Pier Fishing in California

Resources :: Reel Rebuilds

Abu Garcia - Hotrodding the Ambassadeur 5 and 6 Series Reels

By Alan Tani

When I first started doing reel seminars 5 years ago, one fourth of the reels brought in were Ambassadeurs. initially, they took up a third of the time. It took quite a while, but I figured out the right combination of Penn HT-100 drag washers and metal washers. My problem was always a space issue. The Penn washers I had were always too thick. Recently, Dawn at http://www.smoothdrag.com/ came out with a line of Carbontex drag washers that fit perfectly. Just slap on a coat of Cal or Shimano drag grease, switch out the drags and witness the miracle!

Many of you have these old Ambassadeurs. It had been a love/hate relationship.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Good looks and cheap, but unreliable. Well, I want all of you to pull out those old seized up Ambassadeurs, and get ready to fall in love all over again. This is one reel that anyone can fix at home. Here’s how....

First, check out the Smoothdrag website at http://www.smoothdrag.com/ and check out the Carbontex drag washers. DO NOT get the old green or black smoothies. Then call the Smoothdrag lady. her name is Dawn and her phone number is (760) 949-0271. Order up a set of drag washers and some of Cal’s drag washer grease. She is absolutely one of the nicest people in the world. And tell her Alan said hi!

Next, go the the Ambassadeur website at http://www.abugarcia.com/schematics/ and find the schematic for your reel. Just as an example, I’m going to pick Ambassadeur → c3 → 5500 → 9909.pdf. Let’s start....

Start with the left side plate. Back off one screw (key #199) ONLY. Squirt a small amount of grease into the screw hole and put the screw back!!!! Do not remove the side plate. remove the next two screws, one at a time, and grease them as well.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Remove the handle nut cap and screw (key #’s 14868, 96274 and 15359)

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Remove the c-clip (key #4490)

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Remove the handle nut (key #15359), the handle (key # 24500), the stainless steel spring (key # 5115), the star (key # 24502) and the cast control knob (key #’s 21717, 20917, and 20090)

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Remove the right side plate assembly (note that this photo shows the cast control knob still in place. it must be removed first).

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Separate the reel as shown below.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Lube the level wind assembly.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Lube the left spool bearing (key #13472) by popping out the nylon sprocket gear (key #23403). don’t forget to pop it back in!

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Lube the right spool bearing (key #13472)

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Replace the spool assembly (key #970823) back into the frame and insert the spool shaft (key #802630)

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Now, for the right side plate. Remove the two right side plate bridge screws (key # 5229)

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

NOTE THIS IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE: Older reels have a more reliable anti-reverse dog (key #20671). Note that the dog has to “grab” the ratchet gear at base of the gear sleeve (key #22079), as shown in the schematic that i’ve chosen to work with. newer reels have a less reliable anti-reverse roller bearing, as shown in the photo below.

If you have a dog, note the proper position of the dog now, and make sure it is reassembled in the same way.

Remove the right side plate cover (key #24511). Note that the anti-reverse roller bearing sleeve and the two cupped pressure washers (key #5131) stayed with the side plate cover.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Grease the screw holes

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Separate the drag/gear cluster as shown. note left to right, the ....

Thrust washer (key #5189)
Gear sleeve (key # 22079)
fiber washer (key # 13169)
Main gear (key #21200)
3 alternating drag washers (key #20907)
Flat slotted metal washer (key #20906)
Flat keyed metal washer (key #20905)
Cupped slotted metal washer (key #20960)

Also shown in the photo are four new carbon fiber drag washers and a second flat slotted metal washer. Ignore the second flat slotted metal washer.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Apply a generous coat of Cal or Shimano drag grease to the new Carbontex drag washers, rebuild the gear drag/gear cluster and discard the orginal Ambassadeur drag washers.

If your reel has a dog (key # 20671), put the dog back onto the ratchet gear (key # 22079), install the spacer (key #22001) and then drop the drag/gear cluster back onto the right side plate base (key #24508).

If your reel has an anti-reverse roller bearing, replace the roller bearing sleeve as shown in the photo below.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Replace the right side plate bridge screws (key # 13369) and install the cupped pressure washers in a “()” orientation as shown below.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Find the small white plastic brakes on the spool (key #20211) and press them in. Failure to do this and the right side plate assembly may not seat properly.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Install the right side plate assembly back onto the frame. Make sure that the brakes are pressed “in” and that the anti-reverse dog is also “in.” The right side plate assembly should seat cleanly, flush and with a “snap.” Tighten down the three right side plate screws. now check to make sure that the gear sleeve (key # 22079) turns freely and that the anti-reverse mechanism functions properly.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Install the cast control cap assembly.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Install the star and spring.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Grease and install the handle.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Install the handle nut and c-clip

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Install the handle nut cap and retaining screw.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur

Pat yourself on the back and have a beer. well done!