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Old August 5th, 2012, 10:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fender Strat Trem BLock Replacement

Hey, newbie to this forum.
I seem to have broken the tremolo arm on my Strat plus. The thread is stuck in the block, last time this happened i ordered a whole new tremolo system. This time i dont have much money and would like to know of any good replacements of a Tremolo Block to use with the rest of my bridge with off-set saddles.
Cheers

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Old August 5th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old August 6th, 2012, 12:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have purchased hand made steel blocks from ebay. Great quality. You should check them out. I have swapped out the ones on my Amer Std strats and they sound great.

Steel tremolo/sustain block Fender Stratocaster | eBay
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Old August 6th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've used Stella blocks from guitarfetish, they are great.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 12:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you have the patience and tools you could also try fixing it yourself. You'll need a vise to stabilize the block and an appropriate small diamater drill. Your objective is to drill a small hole at the center of the broken bit in the block so that you can wedge a screw driver or similar in and simply unscrew it. I've had a success rate of about 65-70% with this method, lol.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 06:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you have the patience and tools you could also try fixing it yourself. You'll need a vise to stabilize the block and an appropriate small diamater drill. Your objective is to drill a small hole at the center of the broken bit in the block so that you can wedge a screw driver or similar in and simply unscrew it. I've had a success rate of about 65-70% with this method, lol.
Tried a few times but worth a shot again i suppose, how long would it take to drill through the broken bit though? What type drill bit should i be using, thanks.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 07:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Machine shop - shouldn't cost that much - and ask them to install new threads if they can because they will be tougher threads and less likely to strip in the future.

A little lubricant on those threads will prevent that from occurring in the future.

"I sound about the same on a Squire" -BW
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Old August 6th, 2012, 11:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dimce89 View Post
Hey, newbie to this forum.
I seem to have broken the tremolo arm on my Strat plus. The thread is stuck in the block, last time this happened i ordered a whole new tremolo system. This time i dont have much money and would like to know of any good replacements of a Tremolo Block to use with the rest of my bridge with off-set saddles.
Cheers

You could fix it, if you're planning to sell fairly soon.

But, this is basically gonna keep happening until you go up to the Callaham parts.

They're re engineered not to break like this, and it works.

You are the guy Bill Callaham had in mind when he redid this design and got it right.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 06:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Machine shop - shouldn't cost that much - and ask them to install new threads if they can because they will be tougher threads and less likely to strip in the future.

A little lubricant on those threads will prevent that from occurring in the future.

"I sound about the same on a Squire" -BW
Whats up with the threads?
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Old August 7th, 2012, 06:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Did you read the original post?

His trem arm broke off in the trem unit.

The trem arm is threaded - and from multiple removal and install excercises the OP cross threaded the trem arm threads causing the issue at hand.

My suggestion to lubricate the threads on this unit may have prevented this from occuring.

AAMOF - if you have any type if threaded device that is loosened and tightened frequently the threads should be lubricated regularly.

But most people don't - and Fender parts many times are not heavy duty parts - and maybe Calahan' s parts are engineered better - and poor maintenance of your gear keeps repair and aftermarket guys in business.

The bottom line? Lube the threads - it is a moving part.

Did I draw the picture clear enough for you?

"I sound about the same on a Squire" -BW
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Old August 7th, 2012, 08:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Chill your beans.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 08:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Ask yourself why this occurred twice. Are you handling it too rough? Maybe threads on non-steel blocks will fail with enough use? Anyone?
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Old August 7th, 2012, 08:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Ask yourself why this occurred twice. Are you handling it too rough? Maybe threads on non-steel blocks will fail with enough use? Anyone?
I guess the strength of the bar is probably more important here as the damage described is the result of trem bar, rather than trem block, failure. I've also seen thread failure on non steel blocks though so you are not far off.

Over the years I've broken the arm on several mexican and japanese strats but only once on an american guitar, us guitar tremolo arms seem of a higher quality to me.

Obviously the way one handles the bar is the obvious culprit here, but the truth is that it doesn't take too much force to break a weaker tremolo!
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Old August 7th, 2012, 09:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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There's a good discussion of the problem on the Callaham website. Basically, the arm is not supported in the block above the threaded portion and this causes the problem. Pressure on the whammy bar gets transferred to the point where the arm and block finally connect. Of course, since there are threads there, the arm is weaker there and can snap off at the first thread.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 09:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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There's a good discussion of the problem on the Callaham website. Basically, the arm is not supported in the block above the threaded portion and this causes the problem. Pressure on the whammy bar gets transferred to the point where the arm and block finally connect. Of course, since there are threads there, the arm is weaker there and can snap off at the first thread.
I see what you mean.. so presumably some PTFE tape around the non-threaded part of the trem might probably help by lessening somewhat the pressure on the threaded part.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #16 (permalink)
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How the heck you guys breaking trem arms ? Must be yanking to hard, use finesse.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 02:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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How the heck you guys breaking trem arms ? Must be yanking to hard, use finesse.
Dive bomb! Lol

"I sound about the same on a Squire" -BW
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Old August 7th, 2012, 03:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Ask yourself why this occurred twice. Are you handling it too rough? Maybe threads on non-steel blocks will fail with enough use? Anyone?
I can't be the only guy here who knows friends, professionals who have used up 3-4 stock blocks/arms from Fender Strat bridges over the decades.

This design is undercooked, and they wear out fast if used energetically, and that's why Leo redid the bridge design completely and it came to fruition in the form of the G + L Dual Fulcrum bridges.

Bill Callaham did Leo one better by fixing the weak parts of the original Fender design so older Strats could be retrofitted.

If a guy breaks off a headstock on a Strat or dents up the frets, he's being too crazy. But these bridges are known for being fragile. All the old timers are happy to talk about it - I can't place the blame on the O P knowing how many of these bridges have been replaced over time.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 10:17 AM   #19 (permalink)
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For $10 Allparts sells a hardened stainless steel arm. It rules. It is super sensitive as it doesn't bend. A must!
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