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Nut Driver for Ric truss rods?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Jaco Taco, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    So I just got a brand new Rickenbacker 4003 bass. I already own a 1987 4003S and I use a 1/4" nut driver to adjust the truss rods on that. Now, I'm sure that I'm just supposed to use a 1/4" nut driver on my new Ric but damn it's hard to get in there on the nuts. There's very little room from the back of the nuts to the wood of the headstock, I can't get my nut driver down in there like I can on my older Ric.

    Am I supposed to get some kind of super thin 1/4" nut driver to get in there or do I have to actually shave away some of the wood from behind the nuts?
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I would check the StewMac Web site. They'll have one made for that no doubt. A few bucks and you'll be in business and won't risk chipping the finish around the route for the truss rod.
  3. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Have you asked this question on the rickresource.com forum? There are many guys over there who can help you.
  4. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    iiipopes is right; and yes, this comes up often, both there and here as well. There have been some posts here about this recently, in fact.
    Ricks sometimes don't have that little pocket cut quite deep enough for a regular nut driver; all 3 of mine do, but I just got lucky, I guess. Some solutions are:
    1. Get in there with your woodworking tools, and cut some wood out, so your nut driver does fit;
    2. Grind the nut driver thin enough to fit (lots of people do this);
    3. Some hex-bit drivers are large enough to fit the truss rod nuts, and thin enough to get in there, as well.
    I can't remember which brand of hex-bit driver was being recommended, but I'm sure you can find the appropriate post easily enough. Good luck, and enjoy that Rick...:)
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
    Jaco Taco likes this.
  5. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    Thanks for the suggestions. Yeah, I was in at a guitar place and they showed me that they just use a typical ace hardware 1/4" wrench that they've filed down the edges to make it slim to get in there. So I went out and bought a little 1/4" wrench and a metal filer. I'll be good.
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Excellent. It's tough to get a conventional truss rod wrench into my Carvin so I just use the closed end of a 1/4" combination wrench. Makes it easier to flex the neck simultaneously while adjusting the rod.

    Jaco Taco likes this.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    exactly this.
  8. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    That's what I did over 20 years ago, And didn't need it again until I started experimenting again with strings last year. After I'm done, I'll probably go back to the set I used to use, readjust the neck one last time, and put it my modified nut driver away again for another twenty years.
  9. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    You only need to modify your truss rod every 20 years???? What.
  10. I ordered the "official" tool from Rickenbacker, but in my bass, there wasn't enough room between the wall of the cavity and the nut for it to fit.
    I wound up having to grind down the tool to a conical shape for it to work.
    I can send a picture if it helps.
  11. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    That's okay, I'm good with just the regular 1/4" wrench I've grinded down.
  12. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Yes. My neck on my 4002 is that stable. I got it in 1993, and took a year of string safari. After settling on a custom set of GHS Progressives 45-60-80-105, and getting the bass settled in, I did not have to adjust the truss rods at all until last year when I went on my next string safari. And when I settle on a string set this year, I do not anticipate having to adjust the truss rod for another twenty years.
  13. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Yes, Ricks can be very stable - especially with the old "Hairpin" truss rods. Both my '73 4001 and my '01 4003 (the new style truss rods) have never been touched since I did the initial set ups on them. Which was 10-11 years ago now. Both necks still straight as a string...:)
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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