anyone cured the trem bar wiggles?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by mlynn02, May 28, 2005.

  1. mlynn02

    mlynn02 Supporting Member

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    my strat has a screw in trem bar that wiggles around unless it's at the very end of it's thread. does anyone know of a good solution to solve that. i'd like it be easiliy movable, but stay where i put it.

    thanks,
    matt
     
  2. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

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  3. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    Teflon tape!!

    Can be bought at your local Home Depot "plumer" section.

    Use a few wraps, tight, around the thread.

    Just experiment with the number of layers.

    You'll still need to replace it with new tape from time to time but it'll work very close, if not exactly, the way you want it.
     
  4. Ray Gianelli

    Ray Gianelli Member

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    I used to do this as well. But I recently saw in a Fender Frontline catlog/magazine that they make a spring that you can drop into the trembar hole to put tension on it. I found them at these websites (I've never done any business with either of them):

    http://www.guitarstop.com/acc/parts/bridge.htm

    http://www.guitarpartsresource.com/trem_usastrat.htm

    I haven't tried this, as both of my current Strats have pop in arms.

    Ray
     
  5. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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  6. cswolfe

    cswolfe Guest

    I agree the spring works, but after umpteen years of fender having built strats, I cannot believe that (at least mine) comes with the trem hole taped, to enclose the spring.

    And then, in the manual, it says "replace the sticker every time you remove the trem arm to not lose the spring."

    WTF?! That's the best that they can do? What am I missing? I took out the spring on day one from my American Ash Strat HSS the first day, and in the case it stays, because I take out the trem arm when it goes in the case and there it stays.

    Does anybody have a solution to use the spring and have it just stay put that's better than fender's ridiculous suggestion that everytime you pull out the trem arm and put your guitar back in the case you should "tape up the trem hole" so as not to lose the spring?

    Being a strat owner, it's just embarrassing compared to the PRS design where there's no threads, no nothing. You put in the arm with zero "trem arm spinning" nonsense, it stays where you want it to, then you pull it out when you're done in a microsecond move and nothing falls out of your guitar if you don't tape over the hole.:cool:
     
  7. stark

    stark Supporting Member

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    Springs wear out and cannot be adjusted. Teflon tape works for about 30sec. What works for me is installing a small set screw in the back of the block up by the base plate. It has to be drilled and threaded by a qualified tech. You can set the tension to whatever you like and it will last. I have Suhr do this on my Strats. I can't bring myself to do it on my 63' strat, but the bar is nice and tight on that one.

    Adam Stark
     
  8. Ray Gianelli

    Ray Gianelli Member

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    I agree! I didn't know about the taped over hole (although I've seen it) keeping the spring in during transport. Ridiculous indeed. As I mentioned, both of my Strats have pop in arms, just like the PRS's. And even these are goofy, as you have to take the strings off and remove the springs so you can remove the trem assembly to access the trem arm tension setscrews. To be fair, once it's set you don't have to do it again.
    I can see now why they sell the springs in packs of 12 :)

    Perhaps one could find a screw with the same threads as the trem arm to put in the trem arm hole to keep the spring in during transport. Still a pain...

    Ray
     
  9. mlynn02

    mlynn02 Supporting Member

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  10. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    Wow, I have been thinking of doing the same thing for months, adding a set screw in the block to get rid of the slop.
     
  11. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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    Just put a little petroleum jelly on the spring before you put it in the hole and it won't fall out. It also keeps the threads lubed for smooth movement.
     
  12. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    +1 It works and I've been doing this for years.
     
  13. Gary F.

    Gary F. Member

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    I cut a small peice of electrical tape (1/2" x 1/8") and wrap it once around the middle threads on my bar. Keeps it in place better than the teflon because it stays pround of the threads. Needs to be redone every few months, but it doesn't shred like teflon tape, thus it's easier to clean and re-apply. i've found the Fender trem springs, once they get compressed (and they will), to be relatively useless.

    Gary
     
  14. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    another thing that helps is to buy a trem arm from callaham. It is not perfect,mind you, but the arm is made of stainless steel and has real heavy duty threads, so it seems to wiggle much less and does not slop up over time like the standard fender jobs.
     
  15. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Beware the older trem arm tension spring that is painted blue.
    The paint flecks off and can jam your trem arm.

    I would never put any teflon or other tape in the hole. It can gunk up, break off and cause problems.

    Like Matt, I find the Callaham trem arm fits the trem block hole well enough that I don't need a tension spring or tape on the threads.
     
  16. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    Okay, so where does the spring go?
     
  17. Ray Gianelli

    Ray Gianelli Member

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    OK,I'll spill. Although I was the one to bring up the spring, all the Strat's which I've owned with screw in trems were purchased used. The springs were gone, and I had the same issue with wiggles and the inability to have the trem bar stay where I wanted it. I read about the springs in a Fender Frontline magazine. I believe they just drop into the hole the trem threads into, putting tension on the bottom of the bar and holding it against the threads.
    Anyone can feel free to correct me on this if I'm wrong.

    Ray
     
  18. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    I did the set screw mod yesterday and it works super slick. I drilled and tapped a hole on the front side of the block since there is more meat in the block there, close to the top so the screw will ride against the un-threaded part of the arm. A short 4-40 Strat saddle screw worked great. You do need to screw in the arm first, and then adjust the set screw tension to remove the slop. A little Loctite on the set screw will prevent it from loosening.

    You will have to leave the bar in, or the set screw might mess up the threads. I usually leave the bar in all the time anyways. It works so great, it's the first time I've used a stock Fender trem with no slop in the arm at all. If you set the tension just right, the arm will still swing out of the way easily.
     

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