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Rickenbacker truss rod size??

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by LukeMan970, Dec 24, 2011.


  1. LukeMan970

    LukeMan970

    Jun 22, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Hey everyone, I'm trying to do my first set up on my Ric 4003 but I've been trying to find the right tool to adjust the truss rods. I can't get a crescent wrench in between the two truss rods and a socket doesn't look like it would fit either. What have you fellow Ric players used to do truss rod adjustments?
     
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    use a 1/4" socket.
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    yep, 1/4". a little open-end crescent wrench with the sides ground down works for me.

    also, standard procedure with rics is to loosen the strings and/or push the neck into a backbow before tightening the rods; they're strong enough to hold the neck where you want it, but maybe not strong enough to get it there unassisted.
     
  4. LukeMan970

    LukeMan970

    Jun 22, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the info you guys! But to walterw, I've been going based on Joeybassnotes.com and on the website they said to do a Ric adjustment with the strings at regular tension, any one have any thoughts on that? Also I have a lot of space between the higher register of frets and pretty low action on the lower frets, any tips on truss rod adjustment based on that? Sorry I'm a bit new to setting up my own instruments
     
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    That applies to the old 4001 basses.

    The 4003 has modern rods.

    But that procedure can help some of the stubborn 4004 basses.
     
  6. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Use a thin walled 1/4" nutdriver. Ric sells them, but Sears has them cheaper.
     
    Leo Smith and iiipopes like this.
  7. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Um, if you're even considering using a crescent wrench to adjust the trussrods, I would strongly suggest you have a professional do this for you.
     
  8. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
  9. LukeMan970

    LukeMan970

    Jun 22, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    I've done set ups before on my Ibanez but this is a first go on my Ric. The Ibanez uses an allen wrench to adjust so I had the tools for that but I was just looking around the house for some tools and this was all that was available. Obviously it didn't work for the Ric:bag: I figure I'd like to work on all my own instruments and everyone has to start somewhere right?
     
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    97002.
     
  11. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    I took, "crescent", to mean, "adjustable", which would be a no-go.
    Yes, a thin-walled 1/4" socket or nutdriver is the necessary tool, here.

    Once you have the relief set, see how the action & neck angle look.
     
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    Remember old Rickenbacker instruments before 1980-1985 range have the old style rods. On those basses you loosen the rods move the neck and then tighten the rods. Ricks built 1986 and later all have the new rods which work like all other basses which means the rods move the neck.
     
  13. LukeMan970

    LukeMan970

    Jun 22, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah mine is a 2005 so the rods will move the neck more like a newer bass' will. I'll go out and buy one of the thin walled 1/4 inch nut drivers and give it a go 1/8-1/4 turn at a time ;)
     
  14. soaf

    soaf

    Jul 27, 2013
    I am confused. Mine is a 1980 4003. You said instruments "before" 1980-85. Did you mean "from" 1980-85?
     
  15. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    This. You might have to grind down the outside of the socket to fit into the cavity, but a long-shaft nut driver is the preferred tool. Please refrain from using a T-handle unless you are very, very, sensitive and careful to the torque, because they can be overtightened before you know it. Regular ratchet-and-socket sets are usually too bulky. I can't see how anybody can get a crescent wrench or open end wrench into the gap due to the thickness of the jaws.

    Did I say a thin-walled straight handle nut driver is the preferred tool?
     
  16. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    This was the transition period from the old rods to the new rods. I have a 1981 4002 (yes, "2," not "1" or "3"), and it has the old-style pin rods. So to be careful, I would use the set-and-snug method as is traditional with the older rods on the OP's bass.
     
  17. As iiipopes said above yours are likely the old school truss rods. For information about setting up your bass go to joeysbassnotes.com.
     
  18. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    You probably have the old style rods
     
  19. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    And the "5" had ceased production. Most people are familiar with the 4001/3, but not the 4002 with the same body shape, but different appointments, hence the reason for my parenthetical.
     
  20. bigtone23

    bigtone23

    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    A Taylor or older Carvin wrench is also 1/4" and works perfectly. I ordered a Taylor wrench off ebay for $5.
     

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