Crooked Strat Tremolo Bar

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by bleomonkey, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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    I just had my 62 reissue strat setup with heavy strings, 5 springs, and a flat bridge. After getting the guitar back, I went ahead and took the sticker off of the tremolo bar hole and tried to screw in the tremolo bar, but alas it wouldn't screw in. Finally, after numerous tries, it screwed in, but was really stiff even after one turn (it doesn't move or flop down at all). So I took it back out, and got it in again and it is still stiff, and I noticed that when the bar is hovering over the pickups, it is higher than when it hovers over the body past the bridge, which I'm guessing means that the bar is crooked inside the hole. I tried extremely hard to get the bar to go in straight, but it just wouldn't. I assume that it is stiff from the spring claws being tightened and having five springs, but that's just a guess. Any ideas of why it is like this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  2. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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  3. ChmpgnSupernover

    ChmpgnSupernover Member

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    Mmmm.... this is a cross section of a fender block - the bar is supposed to screw in crooked. Maybe you're trying too hard to keep it straight? When it does go in right, it should take a lot more then one turn before it gets tight. You'll want to back it out a turn or two if you do tighten it all the way.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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    I've tried many times, and when I finally get it in, it is tight before even turning it once. It is just as tight when it is only one turn is as when it sits all the way inside the hole. If the tremolo is supposed to be "crooked" then that's fine because the tight springs in the back are probably making it so tight, but that is just a guess.
     
  5. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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    I figured out that the reason why the tremolo is very difficult to put in is that the hole in the bridge where the bar goes, isn't perfectly aligned with the hole in the body due to the fact that the bridge was changed from floating to flat. Any ideas on how to fix this now, while keeping the bridge flat?
     
  6. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    The bar screws into the block.
    Unless the block was removed and installed in a different spot I fail to understand your problem. You may have already damaged the theads, I think.

    The arm most definitely will sit at a different angle depending on the bridge position. You just bend it to your preference.
     
  7. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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    Sorry, I always assumed that the tremolo bar went into the wood of the guitar. I feel like a moron, but then again I'm not big on technical stuff; I just play.

    Ok so back to the point. The hole in the tremolo block that the tremolo bar goes into is not aligned with the hole in the bridge. It's something like this:

    [​IMG]

    I'm thinking that it used to be aligned when the bridge was floating, but now that it's position has changed, the hole in the bridge no longer aligns with the hole in the tremolo block. So is there some way to fix this?
     
  8. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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  9. chris77

    chris77 Member

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    sorry I cant offer any help but I will tell you I am in the same boat I have the exact same problem with my US vintage style bridge. I am not so much of a trem guy but I was hoping to at least piddle with it untill I learned of the problem. I just gave up and locked it all down. oh well
     
  10. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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    Thanks for the support. Now I just found out that maybe the trem block is attached to the bridge? Is this right? I thought there was a hole in the bridge and a hole in the trem block and you stick the tremolo bar through both. Now I found out that maybe there is only one hole in total, so how could it be misaligned. This is so annoying. I never had problems with my crummy Squier's tremolo bar.
     
  11. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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  12. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    Is the trem still floating or did you hard tail it? If you hard tail it, the stock whammy bar will never float right. You have to bend it in a vice.
     
  13. woof*

    woof* Member

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    two things, if you look at the pic of the block cutaway you see the hole is set at an angle and is supposed to be that way. the bar doesn't sit flush with the body, and even more so with the trem non floating.
    the other point is your diagram of the two holes not lining up, thats wrong. the block is indeed attached to the trem plate by three screws and the plate sits flat/flush on top of the block. the arm holes are never perfectly lined up... but if yours is off that much, there is a serious problem..maybe the screws are loose on the plate? i'd unstring it and check to see any slop/play at the plate/block.
    anyway..you can bend the bar to your liking but beware that they easily break because most are made of cheap pot metal. the bars callaham sells are already at a better angle and made of better metal.
    i use all five springs and have the claws pretty tight myself..hence i break bars from time to time and even the callahan's do break.
     
  14. 12guitdown

    12guitdown Member

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    In the OP you said you just got the guitar back from being worked on. So why not take it back and have them fix it?
     
  15. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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    I am going to take it back, for another reason too, but I wanted to know if I could fix it myself. I still am not certain exactly what's going on, but I'm taking it in on Saturday anyways. Thanks for the help.
     
  16. bleomonkey

    bleomonkey Member

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    Just figured I would update you guys on the status. I was playing my strat yesterday and my amp was making funny noises (see DRRI Noises thread). Anyways, I stood up with my guitar and walked over to the amp, bent over to look at the amp, and I saw something fall out.

    Then I says, "UH oh. What was that?"

    As it turns out, it was a fender tremolo arm tension spring that fell out of the tremolo hole because the tremolo bar wasn't in.

    So, I went ahead and tried putting in the tremolo bar without the tension spring inside the hole. Magic. It is tight enough, but loose enough.

    The tension spring was making the bar even tighter on top of the fact that the guitar has high action, 5 springs, tightened spring claws, heavy strings.

    YES!
    :BEER
     
  17. Billkwando

    Billkwando Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but this picture helped me out so much. I just got a Fernandes strat (a Love Driver LD-95 KK, to be exact), and it came with a left handed bar....so obviously not original (I still have to find a replacement if anybody knows about Fernandes). Before I realized, I started to screw it in and realized it was at (what was to me, having never owned a strat before) a crazy backward angle. I was getting ready to freak out, afraid I'd cross threaded a wrong-sized bar and destroyed the hole, or got a defective/bent/badly modded block.

    This particular model comes with an iron block, so I could see somebody being just perverse enough to take the iron block out and switch it for zinc before selling it, but typically Japanese guitar sellers (where the guitar came from) are pretty honest. I had already noted to myself how insane the sustain on this guitar is, but my panicked mind managed to misfile that info during my momentary meltdown.

    It's the signature model of Ken from L'Arc~en~Ciel, who was clearly ahead of the curve on the internet and cats, since this guitar is about 20 years old!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (this is my actual guitar, not a stock pic)


    Here's the original flyer/catalog page in case anyone is interested:

    [​IMG]

    As I mentioned, it's my first strat (except for my first guitar, a crap Palmer strat copy), and I'm used to floyds (like my other Ken guitar, a LA-85 KK), which definitely go straight into the hole.

    Hopefully this little bump will help other folks like me, frantically googling, from having a coronary.

    P.S. Any thoughts on how to fill/fix that ding on the headstock? It's deeper than it looks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  18. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

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    This is probably the case. The block might have had threads that needed to be cleaned up...or you cross threaded the bar when you tried to insert it. You can probably still go back and chase the threads and salvage this. Also, take a look at the bar itself, to see if there is any damage or metal on it.

    crap...nectro thread! Hope this worked out.
     
  19. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Sounds to me like you have the wrong bar. The threads don't match if it's tight after one turn. Careful, you are damaging the threads.
     
  20. Billkwando

    Billkwando Member

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    Sorry guys! I tried to make it clear that it was a necro bump with info I found particularly helpful.
     

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