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Replacing stock Fender tuners with Gotoh GB640's.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lumdingo, Jan 24, 2017.


  1. Lumdingo

    Lumdingo

    Dec 8, 2012
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hire me to design your band's Merch.
    So I decided to order some Gotoh GB640's after a lot of research. Frankly I wasn't sure if I was going to install them. My Fender Active Deluxe Okoume Jazz Bass is perfect to me. Once I oiled the open-backed stock Mexican tuners, they were smooth and flawless.

    But... I've always loved the tall 60's Fender tuners. It wasn't until I opened up the package and felt how insanely light these Reso-Lite tuners are that I knew I had to install them.

    Here are the steps, mistakes and all. For anyone who wants to follow suit.

    1. Remove old tuners.

    2. Tap out ferrules using a philips screwdriver and a light touch.

    3. Tape new ferrules into place. Now I know to use plumbers tape and just squeeze them in good.

    4. Line up the first one with a small square, and holding it with your thumb, mark the holes with a .005 micro art pen.

    5. Set new holes with a scribe to make a small dent for the drill bit to find.

    6. Drill the holes to the same depth as the screws minus the thickness of the plate.

    7. For the original holes that are close to the new holes, fill them using toothpicks, and cut them off with a utility knife. Tap them down after cutting.

    8. Be sure to use soap on the screw threads when you screw the tuners down.

    9. Stack and tape three business cards together as a spacer.

    10. Finish the rest using the spacer.


    My mistakes:

    I used the wrong size drill bit. The pilot holes were too small and I stripped the head on the second screw trying to screw it in. So, as you can see, I grabbed a hardened steel still bit that's bigger than the shaft of the screw, and drilled the head off of the screw, leaving just the shaft stuck in the wood. I then protected the headstock with some tape and used pliers to bank the screw shaft out.

    Then I drilled the holes using a bigger bit and put soap on the threads of the screws. MUCH BETTER!

    The Gotoh ferrules are smaller than the stock Fender ones, and since the Fender ones are chrome and the Gotohs are nickel, I had to use the Gotohs. I used plumbers tape to put them in tight. Seems to work pretty well. If anyone here has a better suggestion, please let me know.

    After that, the next challenge was spacing the plates perfectly, so I cut up some business cards and taped together three of them to use as my spacer. Voila! Works great, and now they're all even and perfect.

    Cheers
    Hope this helps.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
    Willicious likes this.
  2. Lumdingo

    Lumdingo

    Dec 8, 2012
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hire me to design your band's Merch.
    I'll be getting a new replacement screw in a few days. In the meantime I'm keeping one out to take with me to the shop to compare.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    Nice. Looks like your installation went well, all things considered.
    When I've mounted mine in the past, I believe I used a 1/16" pilot hole for the screws. That, plus some soap or wax, and you're good to go — though I broke a screw on my first install, too. :banghead:
     
    Lumdingo likes this.
  4. Lumdingo

    Lumdingo

    Dec 8, 2012
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hire me to design your band's Merch.
    Yeah, the guys at Philadelphia Luthiers are mailing me a handful of new screws. Wicked great customer service. I just put s new nickel string tree on it to match the tuners. Looks incredible. I'm so pleased. : )
     
    Willicious likes this.
  5. FUBB

    FUBB

    Feb 2, 2007
    Great job! Im about to embark on exactly the same mod. How did the plumbers tape work out? I was disappointed to find the ferrules were smaller and was about to leave the originals in. But like you I want to use the Gotoh ferrules!
     
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  6. Lumdingo

    Lumdingo

    Dec 8, 2012
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hire me to design your band's Merch.
    Actually the teflon (plumbers) tape works great and it doesn't have any affect on the sound at all. The main contact is with the plate screwed into the back of the headstock, so that tiny bit of tape around the ferrules has no effect.

    For me, looking up st my headstock and seeing these beautiful tuners, well, it's inspiring. The old school tuners just look cool to me and these Gotohs are so light it's crazy. I couldn't believe it when I first opened the package and took them out. Worth every penny.
     
    FUBB likes this.
  7. I put GBR640s on all my basses, I love 'em.

    But I've been lucky in that all my basses are Fender vintage reissues and the tuners drop right in.

    Couple notes -

    I always use the stock Fender bushings and screws and have never had an issue.

    This is a safer method for removing bushings, scroll down to the pix -

    Removing tuner ferrules-help please
     
    Lumdingo likes this.
  8. Lumdingo

    Lumdingo

    Dec 8, 2012
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hire me to design your band's Merch.
    Oh that's brilliant! You must have an engineers brain. ; ) Very cool indeed.
     
  9. Ha, I didn't come up with that.

    I ran into that "bushing removal" setup here on TalkBass.

    I have put that set of tools together; works great.
     
    Lumdingo likes this.
  10. Lumdingo

    Lumdingo

    Dec 8, 2012
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hire me to design your band's Merch.
    Well thanks for the share. : )
     
    Arizona Jones likes this.
  11. FUBB

    FUBB

    Feb 2, 2007
    image.
    image.
    All done without a hitch. Thanks for the info!
     
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  12. Lumdingo

    Lumdingo

    Dec 8, 2012
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hire me to design your band's Merch.
  13. Lumdingo

    Lumdingo

    Dec 8, 2012
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hire me to design your band's Merch.

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