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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Metal shavings from tremolo

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bluzcat
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Eastun' Carolina

Like Ringo, I'm happy to be here!
Feb 27th, 2019 09:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve noticed that the trem arm on my MIM VG strat was more loose than normal, even with the trem retention spring, and when I remove the bar it brings up metal shavings. The bar has the correct MIM threads. Thoughts?

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Feb 27th, 2019 10:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

Probably the ends of the spring digging into metal at one or both ends. Remove the bar and use a little bent paper clip to pull the spring out. If the spring is deformed, replace it.

Use some Q-Tips to clean that threaded hole; a drop of oil on the cotton helps the metal particles stick.

Apply some light grease or Vaseline on the bar threads and stick it back in.

Screwing these things in too far is what deforms the spring. It's a poor design (sorry Leo, it's true), considering the kind of use it gets. The spring was Fender's later attempt to help keep some tension on the bar so it doesn't flop around. It solves a symptom...but is not a cure.

A better option is to wrap the bar threads with Teflon tape, but as soon as you remove the bar, the thing has to be re-wrapped to properly work.

The threaded bar in the threaded block is a bad design, and requires maintenance to work properly. These are rarely if ever trouble free.

The newer design snap-in bar as used on the Fender Ultra/Deluxe series Strats is better--but even these often require some fiddly filing on the bar end and lubrication to work properly.




bluzcat
Contributing Member
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Eastun' Carolina

Like Ringo, I'm happy to be here!
Feb 27th, 2019 07:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the tips- I’ll tackle that this weekend.

ejm

usa

Feb 28th, 2019 08:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Peegoo wrote: "A better option is to wrap the bar threads with Teflon tape, but as soon as you remove the bar, the thing has to be re-wrapped to properly work."

+1.

However, you don't necessarily need to replace the tape when removing/reinstalling the bar. Look at it when you do and make the determination.

A roll of that teflon plumbers tape is about a buck the last time that I checked, and should last you a lifetime, or until you lose it, whichever comes first.

And speaking of removing the bar......you may not ever need to do so.

If you keep it in a HSC, check to see if it fits in the case without removing the bar.
If you have a traditional rectangular HSC, angle the bar in line with the jack plate before you close the lid. It'll fit.

Also, I have a Music Man Axis type guitar and a MM case.
MM ingeniously designed the case so that there is an indentation in the lid over the pickup area where the bar will fit when you close the lid.


Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Feb 28th, 2019 11:20 AM   Edit   Profile  

bluzcat, I hope you solve your problem, but your dilemma just reminds me why I have sworn off screw-in trems and gone exclusively to push-ins, preferably Wilkinsons.

ejm

usa

Feb 28th, 2019 03:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

So going back to the original post, what is *really* the problem?


Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Feb 28th, 2019 04:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Metal shavings. Probably making the arm rotation feel a bit crunchy.

ejm

usa

Feb 28th, 2019 11:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

We could guess, but it'd be nice to hear from the O.P. what he thinks the problem is.
Maybe he's just curious if it could lead to something else.

To add to what Peegoo said initially.......

In my experience the big problem/danger is tightening the arm too much, and twisting it off and leaving the threaded section in the hole.
(I suppose it'd be possible to strip the threads on the bar or the block, too.)
I learned this one the hard way.
I have never broken a trem arm from vigorous use over decades, but I've twisted one or two off.

Spring or teflon or nothing at all, be careful not to do this.


bluzcat
Contributing Member
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Eastun' Carolina

Like Ringo, I'm happy to be here!
Mar 1st, 2019 05:11 AM   Edit   Profile  

The problem is the bar seems to have more play as you depress it, and was concerned that I may need to replace the block. I know that’s not a big deal, but wanted to see other options first.

ejm

usa

Mar 1st, 2019 10:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

Now we know.
It doesn't seem that the actual metal shavings are the problem.
Just a guess, without seeing it, but I'd hold off on replacing the block just yet.

In that case, either a new spring or the teflon tape will work.
I'm partial to the tape.
I've never tried the spring thing.


Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 1st, 2019 10:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

The parts do wear; that's the main issue with the threaded attachment scheme.

The fit is a bit loose even when new, and even with lubrication, over time through use the fit becomes more loose.

I've never read anything to support this, but I'll bet guys like Freddie Tavares and Don Randall leaned on Leo to change that design. I'm certain players complained about it then as they do now. Leo was hard-headed and probably refused to budge because it was a cheap way to make it work.

The best vibrato arm fitment Fender ever pioneered was the one on the Mustang: a smooth arm into a smooth bore. The little set screw did cause wear on the arm though, and the simple fix was to cut a 3/16" disk from a thick guitar pick and drop it into the hole before snugging the set screw. That made it work perfectly with no wear at all.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 1st, 2019 11:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

"... the simple fix was to cut a 3/16" disk from a thick guitar pick and drop it into the hole before snugging the set screw..."

Which, if I am understanding correctly, is an improvised substitute for a...

...nylon-tip set screw

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 1st, 2019 03:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

Egg-zaklee!

Charente

France

Mar 2nd, 2019 02:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

With vintage style Strat trems I used to place a little piece of pencil rubber (eraser) down the hole to stop the slack feeling and wear.

macatt

Pacific Northwest

macatt
Mar 2nd, 2019 04:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

Just replace the block with a press in Callahan or get a Wilkinson/gotoh trem and never have to deal with slop again.

S Mac

(This message was last edited by macatt at 06:42 AM, Mar 2nd, 2019)

ejm

usa

Mar 2nd, 2019 07:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

Charente: That pencil eraser idea is a good one.
The erasers for mechanical pencils would probably drop right in.

Of course, they would probably eventually wear out, like the teflon tape or the springs.
Then again, for the price of a new trem system I can buy a lot of erasers/tape/springs.


Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 2nd, 2019 07:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you know how to use simple tools, you can modify the original bridge and achieve perfection for about $15 and about an hour of your time.

You re-shape the block, drill or file a slightly larger hole, and install a real-deal Floyd clutch and bar. The clutch/bar costs ~$15. Shop around for best price.

I've done this mod on two of my Strats.

Depending on the thickness of your bridge plate, you may need to add a washer or two on the fastening screw to prevent the end of the bar from contacting the tip of the screw when the bar's clutch collar is finger-tightened.

Use blue Loctite on the screw threads to keep it from working loose.

This.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 2nd, 2019 07:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

This shows the parts of the bar/clutch assembly

here.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 2nd, 2019 09:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you're not into tools, Gotoh makes a complete bridge with a pop-in bar that sells for about $50. It's a really good one. The clutch on this one is a Nylon collar that is finely adjustable with a little set strew that adds tension.

You can swap in your stock "Fender Fender" bridge saddles on it if you like.

Available in 6-screw and 2-post modern versions.

bluzcat
Contributing Member
*********

Eastun' Carolina

Like Ringo, I'm happy to be here!
Mar 2nd, 2019 11:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

Got the spring out- it was permanently compressed and bowed...cleaned the threads and wrapped the arm in Teflon. The play is gone. I sure appreciate it!

The Floyd bar mod is interesting- never considered that.

(This message was last edited by bluzcat at 01:07 PM, Mar 2nd, 2019)

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Metal shavings from tremolo




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