How to remove the tuner bushings on a fender

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Davo-London, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Folks I'm replacing the tuners on a pre-CBS bass. But the ring bushings on the front face don't seem to want to be shifted.

    Has anyone got any techniques?


    PS: don't moan at me I'm keeping the original tuners!
  2. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    By "shifted" you mean remove from headstock?
    I got my stubborn bushings out by finding a socket from my tool box that neatly fit into the hole from the back side. Some gentle tapping nudged the bushing right out.
    Can't recall which socket it was; 3/4" maybe?
    Tbone76 likes this.
  3. Cheers

    huckleberry1 likes this.
  4. They are a tight fit so get a socket or something the right size and carefully press them out.
  5. You might also want to take a razor blade and run it around the edge of the bushings. If any finish overlapped the edge or adhered itself to the bushings over time you could get a nasty suprise when you drive the bushings out.

    Rick B.
  6. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Too true! That happened to me with a banjo tuner bushing. +1 on the socket trick. There's a couple of nice videos with other such tricks on YouTube. Just do a search on removing guitar tuner bushings.
  7. Hi.


    Once again...

    With using only one socket and something to pound it with, You most likely chip the face of the headstock.
    Been there, done that.

  8. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    Thanks for the post T-Bird! Great info.
  9. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    I bought a set of clamps from Harbor Freight and followed the steps above. They worked PERFECTLY for removing and installing the bushings. Outstanding!!!
  10. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    Do not forget to go around it with a razor like already said! I didn't and a chunk of wood off the face of the headstock came out with it!
  11. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    Pre-CBS... Be VERY careful. Me, I'd consult a woodworking specialist, but I think that you'd want to heat the metal up a bit to loosen the finish/expand the wood a bit.
  12. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Yep. So have I, also with perfect results. On the other hand as a word of caution, I have ALSO used the "traditional" method of just pounding them out and in with a hammer. Dings on headstock, dings on metal parts and even worse cracked headstock! Slow and steady pressure does the job right!

    Good luck!
  13. lundborg


    Apr 8, 2008
    On pre CBS necks I've found that the tuner holes are smaller towards the back of the headstock (flush with the inner diameter of the bushing), so just pressing a socket that way just won't work.

    I would leave the bushings in place, as there is a significant risk of chipping or even cracking the headstock.
  14. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I've sacrificed a few drumsticks tapping out bushings. I'm not sure if I would be comfortable heating up anything on a vintage piece, not to say it wouldn't work if you knew exactly what you were doing.
  15. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Agree with be careful. Heating would tend to make the bushing larger making it harder to remove. I think.

    Caution with temperature changes with pre CBS. Don't think the wood will like it.

    Constant pressure vs impact as previously posted is the way I'd go.
  16. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    I didn't score the edges with a razor like you mentioned. I just gradually increased the pressure until the bushing popped loose. I suppose I was lucky. In any event, it worked great!

    I think my only recommendation would be getting better quality clamps. The Harbor freight ones were fine, but I can't help but feel like something more substantially would have been better.
  17. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Yes... leave the old bushes... that's what I did on my 62.