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Accidentally left bass (in case) in trunk for entire week

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lastminute, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. lastminute


    Dec 25, 2007

    Short version of story, left my maple fretboard G&L L-2000 (in a hard shell case) in the trunk of my car after playing at church Sunday, had one busy week and didn't remember it was there till tonight. Parked in a shaded area while at home, car was only out in the sun when I was at my internship for around 5 hours at a time (3x this week).

    What sort of damage should I be looking for, aside from a possibly warped neck?
  2. nothing. Maybe you need to re-tweak the overall setup or tight/release the truss rod.
  3. Yeah I would think a setup would be about it. If you live in someplace like death valley, it would be less than ideal, or someplace really cold in the winter same thing, but even then I doubt any actual damage would occur.
  4. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009

    I'd imagine it sat in a cardboard box on a boat from China/ Wherever for a month or more, and then there is the time it spent in the back of a music store, then the time in a delivery truck. It should be just fine. :)
  5. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    I've never seen real damage from what you describe but I have seen necks back bow from the wood expanding when left in a hot car for several days. If it plays fine, it's OK and you probably have a very stable instrument. If you have string buzz you didn't have before, I wouldn't make any adjustments yet. I'd slack off the strings, let it sit in a place with a normal room temp for 3 or 4 days to let the neck recover, then tune it up and see if it needed setup adjustments due to a permanent change in the neck.

  6. if you take off the strings, the neck will NOT "recover" but backbow immediately due to the lack of front pull against the rod loaded tension, instead.

    The correct procedure should be a) remove the strings and 2) loose completely the truss rod; but it's not worth the effort.

    Just leave the bass alone at home for one day/night and then set it up again.
  7. soulman969

    soulman969 Banned SUSPENDED

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    If they got damaged that easily then when we rode around the upper Midwest in -30 degree weather with everything stored overnight in a van or the equipment trailer I'd have needed to buy a lot more basses than I have.

    We didn't need to have our nitro finishes CS aged for us. Nature took care of that quite well. You'll be fine......and so will the bass.:)
  8. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    A proper procedure is any procedure that works and fixes the problem, if there is one, without doing damage. The only real merit between different procedures is the amount of time, special equipment needed or callbacks. I've "fixed" none or several "left in the car" instruments every summer for many years, made money, or not, and been a hero by using the exact procedure I described. Taught to me by my dad in the 60s back when I did foolish things to a '56 Telecaster. I always tell the owners how to do it. I really charge the $$ as a mild object lesson in some cases (attitude or lack of care of the instrument).

    I realize that slacking off the strings will increase the immediate back bow and is counter intuitive. As I was taught, the wood of the neck and the truss rod need to reach an equilibrium without the string tension helping the wood and maybe causing over recovery and immediate future setup tweaks (callbacks). Works for me but YMMV. :)

  9. (just for the sake of clarity, then if that is your way, who am I to say "yes" or "not" if it works for you, ok?!)

    The truss rod is used exclusively to counteract the string pull on the other side, not to find the equilibrium with the wood. If it (rod) was not there, the more the tension of the strings, the more the neck will front bow. The only equilibrium you will find when you don't have the strings mounted and at pitch is with the rod completely loosen; so the neck will be completely straight, then: do not forget that the neck/fretboard is built completely flat (lengthwise) with the truss rod installed but completely loosen or with just one/two turns, so to hold to the bolt ends (so no pull effect).

    With strings on to pitch, having a rod and turning it "in" until fretboard straightness (more or less: preferences), will now help the wood remaining in its, say, "neutral" condition. When you remove one of the two (rod or strings) from the "equation", the wood will bend according to the remaining pull.

    Well, thanks God the wood is a wonderful and naturally elastic material that will return to "pitch" when you will restrung the bass/guitar (or... reinsert the rod!) despite what we do to it, until a certain extent!!! But, again, this is only my own neglectable experience, anyway...

  10. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    When i was a kid i used to do it all the time with my 71 maple necked fender P bass..I lived in NY.. Winter was cold and summer moderate not too hot.. but hot enough at times.
    . It was a one piece maple with skunk stripe and no capped fingerboard.. So i really never had an issue.. I stil have the bass 40 years later and its great...
    However i think that most basses today have a separate fingerboard glued to the main neck.. And that glue can soften and allow the fingerboard to slip minuscule amount and possibly cause issues...
    You will know pretty qiuk though.. Try adjusting te Truss rod if need be.. and see how it goes..

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