American special P, truss adjustment?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by IPA, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. IPA

    IPA Supporting Member

    May 5, 2010
    I don't much care for adjustment at the heel, but that's my only gripe about this wonderful bass.

    Am I missing something, or do I need to loosen the neck bolts to get to the truss on this? On my Sting (which adjusts with a screwdriver) I can kinda angle the tool in there. But since this one is a hex I'm really not able to fit it in at an angle.

    Not sure if it came with some easier-to-use tool, because mine came with nothing, no bag or anything else.

    Put on some DR sunbeams and it needs a bit of adjustment. Not bad strings. Kinda disappointed at how late the E string tapers down. Got about one turn of fat string on the post. Yuck.
  2. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    The Fender wrench (that should be included with the new bass) has the ability to be carefully used from a slight angle due to the rounded edges on the end of the hex. My Highway one (which is a very similar bass) could be adjusted without removing the neck, but the wrench would impact and scratch the pickguard when doing so.

    So the question is... 13 screws to remove the pickguard or 4 strings and 4 screws to remove the neck, or just find a Fender wrench? I'd still pull the pickguard if I had one today to avoid scratching the guard.

  3. IPA

    IPA Supporting Member

    May 5, 2010
    Looks like Stewmac has some ball-end hex wrenches that will do about the same?
  4. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    The T handle hex wrenches with the ball end are much easier to use.
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i modded a typical L-shaped 3/16" hex wrench by hacksawing off the short end, leaving just the curve and maybe 1/16" of straight; it'll just fit into that notch in my '96 american standard P to adjust the rod.
  6. MdC64


    Jan 25, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
  7. I actually have come to like the look of a nick or little gouge on the pickguard from adjusting the truss. Break her in!
  8. IPA

    IPA Supporting Member

    May 5, 2010
    Home Depot across the street from my office has some ball-end hexes, gonna check em out later. I could definitely use a whole set if I had em around... can't have too many tools.
  9. mblackford


    Aug 3, 2012
    3/16" ball end T-handle hex wrench is what you want, sounds like you know that. I always put a couple wraps of tape around the shaft of the hex wrench where it might nick the pickguard.
  10. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    That's the way to roll!

    Touch up on the grinder to bevel the edges to give a little more angle purchase.

    Then wrap some tape on the "handle" end to make it easy to spot on the bench.
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    "tape"? bite your tongue :D

    i drilled out the core of some nice hardwood dowel and sunk the "handle" end of the wrench into it.

    actually, i have a whole collection of allen wrenches for truss rods that i've built this way.

    most of them i've sunk the short end into the dowel so as to create a wrench with a longer reach.
  12. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Just a simple ring of tape, like flagging a bit.

    Great. Another non-revenue producing project. But I gotta have 'em. What diameter dowel? Length? Species? Oil or lacquer?

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