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Intonation screws don't move?!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Fábio Duarte, Feb 22, 2016.


  1. Fábio Duarte

    Fábio Duarte

    Apr 17, 2014
    Portugal
    Hey guys,

    just bought a new set of Dunlop strings after I put them in place and stretch them out, I started intonation... Stuff happens... E and D intonation screws don't move... The bass is from 1995 and passed a few things unfortunately (bad setups, by previous owners). Can you tell me how to fix this problem?

    Cheers!!

    Bass Collection SGC Nanyo SB 321 (fretted) 1995
    12773005_965975246783981_1012612321_o.
     
  2. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Most likely either the screw or the saddle threading is stripped.
    Switch the screw from one of the saddles that moves with one that doesn't.
    If that fixes it replace the screws. If it doesn't you'll probably need new saddles.
     
  3. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    It's a cast bridge/saddles and it's possible the screw holes oxidized and seized on the screw threads.

    Squirt some PB Blaster Penetrent in a small cap, then using a toothpick of something (or eyedropper) put a drop where the screw goes into the saddle.
    Let it soak overnite.
    Be sure to use the proper screwdriver to loosen the screws, as they can strip/round out easily.
    If they don't come loose easily, put another drop of PB Blaster on each for another night.
    Try again.
    If still not loose, I'd remove the strings and bridge,
    and with the bridge in vertical position, support one of the stuck saddles on a block of wood and tap the screwdriver with it in the slot. Then it should turn.
    Do the same with the other one.
    Then, remove all 4 of the screws and add a small drop of thin 'gun oil' or 3-in-One oil in each of the saddle holes.
    A drop on each of the saddle height adjustment holes will prevent them from seizing as well.
    Wipe the whole bridge and saddles with the gun oil (it'll stop the pitting in the finish [keeps it from oxidizing further]), then wipe it all with a dry cotton rag to remove the excess.
    Re-assemble.

    BTW: Not big on purple, but that's NICE!
     
  4. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Well, he beat me to it, but; yeah, what he says. Personally, I use KROIL ("the oil that creeps") as a penetrant, but it's real old school stuff; I can't remember how old the can I have is. It's worked like a charm on a couple of really old, corroded basses and guitars with screws frozen in place. But the really nice thing about it? For an application like this, you wouldn't need anything else. Unless you really work at cleaning it off chemically, Kroil's pretty much there forever. Which is why I like to use it on gun parts, too...:)
     
    JustForSport likes this.
  5. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    And if you can't get PB Blaster or Kroil,
    ATF transmission fluid will do it all, too- penetrates, lubes, protects.
     
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I like both Kroil and PB Blaster. Since Kroil has a distinctive smell, I tend to avoid it in applications where it would smell out of place - perhaps including a bass bridge.
     
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Really? I can barely smell it, myself (and it just smells like oil); but 25+ years of working a blueprint machine (anhydrous ammonia) and breathing chemical fumes in testing labs, has done away with most of my sense of smell, and played Hob with what's left...:)
     
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    If you don't smell it much, then I believe you!!
     
  9. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Did they move without the strings on? If they didn't, any above mentioned lubes should work, with Kroil being a very good one. If they move with no strings, you sometimes have to either loosen the string or lift it a little to take the string pressure off of the saddle for the proper movement. I've just completed a restring and set-up on my recently acquired 1964 Fender Precision and had to lift each string for the saddle to move.
     
    KsToaDangr likes this.
  10. Fábio Duarte

    Fábio Duarte

    Apr 17, 2014
    Portugal
    They don't move without strings
     
  11. Fábio Duarte

    Fábio Duarte

    Apr 17, 2014
    Portugal
    Can't find PB Blaster or Kroil. But I have WD40. Works fine? blog-image-WD-40.
     
  12. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    ATF transmission fluid is better than WD40 for what you need: penetrating, lube, lasting protection, w/o silicones.
     
  13. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Should be OK. Kroil is mail order only. I'd spray the shaft and move the adjustment form one end to another to get fully coated.

    If it were me, I'd take the bridge off, clean lube and reinstall.
     
  14. Fábio Duarte

    Fábio Duarte

    Apr 17, 2014
    Portugal
    I'll do my best to solv the problem. Thank you guys :)
     

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