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What's this??? (Tuning machine)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by alanloomis1980, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. I had some rattling in my tuning machines on my squier bass. I took them apart to see if i could locate the source. I discovered there were these little plates inside causing the rattling:

    So, my many questions: what are they, what do they do? Can i repair/ replace ? Can i live without them (with proper function ?) Is it time for new tuners??
  2. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    I've never seen that before but they look like spacers. Do the tuning machines work without them?
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    A guess here, perhaps those are supposed to be tensioners and "rub" against the worm gear? Maybe they are not pre-bent to where they need to be to do so.
    bholder likes this.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I've seen them before. Not entirely sure, but I think they're more than just spacers, I think they're perhaps supposed to provide spring tension against the side of the worm gear?
  5. Seems like it works still, but im not sure i trust them long term. They go under the gear and the peg goes thru the hole. The key is a bit looser when the string is off but seems to hold tune ( maybe the E slips a little.) I just want to make sure im not removing a critical part. Funny thing is, i discovered they had already been removed from the G tuner by previous owner.
  6. The worm gear is noticeably more wobbly without them
  7. I was wondering if i could adjust the bend to increase tension, to stop the rattling
    Rock Salad likes this.
  8. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    The metal one is a leaf spring, the plastic one is called a slip sheet. Yes, the metal one can be bent to increasse the tension, don't go over board it doesn't take much. When reinstalling them the slip sheet goes between the spring and the gear. the bent spring is placed so the end of the spring will push up on the worm gear. The slip sheet is the reason tuners don't need lubrication, except sometimes at the bushing.
  9. Very helpful! So is the leaf spring functioning to keep the gear in place/string in tune ? What happens to the machine without them?
  10. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    No, I think the real reason for that spring is to keep the worm properly engaged. Without them, over time, you will feel the gear grinding as it turns. The tuner will wear faster and could get hard to turn, the key could develop a rattle. Depending on the design of the tumer, it could also allow the worm gear to slip out of alingment with the gear enough that it wouldn't hold tune.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  11. Thanks!
    I had a feeling it wasn't a long term fix to take them out. I noticed without them when i tune down, the worm gear "falls" and tune back up, it snaps back into place. So like you said, over time that cant be good.

    Since one was already missing when i got the bass, i think ill replace these tuners
  12. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Except for the missing parts, there isn't a thing in the world wrong with those tuners, many makers are actually switching to them. Consider replacing them with the same thing. A drop in replacement is available in the Hipshot HB7. You might even give Hipshot a call and see if you can just buy the missing parts from them.
    Get in touch
    607-532-9404 • E-mail

    8248 State Route 96
    Interlaken, NY 14847

    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  13. Thanks again! Im not one to replace parts w/o cause. If it wasnt for the rattling and subsequent investigation i may have not noticed the missing component. I found the tuners on ebay, new, for $18 from another Indonesian squier.

    I actually live in Ithaca, NY, and get to drive by the hipshot factory on the way to some of my winery gigs! When it's time for "good" parts, ill definitely buy from them. I will also see if i can replace that one leaf spring for a back up set or for another bass- great suggestion!

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