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PBC/Bunker Basses - anyone ever done maintenance on the rod in the neck?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mark Gollihur, May 11, 2005.


  1. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    My 356-GTB 6 string has gotten to the point where I can't get good action without buzz, no matter how loose I put the adjustment screws (tightening them puts MORE bow in the neck; I need less). After reading info on the site as well as talking to Dave Bunker, I've followed his instructions and pulled the neck apart, and attempted to put a little backbow back into the cold-rolled steel rods. Has anyone else successfully done this?

    Anyway, I definitely could see a difference in the rods - but once I put it back together, I'm not sure it made any difference as far as the neck is concerned.

    Has anyone done this operation on their PBC or Bunker? Is Dave Bunker just jiving me so he won't have to make good on the "lifetime neck warranty" or what? I've met him in person (I bought my bass direct), chatted on the phone with him and exchanged several emails, and I've had ups and downs when dealing with him.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    Mark,
    I have never taken apart a Bunker "tension free" neck, but I did purchase a used PBC in which I was told by the store the neck at a bad twist in it. After speaking to Dave Bunker on the phone I decided to take a chance with the purchase and have the bass sent directly to his shop to be worked on. They seemed surprised at the degree of twist the neck had developed into they found the problem...someone had losened the little set screw in the side of the neck prior to tightened the truss rod screw, and in doing so, had tightened only one side of the neck. They got the neck right and sent it back to me and I haven't had to make any adjustments to it since.

    I know this isn't directly dealing with your question, but it is about my dealings with Dave Bunker and his crew.

    Steve
     
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yeah, I had a headless 5 banger. If I recall, the rod is actually secured at 3 points: the string retainer, the set screw (fulcrum) accessible thru the side of the neck and the relief screw located at the heel. I don't recall If you turn it CW or CCW to straighten or lessen relief, but I recall there is a neutral point where buzz can occur. Remember, the rod itself does not bend! The relief screw artificially induces the desired relief by warping the wooden structure(s) of the neck.
    I had no trouble getting the desired action.

    As a last resort, you can remove the tension-free rod by removing the string retainer, fulcrum pin, and relief nut. I did it myself just to see how the d*** thing worked.

    Riis
     
  4. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Yeah, I've taken it apart, and Dave told me to actually bend relief into the steel rods. I'm just wondering if anyone has actually done this themselves; not sure whether "I'm doing it right" or what. Just looking for hands on experience...

    Here's the info I'm referring to:
    http://www.bunker-guitars.com/whammy_bar.html#TENSION
     
  5. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I haven't done this... yet. But thanks for digging up that link! I have a Bunker bass with too much forward bow. The previous owner(s) had no clue how to adjust it. I figured out how to adjust it, but ran out of adjustment range before the excess bow was eliminated. This should help a lot!

    Want me to take pictures when I do this?
     
  6. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    I don't need pics (though they might help someone else) but I'd love to hear how yours turns out. I need to pull the neck back off and do it some more, I guess - it helped, but not quite enough...
     
  7. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Success! Bending a little back-bow into the steel bar did the trick. This is not for the faint of heart though.

    Now the bridge needs a minor adjustment, and I'm set.
     
  8. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Cool. I've got to try again with mine, see if I can find the same success.