Removing walnut plug from Fender Truss Rod: tips?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by cardinal, Feb 13, 2018.


  1. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    So I’m trying to add some washers under the truss rod nut of a Fender with the biflex truss rod that adjusts from the headstock. The nut is buried under a walnut plug of course.

    I’ve done the thing where you heat it up and back the nut out as far as it goes, and that did push the walnut plug out as far as the nut will take it. But it’s still in there and is pretty darn stuck.

    So... now what? I’ve tried pulling with needle nose pliers, and they won’t grip it and pull without crushing it. I’ve tried a bent paper clip to hook the inside edge and pull, but it slips off without doing anything.

    I’m kinda out of ideas. Do I need to keep heating it? I assume the glue is not what’s holding it there at this point, but I dunno. Bits of sand paper on the tips of the pliers to get more grip? Just drill it out? I’d rather not but hey wouldn’t be the worst thing I’ve ever done.

    Thanks!
     
  2. cjp54

    cjp54 Member

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    Try threading a machine screw into the plug that is just bigger than the hole in the plug. Then you will have something to grip onto to pull it out.
     
  3. disconnector

    disconnector Supporting Member

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    +1 . . . that will get it out if you've broken the glue bond.
     
  4. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    How are you heating the plug? (curious as I may have to some day).
     
  5. Dave Weir

    Dave Weir Gold Supporting Member

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    We freed a stuck valve in a Cessna by taking the spark plug out and backing the piston down and then feeding some rope into the cylinder. Turned the engine over and it pushed up the valve. Maybe you could lower the nut, jam some string in there and then back the nut out some more.
    After the plug is lose, cold on the plug may shrink it just a bit.
    The machine screw trick seems like it would work, or one of those screws for drywall that has the plastic sleeve that expands. It might give you enough grip to pull it out.
     
  6. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    Thanks guys!

    Thanks guys! I was hoping not to “screw up” the plug, but if all else fails this is a good idea.

    This guy explains it better than I could:

    https://hazeguitars.com/blog/fender-bi-flex-truss-rod-nut-repair

    That’s a clever idea to try to pack more stuff into there and try to back the nut out some more.

    I thought about the drywall screw type thing. I’ll look around to see if I have one about the right size.
     
  7. al.cxam

    al.cxam Member

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    I think that the adjustment nut on a bi-flex rod is welded to the rod - I'm not sure you'll be able to get the nut off to put a washer on there - that's a single-action truss rod trick...
     
  8. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    The biflex rod is a wonky design. From what I understand, it’s a single-action rod. But it has a gimmick to add forward bow: they put a plug over the nut. So when you back out the nut, the nut hits the plug and starts to tighten again, forcing the neck into forward bow if you keep turning it.

    So it you remove the plug, the nut just spins off.

    And I think I’ve already got the nut to spin off the rod. I just can’t get the plug out of the way to get to it.

    Tonight I’ll try @Dave Weir ’s trick of tightening the nut back down some, packing something on top of the nut, and backing it out again. I’m a bit nervous because if it doesn’t work, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get the stuff back out that easily, but at this point the plug has to come out one way or another, so I might as well just go for it.
     
  9. Dave Weir

    Dave Weir Gold Supporting Member

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    Use a long string so you can pull it back out. Twist it as you feed it in and it will want to coil up in there. If you can do it with the wrench engaged, even better.
     
  10. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    For what it’s worth, I finally got it out.

    The nut came off and washers went under it, no problem.

    There wasn’t enough room for me to feed any string in there without blocking the nut, but maybe someone more skilled than I could do it.

    I ended up pushing the plug in and out several times, hoping that would loosen it some, and then yanked it out with two bent-back ends of a paper clip.
     

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