Altex bail ... does this look right

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BobTheFloat
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Re: Altex bail ... does this look right

Post by BobTheFloat » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:05 pm

What a great result guys.
I'm lucky enough to own a couple of Altex reels which Nobby has worked his magic on and I couldn't be more happier!
Very clever chap and an absolute gentleman :cheers:
Your one bite away from the best session of your life

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Keston
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Re: Altex bail ... does this look right

Post by Keston » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:26 pm

BobTheFloat wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:05 pm

Very clever chap and an absolute gentleman :cheers:
Indeed he is.
:cheers:

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Wallys-Cast
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Re: Altex bail ... does this look right

Post by Wallys-Cast » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:44 pm

Nobby wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:17 pm
Well we have some progress. ish. The reel arrived and the bail arm was indeed quite bent. I removed it and straightened it carefully, tweaking one end and then the other until the line roller lower side was exactly lined up with the back of the spool when it was fully extended. Absurdly, that took well over two hours. The line roller mounting screw was actually loose, but corroded into position, perhaps as a result of being dropped many years ago, but it loosened up again with a little tightening and loosening after the application of some trombone slide oil, the thinnest oil I know of.

I went over the rest of the reel cleaning and re-oiling until I put a drop of oil behind the rotor, to try and dribble it down to the rotor bearing race. Big mistake!


The drop of oil loosened a bit of grit which promptly ran into the race making the already noisy reel sound like a coffee grinder.........

The only answer was a complete strip down; something I have never managed to achieve before.

It was then that I realised the reel had been stripped down before, probably twice. The wire twists that held the 'connecting rod' ends in place were steel, not copper based, and the aluminium pins that hold the spool carrier and handle on were clearly re-used items. I say '"twice" because although Hardy wouldn't have done this the reel also had what I now believe to be a conversion fitted during service that wasn't part of the original reel at sales. I have seen early reels with this conversion and late reels with it too, but I've seen lots of late reels without it, so I've come to the conclusion it is an after-sales modification that gets rid of the slop on the rotor head as the big end, small end and their pins wear. It consists of a rail mounted onto the left side of the reel and its presence is indicated by two screws going through the reel body to mount it. The small end pin is extended and carries a roller that slides back and forth in a groove along this rail.

Well, the con-rod wire twists came out OK and the mounting pins drifted out OK too. You have to be really careful with the spool carrier mounting pin or you'll bend the axle and it will jam as it goes back into the reel. It is a ridiculously small diameter even if it does have lovely lubrication groves machined into it to draw oil inside!

The brass nut that holds the spiral gear to the rotor came undone OK by using a pair of circlip pliers to lock into its two holes deep inside the back of the reel.


And that was it...the reel fully dismantled and that's when I found the cause of the noise. Grit and damage to the thrust faces of the washers either side of the ball race. Unfortunately they had already been turned once before in the reels life and both sides were damaged so I couldn't just flip[ them over.

That's when the bail arm spring broke. Oh, ....and the line roller has a groove in it too.......


So today I contacted RB, who has a few spares and he immediately offered the needed parts in exchange for a small contribution to the forum. That seemed the only good news all day......What a gent!


The remainder of the second day was spent hand-polishing the damaged thrust washers and then cutting a paper shim out to regain the correct clearances afterwards. I wasn't too sure this would work, but what option was there? Re-assembling the rotor with its bearings later proved that it did, so there was a bit more good news after all today. The reel is now fully re-assembled, bar a bail arm spring, and after a few false starts it runs smoothly and quietly. I had fun with the bronze section to the handle which has three mounting screws .... some how the three holes were not lined up correctly and one had to be filed with a watchmakers file to get it to go on again...On to where it had already been for probably sixty years.......grumble.

If you look really carefully at the very first image you might be able to make out two things.....the groove in the line roller, cutting through a patch of bright reflected light and that the arm that locks the bail arm open was bent backwards. This had caused the cam on the bail arm mounting plate to try and 'ride' over it consequently wearing the cam and the arm considerably, so that they had a large contact area and jammed a little. I've come across this issue on Mitchell 300 style reels before a lot and its a real pain; polishing bits just doesn't reduce the coefficient of friction sufficiently to make the reel work nicely again. In this case it was a matter of two grades of wet and dry, Scotchbrite 1000 grade and then even Solvol Autosol and Brasso before the parts slid smoothly over one another gain...and then only be reducing the spring pressure of the bail arm latch a little.


To say these reels are hard to work on is an understatement........and I could make a few points to the designer should I ever meet him...tiny 6 ball race for a rotor head indeed...even the Ambidex one is twice as big!

But I'm nearly there....my first complete Altex rebuild.
Well done Nobby, patience pays off big time with these reels.
You rarely get two Altex reels the same, I have found all sorts of little differences inside them but one things for sure, it is a great feeling when you get it all back together and working smoothly again isn't it.

The bearings, if you ever need any are 1/16" or 1.59mm and can be bought quite cheaply in sets of 10, 50, 100 etc. It's well worth replacing old ones if you do a strip down. Here's a link if you need one, other suppliers are available of course.
https://simplybearings.co.uk/shop/Loose ... index.html

Wal.

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Keston
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Re: Altex bail ... does this look right

Post by Keston » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:51 pm

It seems surprising to me they stayed in production for so long if they could have simplified them , updated them ? Maybe they never intended for DIY servicing and felt customers would only do basic oiling .
I wonder if they all different as they were handbuilt and or constantly had minor changes ?
John

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Nobby
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Re: Altex bail ... does this look right

Post by Nobby » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:50 am

I suspect they were expensive to make due to the awkward hand assembly and to be quite frank the design has its faults too; that bearing is just asking for rain to get in it and rust the thrust washers and ball bearings and there is no lubrication port to it either. Its recessed nature means any dirt that does get in stays there too!
I'm not sure of it's deliberate or not, but the forward of the two ports on the left side actually breaks into the main reel chamber and the oil therefore goes onto the gears and not down into the bushing for the rotor. Since the two ports are so close together this actually might well be deliberate, but I prefer grease on gears to oil.

I've blocked off the missing side cover screw hole with candle wax, as I have also blocked the handle oil port, to keep the rain out but I can't get any wax to stay in place in the hole that is exposed when the anti-reverse is switched on. With all these holes it's not surprising that the reel showed some rust damage inside.......


Hardy did try and make the Altex cheaper to produce when they created the ill-fated Mark Six, which had a lot of plastic parts. This might have reduced production costs but it must have undermined the famous Hardy quality too and the reel failed to sell. There is a rumour it was never actually released for sale and the few out there are actually stock 'liberated' by a disgruntled employee. I have no idea if this is true...most of the 'urban myths' about Hardy have proved to be false........


Thanks for the heads up about the ball bearings Wal. I replaced the wire twists on the con rod with stainless steel 'lock-wiring' wire but I've lost the label and am unsure of the size. You can buy short lengths of this on eBay. The aluminium pins I have yet to find a source for.

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Keston
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Re: Altex bail ... does this look right

Post by Keston » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:39 am

I have just received the Nobbyfied Altex back and I must say a huge thank you to Nobby . The bail arm is a million times better than I would have been able to manage . Its quite staggering really the depth of skills on TFF . I would also thank RBTraditional for supplying part too .
This Altex looks fit for years of good service now .
I will put up some photos later maybe after polishing it a bit .
Kind regards
John
Ps if anyone has a spare side plate screw for sale to finish it off please do get in touch .

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JPC
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Re: Altex bail ... does this look right

Post by JPC » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:48 am

Hi Keston, I do have a side plate screw, if you pm me your address I will post it off to you.
Amazing thread but it has got me worried, I have three No3 MkV Altex reels, which I have had for many years (used to be the old mans), they were used a great deal by me back in the seventies/eighties and helped me land many carp. These days I only use them when I visit a "history" carp water but after reading Nobby's posts maybe I should retire them completely ? They seem fine, nice and smooth but they have only been serviced once since the old boy bought them, maybe thirty years ago, be a shame as I do like using them.

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Nobby
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Re: Altex bail ... does this look right

Post by Nobby » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:50 am

I think if they still run well they can still be used. Let's face it, you've had them so long now you'd know if anything was going wrong with them.

Whilst I feel that the design can be improved on, looked after, they still work very well indeed.

I'd love to have seen what one might have been like with a shallow match spool and the changes internally to lay line onto one. The Ambidex Match got these modifications...just imagine one with those superbly made Altex gears inside!

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JPC
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Re: Altex bail ... does this look right

Post by JPC » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:58 am

Thanks Nobby

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Keston
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Re: Altex bail ... does this look right

Post by Keston » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:39 pm

JPC wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:48 am
Hi Keston, I do have a side plate screw, if you pm me your address I will post it off to you.
Ah that's Marvelous JPC.
It will be great to complete this lively reel .
PM sent :Hat:
John

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