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base of tuners separating from the headstock..

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by tranceFusion, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. so I am noticing on my Fender Jazz that a couple of my tuners that there is space between the base of the tuner and the back of the headstock. I am talking about the square that attaches the tuner to the back of the headstock, with the 4 screws in it.

    I have tried to tighten the screws, but unfortunately it seems that those a couple of the screw holes have lost their threading, as they will not stay tightened.

    Is this a big problem? I was planning to replace the pickups soon, but I don't want to if I am going to need to replace the neck?
  2. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Don't try to tighten those screws while the strings are on; you'll just strip out the wood. If it's already stripped, then you might try to put as little glue and a piece of a toothpick in the holes to give the screws something to bite into.
  3. I removed the strings before trying to tighten it.

    The screws were already stripped.. I have never touched them though until today. I am assuming that the tension of the strings tugging on them for 11 years has caused it?

    Maybe I can replace the tuners w/ something that has beefier screws?
  4. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    the glue/toothpick fix would probably work,
    but might not stand much abuse.
    or, remove the tuners and drill slightly
    oversize holes and plug with same size
    hardwood dowel using good wood glue.
    good permanent fix.
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The screws really don't have that much tension on them. They primarily keep the tuner assembly from rotating while under string tension. Is there really enough of a gap amongst the tuner post / ferrule / headstock hole to provide adequate leverage so as to "rip" out the 4 anchor screws?

  6. lowtide

    lowtide Commercial User

    Oct 14, 2006
    Bradenton, Florida
    Owner: Buzzard's Bass Shop
    I find that those tiny screws are simply . . . well . . . too tiny to do the work. I would go up the next screw shank size and drill those 4 little holes out on each mount. The next screw size will be better for drawing the tuners down. Be sure to clean any burs off the tuner or clean any protruding wood from the back of the headstock that has pulled up from your trying to tighten them.

    Forget about the toothpick idea. It's a halfassed repair. :rollno:
  7. Well a buzz has developer from one of the loose tuners. It isn't audible through the amp, though I can't imagine it helps intonation if the tuner is moving enough to cause a buzz.

    I don't know why the tuner post hole has room for the leverage to be created, though I'd love to hear any suggestions. Maybe I need to correct that issue instead?

    Is this a common problem?

    I think I am going to go with lowtide's suggestion of moving up a screw shank size as it seems more permanent than the toothpick thing.. Unless somebody else has some other idea..
  8. zuma


    Dec 21, 2006
    East Los Angeles
  9. zuma - yup, that's about what I've got! are the screw holes stripped? It's good to know it hasn't worsened..

    honestly I didn't figure it could worsen much since there is really no place for the tuner to go.. but I am worried about the buzz.

    Do you have any buzzing on yours?
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I'd probably just remove the screws, get screws one size larger, lube the threads with soap or paraffin to ease insertion and screw the tuners back down.
  11. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Thanks for the pic Zuma, I've got that same issue with my 62 RI. Mine is MIJ '87. They aren't pulling up the mounting screws, but all the plates bow up in the middle like that. Tightening the mounting screws would not affect this as I see it. Everything works fine, no tuning problems. I'm with you, I'm not going to mess with it.
  12. zuma


    Dec 21, 2006
    East Los Angeles
    My screws aren't stripped. I remember attempting to tighten them but they were pretty much torqued as far as I felt comfortable with so I wisely just left it as is. Mine does NOT buzz (thankfully). It's too bad yours does. I would probably fill in the holes (as suggested above) in your case. That rattling would drive me bananas.

    I'm wondering...is there any way to disassemble these tuners and pound the base back in to shape?
  13. zuma


    Dec 21, 2006
    East Los Angeles

    I'm glad it wasn't just me! I wonder why this happens. Cheap tuners? Vintage vibe? :eyebrow:
  14. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    + 1 for either the toothpick solution or the dow rod solution

    Edit: I have to add that I once gave out the toothpick solution to a guitarist whose strap button kept falling out. It was somewhat noticeable by all of the duct tape holding the strap to the guitar. So I mention the solution, and the next time I saw him his guitar was minus the duct tape. He thanked me as well.

    I kinda feel bad for giving away our bassists' knowledge - but maybe he'll go on in life appreciating us.
  15. yeah, mine is not bent like zuma's, the screws are just raised up off the headstock.

    I don't mind buying new tuners, but I don't think that's really the solution to the problem..

    I guess a trip to the hardware store is in order :)
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Just keep in mind that the wood of those necks/headstocks is pretty darn hard. As long as the threads can get a grip on wood, they'll hold OK...and if you really have to exert force, the screw head can twist off and you have a bigger problem. I'd suggest making the minimum change in screw size needed to get the threads to grip, and don't go longer than the originals. I'd also leave in place any screws for which the holes aren't stripped.

    And don't forget the soap/paraffin trick.
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