penn 975 international rebuild

Old 04-09-2006, 09:38 PM
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Default penn 975 international rebuild

there's been some discussion of this reel in earlier posts. i'm hoping that i can now bring everyone up to speed on the design issues that have brought so many of these reels to me for repair. i will start out by saying that i think the penn 9 series internationals are beautiful reels. i love the classic look of penn gold. always have. add that, for me, the repair of any reel is personal, not business. perhaps this is the reason that the 9 series internationals have been a particular disappointment. here is the schematic.....

and here is a penn international 975 lever drag bait casting reel.

the first thing is to pull the rod clamp screws (key #34) and grease them.

back out the three "take apart screws" (key #38 and 38n)....

.... and remove the side plate assembly and spool assembly as a unit.

here's a shot of the left side plate bearing (key #55d). take a moment now to lube the bearing, the clicker assembly, the idler gear (key #64) and worm shaft (key #42) with corrosion x.

now, i'm going to remove the handle in this tutorial, but it is generally not necessary unless there is a problem with the right side plate bearing (key #26) or the anti-reverse roller bearing (key #98B). to just service the spool, you can leave the handle on.

remove the handle cap screw (key #32) and handle nut cap (key #110A).

remove the handle nut (key#23), the handle assembly (key #24), and the gear stud cover (key #9).

take a small pen knife and pry off the preset knob cap (key #144C).

remove the preset knob screw (key #50A), the preset knob (key #144) and the cam assembly (key #19).

the spool pulls straight out. with everything lined up, it's time to start on the spool assembly.

ok, so here it is. here's the problem with the penn 975 lever drag reel. it's the same issue found in the accurate reels. note the configuration of the drag cover. when the drag lever (key #21) is pushed forward, the pressure plate/drive plate (key #117) forced against the drag washer and the spool is engaged. unlike the larger internationals, the center hole is large, allowing water intrusion.

you can see the gap that is created.

the drag cover has reverse threads. remove it by turning it clockwise.

here is the water intrusion i was talking about. note the surface rust on the bearing spring (key #41) and the right spool bearing (key #55B).

here's a shot of the underside of the drive plate (key #117) and bearing (key #55).

i pried off the shields from the drive plate bearing (key #55) to show the rust inside.

retaining ring pliers help to remove the spool retaining ring (key #69C).

fortunately, the middle spool bearing (key #55C) was rusted to the spool spindle (key #71R) and came right out when i pulled on it. you may not be so fortunate. screwing the preset knob back on the spool spindle gives you an easy way to pull the spindle out. commonly, the middle spool bearing is stuck deep inside the spool. removal can be extremely difficult.

here is a photo from another spool with the middle spool bearing stuck DEEP inside the spool. soaking in corrosion x and alot of wiggling with the spool spindle finally removed the bearing.

here is the heart of the problem with penn international 975 lever drag.

and to make matters worse, the drag washer is installed without drag grease....

ok, this is as far into the reel as we're going. we're going to fix this and make sure it doesn't happen again! first, let's grease the spool.

clean and then grease both sides of the drag washer.

install the drag washer and clean off the excess grease with a clean rag.

now for the bearings. we'll clean them out, lube them with corrosion x and see how smoothly they spin. i was actually able to rescue 1 out of 3.

the owner wanted this reel rigged for light duty, so the belleville disc clutch springs (key #18) were re-installed in a stock "()()" configuration.

back into the spool it goes.

install the retaining ring (key #69C).

install the drive plate (key #117).

install the drag cover (key #156) and note the gap that is created when the drive plate is engaged from "free" to "strike."

the spool spindle is slotted and fits only one way into the side plate.

install the cam assembly (key #19).

install the preset knob (key #144).

install the preset knob screw (key #50A).

press in the preset knob cap (key #144C).

grease the right side plate screw holes.

install the right side plate assembly.

install the gear stud cover (key #9), the handle (key #24) and handle nut (key #23). put a little grease on the handle first.

install the handle nut cap (key #110A) and screw (key #32).

grease and install the rod clamp screws (key #34) if you have not done so already.

squirt a little corrosion x into the handle grip and you're done!

i wanted to get the spool rebuild portion out first. the side plate rebuild portion will come out next, and i've been working on a way to decrease the risk of water intrusion by turning this penn lever drag reel into an avet by opening up the drag chamber. stay tuned.....

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Old 04-09-2006, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: penn 975 international rebuild

Fascinating. After you've worked on this reel, how long till the next tune up assuming theres no problems?

hard strikes!

stamas 31 express 225 yamas
aquasport 22 cc-sold
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: penn 975 international rebuild

all of these rebuilds are supposed to be a one time event. drags should last forever. grease packed into screw holes should never be seen again. the achilles heel of these fishing reels is the bearing.

right now i believe open bearings to offer the most longevity. i would then consider lubricating these open bearings with one of two products. with corrosion x, you get better freespool but less protection from salt water. with shimano bearing grease, you get less freespool, but better protection from corrosion. side plate bearings properly packed with yamaha engine grease should last forever, but this heavy grease will offer zero freespool if used in spool bearings.

bottom line, you should be good for years with just a fresh water rinse and a towel dry.
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:21 PM
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Default the "avet" upgrade to the penn international 975 lever drag

i personally think that it took imagination and courage for avet to design an "open" drag system. and for that, i applaud them. their drag system works. and you can't argue with success. i wish to apply this lesson to the penn international 975 lever drag.

here is a spool cap in place with the drag pressure plate in the "free" position.

here is the same pressure plate in the "strike" position.

note the gap that allows for water intrusion and accounts for the reports of reel failure after only one trip. this is the same issue with a shielded bearing. water is held out to some degree. but if water gets in, that same cap (or shield) now holds water in and dramatically increases the failure rate.

what i've done is to dremmel out the spool cap until only the lip is left. here's the outside.

here's the inside, showing that only the threads are left.

here is the modified spool cap screwed into the spool. the cap holds the drag washer down against the side of the spool. a little extra drag grease will accomplish the same thing. honestly, you have an option of simply leaving out the spool cap completedly as long as you grease the drag washer. modifying the spool cap is probably a better way to go. note also that, in this particular reel, i opted to use shimano's bearing grease on the bearings. this will decrease freespool, but will also decrease the risk of corrosion to the bearings.

here's the installed drag pressure plate.

and here is your completed avet, er, um, i mean penn 975 international!

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