1958 Strat vibrato block stripped

canuck416

New Member!
May 17, 2022
1
TORONTO
Hello my 1958 strat term block hole is stripped where the arm screws in..
The arm broke off and a tech managed to remove the broken trem piece and when
I tried to screw in the arm but it would not go in.
I really want to see if it can be repaired instead of replaced.
This is the best place to get an answer.
Here is a photo of her.
 

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GuitarTalk

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 7, 2021
63
Canada
Unfortunately, the guitar is now firewood 🥲 jk, not sure if you tried to screw in the same broken trem arm back in or not but it maybe the arm and not the block (though typically the block strips more easily). What did the tech that got the trem arm out say? He’d probably have the most info on your particular situation and be best equipped to answer this. I do not think there is an option to refill the hole/restore the grooves back to the same size as before. I have heard of people drilling a bigger hole with new grooves and using a larger custom diameter trem arm but I wouldnt do that on a 58.
 

joebtone

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Jan 26, 2022
1,498
Northwest US
Hello my 1958 strat term block hole is stripped where the arm screws in..
The arm broke off and a tech managed to remove the broken trem piece and when
I tried to screw in the arm but it would not go in.
I really want to see if it can be repaired instead of replaced.
This is the best place to get an answer.
Here is a photo of her.
If the end of the trem arm broke off, it does not have threads anymore.
 

Buzzgrowl

Strat-O-Master
Oct 26, 2018
509
Switzerland
It seems he destroyed the threads when he remove the arm.

Best get a new block and arm and keep the old ones as documents of authenticity.

You can always try with a new arm to see if the threads are still there.
 

Jimbo99

Senior Stratmaster
Jun 5, 2021
2,155
Palm Coast, FL
This is almost too easy. Any machine shop will weld it for you and thread it. That's if you absolutely need the same block as OEM. It's a chunk of steel and Fender makes plenty of them, sold online. I doubt there are markings on the Trem Block that even identifies it for year of manufacture or specific guitar serial number even.

This is what a 1958 original costs.


Otherwise they are under $ 40 at your local GC.


Fender Direct is $ 39.99. They could also match the trem arm with it. Thinking about it, if the original trem arm was destroyed, unless you find a 1958 trem arm & matching trem block for 1958, it still won't be original. So save the original parts for authenticity sake and replace the item with whatever Trem block & arm is your preference. Replacing it with Fender original parts just makes more sense. I wouldn't say this is a bad thing for the guitar really beyond that the block & arm need to be replaced. I want to see the expert(s) that can tell which part isn't an original 1958 ? How would they know beyond scratches & rust ? That relic can happen with a few scrapes & some salt water solution. But why would you relic a trem block & arm ? Because you can always reuse the tip of the trem arm if you still have that around to match the original tip for the switch & knobs, pickup covers as well. And if you are selling it, by all means don't misrepresent it as the original parts for any replacement. What's done is done for that.
  • Vintage-accurate Stratocaster machined steel tremolo block
  • Pre-tapped to accept a standard 10-32 threaded tremolo arm
  • Used on American Vintage Stratocaster® guitars
  • Fits most Stratocaster tremolo systems with vintage (2 3/16") mounting spacing
 
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Geoff06

Strat-Talker
Nov 15, 2021
371
Wisconsin
This is almost too easy. Any machine shop will weld it for you and thread it. That's if you absolutely need the same block as OEM. It's a chunk of steel and Fender makes plenty of them, sold online. I doubt there are markings on the Trem Block that even identifies it for year of manufacture or specific guitar serial number even.

I'm in this same camp.

But I would start simple. I would make sure I'm not trying to screw in an arm that's the wrong diameter or thread pattern. I would also shine a bright light in there and see if the threads are obviously mangled. If I saw uneven areas or rough or serrated-looking spots, I would then run a tap through the existing hole to see if the threads are salvageable. Then welding/redrilling/tapping or Helicoil.

I don't think we have quite enough information to fully help though.

That is a beautiful guitar! And welcome to the forum!
 

joebtone

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Jan 26, 2022
1,498
Northwest US
Hello my 1958 strat term block hole is stripped where the arm screws in..
The arm broke off and a tech managed to remove the broken trem piece and when
I tried to screw in the arm but it would not go in.
I really want to see if it can be repaired instead of replaced.
This is the best place to get an answer.
Here is a photo of her.
You should just get the fender Pure Vintage tremolo assembly and put it in (six screws) and take the original tremolo to a guy like me who would fix it for free...you buy the heli-coill set.
Pop the old in the next time you take the strings off and clean it.


Amazon even has the pure vintage trems through Chicago music.

About $120
 

SwirlyMaple

New Member!
Dec 11, 2021
9
US
+1 on first chasing the threads with a tap of the correct size. If you don't know what those words mean and you've never heard of a tap before, don't do this yourself. Take it to a friend who does.

A Heli-Coil is a pretty good option for repairing the threads if they really are stripped, but they can sometimes be prone to backing out in applications that see a lot of rotation, like a trem arm. There are other kinds of thread repair inserts that might be a better choice if you do go this route.
 

Geoff06

Strat-Talker
Nov 15, 2021
371
Wisconsin
A Heli-Coil is a pretty good option for repairing the threads if they really are stripped, but they can sometimes be prone to backing out in applications that see a lot of rotation, like a trem arm. There are other kinds of thread repair inserts that might be a better choice if you do go this route.

I may provoke panic attacks among those who are obsessive-compulsive about such matters, but would there be any mechanical or value downside if it was to be installed with J-B Weld?
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
1,128
Maine
Maybe start by asking the tech who removed the broken off arm, how he left the block?
As mentioned, did you try a correct USA trem arm, not some metric part?

Better if the threads can just be chased clean with a tap.
If not then a helicoil, bring the block to a machinist, and ask them to locktite the helicoil in.
I prefer to keep all the original parts working but a repro bridge is always an option.
 

Bern1

Strat-Talker
May 9, 2019
170
on the edge
It’s a 58 and you want to keep the original trem block.

This is in principle quite simple as chasing the threads with the correct tap if there are still threads. First step is determining what is left. The thing that makes it a little complicated is the fact that no trem arm should be too tightly screwed in to the block. This is how damage occurs to the threads in the first place. I think the guitar warrants being taken to somebody who is capable of assessing and repairing. It’s easy to screw it up worse than it is now.
 

Miotch

Most Honored Senior Member
Jun 28, 2011
5,270
ok
If it is really a vintage’58 and not a reissue, don’t try anything. I’ll try and fix everything, but if I had a guitar that valuable I wouldn’t even try to run a tap in it. I’d take to one of about a dozen people to assess it and make a recommendation.

If it’s a reissue, I tap and then replace block if that didn’t work. Block wouldn’t cost that much more than helicoil kit.
 

joebtone

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Jan 26, 2022
1,498
Northwest US
All this cork sniffer hand wringing about this trem block is ridiculous.

The guy seems to have posted and ran off.

Tap it, Heli coil it, yeah, maybe?

But, I do really doubt anyone can weld up from the bottom a 10/32 hole that is that deep without cutting it out in a bigger diameter so one can get an arch and flow down there then threading in an insert and then welding the insert at the top and then drilling and tapping a new 10/32 hole.
All this just molests the originality of it anyway.

If the threads are bottomed out and stuck maybe you could heat the block a little and use a reverse drill bit in the center and it might back out...

I would just get another new block...an old looking one if I could find one not so corky overpriced.
 


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