Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups

Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups Guitar Pickups

Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups Guitar Pickups

Join Strat-Talk Today

"Truss Rod Maxed Out"

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by TomH8, May 20, 2017.

  1. TomH8

    TomH8 Strat-O-Master

    720
    May 1, 2014
    USA
    I bought an 87, 57 reissue strat that had been sitting for a while. Knew it needed a setup. Bring it to a tech and he says the rod is maxed out and will be permanently bowed. Seriously is there nothing I can do? Iam so pissed.
     

  2. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Is it too late to return it?

    Maybe the truss rod nut is frozen............ goggle that.
     

  3. TomH8

    TomH8 Strat-O-Master

    720
    May 1, 2014
    USA
    I bought it from Craigslist. The guy honestly didn't know. He knew nothing about guitars (it was his dads) and it had clearly been sitting for years.
     

  4. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Is the truss rod nut "frozen"........... can it be loosened?

    A competent guitar tech/luthier can put a "set" into a neck using heat and clamps. This is assuming the truss rod system works.
     
    ProSonicLive likes this.

  5. Biddlin

    Biddlin Strat-O-Master

    949
    Feb 11, 2013
    USA
    Find a competent tech. I cannot imagine that the trussrod is "Maxed out" on a guitar made in 1987. I see 1957s that have plenty of turns left.
     

  6. TomH8

    TomH8 Strat-O-Master

    720
    May 1, 2014
    USA
    I agree with the competent part. I normally do my own setups but I knew this needed it bad and I didn't have the time so I brought to a place I've gotten work done before. But the tech I used to go to is gone so I left it with them anyway. After talking to this guy just now for 5 minutes when picking it up I could tell he really doesn't know what he's doing. But at least they didn't charge me anything.
     

  7. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    largo,fl
    Take the nut and washer off and shop-vac the crud out of the opening.

    Put the smallest drop of oil on the washer on the side that touches the nut, and try again. It should work smooth as silk.

    You can add a second thin washer to give you more room if the adjustment really ran out of room.
     

  8. himijendrix

    himijendrix Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    70
    May 2, 2012
    Barrow Upon Soar, UK
    Sounds like a new, slightly shorter, truss rod is needed.

    Can't understand how the current one came to be how it is, however.
     
    adiabatic likes this.

  9. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 30, 2014
    usa
    I agree take the nut completely off and put a washer in.
    Apply pressure yourself or have a friend push on the neck to take the bow out and then tighten the rod up.
     
    Groovey likes this.

  10. Groovey

    Groovey Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    57
    Nov 17, 2016
    NC. USA
    Should be able to be corrected. Might not be easy. But can be done.
     

  11. TomH8

    TomH8 Strat-O-Master

    720
    May 1, 2014
    USA
    Yeah I'm gonna do it myself tomorrow. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Thanks
     
    Guitaraxe likes this.

  12. bullnose

    bullnose Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    50
    35
    May 19, 2011
    Michigan
    What he said - any competent shop should be able to reset the neck as described above, but it's likely to cost you a couple hundred bucks...
     
    johnnymg likes this.

  13. GunMonkeyINTL

    GunMonkeyINTL Strat-O-Master

    775
    Feb 5, 2015
    NC
    Agree, but I'd question the competence of the OP's tech if he didn't know he could do this...
    This should have been a simple matter of the tech mentioning "oh, yeah, and I had to put a washer under your truss rod nut in order to get enough adjustment out of it." when the OP picked it up and paid for the "professional" set-up.
     

  14. Will Lefeurve

    Will Lefeurve Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 1, 2016
    England & France
    Sorry if I seem to be a little pedantic here, but just how much is this neck actually bowed, and I presume its concave? I ask, because if this neck is bowed beyond a 'little relief', truss-rod adjustment isn't going to fix it. It needs to be put in a jig, clamped and heated.

    I've done this on several Strat necks with good results. Max time was 2 weeks. If you are not confident doing this yourself, find someone who's done this job before. Hopefully all will work out well for you.. :thumb:
     
    scott223, himijendrix and Groovey like this.

  15. himijendrix

    himijendrix Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    70
    May 2, 2012
    Barrow Upon Soar, UK
    ^ not pedantic at all, good question.

    For this situation to have arisen, there must have been over tightening of the rod at some point in the past, and either:-

    1) the truss rod has been stretched past the elastic limit and taken on permanent elongation. Not likely, takes a lot of tensile stress to do this to steel.

    2) the neck has taken excessive compressive stress and become shortened. More likely than the above.

    It would be informative to measure the distance accurately between nut and bridge, it should be 25.5". If it's less, then then point 2 above is proved and a new neck is the only realistic solution.
     

  16. chilipepperman

    chilipepperman Strat-Talk Member

    37
    Dec 19, 2012
    Maryland
    I am having Truss rod adjustment issues too on one of my Strats. It is an American Std from 1989 that I acquired in the early 2000's.
    I have found that when I turn the nut either way, it makes no difference of straightening or putting more concave relief to the neck.
    I do not hear any rattling when neck is shaken, and I have since removed the walnut plug to see exactly what condition the allen head is in plus to see if the nut actually turns. Unfortunately the nut does spin and the proper allen wrench fits the head and does not appear stripped.

    This leads me to the next question. Since the nut does not seem to back off the threaded part of the T rod, it isn't loosening out of the hole. I considered finding a small magnet to insert and see if it pulls the nut with it. Also, currently, I gave the neck to a nurse friend of mine to do a scan inside it to see if anything is broken or if somehow the far end is off down by the body end.

    Anyone have any suggestions on getting the nut out?
     

  17. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    46
    790
    Jan 8, 2016
    philadelphia
    I hope your friend who is a nurse, doesn't put your neck in an MRI machine. Yikes!
     
    Bob the builder likes this.

  18. scott223

    scott223 Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 16, 2013
    Take the neck off the guitar and loosen the nut all the way off and remove. It should just unscrew. A truss rod is a small piece of steel in rather large piece of really hard wood. It's only there for minor adjustments.
    To fix the neck you will most likely have to clamp it down with some back bow, reinstall the nut so it just starts to engage and let it sit for a few days. Recheck it and try again.
    This technique works better with bass necks but I have had some success with guitar necks. Never on a guitar with a top adjustment truss rod. Great luck...
     

  19. chilipepperman

    chilipepperman Strat-Talk Member

    37
    Dec 19, 2012
    Maryland
    Thanks for responding, Rich and Scott. Nope not an MRI machine. He said he was going to see if they could do a fluoro,,,,,

    Fluoroscopy: Uses x-rays and and a fluorescent screen to obtain real-time images of movement within the body or to view diagnostic processes.

    Also, Scott223, I have the plug out, but the nut is not coming out. It is not stripped, the Allen wrench does actually turn the nut. It just doesn't tighten or loosen but just spins inside the recess.
    As for replacing the plug, I had to drill it out so how does one get that nicely contoured one like a factory finish without screwing up the headstock finish? I have considered getting a bullet type nut instead of a plug.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017

  20. chilipepperman

    chilipepperman Strat-Talk Member

    37
    Dec 19, 2012
    Maryland
    Here is a good video about the back bow Scott mentioned.



    Unfortunately my neck has the access in the head stock. I much prefer the ones like Dan shows on this bass or a bullet style.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017