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MIM saddle height screws: a different thread size?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassman_al, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. I have a MIM stock bridge from a 2011 P-bass that I just bought. It is missing a saddle height adjustment screw. I have bought 2 sets of genuine Fender height screws, both of which were supposed to be compatible with MIM bridges, neither of which worked. Before I rack up any more return shipping charges on E-bay, I thought I might ask for some help here. The threading on the screws that are on the bridge is smaller than the screws I have ordered, and the TB-er who sold me the bridge says that came stock on the 2011 P-bass body that he sold me.

    Anyone know how I can find screws to match this bridge? Might be just as cheap to buy a used bridge on TB, but the bridge I have is nice and I would like to keep it if at all possible.
  2. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Bass Parts Resource has two different sizes:
    #6x32x7/16", and M3x10mm.


    The M3 screw is slightly smaller than the #6 and appears to have finer threads.

    But anyways, at $3-8 per set, it might be advisable to buy a set of each and see which works.
  3. Thanks Hammer. Good idea. Problem is that the current screws on there are chrome, but you are right, for that money, I could just get a set and see if they fit. But then there are shipping charges, so again I'm left with the thought of either finding a nice used one here on TB, or just using one of my other MIM bridges for this bass and hunting for one that might not be quite as nice, since none of my others are quite this nice and shiny.
  4. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Are you sure the bridge in question is a gen-u-ine Fender piece and not some Flender item from the pacific rim somewhere?

    I ask because every MIM bridge I've ever seen had 6-32 height adjustment screws. I've seen the M3's on BPR but I'm pretty sure those are for the CIJ basses.

    I had some threaded saddles I picked up in a parts lot that I assumed to be Fender but they turned out to be Flender, and had an oddball thread in them for both height and intonation adjustment. I never found out what the mystery thread(s) were, but I had to ever so slightly enlarge the holes in a stock MIM L plate for the intonation screws, and being the insatiably curious type, I tried a 6-32 in the height adjustment and it wouldn't work.

    You could always use my favorite econo thread gauge, your friendly local Ace Hardware store. Mine has a wide range of threaded goods and I've always been able to find what I need through trial and error, just keep trying stuff til something works.

    Either way, good luck with your search.
  5. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    My 2013 MIM P bass, bought new, has metric M3 height adjustment screws.
    The M3 does have finer threads than the 6-32 and is also smaller in diameter,
    as HaMMerHeD said.

  6. thanks Fiddle!
  7. Had 2 conversations with Fender cs. They were very helpful, same guy on the phone each time. He found 2 bridges there that had non-standard threading and he is sending me one of each. Only problem is that I won't know the correct size of the one that works, assuming one works. But I could always go to Ace hardware to play mix and match if I need to find out the size... I will let you all know the outcome of this package Fender is sending me.
  8. sjeverett


    May 10, 2013
    just take your current screws to ace and use the gague the have to find out what size they are.
  9. oh, cool, didn't know they had that kind of gauge. Thanks for the idea!
  10. I - instead of going to Lowes/Sharps/HD, etc - go to a full service hobby shop and always find exactly what I need.

    I've also found that some JIS hardware (Japanese Industrial Standard) - can have one of three different pitches too.

    3.0 Sillimeter threads are NOT universally standardized, and some countries, out of dislike for Japan and/or it's designs, refuse to use the JIS standards. Politics, huh!

    Let's not even talk about German/European and British standards either. (Then there's Harley Davidson and their oddball 1/4" x 22 TPI standard!)

    But I digress.

    Anyway, hand fitting and testing is usually the best technique, if one can call it that.

    I run into this problem a few times each year when someone brings me a bass (or guitar) and the screws are totally missing.

    I've also been know to drill oversize and retap the barrels or offending hardware to a new ASME or SAE thread and pitch, and that's a good way to standardize what I work on when there's any doubt.

    Your results may deviate somewhat although they shouldn't.
  11. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for that input. Sounds like you have some machinist skills! Thanks for lending your experience. I'm going to Ace today in case the Fender screws don't work out. I'm pessimistic about that... We'll see... I have the bridge with me, maybe I'll get lucky!
  12. monkeyland

    monkeyland Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: JH Audio, Curt Mangan Strings
    Ace probably won't have anything that will be long enough to be a replacement but you should be able to find out the sizing. I did the same at Fastenal and had them order the correct length screws in stainless. No more rusty bridge screws.
  13. Thanks Monkeyland! I looked up Fastenal and there is a store location a mile from my office! On the way home, even! Called them and looks like they can help! I'll skip Ace for now...
  14. ok, update: seems that the screw size is M3. The length is listed as 10mm, but the 2 screws sent to me by Fender cs seem to be a little too short for the bridge. The one screw that worked is adequate, but I think 12mm would be more ideal, so I found some on E-bay and ordered them.

    As a strange aside, one of the original screws on the bridge is 15mm, while the other 6 that came with the bridge all seem to be 10. 10 will work fine as long as the barells don't need to be raised very high. Which is why I think 12mm will work better, in the event of the need of high saddle height. Of course, if it needs to be that high, I imagine a shim would be a good remedy...