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Servicing and Tuning the Daiwa 7HT Mag Braking System Servicing and Tuning the Daiwa 7HT Mag Braking System
1. This tutorial covers a subject we are often asked about; how to service the magnet brakes on the Daiwa 7HT Mag.  You will find copious advice on the net about other models of reel but the brake end of this reel seems to fill most owners with fear and dread which is uneccesary as the workings of the Daiwa Magnofuge braking system are very easy to strip, tune and maintain once you know how.  To start the strip down, remove gearbox and spool and then set the brake adjuster to maximum.  This setting sits the adjustment mechanism to its unloaded position and simply makes it easier to remove the side plate by removing the three side plate screws.

2. Having removed the side plate, to strip the adjuster knob you simply undo the fixing screw at the back and the adjuster knob can be withdrawn from the plate.  At this point you can check the teeth of the cog and the detent ratchet for wear; if they are looking the worst for wear it's advisable to replace the part before it causes you problems with adjustment (usually halfway through a fishing session).

3. Now the adjuster knob is off you can clean and lightly relube the assembly with reel grease.  It's difficult to see in the picture but there is a sealing o-ring (Part No: 6G488801) around the outside of the ridge on the adjuster, if this is badly damaged or missing it should be replaced as this helps to stop sand and salt getting into the assembly and causing a jam.  The Detent or "click" spring (Part No: 6H086201) should seat neatly in its housing as in the picture and it should be under load so it doesn't drop out.  If its loose you should either splay the ends carefully until it goes in place tight or replace with a new part.  With everything cleaned you can replace the knob, making sure its in correctly and that you have the proper range of movement, then replace the fixing screw on the inside.

4. Now we turn our attention to the rest of the adjustment mechanism which is attached to the cage.  The Set Plate houses the magnet Holder and the Spool Bearings and is fixed to the cage with three small screws.  These are maybe locked during assembly because I've yet to come across a reel where they seemed to have any inclination to budge.  The good news here is that you really don't need to remove the Set Plate to fully service the assembly in any case so my advice is to leave them alone, although it doesn't hurt to stick a few drops of oil around each screw to ensure that it doesn't get corroded over time; you may need to remove it one day.

5. The next part of the exercise is to remove the Magnet Holder, which is effectively a plastic cog which revolves around the bearing housing and is held in place by two plastic lugs on the inside of the Set Plate.  To remove the Holder, you hold the cage in both hands and simply use your thumbs to slowly rotate the Holder to the right.  At about a quarter of a turn there are slots in the Holder which free it from the retaining lugs on the Set Plate and the the Holder will "pop" forward.  It can then be removed for cleaning.

6. With the Magnet Holder removed you can now see the retaining lugs that I mentioned.  In picture 7 you can see the corresponding slots in the Magnet Holder which, when lined up, will allow removal and replacement of the Magnet Holder.  Muck in this area can cause the Magnet Holder to jam; an old toothbrush and either Methelated Spirits or Brake Cleaner will soon have it clean.  Once clean, apply a very light smear of reel oil to the track and lugs with a small brush or needle applicator.  I've left the bearing in place to take the picture but this is also an ideal time to give the bearing a flush and re-oil.  If you don't intend to service the bearing you should at least remove it during the cleaning process to ensure it doesn't get corrupted with dirt or cleaner.

7. Looking from the back of the Magnet Holder you can clearly see the slots that match up with the retaining lugs on the Set Plate.  Give the Magnet Holder a clean as you did it's housing and check the teeth on the outside.  If they are starting to show signs of wear and tear replacement is probably the best option.  As we've already lubricated the track and lugs in the housing we only need to very lightly lubricate the teeth of the cog and we are ready to replace the Magnet Holder in it's housing.

8. Replacing the Magnet Holder is simple, if a little fiddy.  Line up the slots in the Magnet Holder with the matching lugs in the Set Plate and push the Magnet Holder into position.  Once the Magnet Holder is pushed fully back it should pivot round to the left and sit at the full mag setting on it's own with the force of the magnets (see picture 5).  If it catches, a gentle twist to the left will normally get it located properly and moving in it's track.  Check that the Magnet Holder will pivot in the track freely and if so you can refit the side plate.

9. Refitting the side plate is just a reversal of the first few steps.  Make sure the Magnet holder is sitting at it's maximum setting as in picture above - the two slots arrowed should roughly line up.  Then just make sure that the adjuster knob is fully round to it's maximum setting as in picture 1 and refit the side plate and protector ring.  You may have to wiggle things a bit for the adjuster cogs to mesh which may take the slots slightly off line but that's nothing to worry about.  Check that you have the full range of movement on the adjuster knob and assuming all is well you are now ready to move on to the spool mechanism.

10. The spool mechanism seems to scare the daylights out of a lot of owners but is very simplistic and is just a centrifugal system for pushing the brake collar forward against a loaded spring.  Customer's reels seem to arrive in my workshop either with the brake collar glued in place or seemingly just push-fitted on.   If you are lucky enough that yours is push-fitted simply remove the blue aluminium collar from the top of the assembly by pulling it off with very gentle pressure.  If it is stuck on then don't force it as you could damage the mechanism; leaving it in place just means that stripping the mechanism will be a little more fiddly.  We now have to remove the c-clip on the spool spindle to get at the rest of the mechanism; it can be extremely fiddly (especially with the collar in place) because of the loaded spring behind it but I'm going to show you a couple of handy little tools that you can use to prevent the whole lot flying across the room when a finger slips.

11. The first tool is only of use if your collar is removable.  We start by folding over a six inch length of tape; I prefer masking tape as it's less messy.  Then we simply cut a small V in the fold with a pair of scissors as shown in the picture.  The V needs to be just big enough to go over the spool spindle and the c-clip but catch on the washer that is directly underneath the c-clip.  To give you a better idea of the size the hole in the tape needs to be, the c-clip has an outside diameter of 5.5mm.

12. Once we have cut the V in the tape we simply open it up and stick it over the spindle as shown so that it pulls down on the spring loaded assembly holding it in place.  If you wrap the tape round the spool lengthways it will hold the sprung assembly safely in place while you remove the c-clip; you can use the same trick for reassembly.  Once the c-clip is off, trap the mechanism with your fingers and release the tape allowing the spring to unload without it sending everything across the room.

13. The second tool could be used on spools regardless of the collar being fixed or not.  To make the tool you need a thin strip of metal about 12mm wide and 110mm long.  The metal should be fairly thin as it does need to flex for the tool to work.  Drill a 6mm hole in one end and shape the end to fit inside the collar as shown in the picture; this allows the end to pass over the c-clip but bear on the spring retention washer, taking the load off the c-clip.

14. Once you have drilled and shaped the end simply bend the strip roughly as shown above.  With the top of the tool bearing on the spring retention washer the bottom leg of the tool holds it in place freeing you up to concentrate on getting the c-clip off.  If your worried about the tool flying off just fasten an elastic band around the tool to trap it in place against the spool.

15. Back to the job in hand; taking the assembly apart.  First parts to come off (in order of right to left) are the c-clip, spring retention washer and the load spring.  A quick clean with an oily rag is usually the only attention they need.

16. Then we slide off the block assembly with it's two bright red wedge-shaped blocks; its these two blocks that push the whole collar assembly forward under cenrifugal force by pushing against the inside of the chamber in the spool so they sometimes have signs of wear on their outside faces.  Any roughness or burrs on that edge can cause them to catch so slip them out of their guides and give them a close inspection.  Get rid of any roughness with some very fine wet and dry paper and make sure that they move cleanly in their guides.  A light clean in meths will usually clean any dust or dirt out of the block assembly.

17. Give the spool chamber and the spindle a clean with an oily rag but be careful not to lose the pin that locks the brake assembly (arrowed) as it is loose-fitted inside the spindle.  You are now ready for reassembly.

18. I always reassemble the block mechanism dry as there is nothing on it to corrode but a drop of lubricant on the spindle before you replace it doesn't hurt.  It locates back on the spindle with the narrow part going on first; it makes life easier if the blocks are pushed right into their tracks.

19. Once the block assembly is back on make sure that the blocks slide out freely and then replace the spring over the spindle.  At this point you can just reverse the reassembly by adding the spring retention washer, clamping with whichever tool you are using (if any) and then fitting the c-clip to lock everything in place, however we are going to tweek this reel slightly to speed it up a bit using a very simple trick passed on to me by the engineer who manufactures our mag brake conversions.

20. By far and away the simplest way to speed up the 7HT Mag is to preload the spring that fits onto the spool spindle.  This means that the brakes don't engage till more centrifugal force has built up in the spool and, more importantly, will ease off earlier in the cast, as the spool slows.  Preloading the spring is easily acheived by adding one (or more if your brave) additional washers to the assembly underneath the standard spring retention washer.  We've used a single 0.75mm thick stainless steel M5 washer but nylon or copper shims would be just as effective; with thin shims you could fine tune the reel by trial and error, however a single washer should noticably improved the performance of your reel without making it uncontrollable.

21. Using the masking tape tool everything goes back together without any fuss.  You can see that the additional washer used to tune the brakes is wider than the standard spring retention washer, this is nothing to worry about and won't interfere with the smooth operation of the mechanism at all.

22. With everything back together all we need to do is refit the collar to the plastic block assembly (if it was removable), add the obligatory drop of oil to the spool spindle and reassemble the reel ready for the next session on the beach or field; if you've added a tuning washer to the mechanism do remember though to increase the mag setting above the normal one you start with to compensate for the tuning of the brakes.  Hopefully at this point in the tutorial most owners will be wondering why they were ever worried about taking the brakes apart.  If you have any questions about any aspect of this tutorial please email us via our Contact Us page.  



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