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Which way in to a Jazz Bass neck?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Marty Hewes, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. I'm playing a Fender MIM Jazz 5 string. The action is a bit high (higher than my Squier Active Jazz 5) and the truss rod Allen head socket (head end) is stripped. The truss rod adjustment didn't seem to do squat before I stripped it trying. I figure it's time to replace the truss rod or go for it and make a new neck (not the first I've made). Figure I'll try replacing the truss rod first.

    A couple questions:

    On a MIM Jazz Bass, is that Allen head a nut that can be replaced, or is that the fixed end of the truss rod, the threaded end being at the body end?

    This neck is Maple with a Pau Ferro fingerboard. It also has the dark skunk stripe up the back of the neck. Both? I thought they only did the skunk stripe to insert a truss rod through the back of a one piece Maple neck and fingerboard (no way in the front)? Can I get to the truss rod by removing the fingerboard, or is it only accessible from the back?

    I'm hoping the fingerboard can be removed the way I removed a Squire fingerboard. I have a big a$$ 220 volt hot plate to boil water, and an insulated box. I put the Squire neck in the box and pumped in steam for about 20 minutes. The fingerboard just fell right off, clean as a whistle.

    Any suggestions for the best replacement truss rod?

    Suggestions? TIA,
  2. jloftin1


    Aug 7, 2009
    Carrollton, Ga
    On every fender I've seen, the nut is removeable. I've had luck using a slightly larger Allen wrench (usually using a sae on a metric nut was what worked) lightly tapped into the nut head and taking it all the way out.
  3. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    If its just the nut, with some care it can be removed and replaced relatively easily.
    If the rod is stripped then you're screwed and the truss rod will have to be replaced.
  4. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    That's a very specific truss rod nut for Fender. Angela Instruments is the only place I've found that sells the size nut you need. I would honestly cut a 1/8" sliver off the bottom of the old nut, drill out the threads, and use it as a washer so you get more adjustment space with the new truss rod nut. The truss rod nuts that come with that model of Fender are made of really weak metal. I've had at least 3 of them strip out and then eventually literally crack in half. Be careful to not tighten it too much. I've also seen this model develop cracks in the fret board by the head stock from people tightening that nut too much.
  5. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Actually you'll be astounded, because the answer is neither. I'll see if I can dig up the thread.

    Here it is..
    Caution! Graphic Content! Squier truss rod fix (amateur)
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  6. I like your approach. I wonder if this StewMac rod Item # 0968 would work in there with some variation of the Fender nut?
    I'd be leery of trying to build up the thread area and re-cutting the threads. I'd think the heat would change the hardening of the steel and likely lead to failure. I'd be more likely to just buy some good steel rod and make one if you can't find one. Not much to this style of rod. I once (back about 1970, poor high school kid) made a rod from some hardware store threaded rod for a fretless I built. Neck is still straight today.

    The current status on mine is, trying to find the right nut, meanwhile it's still playable. It's a MIM standard Jazz, the bullet nut that StewMac sells has a smaller Allen wrench socket, mine is 5mm. I learned that the hard way. Don't know about the threads. I think I just ran out of threads or bottomed the rod in the nut, then stripped the nut. With luck I'll be able to get the nut backed out if I can get a tool to grab it. So far I haven't gotten an Allen wrench to bite. The $30 Allen wrench set from Home Depot "Tip Groves Designed to Increase Grip on Severely Rounded Fasteners" failed. I'm going to try the Cobalt Speed Out extractor from Home Depot next, but not until I have a nut in hand.

    This neck is no treasure anyway, aside from having too much forward bend, it also has some twist with an odd bend up at about the 17th fret on the G string side. It would take major work to make it totally right. If I can get to "reasonably playable" with a nut change, I'll probably settle for that, otherwise it's probably time for a custom laminated rock maple neck with a compound radius fretboard and a tipped back headstock.

    Funny, my Squire Active Jazz 5 has a great neck, but the gear snobs in the band turn their nose up when I play it :(.

  7. OK, here's another update. The super duper Allen wrenches from Home Depot didn't grip. The Speed Outs didn't do it, one was too small to grab, the next one up wouldn't fit into the neck. Tried EZ Outs, the 1/4" spun, the 19/64 wouldn't fit. Tried pounding in a 5.5mm Allen, wouldn't go. I didn't have anything appropriate in SAE.

    Happened to have a pin in the drawer, so I dropped it in as a shim and pounded the 5mm Allen in with it. Got some traction, but not enough, and flattened the pin. So I tried two pins and pounded in the 5mm. Got more traction, but then slipped. Wondered if I stretched the nut any, wen't back to the 5.5mm Allen. I could now pound it in and I got the nut moving.

    Replaced the nut with one from guitarpartsfactory dot com. Apparently it's a metric thread and a 5 mm Allen. It tightened up, but still too much front bow on the neck. Put a couple washers behind the nut, less front bow, but still have some. I'm tightening the nut enough to worry me, and the neck just isn't straightening out. This is how I got where I got, with a stripped nut.

    So now I'm wondering, how tight is pushing your luck? Would another washer help? Or are some necks just crap?

  8. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Are you trying to move the neck by tightening the nut, or have you physically moved the neck into place and are just snugging up the nut to keep it there?
  9. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yeah, flex the neck back manually or table clamping before you tighten the nut. Don’t make that tiny nut do the work.

  10. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I've used as many as 5 washers in a Fender neck with no issues.

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