Old Town Predator PDL Problems: Common Issues & Solutions

Old Town Predator PDL is one of the best kayaks most anglers love. Whether the angler is a newbie or professional, Predator will be his go-to kayak to fish everywhere. People are just crazed about the Predator as they are durable, functional, reliable, and efficient.

However, the kayak starts getting defective over time. The drive is wiggling, the Predator PDL is making noise, and some parts get punctured. Every angler encounters these issues.

Among them, a noisy paddle system is a frequent problem of your Predator. To stop the knocking noise, you need to lubricate the pin located in pinion gear. Regarding this, just take apart the pinion gear first with the hex key or Allen wrench. Afterward, use the marine grease to lube the little pin.

To discover more Old Town Predator PDL problems and solutions, continue to read.

Old Town Predator PDL Problems & Solutions

From this chapter, we will troubleshoot some common problems of your favorite Old Town Predator PDL and offer some solutions to them.

Old Town PDL Knocking

Paddle system failure is a common issue every Old Town Kayak owner encounters. The paddle system is knocking or making a crushing noise if there is a lack of lubrication in the lower pinion gear.

But many of us don’t know how to fix the knocking paddle system, which costs us a leg and arm to replace the paddle system. Knowing how to repair it will help you save a lot of bucks (as a paddle system costs you at least $1k).

Related: How Much Does a Kayak Cost?

Old Town Predator PDL Problems
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How to Fix:

First off, make sure you have these pieces of equipment at your fingertips- a 3-millimeter and 4-millimeter hex keys. Also, a two-millimeter hex key will work to tighten the pinion gear. Plus, keep some red thread lock close to your hand.

Use a floating wrench to get the propeller off from the unit. Then, use your hand to remove the shear pin.

Next, use the three-millimeter Allen wrench to remove the bolts from the pinion gear. It takes about 5 minutes to pop out the two bolts.

Now, use the four-millimeter Allen wrench to remove the other two nuts from the gear.

Afterward, use your hand to pop out the pinion gear from the paddle system. This is the stuff that starts clicking eventually.

Take a smaller hex key and put it through where the shear pin goes. Yeah, it may take a lot of elbow grease to loosen the pin. So, take your time and use the hex key to remove it.

Once you remove the pin, coat it with any type of marine gear grease to lubricate the pin. We hope it will fix the knocking problem of your Old Town PDL.

Finally, assemble the pinion gear again.

Old Town PDL Drive is Wiggling

The next problem of an Old Town Predator PDL is- its drive wobbles around over time. Now, you may ask- why the Old Town PDL Drive is wiggling? Simple. When it gets loosen, it starts moving. So, the easy fix is to tighten it up.

Here is how to tighten the PDL drive:

The equipment you need to tighten the PDL drive is- a 17-millimeter wrench and a 7-millimeter hex head. Use the hex head to hold the head of the nut. Then, take your wrench to fasten the nut to stop your PDL drive from moving. Indeed, it’s a simple fix for the wiggling PDL drive.

Other Problems of Old Town Predator PDL

Corroded fuse and fuse holders, leaky kayak, and cracked in the hull are common problems of your Old Town Predator PDL.

To fix a rusty fuse and fuse holders, just apply fluid film or penetrating oil to clean the corrosion.

For repairing the leaky kayak, you can use a marine goop. On the other hand, welding the hole in the hull will be the best way to fix the cracked hole.

Old Town PDL Drive Maintenance

Maintain the following tips to keep your PDL Drive in good shape for years to come.

  • Wash the PDL drive thoroughly with clean water after every use of it.
  • Pop out the propeller from its place to check whether there forms any build-up or not. Then, flush and wash the propeller shaft with water evenly.
  • Don’t hesitate to take a look at the prop pin. Saltwater may corrode the pin over time. So, check it out and replace it if needed.
  • Make sure every hardware like pedals, cranks-arms, and others is tight. If they get loose, tighten them up.


Every kayak, whether it’s from Old Town or other brands, gets defective over time. What you need to do is- just troubleshoot the problems and fix them.

The best suggestion we can give is- rinse your kayak after every use with water. When the winter comes, clean the entire unit and store them.

And of course, follow the troubleshooting guide we mentioned above and take care of your Old Town Predator PDL according to the guide.

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