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Truss rod issue on `77 Jazz Bass!!!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Calif De Funk, Apr 30, 2006.


  1. Calif De Funk

    Calif De Funk Guest

    Dec 15, 2004
    Sweden
    Hello everybody,

    Before I tell you about my problem I would like to say that I ´v search for the answer not only on TB and didn`t find it. I also wrote to TB luthier who "is there to help us" but there was no advice from his side, more than older "everything about truss rod problems" links and explanations which I´d already checked myself! So I have to ask you guys and I hope someone can advice me. Here is my story:

    As I stated above, I`v got a truss rod problem on my 1977 Fender Jazz Bass. The bullet wouldn`t turn clock wise anymore so I can`t adjust the neck which is bowed forward (that is when I have my bass on, in playing position). I even had to lower the bridge saddles almost all the way down to obtain some playable action. I know I could install a washer which I`v done once for some 8 years ago, but what worries me most is that the bullet is "sinking" down, or I should say it already is very deeply positioned, while other basses of same age show the bullet in almost the hole length of it!

    I have owned this bass in 8 years now, and I had to stretch the neck at least 4 times by now. I know how to adjust the neck and the bass in general, but what puzzles me is how come the bullet has moved downwards so much (I got it this way for 8 years ago)? I even noticed that there might be place enough for maybe two more washers, so what do I do if later I need to add more washers while there wouldn`t be any space left for them?

    Help mi save my favorite bass.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    The washers have been the best remedy for me and I've done several old jazz basses with the same problem. You may need 3 of them to give you enough purchase to allow enough of a straightening action. I don't think I've ever had to use more than 3 but I think there might be room for 4 if needed.

    Sometimes the wood under the nut compresses quite a bit so that might be the problem. Anyhow, try using more washers and see if that handles it. It's a cheap enough way to go. If that doesn't take care of it then you may have to replace the truss rod which is an expensive fix on that bass.
     
  3. Calif De Funk

    Calif De Funk Guest

    Dec 15, 2004
    Sweden
    Thank you 62Bass!

    I was counting the length of the remaining threads so I also believe I might be able to install 3 more washers (one have already been installed 1988), and hopefully solve the problem. Otherwise I might need a new truss rod. I wonder if it is done from the back of the neck by removing the walnut inlay?! That would be easier and probably cheaper in comparison to fretboard disassembling. I´ll be back with a new post when I`m done with this. In the meantime, everyone who has been through this issue, please advice. I would appreciate it very much.
     
  4. Calif De Funk

    Calif De Funk Guest

    Dec 15, 2004
    Sweden
    Hello guys and thanks for suggestions!

    Yesterday I released the truss rod and put out the string tension. Today I checked the neck and it is straight with a half a millimeter space between the E string and the fifth fret when pressing the first and twelfth position, which seems to be a normal state. Initially I was worried about the "deep" position of the bullet with at least 3 cm difference deeper position in comparison to the same basses there you can see the hole bullet. While discussing this matter with a friend of mine, a bass player and pre CBS owner, he told me something which seemed to be an acceptable explanation; that among other quality drops during the `70, Fender did use truss rods which might differ in length. Simply, they used even the truss rods 3-4 cm shorter than normally, those ones they should throw, just because of the rush period. The idea of stretching the neck so much that the bullets position would "sink" with 3-4 cm seems a little unreal, because it takes a lot of turns to achieve that, and consequently, the neck would probably break. But the final answer will come when I`v installed a couple of washers and put the string and truss rod tension back again. I will let you know about it soon.

    Regards
     
  5. Calif De Funk

    Calif De Funk Guest

    Dec 15, 2004
    Sweden
    Hello folks,

    Today I installed three more washers under the bullet and it worked perfect! I now have about ½ mm space between E string and the fifth fret when pressing the first and the twelfth position.

    The only problem I ran into was the washers. I couldn`t find those with the needed outer diameter of 9 mm and inner diameter of 5,3 to 6 mm so I bought washers with 10 mm outer diameter and then I had to "work" them down to 9 mm and that was it. The job is done and my favorite bass is singing beautifully again... , and I am richer for an experience which I am glad to share with you. Thank you for your support.
     
  6. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Glad it worked out. I had to grind down some washers once when I couldn't buy any that fit. It didn't take long using pliers to hold the washers to a grinding wheel . Then I found a hardware store that had the right size so I bought 100 of them.

    It's nice when you do something new and it turns out right isn't it?
     
  7. Calif De Funk

    Calif De Funk Guest

    Dec 15, 2004
    Sweden
    Hello,

    You have darn right! It is really a nice feeling. The right sized washers are a bit of a "problem" aren`t they ;) . If I find them, I promise I`ll buy the biggest package.
     

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