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Bass Strings Hitting Pickups, and Screws won't budge

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SquierVM, May 27, 2011.

  1. SquierVM


    Dec 20, 2007
    I have a Squier VM Jaguar Bass, and my strings are hitting the neck p-bass pickups when i play, causing a loud clicking/popping sound to come from my amp. I tried to lower the pickups by adjusting the screws on the pickups, but the screws won't budge at all. I was thinking about using some WD-40 on the screws to loosen them, but I don't wanna screw up my bass. I am, in general, very bad at making even the most minor of repairs/adjustments to my instruments. Is WD-40 a good idea? If so, how would I go about applying it? I don't wanna raise my action, because I finally got it just right the other day. Any help would be greatly appreciated
  2. grisezd


    Oct 14, 2009
    Wow. No, WD-40 is not a good idea. I don't recommend it for most metal applications much less a wood one.

    Use a properly sized screw driver in very good condition to carefully back the screws out one at a time. One by one rub some candle wax on the threads and screw them back in. If they get tight consider backing them out again to re-wax. You might want to press lightly inward on the pickup as you turn the screw to take some load off.

    Good luck!
  3. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Yeah, you need a proper sized screw drive.

    WD-40 is fine for many applications. It's just oil, nothing evil. It even works well for cleaning pots when other methods wont.
  4. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    Doing live sound i've run across this quite a bit, and on a couple of my own basses as well. One fix that doesn't alter the sound is to neatly cut a piece of electrical tape to the right size and put it over the exposed poles.
    The strings won't be able to contact the poles, and you don't have to change the position of the pickups.
  5. slaphappychappy


    May 25, 2011
    ^^^^^the annoying thing about exposed pole basses.

    But, also a drill with the hammer setting on the weaker end to gently pry it loose. BUT
    BE VERY VERY CAREFUL or you can slip and scratch your bass.
    wd40, lol. I had a customer who had a bung knee and he used to spray it on it and said it was the only thing that would stop it hurting. lol
  6. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Gently push down on the pickup itself. Will it go down any further? If not theres nothing to be done. Otherwise, again push down on the pup and useing right size screwdriver try screwing screw down while holding pup down.
  7. VictorG


    Apr 19, 2011
    WD40 was originally developed as a spray on topical pain reliever for arthritis.But the lubricating properties of it turned out to be highly profitable.
  8. REAPER52


    Aug 17, 2008
    For the structural motif in molecular biology, see WD40 repeat.



    Public (NASDAQ: WDFC)








    San Diego, California, USA




    WD-40 Lubricates, Cleans, Protects, Penetrates & Displaces Moisture

    WD-40 spray can

    WD-40 with Smart Straw.

    WD-40 spray can from Germany
    WD-40 is the trademark name of a widely-available water-displacing spray developed in 1953 by Norm Larsen, founder of the Rocket Chemical Company, San Diego, California. It was originally designed to repel water and prevent corrosion,[1] and later was found to have numerous household uses.

    WD-40 stands for "Water Displacement – 40th Attempt". Larsen was attempting to concoct a formula to prevent corrosion, by displacing the standing water that causes it. In the process, he arrived at a successful formula on his 40th attempt.[1] WD-40 is primarily composed of various hydrocarbons.

    WD-40 was first used by Convair to protect the outer skin of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion.[1][2] The product first became commercially available on store shelves in San Diego in 1958.[1
  9. REAPER52


    Aug 17, 2008
    Ididnt type it that way ===dont have a clue why it came out that way
  10. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Normally I try to encourage everyone to learn about the setup and technical details of their instruments but given the amazing variety of truly bad advice you've been given here from just put duct tape over the pups to stop the clicking (I know he said electrical but a gui**** would use duct tape) to using WD-40 on wood.

    No, don't use ANY oil on wood unless it's lemon oil! Especially nasty chemicals like WD-40. These are wood screws I presume holding the pickups down. Those screws need to be removed by whatever method and replaced by new ones. Possibly shorter ones due to your low action. Whatever is holding the pickups up (foam? springs?) needs to be examined and adjusted as needed. Possibly the bass may even need routed deeper.

    In short while this is a job many of us here could do, I think that by your own admission it's way over your head. TAKE IT TO A PRO TO GET IT FIXED! It will be worth the money. If possible watch and see what he does to fix it. Consider the price of the fix "lessons" on the matter of pickup height adjustment. There is a REASON they are adjustable. Proper tone depends on the proper distance to the strings.
  11. slaphappychappy


    May 25, 2011
    Lol, haven't solved any problems, but ive learnt alot about wd40.
    Although one point someone made was if you push on the pups will they go down further. Cos if there is no adjustment left, you must have hell low action. Sounds like if that's the case, packing the neck and raising the action, our heavier strings so they don't have as much movement. But to me, until a bass has at least 110 gauge, then you're playing a stray, lol.
  12. I'm having the same problem with my Fender Jazz. I replaced the old and stripped screws with new ones fresh from Fender but my pickups still are stuck in place. No amount of loosening or tightening them will raise or lower the pickups. On my other jazz bass, the pickups adjusted great, same screws as the new ones, same made in Mexico, same pickups, same everything, except this one moves while my current one does not.

    The foam isn't brittle or hard or anything but it has some resistance when I squeeze it....maybe it's that?

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