How to lower saddles on a 74 Precision Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Justbeingjosh, Sep 25, 2022.

  1. Justbeingjosh


    Sep 23, 2022
    I just got this 74 P Bass and I cannot lower the saddles on this bridge. I got a small flat head in there and the screws won’t budge. I don’t want to force because I don’t want to strip screw. Is this something where you need to spray WD40?

    Attached Files:

    godofthunder59 likes this.
  2. Reverend179


    Jan 20, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Try some 3-in-1 or penetrating oil before you do anything. Unfortunately when you've got two dissimilar metals laying next to each other for long enough, they can sorta weld together. If that doesn't work, you may have to take some pliers, cut some carboard to the shape of the squeezing surfaces, tape them on with painter's tape, take the saddles off completely, and try to grab them from the bottom to apply a bit more force. Apply penetrating oil to both sides first, though.
    EagleMoon likes this.
  3. DrBnz


    Apr 4, 2021
    Agree ..... but one bridge mount screw (between E and A) doesn't look flush (or the same) as the others. Might try to torque it up.... OR take it off and soak the entire bridge over night in a Tupperware bowl of your favorite solvent. Try to turn everything in the morning, verify the bridge ground, put it all back together.
    buldog5151bass likes this.
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If the above two ideas don't work, just buy a new bent plate bridge for $20-30 bucks, and save the original.
    LukeSlywalker likes this.
  5. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass.

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Soak in Kroil mystery oil.
    202dy and Justbeingjosh like this.
  6. Bikeguy57

    Bikeguy57 Supporting Member

    Thick towel under the saddles, and penitrating oil of your choice over night.
  7. Justbeingjosh


    Sep 23, 2022
    Thank you!!! I actually took bridge off this morning and sprayed with WD40, put back on and still won’t budge. I will let sit and see tomorrow.
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Heat 'em up with a soldering iron (each screw)'s a crud-cutter.

    JLS and Reverend179 like this.
  9. Justbeingjosh


    Sep 23, 2022
    That would be most ideal lol
  10. Justbeingjosh


    Sep 23, 2022
  11. Justbeingjosh


    Sep 23, 2022
    Thank you. I ended up spraying the screws and then ended up taking bridge completely off not to mess up finish. Sprayed bridge again and reinstalled and then put back on strings and screws still won’t budge. It will let sit and see what happens.
  12. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    Just curious, but why are you not trying to turn the screws before you reassemble everything? Would save you considerable effort, methinks.
    Lownote38 and Reverend179 like this.
  13. Reverend179


    Jan 20, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Also- WD-40 is good for a lot of things- cutting through dissimilar metal corrosion ain't one of them. Go grab some penetrating oil. Another one I'd give a shot is once the penetrating oil has set on for a while, flip the saddle over and LIGHTLY tap on the bottom of the slug with a rubber mallet, or a small hammer using a piece of wood as a buffer. Anything to try to break up that spot weld.
  14. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    Penetrating oil, not WD40. Wrong tool for the job.
  15. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Wrong tool for most jobs.
    96tbird, J-Bass RMR and Reverend179 like this.
  16. Justbeingjosh


    Sep 23, 2022
    Oh I did.
  17. WD40 is a water repellant. It can prevent corrosion if used on assembly but it is a terrible penetrant and an even worse lubricant.

    Heat is your best friend in this. The soldering iron trick mentioned earlier would be a good place to start. Thos threads are so fine that even a penetrating oil is going to have a hard time getting in there. The surface area taken up by the threads is massively greater than the surface area of the slotted head.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2022
  18. ThomasTronics

    ThomasTronics Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    I have the exact same problem with my 73.
    You can tell the age appropriately by the extra long screw for the g saddle.

    I ended up replacing two saddles that i could not for the life of me get loose.
    Tried the penetrating oil, tried the soldering iron. Let it soak for days...
    Eventually it came down to i want to play it so i replaced two saddles. Oh my god its not all original!!! So what it plays and sounds amazing. They are just saddles and i kept the originals in a bag in the case.
    96tbird likes this.
  19. Justbeingjosh


    Sep 23, 2022
    Lol I may end up doing the same!!!
  20. Justbeingjosh


    Sep 23, 2022
    Thank you for the info
    Reverend179 likes this.