The 20 year truss rod adjustment

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by phorm, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. phorm


    Apr 4, 2009
    I have a CIJ Geddy Lee Jazz Bass that I have had for a very long time. It is a great sounding bass, the only problem was the action was really high. Now as many of you know, the truss rod adjustment is a screw at the bottom of the neck where it connects to the body. Every time I would look at the thin sliver of the screw showing above the pickguard, I would just say to myself, don’t mess with it. The bass sounds great don’t mess with the neck. I know that screw was obnoxiously mocking me, calling me a coward.

    Well, I was reading on this forum about one of the guys getting a MIA Geddy Lee the other day, and he lamented about the location of the truss rod adjustment. Lots of posters on the thread, encouraged him to partially take off the neck and adjust it. I finally said, screw it, I am adjusting the dang truss rod on this bass. So with great trepidation I loosened the strings, took off the pickguard, and unscrewed the screws holding the neck on about halfway off. I got it high enough to expose the entire screw head, but it was still tough to turn with a screwdriver laying flat on top of the pickups, so I had a little flat screw driver with no handle, and grabbed a pair of pliers to turn the screwdriver. This gave me more torque on the screw and I was able to turn it easily. Put everything back in place, and Wow!!, unbelievable results. The action is awesome now.

    Now, I decided to look at the serial number on the back of the neck, and it says Crafted in Japan and the serial number starts with an A, which means it was made circa 1998. I got this new, so that means I have had this bass for at least 20 years. Thanks to this forum, I finally decided to give it a shot, with wonderful results. Thanks everyone! The truss rod screw now fears me. Ha!
    For anybody in the same boat as I was, don't wait 20 years, JUST DO IT!
    I am including a pic. of the screwdriver that worked well for me, using pliers to turn it.

  2. Good deal!
    I lucked out with my 89 MIA 62 reissue P. The truss rod nut is exposed just enough so I can fit a skinny flathead from my old Leatherman in there and tweak it without having to take the neck off.
    Thegrandwazoo likes this.
  3. vaesto


    Jun 21, 2010
    TR doesn't adjust action, it is just a side effect of changing the relief - curvature of neck - which you' ve done so well. Enjoy,
    Thegrandwazoo and Vinny_G like this.
  4. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    Yeah, that's good advice. :laugh:
    And it also applies to other things in life. ;)
    Thegrandwazoo likes this.
  5. I recently did this with a Yamaha TRB 6II that I've had since 1999 which had horrible action, but I didn't want to risk messing something up. Unbolted the neck, did the adjustment and got the neck straight when strung up! Turns out both truss rods (even scarier) were both totally loosened this whole time! Adjusted the intonation and now it plays like a dream!
  6. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Or you could slightly scar the pick guard like we all used to do in the 70's...
  7. Vanheusen77


    Nov 9, 2016
    To everybody that are scared to do their own setups: It’s not hard! Just have a go and you learn along the way plus you save tons of money! I take the neck off my fenders all the time, it’s not rocket science. I just wish it worked the same way with dentists. Buy a couple of feeler gauges and use the setup specs on fenders site, then tweak for your own preferences!
    Vinny_G likes this.

  8. You could buy a 3/16ths allen screw truss rod nut and the Fender 3/16ths hex head tool that goes with it for all of about 20 bucks and adjust it anytime you want without taking anything off. You can maneuver the tool right in the little divot in the pick guard, I used to partially take off the neck too but not the pickguard, it is a REAL PITA, best thing I ever did for my American Vintage Hot Rod P/J bass.

    Fender TRUSS ROD NUT - 3/16" HEX (ALLEN) 0038454049


  9. Thegrandwazoo

    Thegrandwazoo Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    West Virginia
    The couple heel-adjust Fender styles I've had got very neat grooves judiciously applied with a rat-tail file under said pickguard (and later through it when I realized that pickguards are cheap and readily available). No problems for me. Allen-head truss nuts also make it much easier with said notch, and can be had to fit any normal-sized truss rod. It is a pretty stupid design, you must admit.
    Vinny_G likes this.