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4 bolt neck on 3 bolt body

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by supahsekzy, May 18, 2011.

  1. supahsekzy

    supahsekzy Member

    Messages:
    75
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Hi all,

    Has anyone here ever successfully converted a 4 bolt neck to fit onto a 3 bolt body? The neck would have a truss rod with the adjustment hole on the nut, not the heel, of the neck.

    Normally I'd convert the body to 4 bolt instead but this body is from 74. It's in banged up condition to be sure but i figure I'll do the least amount of damage to it as possible.
     
  2. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,572
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ghent, NY
    If the neck is predrilled you will have to plug the holes and drill new ones. The 4 bolt layout is wider than the 3 bolt. The USA bodies use a machine screw for the bottom bolt so you'll have to mill the neck's heel for a bottom bolt plate. Or get a MIJ neck plate and use three wood screws, but the bottom hole will be over sized.
     
  3. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    many 4 bolt necks have a metal cylinder that anchors the truss rod. If you have one, it cannot be converted.... and as you surmised, heel adjust truss rod guitars can't be converted to 3 bolt either.
     
  4. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,572
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ghent, NY
    That depends on where the anchor is. If it's right at the heel then he's out of luck, but if it's at the half way point on the heel he can do it. It's going to be work either way - might as well get a neck that's prepped for the job.
     
  5. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Supporting Member

    Messages:
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    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Standard Time
    I would just convert the body to four-bolt. Honestly, there were millions of strats produced, and making real-world mods are allowable, IMO, especially since you said it is beat, and therefore will never be a collectors item, no matter what ebay advanced search tells you.
     
  6. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,572
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ghent, NY
    In order to convert the body to four bolt he will have to plug and drill new neck mounting holes + the bottom hole will show below the neck plate. Either way - it's not an easy conversion, but four bolt neck to three is easier.
     

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