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Help! Having setup problems (I think...)

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Mansonienne, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. Mansonienne

    Mansonienne Stratocrastinator Extraordinaire Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    54
    Dec 2, 2015
    Paris suburbs, France
    Since there was a piece of broken vibrato bar in the bridge block of my Mexican Squier, I decided to replace the bridge. I got it from Guitar Center - it’a Proline Parts. The tech there measured it to make sure it would fit.
    Before changing, the bridge was decked, with 5 springs.
    05CE5D3F-B908-4621-AD68-BDA0FB2157FC.jpeg

    I’ve put in the new bridge, with only 3 springs for now because, being stubborn, I want, if possibke, for the bridge to float. I’ve set my Am Std up that way, and don’t recall any major issues, but it has been awhile...
    So I’m trying to follow Frudua’s method but I’m having trouble getting the bridge flush with the body to start adjusting it to float. I’ve loosened the 6 bridge plate screws, the strings, tightened the claw screws, but as soon as I tune the strings to pitch, the bridge rises way up.
    FC6DC8A8-D14A-450C-95DD-DBEEF4CDCF90.jpeg
    FD622363-9FD6-4ED2-BE2E-CD47C9890148.jpeg 40106F9E-E198-4915-BA26-491C83A80994.jpeg

    Is this normal?
    Should I add a 4th spring?
    I suppose I could give up, throw in two more springs and leave it decked, but things that don’t work like they should annoy me...

    I’d be grateful for any advice.
    Thanks!
     
  2. heltershelton

    heltershelton ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGE Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    yes, for some reason that guitar needs another spring, possibly two.
     
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  3. duzie

    duzie Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    May 1, 2016
    northwest nj
    Did you change the string gauge?
    Yeah looks like you might need at least one more spring .
    Maybe those springs your using are weaker than the other springs .
    Maybe you could reuse the older ones .
     
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  4. Mansonienne

    Mansonienne Stratocrastinator Extraordinaire Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    54
    Dec 2, 2015
    Paris suburbs, France
    Thanks guys. Yes I went from 9s to 10s.
    I guess that means I might need to check the truss rod later..
     
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  5. guitarman1984

    guitarman1984 Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 24, 2013
    Italy
    Load the 4th spring, the T. Rod might need to be tightened a tad.
     
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  6. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    All springs are not created equal, I'm sure the modern ones are much weaker than those from 30 years ago. Putting those things on was dangerous, they would bite your fingers given half a chance.
     
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  7. stratnutz

    stratnutz Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 10, 2011
    Dallas TX
    What radius is your neck, the bridge set up looks off to me.
    But that's a different issue.
     
  8. Mansonienne

    Mansonienne Stratocrastinator Extraordinaire Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    54
    Dec 2, 2015
    Paris suburbs, France
    9.5”
     
  9. Paul47

    Paul47 Strat-Talker

    186
    Jan 5, 2009
    UK
    Tighten the trem claw screws in half a turn and retune to pitch. The plate will be lower.
    It might take a few goes of screwing in and backing out the screws, but you should be able to get it where you want it.
     
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  10. johnnymg

    johnnymg Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Crank those trem claw screws IN. Gahhh.............. detune first! :oops:

    Three trem springs is perfect for 10's.
     
  11. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Except when they're not. I'm using 4 modern ones with 9s. On my older guitars I could deck the trems with 3.
     
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  12. Jimistone

    Jimistone Strat-Talk Member

    97
    Jul 10, 2012
    Mississippi
    I have always used 5 springs. The tuning stability is far better and you don't hear any ringing open strings going flat when you do a bend.
    I will trade a little bit stiffer trem action for that any day if the week.
     
  13. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    largo,fl
    Going up in gauge of strings logically explains your situation so you just need more springs as mentioned.
     
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  14. Mansonienne

    Mansonienne Stratocrastinator Extraordinaire Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    54
    Dec 2, 2015
    Paris suburbs, France
    Well ok. But I was starting over from scratch - no strings, no springs, no bridge...and with 9s and a decked bridge there were already 5 springs.
    I’ve put 5 springs back in and it does seem more stable. Still not flush with the body but parallel at least, with strings tuned. I’ve put it aside for now but will try to finish the setup later this week. Thanks for all the advice!
     
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  15. The-Kid

    The-Kid Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    28
    Feb 15, 2014
    SO CAL USA
    This isnt about springs. Its about trem claw tension.

    You can deck it by bringing up and tightining the string claw.
     
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  16. Mansonienne

    Mansonienne Stratocrastinator Extraordinaire Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    54
    Dec 2, 2015
    Paris suburbs, France
    Ideally I’d like to float it, but need to start from a stable position, if I understand correctly, with the bridge plate flat against or at least parallel to the body. I think I’m there now.
     
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  17. The-Kid

    The-Kid Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    28
    Feb 15, 2014
    SO CAL USA
    Yeah ima post a link up I use to float my bridges from the fender custom shop.


    Follow this to fine tune it.

     
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  18. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 10, 2016
    Rocky Mountain Way
    So true. I have some 25 year old springs that are much stronger than anything I've come across recently. Three of them offer more tension than five newer ones. I would think you can still get the finger-biters somewhere.
     
  19. owenmoney

    owenmoney Strat-Talker

    Age:
    65
    307
    Jun 21, 2013
    Green Lane Pa
    When you float it the bottom of the bridge plate should be about 1/8” above the body, just detune and tighten the claw and retune and keep repeating until you get stable tuning with the plate about 1/8” above the body, may take several times but you’ll get there !
     
  20. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    If you have room to tighten the trem claw screws, I think that's what you need to do. If they are maxed, then you need to add another spring, probably back off the trem claw screws, and start with the routine to balance the tension and float the trem.

    I went through this when I went up to 11's on my strat back in 2001. I wasn't prepared for what happened (bridge at some horrible angle) and about went into a panic LOL.

    I tightened the trem claw springs, retuned to pitch...repeated until the bridge floated parallel to the body like it did in the beginning. I wasn't smart enough to detune the guitar before turning the trem claw screws...thankfully nothing bad happened as a result.


    I may be misunderstanding what you've done already and perhaps this is all obvious.
     
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