Help me fix up a beater....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BornboreD, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. About 5 or 6 years ago I picked up a MIM Jazz for $100. Obviously it wasn't in good shape. Chips, dents, scratches, dings, buckle rash, you name it. Everything metal on the bass is tarnished, and rusted. The plating on the bridge is even bubbling up and flaking.

    However, it's Burgandy Wine which is a finish I always liked and wanted. And upon further inspection I realized that the tuners still worked well, the frets are in decent shape, and the truss still worked fine so I figured that for $100 it would make a good project bass.

    Anyways, ever since I bought it, it's just sat in a gig bag in the corner of my music room. GAS for a P has set in recently so I've decided to fix this up and sell it off to aid in the P fund.

    Basically other than a good cleaning and polishing this is what I need:

    - New Bridge
    - All new wiring, pots, jack etc.
    - New Control Plate
    - New Knobs
    - New Pickups

    I already have a black guard kicking around for it, but it doesn't fit over the neck pickup as I believe this bass is from a time when both pickups were the same size.

    What do I need for direct replacement parts and where can I get them?? I'd like to do this as cheaply as possible and order all of it from the same place not only to save on shipping but just out of convenience.

    Thanks in advance for any help!! :)
  2. If it helps the serial # is MZ0085144
  3. Phillip Jordan

    Phillip Jordan Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Oklahoma City
    Sell it as is. Buy a P.
  4. Sounds like it's going to take more work and money than you'll get out of it. You could try parting it out and selling it here in the classifieds. You'd most likely get more money for it that way. Or maybe someone would be interested in trading you for a beater P bass.
  5. Ok, well say I was gonna fix it up to keep it as a backup to my MIA Jazz then?? And just start a separate fund for the P.
  6. Like everyone else is saying, that much work is going to likely cost you more in the long run then just straight up selling it. To replace all of those parts with decent parts you're going to drop probably $200 or so. and possibly sell it for $300ish? So that means you'll have $300 invested and you'll get $300 back making it even. OR you could probably drop it for $200 in the classifieds and make someones day and be on top by $100. Personally, I have a ton of spare p bass parts lying around and could slap together something that is awesome without having to drop any more money but not everyone (probably everyone) has a dump bin of parts. Either way, Good luck!
  7. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    Trade for a P in similar condition ? Its worth trying.
  8. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I'd say play it the way it is and replace only malfunctioning items. That leaves out the wiring and knobs, and probably the bridge if you spend a few minutes cleaning it up.
  10. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Those parts are cheap, I say fix it up. In fact, I have a new Fender bridge plate you can have if you want it. The serial indicates it was made in 2000, so the pickups might not be the same. Either way, the neck pickup will be standard sized, so the pick guard probably needs some trimming to get it to fit.
  11. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    What's wrong with the pickups? That will be the most expensive item on your list. The rest doesn't have to cost you all that much.
  12. 1bassleft


    Dec 21, 2012
    NW England
    Might sound silly, but why not list it FS as "reliced"? Judging by the listings on the 'bay, some people will actually pay over the odds for the grungy looks. It's at least worth testing the market.

    BTW, a while ago I got caught unawares buying a pair of MIM pups that were the same size but, IIRC, they were both neck-dimensioned.
  13. I priced out all the parts at Bass Parts Resource and yeah, the total looks to be right about $200. That's actual Fender parts too. MIM bridge, upgrade the electronics, knobs and and pickups to MIA. I think I'm just gonna go ahead and fix it up and see how she plays and sounds. I may end up keeping it or at the very least break even on a sale or trade it for a P.

    Question is though, why doesn't the guard fit over the pickup? It's an actual fender replacement. Same number of screws and lacking the route for a trussrod access as it should if it's for a MIM. :S
  14. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    You'd be surprised at what a significant amount of elbow grease and time can accomplish on an old bass. I picked up a $100 MIM P-bass in very similar condition to yours last year. I used rust remover and a dremel to clean everything up as best I could, good setup and new strings, added a $13 tort pickguard from Dragonfire (perfect fit) and ended up with a pretty sharp looking and playing bass.
    I only had the bass a couple of months and literally tripled my money on it. Plus I got to play a nice P-bass while I had it (nice, but I went back to short scale). Here's the before and after photos:

    Attached Files:

  15. Good job!!
  16. blubolt


    May 18, 2005
    Turlock, CA
    I picked one up from GC last year for $99 bucks. Its the metallic red MIM. It was dinged up but it played well and sounded really good. I figured I couldn't go wrong for that price. Abandoned cases were going for $20 bucks. I picked one out and inside was a set of RotoSounds and a padded leather Levi strap. SCORE, Right? I got it home and went straight for the electronics cavities and found upgraded pickups, copper shielding (that was done absolutely right) and premium pots. Its my main player right now. I did decide to wire the pickups onto a single Volume pot because that is how I always play my other Jazz basses that I've owned. No hum at all. A DIY humbucker :)