Crap. Possible busted truss rod.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Mad Wombat, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Mad Wombat

    Mad Wombat Member

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    So I've got a 2004 Am. Deluxe Strat. When I bought it, it had been sitting in the back room of a store for 10 years. The truss rod had seized and, in my foolishness, I ended up stripping the hex socket trying to adjust it. I ended up getting the relief reasonable, and left it there.

    Last night, years later, I was playing it and heard a weird rattle/buzz. I narrowed it down to the headstock end of the neck - I hear a rattle when I knock on the back of the neck with my hand.
    So I suspect the nut has broken off in there. However the nut seems to be solidly fixed when I prod it with a tool, so the break may be further down, or the end of the rod is just pushing it back against the plug.

    Anyone encountered something like this before?
    Is the neck f&*$ed, or can it be repaired?
     
  2. AnthonyL

    AnthonyL Silver Supporting Member

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  3. customguitars87

    customguitars87 Member

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    Take the guitar to a qualified tech and get it checked out. I am amazed at how often people try to repair something themselves, make it worse, and then post for advice on this forum about a guitar we've never seen expecting us to resolve their issue.

    Take it to any qualified tech and they'll diagnose the issue for you in 5 minutes flat, correctly and without any blind guessing :).
     
  4. phoghat

    phoghat Member

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    Just get a new neck.
     
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  5. Mad Wombat

    Mad Wombat Member

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    Yeah, I'm not going to mess with it myself and possibly make things worse. I've contacted a tech and will be taking it to him in a while.
     
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  6. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    You can always repair a busted truss rod. It's just a matter of whether it's worth the money to do it. In this case, I think you might as well just get a new neck.
     
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  7. jwguitar

    jwguitar Supporting Member

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    I am with you on that. I would as long as the guitar is not valuable I would go ahead and purchase a fender licensed neck from all parts.
     
  8. Jay Will

    Jay Will Member

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    New necks are pretty cheap these days and it would be an easy fix.
     
  9. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    You or I could do it.

    But I think this truss rod issue has taken up residence in the O.P.'s brain and in a sort of a way, he's incapacitated from making sound decisions. He's got to delegate this out. But I sure wouldn't want him to just toss this neck. It could have tons of life still in it.

    I'm imagining he put the socket on there and started cranking, and never detensioned the rod aforehand.

    ++

    As an aside, let me say that this stuff really works:

    but you might wanna shoot upward so the excess doesn't soak into the wood.
     
  10. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    Kind of depends on how it is busted. If it broke in the middle, don't you have to pop off the fretboard and replace the whole thing? I'm not confident that I'd be able to do that myself without ruining the fretboard, but it might be worth a shot before buying a new neck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    I've had truss rods rattle when there is no tension on the rod. Putting just a little tension stops all that.

    .
     
  12. Gevalt

    Gevalt Member

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    It could be anything vibrating unless the truss rod has stopped doing its job. If it’s broken you have insanely high action and tons of relief and it won’t change when you turn the nut.
    I have a bass that vibrated a weird buzz on different places depending on the neck relief. In my case, it’s just a jalopy, but ok.

    And maybe it’s not a stripped nut if you’re using SAE allen on a metric nut, like I once did. Chewed up but still works with the proper tool
     
  13. Mad Wombat

    Mad Wombat Member

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    o_O
    So the deal is this: yeah, a few years back, before I knew what I was doing, I forced it and stripped the hex socket on a seized truss rod. What's taken up residence in my brain is that a decent replacement neck is going to cost me several hundred bucks after exchange, duties and shipping, and this doesn't fit my current budget well (necks aren't so cheap north of the border). So I'd rather see if it can be saved for less $. And, yes I'm going to delegate it to someone who has more experience with it so I don't make another costly mistake - and I intend to learn from what he does. If, on investigation, it turns out to be an relatively easy (and cheap) fix, then I've saved some money. If not, I can then consider replacement. There's nothing else wrong with the neck, so I'd hate to throw it away if I don't have to.

    I'm not delegating any decisions to anyone, but I'd be foolish not to do some research first - including seeking the experience of people who have had similar problems. I'll weigh the info and other factors and make up my own mind.
     
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  14. Mad Wombat

    Mad Wombat Member

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    Good point. It may not be broken, as the relief has not changed noticeably. Might be something else loose in there.
    The socket is definitely stripped. So even if the problem is not a broken rod, it would be good to get the nut replaced.
    The tech is quoting a pretty reasonable price to investigate and replace the nut, if that's what it is. So I'll take the gamble that this can be fixed easily before I look at a replacement.
     
  15. kevmin

    kevmin Supporting Member

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    The sound that you described can easily be a loose truss rod. I have experienced this exact same scenario. I had a good tech replace the nut on the truss rod and once adjusted to the proper tension, the rattle was gone and all was well.

    Things I have learned since then: penetrating oil is your friend, loosen before you tighten, use the perfect sized wrench and make sure it is in all the way before you turn it!
     
  16. Meals

    Meals Member

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    Just for the hell of it, try tightening the bushings on your tuners and the screws holding your tuner buttons and string tree. I had a bass that I swore had a truss rod issue, turned out it was a loose tuner.
     
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  17. monty

    monty Member

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    Yep, happened to me too. Never hurts to try.
     
  18. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Supporting Member

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    I can be fixed, it just depends on how much you want to do it. I have taken fretboards off to replace truss rods. It is not for the faint but like anything else, if you know how to do it it's not that bad. Good replacement necks are available at reasonable prices nowadays so that's a good option. Nothing wrong with taking it to a competent tech or luthier for a diagnosis.
     
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  19. woof*

    woof* Member

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    And make sure you don’t get another neck with the goofy adjustment at the headstock.
    ;)
     
  20. gunslinger

    gunslinger Member

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    I've read that the nuts on a lot of truss rods are brass so that they would strip first on the steel rod. That way you could just get a new brass nut to fix the problem. And like someone said the fretboard could always be removed and a new truss rod could be installed. Maybe the new one could be titanium. Good luck!
     

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