Truss rod while traveling to hot/humid climate

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Casey Schrader, May 21, 2018.

  1. Casey Schrader

    Casey Schrader

    May 21, 2018
    I'm not quite sure where I should post this so apologies in advance!

    I have a gig in China that will be through all of August and I'm planning on bringing my Mex Pbass for sure but I am on the fence about bringing my 4001Ricky. It is from 1973 and I got it for cheap because the neck is a little iffy(as with every ricky i've played.)

    I went to go get it set up and the guy said that the truss rod is maxed out and doesn't know if I wanted to risk messing with it.
    I'm fine with how it plays now but I live in Utah(very dry climate) and traveling to China (very humid + a lot warmer.)

    Do you guys think it would be able to handle China? I'm thinking the humidity would expand the wood and the truss rod wouldn't be able to handle it. Just looking for advice!
  2. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Why risk it? If the setup goes south what will you do? IMHO, take the Mexi-P and a truss rod wrench.
    Emster and Garret Graves like this.
  3. I think you should be a little concerned about your health as well. I have good friends travel there and they tell me the air pollution can be pretty intense in the summer there. Bring air masks with you and use them. As for the bass, I suggest, if it means a lot to you leave it at home and find a cheap replacement that works for you for this gig.
    Wasnex likes this.
  4. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Before you go, get a humidifier & crank that sucker up to 80%, leave the heat on 75F & check it in a couple of days.
  5. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Truss rods are adjustable. If something changes, whether it is due to heat (up or down) or humidity (up or down) adjust the rod(s) to compensate for the change.

    A 1973 Rickenbacker 4001 has dual removable truss rods. If the rod is "maxed out" it is a relatively simple matter to pull the rods and rebend them so they are functional. Sometimes the rods are a bit of a challenge to remove. But steady hands, a cool head, and some patience and they'll come out. Bending them is easy once they're on the bench. They are usually a breeze to replace.

    The decision to take or not to take to China could be based on security. What are the chances of theft? Or damage during travel? Don't forget about CITES. Those are bigger problems than the weather.
    RSBBass and sissy kathy like this.
  6. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Sounds like you are a bit of an expert, and 4001 adjustments are easy for you. Lot's of stories of none experts ganking 4001 truss rods because they don't know how they work...a bit different than most basses from what I understand. It's hard enough to find a good tech here in the US that understands these basses. If the 4001's setup goes out in China, the bass is put at risk, and possibly the OP's gig and reputation as well. Why risk it, when the OP has a perfectly serviceable bass that is easy to adjust in comparison.
    RSBBass likes this.
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    If you're sure the truss rods are maxed out, then it's probably best to leave the Rick at home this time. Yeah, the rods are removable, and new ones are available, too (kinda expensive, though), but - that's a job for when you get home. It probably doesn't want to go to China, anyway, and there's always the chance that someone might decide they want it more than you do. Or, it might suffer damage during the trip - which, I guarantee, Murphy will make sure happens to the Rick. I agree with Wasnex; take the MIM P-Bass and a some tools... and just have fun.:thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  8. I don’t think replacement rods are expensive at all. $30 of $40 for a pair from Ric directly I believe. What a tech will charge to do the work is a different story but it seems one of the easiest truss rod swaps out there.
  9. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    As 202dy said CITES is a bigger issue. Bring the Fender and solve both issues.
    Gluvhand likes this.
  10. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Rosemead, Ca
    I didn’t think CITES was an issue for your own personal instrument for traveling. Went to Asia, (Philippines and Japan) with a bass, was never asked about it. Shipping it would be a different deal all together, but carry through?
    EDIT: I’ve read the CITES thread recently (my trip was 2 months ago) and seem to recall that carried instrument was no problem for anyone- could be wrong. Leave your Ric at home, because the neck will shift a bit, and you can’t adjust it!
  11. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    If you're bringing ONE instrument you can claim it as the one you're going to be using, but if you bring more than one,,,
  12. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Sorry, but... RIC doesn't sell the hairpin truss rods for 4000/4001's any more; and hasn't for quite some time. The ones they do sell are for 4003's; and those won't work in a 4001. IIRC, Pick Of The Ricks does sell them occasionally (and they cost a lot more than $40). I know that you can get the hairpins from They always seem to have them in stock; but, last time I checked, they cost about 90 pounds/set, plus shipping... And, yes, even the hairpin truss rods are pretty easy to swap out...:)
  13. So, 90 pounds is $120. Still doesn’t seem excessive or expensive.