Stratocaster bridge compatibilty Part 2

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Indiana Mike, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2020
    Location:
    Indiana
    As long as we’re discussing bridges for Stratocaster a couple of posts ago, I’m hoping you all can help me out with my dilemma.....

    I have a 1985 American Standard, one of the first to be released through Guitar Center. The area of the bridge that pivots on the 2 posts has worn out. EB00FA19-5394-499D-ADDA-C5CF81E950F8.jpeg
    You would think, “No big deal, I’ll just order a new bridge.” So, I found the correct bridge...... or so I thought. My current bridge attaches with these screws. B01B95E4-A285-4637-A4B0-7CB9F64D785B.jpeg
    The screws that are now used are a ferrule with a threaded insert, like the one pictured below. 29FD46C7-7E3A-4BE9-8B05-0ED5D78EBD77.jpeg Obviously, the pivot points wearing out became an issue, thus causing them to change the screws. So, my question: Do I take a drill to my guitar in order to drill holes to fit the ferrules and use the new screws, or do I simply reuse the old screws, and just wait for this to happen again?
     
  2. 66musicmaster

    66musicmaster Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    1,072
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Mount Airy, North Carolina
    The design of the 2 point trem is always going to have a wear point at the pivots. So whichever metal is softest is going to wear out first. If you use old screws and new plate is harder, the screws will wear and I guess heads could pop off? I don't really know the answer. I would probably drill for new ferrules.
     
    CB91710 likes this.
  3. MartinC

    MartinC Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    Yep - get the drill out. You need to replace those pivot screws. You will want to correctly size the drill - the inserts need to be a push fit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  4. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    60
    Messages:
    4,281
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    ok
    I kind of think of it like a motorcycle chain and sprocket: Putting on a new chain without changing old sprockets is a waste of your money, because of the worn teeth will stretch that chain in a few miles.

    I'm not sure if the reason they changed to the threaded bushings was because of a weak point between the trem and the post as much as it was a weak point between the post and the wood. Much better for adjustments (especially minor ones), with finer threads in a stationary body.

    I'd drill for the newer inserts. I definitely wouldn't use the old posts.
     
  5. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2020
    Location:
    Indiana
    I’m guessing just get a micrometer out, measure the bushing and drill a bit smaller hole than what it mic’s out to? Bigger concern is if the drill bit is not EXACTLY centered in the old hole.... now I have a bridge that is not straight.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  6. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,161
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2019
    Location:
    SoCal
    Yep.
    The original holes will work well as a pilot, but you've got to clamp it solidly into a drill press, and preferably use a Forstner bit for a clean hole without tear-out or wandering.
    This is not a job for a hand drill.

    On the drill size, yes... use a mic to measure the size at the bottom of the "teeth" and drill to that size.
    Drilling too small and the bushing will split the body like a wedge. It needs to be too tight to press in by hand.

    The Gotoh/Wilkinson and Floyd Rose bushings have a base diameter of 10mm, I can't find the spec on Fender.
     
    The_Whale likes this.
  7. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2020
    Location:
    Indiana
    So now I need to go out and get a drill press...... this isn’t fun anymore.
     
    Roca81 and CB91710 like this.
  8. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,161
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2019
    Location:
    SoCal
    Like most specialized tools, it's cheaper to pay someone to do it unless you have a use for the tool.

    But how is buying a new tool not fun? :D
     
  9. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    60
    Messages:
    4,281
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    ok
    I've done it by hand. Not telling you to do it, just that it can be done. And my bench-top drill press doesn't have enough clearance to get to those holes on the body. You could probably take the bushings and your body to a cabinet maker and he'd drill them for a few dollars, or for free.
     
    CB91710 likes this.
  10. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2020
    Location:
    Indiana
    Happy wife, happy life..... not so sure that this will make my life happy.
     
  11. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,246
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    LAS VEGAS , NV
    @Indiana Mike
    I would use a fine jewelers file from a set like this:
    https://www.harborfreight.com/12-piece-needle-file-set-468.html
    or this:
    https://www.harborfreight.com/needle-file-set-10-pc-69876.html
    To re-shape/sharpen that curved knife edge of the bridge plate and call it done! The worst that could happen is that you just "might" end up finishing destroying the plate you were planning to replace anyway! On the bright side, you'll likely cure your problem, at least for the time being! And for that matter, the knife edge/pivot point doesn't look all the terrible, other than the chrome flaking off a bit! If you're having tuning stability issues, I'm betting that is not the culprit.

    On the other hand, if you're hell-bent on putting on a new bridge, I see no issue using the existing screws. You're more likely to cause more damage to the guitar by finding a half baked and/or improper way to drill for the new bushings. And if getting a new bridge, I'd upgrade to the 2008 and later unit with bent steel saddles:

    https://darrenriley.com/store/fender-american-standard-strat-upgrade-bridge-0075091049/

    Or you could simply get a new plate for your current bridge:

    https://darrenriley.com/store/fender-american-standard-stratocaster-bridge-plate-0026097049/

    Also, I'm kinda hoping you NEVER adjust those screws while under string tension? That damages that pivot point on the plate in short order!

    Just My $.02,
    Gene
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
    rolandson and CB91710 like this.
  12. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2020
    Location:
    Indiana
    New complete Fender bridge assembly was $79.99, ordered it yesterday, received it today. I have no issues at all with the original American Standard bridge and saddles, they’ve served me well for 35 years, no reason to change. I think that I will end up reusing the original bridge mounting screws, just not comfortable trying to get those bushings installed correctly.
     
    CB91710 likes this.
  13. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,246
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    LAS VEGAS , NV
    Well, there ya go. Somewhere down the road you may need to look into getting inserts installed, or a least replace those pivot screws. At least knowing what needs to eventually be done will provide you the time to research the best way to accomplish it, instead of being under the pressure to "get it done now!" :D
    Good Choice!
    Gene
     
  14. Colnago1

    Colnago1 Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    639
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Location:
    Where am I?
    Can we please see this 1985 American Standard Stratocaster in all its beauty?
    Thanks!
     
    CB91710 likes this.
  15. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,267
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Location:
    Foothills of the Cascades
    Sounds like a wise decision.

    Often, wisdom is the consolation prize acquired at the sh!t end of a disaster, usually accompanied by the words "I'll never do that again."

    It is rarely a mere function of a decision making process. That is most unusual. Especially when it guides one to choose not to do something.

    I'd be careful of everything for a while. Wisdom is not likely to take this lying down. Wisdom can be funny that way.
     
  16. ptb1

    ptb1 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2020
    Location:
    Norway
    Do as you like, but I would really have checked the posibility to get new replacement screws - and keep it original. This was one of few things that was special for the first American Standard guitars produced at the Corona factory <89. The body conture was another.
     
  17. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,246
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    LAS VEGAS , NV
    I'm not sure the original style screws are still available, new! I think that style wood screw was very short lived, like a year or two maybe! They did not look too munged up! Only real problems I saw, was the chrome flaking away from the worn knife edge.
    Just Sayin'
    Gene