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Another stuck truss rod question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Wyatt, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. I have a 94 Squire jazz. While having it set-up, I was told that the truss rod was stuck. Tech told me that it wouldn't turn either way and therefore he didn't adjust it. Wasn't bad out anyway. What could possibly cause it to freeze up, so to speak? How can I safely check it without damaging anything else. The tech told me it would not be a problem, but I can't settle with that. Any tips would be helpful. I can rebuild a 350chevy, but I'm still learning to work on basses so details will help.

    Thank You
  2. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Truss rod can seize up because they have been manhandled in the past: the nut is way too tight and it won't loosen up not unlike if you take a vize grip to tighten a water faucet. Good luck using it afterwards unless you use a vice grip to loosen it.

    Or it can seize up because of the pressure inside the route or because it is faulty, crappy, broken. Are you the original owner ?

    PS: When the tech says that it's stuck and that it isn't a problem, either:
    a) He sees that it's a Squier and knows that fishing out the truss rod out of there and replacing would be more costly than buying a new one. Even buyign a replacement neck, unless you have setimental attachement or mods done to the bass would make no sense.
    b) He is talking from his rear end. The truss rod is there for a reason.
  3. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    1. Cross threaded adjustment nut.
    2. Glue on threads.

    Since you are an experienced mechanic, you understand that unless it is a double action truss rod (Fender calls it Biflex) a lot of tension against the nut when backing the nut off doesn't make a lot of sense.

    This situation might call into question the tech's experience. He may or may not know how tight the nut should feel.

    Truss rods work by bringing the neck into compression. It can feel tight when backing it off for the first revolution or so. It will help if the neck can be placed into an artificial back bow to relieve some of the compression. If there is glue on the threads (think blue Loctite), backing the nut off will fight and feel gummy until the nut passes through the glue.
  4. Thank you for the replies. I am not the original owner of the bass, so I don't know how it was treated before I got it. It is in good condition but that doesn't mean everything is ok. The tech didn't twist real hard on the rod because he had broken one the day before and didn't want to break another one. I don't blame him for not wanting to push it.

    I thought maybe the rod might have bottomed out on the nut or something like that. What I'm not sure of is removing the nut to see if that was the problem. How do I do this and what do I look for? I can see the phillips style head at the base of the neck. Is that what I need to remove? Do I need to hold the other end with an allen wrench to make sure it doesn't move when removing the nut. It makes sense to me that I would have to hold it but wanted to make sure.

    If this is something I should let a tech do, I have no problem taking it to someone. I just hate paying someone to do something that I can do myself and gain some knowledge of working on my own basses.

    Thanks again for the help.
  5. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Pretty simple to do. Unscrew the "phillips" head nut. It is actually more like a cylinder with a big cross cut in the end. A flat screwdriver is usually a better choice than a Phillips. Clean the threads on the truss rod shaft and the internal threads on the nut. If you want to use a little lube on the threads something on the dry or gel side of things is best. Some guys use paste wax, some use anti-seize. Forget WD 40 (WD 40 is not a lubricant!) or any of the other liquid oils. They will make a mess and can cause the wood to swell. When that happens it makes it hard to turn the nut. Put the nut back on and make the adjustments.

    Again, you might want to examine the depth of the tech's experience. It takes a good bit of torque to twist off a piece of 3/16" mild steel even with a T handled wrench. Generally speaking, the nut will emit a loud squeek long before the metal begins to tear. Those who ignore the complaints of metal will live to regret it. That is, if they are lucky and the metal is small.

    With your experience and tool box it might be advisable to purchase a copy of the Guitar Player Repair Guide. It is an easy read. It will save you money. Well, except for the brand new specialty tools you will buy.
  6. Sounds simple enuf (just ruined it for myself:smug:) So I just treat it like an old rusty exhaust manifold bolt. I think I can do that. Sounds like a good project while the wife is at work tomorrow night.

    Thanks 202dy.
  7. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    It's a bit more delicate than that. But the bottom line is, even if the nut is cross threaded or the rod is compromised it's got to come off to fix it. If the rod is FUBAR it will have to be replaced.

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