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Sundewd

Penn 209 Levelwind - spool/gear issue

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I got hold of a few Penn reels the other week, a peer 309 and a 209 LW. I like them, they're classic and classy. But neither one works 100% The 309 needs too much work for me to consider fixing it since I could get one that works from Ebay for about the cost of parts. Which is a shame, I love this reel. The 209 however, almost works. It had the typical broken idler gear for the worm. Replaced that today. I had it assembled for the last few days while waiting for the gear without the plastic gear or the click spring inside and noticed that the spool slid off the left too far sometimes when retrieving, or it almost always did it when switching from freespool to retrieval. It essentially pops off the gear groove and disengages itself. It'll work (for a bit) if I kinda finagle it until it falls back in. I assumed this was because the click spring was taken out (I assumed it was basically a spacer, doesn't seem to do anything else?) but after reassembling today, the spool still pops off the gear on the drive side. I have looked at schematics and do not seem to be missing any parts related to the spool, so I am thinking I either have bad tension springs for the spool, or I have an issue with the drive gears somewhere on the crank side. I am hoping it is the first and not the later. It is also worth noting that it does reel fairly smoothly otherwise, but the spool does tend to rub a bit. I am a general mechanic, but have limited experience with baitcast reels. Any ideas as to what the issue is, and how to go about fixing it? I was hoping to get this reel working for an upcoming fishing trip in a few weeks so I can use it for some drifting and boat trolling until I can afford to get something better, like maybe an Abu Garcia C3 or similar. Many thanks all!

Edited by Sundewd

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I pretty much figured out the tear-down and rebuild at this point. The gears look fine to me... don't look chewed up or pointed or anything that makes me think they have an issue. The drag washers were bad though. The little metal tension washer at the end was bent but I presume that was done by design. I've ordered a set of upgraded carbontex washers, so hopefully that fixes the spool issue. I am not convinced that's the issue, but it's all I can find wrong after watching videos and whatnot. These reels are pretty similar to several other Penn models with some minor differences here and there. Pretty easy all in all. I just need confirmation that bad drag washers can cause the spool to lock up (no worm installed, fyi, plus I have done every combo with the side tension screw/spring for the spool) and/or not rotate when the pinion does because it is too far left. If anyone happens to know.

Edited by Sundewd
more info added

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Sometimes just the frame out of "square" just a bit will cause the spool to rub or stop turning. The drag washers shouldn't have anything to do with the spool unless the gears are locking up while the spool is in gear. In freespool everything should spin easily. 

Yes these reels are similar to most all of the others in construction and how they work. You can adjust the spool tension and the levelwind tension. The tension or "wave washer" is like that so the drag star tightens in a smooth fashion instead of loose drag then tight drag. 

Does your spool have the metal drive gear on the end of the spool? There is a little clip that holds the gear on. If that clip is missing it may cause the spool to go too far left. The end of the spool shaft should have a stop before that clip so it shouldn't matter unless the spool has been changed. You never know on the auction site.

 

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I did verify that the little clip on the end is there. Only my clip is more around the stop than in front of it. I saw that yesterday on a schematic and was momentarily excited that that could be the issue, but seems like it's all there. Oh, and these were a family member's reels... not well maintained, but not from an auction at least.

Let's see if I can explain this better. I assume that the large middle lug and spring at the other non-crank end is what tensions the spool. In freespool, it's perfectly smooth when it rotates, albeit a bit of minor rub here and there. Whenever I go to just pop it into retrieve mode, the entire spool actually visually moves towards the non-crank side which makes it leave the pinion gear seat that turns the spool. I can slide it back over and it'll catch and work. Problem is, eventually as I crank it it will slide back off again or just stop catching and bind up until I adjust it again. And this is with maximum tension on the spool lug/spring. I can get it so that it has no freeplay... yet when I go to operate it in retrieve, it does this moving over to the left phenomenon I can't figure out. Having the drag on a little more does seem to help the issue, which is why I was wondering if the drag washers were just too worn out to keep the spool where it needed to be. However, that should only pertain to moving it towards the left I would think since they push that direction when tensioned. Which leaves me with the drive gears... I took out the main gears and pinion gears and put them together on a table. They really do seem to come together nicely without any visually obvious damage that would make them slip. I don't think the reel was used a whole lot all in all.

Might have to call it a loss for now since I am on a budget... I may be better off just biting the bullet and buying something new. But I do want this reel working cause I think it would be very good for certain applications. I like the way it functions. Bothers me that I can't figure it out, lol. Figures that I get -all- of the spinner reels and most of the cheap zebco spincasts working, but these baitcast/traditionals don't want to play ball. Ha!

Edited by Sundewd

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There may be a problem with the pinion gear hanging up on the spool shaft. The spool shouldn't move anywhere after the spool tension is adjusted. Make sure there is no interference at the spool shaft and pinion gear. It should spin easily on the shaft and slide easily into gear on the spool. Make sure the yoke is flat and the clutch springs are good. 

Being an ebay reel the bearings (bushings) on each plate could have been changed. Other ones will fit but the lenght is different from different model reels. Or the spool could have been changed. 

I will take care of it for free if you want to send it to me. Just PM me for details.

I have plenty of new and NOS parts for these reels. 

Keith 

Edited by handi2

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Hey Keith,

You could well be right about something being switched out, like the spool. I replaced the drag washers today (don't have grease though, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to use any anyway) and reassembled. It seems like it went together fine... everything turns smoothly, but something is just off or missing somewhere. Could well be the spool.

If you are wailling to look at it, I can certainly send it your way. That'd be great, and I'd appreciate it. I'll "cast" you a pm. 

Edit: or I won't cast you a pm... seems like newbies like me can't do that. Lol.

Edited by Sundewd

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I am preparing to send Keith the reel today. I am also curious to know exactly what the issue is, lol. NO doubt I could do a full rebuild on it, but that doesn't seem to be very economical, unless of course I were to decide to do some upgrades to it. Which I may want to do one day, never know...

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All I could find wrong was a cracked left tail plate. That will do it.

 

Both side plates replaced so they would match. The gear sleeve was replaced also. The freespool is great for this reel with 4 times across with the line guide. TSI321 oil was used on all the bushings and worm gear. 

 

Its ready to ship back.

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I also put on a larger drag star and replaced part #45. The brass gear that turns the worm gear it was a little worn where the worm gear key's into it.

 

Its in the mail now.

 

Keith

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