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Changing those tuning machine bushings

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Beefbass, May 31, 2003.


  1. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Hey everybody, was doing a search of old setup threads, but couldn't find an answer to a question I have-when changing the tuners on a Fender MIM bass, how do you get the old bushings out? I want to find the answer before I attempt to do this.

    Also to Hambone; thanks for the suggestion on the stewmac economy tuners. I saw that in an older thread. They look like a good deal-gotta be better than the junk thats on those MIM basses now. :)
     
  2. Thanx for the kudo - It's a pretty good bet when I recommend something around here that it will have brand name high quality but a generic price. I love bargains!

    To your problem - Removing the bushings isn't too tricky but doing it the wrong way could lead to some unpleasantness. Here's the way you could do it if you don't have a lot of tools laying around: Look around your house for something that is a near perfect fit for the tuner hole on the back of the headstock. It could be anything really - a piece of pvc pipe, a lipstick tube, or a toy of some sort. Just make sure that it's got enough strength and expendability so that you can hammer on it if needed. Insert the object into the hole and seat it against the back of the bushing. Now, press hard! If the bushing doesn't budge, you might have to get something heavier to rap your drive tool and unseat the ring. They often put these things in while the slight build-up of poly finish in the hole is still a little soft. As it cures it really acts like a glue to grab the bushing. That's a great forever solution but not when we feel the need to hotrod the ol' axe.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Thanks for the reply :)
    Sounds like you know exactly what you are doing, so I'm not afraid at all to trust your recommomdations.

    If the tuners are the same size-in this case 11/16"-do you even need to change those bushings?
    As you can see, I'm not too knowledgable about this. But while the MIM Fenders are decent basses, those crappy tuning machines need to go. Never had to do that before on a bass.
    Appreciate all the help, thank you!
     
  4. Sure, you can keep the old bushings. I would too if the old ones were in good shape and they fit the new posts. They usually all look pretty much the same anyway.
     
  5. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Hambone, thanks for all the help. I'm going to go with the stewmac tuners. If the new tuners fit thru the current bushings, I'll just leave them in place-I'm sure no one's gonna know the difference.
    Will be doing this in the next couple of weeks. Will let you know how it goes. :)
     
  6. Razor

    Razor

    Sep 22, 2002
    Dallas
    I picked up a cheap wooden dowel (spelling??) from a local hardware store for about a dollar. It's almost the exact diameter of the rear of the tuner hole and I have had great luck inserting it in and tapping lightly with a hammer. I haven't found a bass yet that will allow me to just use hand strength...I have had to tap on them all with the hammer...replacing the stock bushings on my 78 P bass was a chore to say the least!:D
     
  7. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    How was it getting the new ones in? What did you use to press them back in with? I figure a small C clamp would work for that.
    Thanks! :)
     
  8. Razor

    Razor

    Sep 22, 2002
    Dallas
    That was a little tricky. The hole was very tight so I had to use a very high grit of sandpaper and VERY LIGHTLY smooth out each hole a very small amount. I then put the bushing in as far as my hand pressure would allow it to go and after putting a heavy cloth on top of the bushing I tapped it with a rubber mallet very lightly until I got it set. Removing them was easy, getting new one's in was a bit more difficult...especially since I was trying to be careful not to crack the finish of the pegface. All in all it went well...but it did take an hour or so.
     
  9. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Hey there, thanks very much for the info. It has been most helpful. :)
     
  10. Beef, a small C-clamp will do just fine but be careful. The added power you get from the screw sort of hides a "too tight" fit and you can easily split your headstock if you don't do a lot of test fitting. For instance if the bushing just barely gets started in the old hole, don't use the C-clamp until you open the hole up just a little more. If the bushing goes in but leaves a small amount that can't be pushed in manually - then would be a good situation for the clamp.
     
  11. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Wow Hambone, thanks for the heads up! I will definitely follow that to the letter-you may have just saved me from ruining my bass! Thanks. :)