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Fender Precision Neck Pocket problem and question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass Atlanta, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. I bought a P-bass body on ebay from "Rodsguitars" a couple of years ago. He claimed that it was from a 1980 MIA P-bass. I was planning on stripping it and repainting it. I finally got around to buying a neck and starting on the project, but the neck won't fit.....the neck pocket is 1/16th inch too narrow.

    The problem is NOT with the neck......I have tried several necks on the body and measured everything correctly. NO neck that I have will fit.....the pocket is simply too narrow.

    Here is my question.......did Fender ever make a P-Bass with a smaller neck pocket in or around 1980? Is this body possibly a non-Fender body and the seller was misinformed? Or does this just represent bass-to-bass variability from the 1980's?

    Any ideas on the best way to widen the neck pocket symmetrically by 1/16th inch so that I can put a neck on it?

    Any help would be appreciated.


    Here's the photos that were on eBay:



  2. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Fender Japan made medium scale Precisions in the mid-80's. Those had slightly thinner neck pockets. I just took some measurements off my (full scale) Precision, and from the center bridge hole to the edge of the neck pocket it's 11 1/4". A medium scale body would measure about 10 3/4". The reason I say this is because the routing of your body looks way more like a MIJ body than a late-CBS one.
  3. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Here's a lefty '80 Precision, it's routed quite different'y than your body.



  4. Ah-ha. That makes sense. I will measure when I get home.

    Unfortunately, if it is MIJ, I have a body that I can't use and that will be super hard to re-sell.

    Will let you know after I measure it.

    Thanks so much for the input.

  5. The Lefty is MIA?
  6. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Yes. ALL 1980 Fenders were MIA.

  7. Okay.....I measured 2 full sized bodies that I have here at the house. One is a Hwy 1, and the other is a MIM standard. Both measure 11-1/4". The body in question measures 10-15/16".

    So.....it's more than 10.75 (10-12/16"), but definitely less than the full sized body. Do you think I have a MIJ medium scale? Or, if the seller was correct and it is MIA, is there a US model that was medium-scale?
  8. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I definitely think it's a MIJ medium scale body. I don't think there ever was a medium scale USA Precision bass.
  9. shrigg

    shrigg Beta Tester for AudioKinesis Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Traverse City, MI
    Its probably a medium scale body although the stampings do not look like MIJ Fender to me. And I've had a LOT of MIJ Fenders apart.

    I owned a 32" scale MIJ Fender P Bass but never took pics with the neck removed before selling it. Now I wish I had...

    My guess is that body is a MIJ non Fender medium scale. We have a 30" scale Hondo P bass at the store I work at, I'll shoot a few pics for comparison to yours.
  10. Thanks so much !!!!

    Now......anyone want to buy a well-used medium-scale P-body? :confused:
  11. shrigg

    shrigg Beta Tester for AudioKinesis Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Traverse City, MI

  12. Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, I have no use for a medium scale bass. But maybe someone will. I'll just have to re-sell the body here or on "the bay".

    Anyone? I'll be happy to strip and re-paint any color.
  13. monti2889


    Jul 19, 2012
    that's one thing that kinda stuck out to me too...as another post shows pictures of a lefty, that kinda proved what I was thinking... Most fenders that I've seen have a channel routed in the body for the pickup wires. However, I'm very very far from an expert on this sort of thing, so I was a little hesitant about posting, until saw those two posts.

  14. Well.....it's kinda hard to tell. Here's a few examples:

    2004 Japan 62 RI Body:


    2012 American Standard:


    MIM 70's Reissue:


    So, IMHO, body routing can be very confusing and inconsistent.


    Aug 1, 2010
    The Classic Series 70's P was MIJ for a time, although they moved production to Mexico in the last few months. reliablefender is probably reading the specs on the site, but that body looks MIJ to me.
  16. Here's a photo of my Custom Shop Pino Palladino, and I KNOW it's MIA:


    All I'm saying is that, in my experience, the routing of the body is no guarantee of the origin of the bass......unless there is something else in the photo that indicates MIJ.

    I think that the larger routing of the body is a "fairly" new thing. I'm pretty sure that the American AVRI series are all routed like my Pino, with just a wire-hole connecting the pups to the pots, instead of the large "trench".

    But back to the point......which is the body in question. The big problem is the neck pocket, which is 1/16th narrower than the standard 2-1/2". It's probably a MIJ medium-scale body.

    However....and the plot thickens....I had my wife place a standard P-pickguard on the body today (while I'm at work). She said all the screw holes lined up, which would almost rule out a FENDER medium-scale. Shrigg may be correct.....it could be a NON-Fender medium-scale body.
  17. I'd say it isn't a fender. The markings in the neckpocket are off, and more important, it's got the pre 1974-routings (with the cavity for pickup and controls seperated, not with an open channel between them), and a nice neckpocket instead of the rectangle "mickey mouse" pocket... I'd say it's a Japanese lawsuit body.
  18. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Yeah, I think that rules out it being a Fender body.
  19. flewis

    flewis Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Since it appears to be a full size body, why not sand the neck cavity walls down to fit your neck. Just a thought! :)
  20. Rockinscott69


    Oct 19, 2011
    South Texas
    You could take it to your local cabinet shop and they could route the neck pocket out to fit the neck you have. Shouldn't cost much.

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