Oil roller clutch lightly with CorrosionX oil and drop down drive shaft with keyed end facing down


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      Coat the inner surfaces of right sideplate cover with Quiksilver 2-4-C marine grease for corrosion resistance. Take care to avoid getting grease into the roller bearings as grease may cause the clutch to slip.


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      Attach cover to right side plate and secure with greased screws.


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      These two belleville washers make up the drag spring. I'll install them opposed like ( ) for a greater drag range.


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      Grease and thread in star drag and spring washer


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      Grease and place in handle assembly


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      Secure drive shaft to spindle with E-clip


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      Cinch down star drag and secure with handle nut, locking plate and screw.


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      This reel's spool spins on a floating spindle. Oil both ends of the spindle with CorrosionX, taking care not to get the oil or grease beyond the bronze bush. Introduce spindle into pinion and click in place with the spool tension cap.


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      This spool tension cap can be adjusted to centre the spool.


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      Spray some WD-40 down the handle knob shafts till dirty oil comes out the other ends. Spin knobs to aid cleaning. Continue to do this till only clean oil emerges. Clean off the WD-40 with a blast of air and oil knobs with CorrosionX.


      The reel is now ready for line to be loaded. Hopefully the owner knows how to control the additional speed of this reel's super smooth bearings.


      Hope it help you service your reel too.


      Good fishing always,


      LL
      brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.


      Philippians 4:8

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