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Truss Rod/Washer Question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by torza, Apr 18, 2010.


  1. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    Hey all. So I have a maxed out truss rod on my American Fender P Bass. From reading the forums in the last day or so, I'm finding this is quite common. Also, the washer trick seems to be a popular remedy here for this issue.

    My question is this... is the washer trick just a temporary solution? By this I mean... if you have a neck like mine, live in NY (with dry heat), use thick strings, etc., won't the truss rod just get maxed out again? or does the washer thing put an end to this disgusting cycle?! i really love this bass and want the neck to last as long as possible. i was debating buying a new neck but would rather not. help...
     
  2. Meatrus

    Meatrus

    Apr 5, 2009
    England
    The washer is a temporary fix really, as in it will be fine until you have to tighten again (depending on how much travel you gain with the washer). The real answer to the problem would probably be to install the washer, then find a more stable place (temp/humidity wise) to store the bass. Also lowering string gauge may be a good idea if possible.
     
  3. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    Thanks for your response. I actually made two sponge/soapdish humidifiers for my bass case (put one near the headstock and one near the body). i got these a little while ago, but the truss rod was maxed already. i just started tuning my E string to a D tuning (whild i'm not playing) to relieve some of the tension. hopefully if the washer thing works and i keep up with the humidifier/d tuning, this will expand the life...
     
  4. Hi.

    ?

    If done right, and the wood doesn't compress any further, it's a permanent fix.

    I don't remember the lead on imperial truss rods, 24TPI?, but on metric it's either 1mm or 0.75mm.

    This means that with two washers 1mm thick, You get about 2 full turns on the truss rod. That should last a while. In fact, You can add washers until there's 1 diameter of the thread left, but usually 1.5 times is more than enough.

    The trick is to find a washer that's exactly the OD of the nut, otherwise there's a possibility of cracking the truss rod nut pocket.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  5. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    Thanks Sam! Like I said, I don't know much about the tech side of things. This is giving me a lot of hope though.

    Does anybody know anyone who does a good job of this in New York?
     
  6. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    I've done it on a number of guitars and basses. If it's done correctly it's a permanent fix.

    It's not something new and untried either. I first heard about it back in the 70s from a Fender repair guy in a music store.
     
  7. Hi.

    If the nut backs off easily, ie. the truss rod threaded end isn't kinked, bent or otherwise damaged, a person with even the modest DIY skills can do the fix.

    If my memory serves me correctly, Allparts, StewMac or some other internet shop sell these washers.

    An ordinary hardware store washer can also be used, but usually the OD is a bit too big. The steel on those washers is soft though, so a machine screw with the same dia. and tpi as the truss rod nut, can be used to fasten the washers (ID as close as possible to the truss rod OD) to the nut while filing the OD to the correct value.

    If I'm faced with such a need, I turn one thicker one in a lathe instead of two thinner ones.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  8. Meatrus

    Meatrus

    Apr 5, 2009
    England
    Isnt that a bit of a contradiction with "that sould last you a while"...thats not permanent. Two turns would last a while, but I have never been able to get an extra two full turns, even when stacked up with a few. I'm no expert, so feel free to let me know if I did something wrong, but I dont think so.

    On the two basses I tried it with both reached the maximum truss nut height (no room for any more washers). And I still had a bowed neck on one, and a flat neck on the other, but with no room to correct any future bowing.
     
  9. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Certain washers used to fasten drum cymbals to stands work very well. Stainless Steel. If you find them, buy a few extra to share with others.:)
     
  10. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    You need to give the truss rod some help. You can do this by back clamping the neck. Dan Erlewine shows how:

     
  11. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    I'm bringing my bass in to see if i could get the washer trick done. The only thing is, I've heard that you can't get this done on a double action truss rod (which is what i have). Is this true?
     
  12. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    US
    Is the truss rod nut at the body end of your bass? Do you have a stock, completely unmodified 1998 Fender American Standard passive Precision Bass? If the answer to both of these is yes, you have a single action compression truss rod. Please post a few photos of your bass and a photo of the truss rod nut.
     
  13. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    US
    Here are a few photos of a Strat getting a bi-flex repair:
    http://good-times.webshots.com/album/563003832XtAKbB

    Note that the adjustment is at the headstock end of the neck.

    Also notice here, in the 1995-2002 Fender manual that the bi-flex truss rod is said to be adjustible from the headstock end:
    http://support.fender.com/manuals/instr_owners/Fender_Guitars_and_Basses_1995.pdf

    Does your truss rod adjust at the headstock or the neck heal?

    Please notice in the description from the repair page that: "The original hardwood dowel. This is a major functional part of the biflex system. When turned CCW, the nut backs up against this wooden dowel and because the nut can't escape, the neck is forced into relief which can address a backbow unlike a conventional truss rod which cannot do this." The dowel is at the headstock end.

    Also notice on page 37 from this book that the bi-flexx truss rod is headstock adjusted: http://books.google.com/books?id=4U...wCTgK#v=onepage&q=fender bi-flex bass&f=false




    edit: here are a few photos of a 1998 Fender American Standard Precision. Does your bass look like this? Notice that the truss rod does not adjust at the headstock end -- it does not have a bi-flexx truss rod:http://cgi.ebay.com/Fender-Precisio...45?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Guitar&hash=item27b110037d

    Perhaps your bass is older that 1995 and is one of the old long horn Fenders. Those were head stock adjusted and might have had the bi-flexx truss rod.
     
  14. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    Hey King... thanks again for all of your information. You're really helping make sense of this for me. My bass does have the truss rod at the body (not at the headstock). Here's a pic of my badboy...
     
  15. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    King Biscuit... what's your email? The picture files are too big to post.
     
  16. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    US
    I'll PM you my email, but you should sign up for a photobucket account and link the photos that way -- that's what most of us do, and its completely free:

    http://photobucket.com/

    That way others can see the photos too.
     
  17. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    Thanks (again) man. :) Just created a photbucket!! Here it is...

    <a href="http://s847.photobucket.com/albums/ab31/tomorza/?action=view&current=DSCN1177.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i847.photobucket.com/albums/ab31/tomorza/DSCN1177.jpg" border="0" alt="Truss Rod"></a>

    <a href="http://s847.photobucket.com/albums/ab31/tomorza/?action=view&current=DSCN1178.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i847.photobucket.com/albums/ab31/tomorza/DSCN1178.jpg" border="0" alt="Head"></a>
     
  18. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    oh and just for fun... :bassist:

    <a href="http://s847.photobucket.com/albums/ab31/tomorza/?action=view&current=DSCN1181.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i847.photobucket.com/albums/ab31/tomorza/DSCN1181.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
     
  19. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    US
    That is a standard issue Fender single action compression rod. Also, it doesn't look bottomed out at all. Maybe you should take your bass for a second opinion.
     
  20. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    Yeah it's beginning to sound like I need to take it to someone for a second opinion! I wonder why the last tech guy would give me such bogus info. I guess being a tech is just like every profession, there's the good and the bad.

    I am really bad at this tech stuff... never learned to be honest with you. I'm going to bring it to this other guy on friday for him to look at it. He gives setup tutorials too.
     

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