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Question on adjusting FMT 5 truss rod (PD & Brad?)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gfab333, Sep 26, 2002.


  1. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I just picked up a new FMT 5 and proceeded to attempt truss rod adjustments to get the neck straighter. They come with quite a bit of relief from Fender. The truss rod seems to be pretty tight as it is (maybe maxed out), so I'm reluctant to push it.

    By the way, the bass came with this T shaped truss rod wrench. never seen those before. Do you FMT owners use that T wrench to adjust the neck, or do you use the right angle allen wrenches from the hardware store?

    Anyway, I thought I recall reading that one of you TBers had a similar problem with a new FMT. What did you do? push the envelope with tightening the truss rod, or send the bass back?
     
  2. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    I am having a similar problem and am looking for a place to get a truss rod spacer, which is a flat washer that has precise dimensions so as not to get jammed up in the hole. This will hopefully give me another turn or so.

    The T adjuster is so you can turn the nut with the TR adjuster at an angle as it engages the nut without having to take the neck off. It is ball shaped at the end so it digs in. Just be careful you don't dent the wood.

    If anyone knows where I can get one of these spacers let us know!
     
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I adjust mine with the T wrench. You can't get much torque with it... there are ways of getting more torque but you run the risk of damaging the trussrod if you aren't judicious with it.

    If it's hard to turn, take it back to the store and have their tech try it. Mine did not turn as easily as some of my other basses but it did turn.
     
  4. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Thanks guys. This one came from Sweetwater.com. There very responsive in customer service during the sale (examined the bass and described it over the phone, emailed close up digital photos of neck and body, etc.). We'll see how they do on a possibly defective item.
     
  5. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    That goes for me too. Jeff is working on this for both of us...
     
  6. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    Jeff said they have some spacers on order, said Fender typically gets them their parts in about a week...
     
  7. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    Did you measure your relief? What were you able to achieve on it?

    Mine gets to about .018" and stops. I would like to have it at .015"
     
  8. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I'm being referred to the local Fender Authorized Repair Center. I happen to know the guy personally, and he is very proficient. Hopefully, the bass will come out fine.

    By the time the truss rod was torqued all the way in, the neck was still significantly bowed. The relief was so large that I didn't even bother to measure it. probably WAY OVER .025 or .030???

    I have to say, through all of this, Sweetwater.com has been first class in being focused at delivering customer satisfaction.

    I'll keep you all apprised.

    Someone should get Fender's corporate guys to check out this thread. We're not the only ones with this problem.
     
  9. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    This has been my second FMT with this issue.

     
  10. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    Gfab, let me know if your guy from Hawaii has an extra spacer...If he does, ask him if he can mail it to me??

    Thanks!

     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I can get mine to back bow.
     
  12. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    PD,

    OK, I'll check it out. I'll try getting you his email.

    Brad,

    you're a lucky dog!!!
     
  13. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    Found some washers that fit today at the hardware store...Bass all good again...here are the step by steps. It is pretty easy to do.

    Here is what you need to do if you want to do this by yourself.

    1) Purchase trumpet valve oil, or silicone based lubricant. Do not use petroleum based lubricant as it will gunk up.
    2) Get a drummel tool or use a rotary sander attachment on a drill with appropriate sandpaper
    3) Get some naptha solvent
    4) Get the washers. The ones I got are brass from Home Depot and say "14S SAE Brass" on them. They are SLIGHTLY smaller than 1/4 inch washers in the inner diameter and work perfectly.
    5) Get some cue tips
    6) Get a pair of needle nose pliers handy

    Step 1: Remove neck carefully

    Step 2: Use truss rod tool and loosen truss rod nut all the way...don't worry it is only about an inch long, and it unscrews from the rod (the rod stays in place...no worries)

    Step 3: Pour a small amount of naptha into truss rod cup (the place where the nut was)...let it sit for awhile to dissolve any garbage on the threads, and try to get something to clean the threads with (Q-tip is too big)

    Step 4: Clean nut thouroughly with naptha...you can actually screw the Q-tips right in...keep performing this ritual until there is no more black stuff on the Q-tips

    Step 5: Get your grinding tool ready, and hold the washer with some pliers, and start grinding the outer diameter down to fit into the hole. Bear in mind..the INNER diameter won't fit if it looks like it will fit perfectly when superimposed onto the nut. It will need to be a TAD bigger than the whole in the nut. The washers I list above work perfectly, and drop in with no effort after the outer diameter is sanded down.

    Step 6: Repeat above. I used two washers

    Step 7: Lubricate nut and threads with valve oil

    Step 8: plop in the washers...they should drop right in with NO effort at ALL. If you need to use ANY effort, they are not sized right. Do NOT force them.

    The above procedure resulted in a relief of abaout .012" on my bass when fully turned as opposed to the .18-.20" it was without the spacers. I backed the TR nut off about three 3/4 turn and I am back to about .015-.016". Perfect for my playing style.

    Hope this helps you or anyone else out with this common Fender problem.