Rickenbacker Jetglo 4003 BT 1986

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by DownhillWillie, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. DownhillWillie


    May 22, 2007
    Hi guys, Just received this yesterday from an on-line dealer known for RIC's.
    Paid a pretty penny for it and its absolutley beautiful. But I have a concern with fret ware but my real concern is what I saw when I removed the truss cover.
    I know nothing of RIC truss rods but it looks like I'm out of turns on the truss. Does it look that way to you? I'm within my return window so I'm looking for advise as to:
    1. it there an issue?
    2. Can it be repaired?
    How bad is this?
    Thanks! Any help is appreciated!

    Attached Files:

  2. davelowell2

    davelowell2 I’m not superstitious. Maybe a little stitious. Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Do you have a two piece guard?

    The part you turn may be on the body end.

    Hang tight for an expert...
    @Jeff Scott
  3. radapaw


    Mar 22, 2000
    older ricks do have softer frets, but leveling/crowning/dressing is pretty common maintenance for any fretted instrument. I've seen way worse... heck I'm playing way worse and putting it off to work on other things. Is it causing any buzz/sizzle?

    I'd agree with Dave on the rods, check the bodyside under the guard for the adjustment nuts.
  4. DownhillWillie


    May 22, 2007
    Hi guys, Thanks for the replies!
    The frets are sizzling a bit, not horrible but it's there! (perfect word to describe it BTW!)
    Yes, It's a two piece guard. I've never seen a truss system like that. So I would have never thought to look there :) The bass itself (for a 33 years old instrument is very classic looking, Stunning really! I'd love to keep it but I got a little scared about a re-fret and the possible damage to the neck binding it might cause.
    But the truss freaked me out :( I'll dig deeper into and post new pic's tomorrow.)
  5. DownhillWillie


    May 22, 2007
    Here's a link to the original auction on reverb:
    Also here is my e-mail to them and their reply:
    my -e-mail:
    Hi Joseph, The 86 RIC 4003 BT arrived yesterday and it really is a stunner. I really want to keep it but there are a couple of things that were not mentioned in the description.
    1. The amount of fret wear, She's gonna need a fret job and that's pricey
    2. and this is the one that scares me. I removed the truss cover and the truss appears to be out of turns. So further adjustment will not be possible which means it cannot be adjusted at all.
    Please see pic's attached and please tell me what you think? I'd love to keep her but new truss rods and a fret job? That's IF the truss issue can be resolved. Again please let me know what you think.
    Their response: (Received just now)
    Hi James,

    In this period in time, Rickenbacker put the truss rod adjustments at the base of the neck, and those are not the truss rod adjustments. This is why they did the split pickguard in this time. The bottom part for the electronics access, and the top part for the truss rod access.

    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you on the frets, as there is a lot of fret left in my opinion, and I do not see a reason to get a refret. Maybe a fret dressing, but I would not do that unless the frets are giving you playing problems.

    However, of course you are welcome to return the bass for a full refund if you are not happy with it.


  6. PaulBoyer

    PaulBoyer Commercial User

    Jan 27, 2012
    Apparently, in the transition time between the early 4003 (1980 - '86) with the old-style hairpin truss rods with adjusters at the body end, and the late 4003 (1986 to present) with the "modern" truss rods with adjusters at the headstock, they build a few/some/many (who knows?) with the new style rods reverse loaded as seen here. I didn't mention this in the book, as examples of this were unknown to me at the time of writing. Aaanywaaay, this is an example of it. What you see under the TRC is the acorn nut at the ends of the rods. The adjusting nuts are at the body end under the early-style split pick guard.
  7. DownhillWillie


    May 22, 2007
    Thanks to All!
    Great Helpful Info!
  8. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    It looks like you still have enough meat on the frets for a standard level and repolish, refret not needed. Ric truss rods a little odd, particularly the heel adjust version, but they work fine. The nut looks a little hacked, but if it plays ok, just play it. Good luck with it!
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  9. rockinrayduke

    rockinrayduke Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    Yep. No refret needed. Should clean up real good!