Tremolo arm mystery

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by thijst, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. thijst

    thijst New Member!

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    Hi guys - my son bought a '94 MIM Strat 2nd hand, but the tremolo arm is missing. I want to order him a replacement, but I'm puzzled. As far as I know, US Strats have 10-32 size arms and all other (MIM, MIJ) have M5 size. Before I ordered the M5 arm I double-checked with a proper M5 screw and there is no way that that is the correct size. It won't even fit the small hole, so I can't reach the screw thread. Tried an M4 screw for reference and that is too small, it's not gripping the thread.

    What is going on here? Has the bridge been replaced with a US bridge and should I get a 10-32? Is there any way to tell what bridge this is?

    IMG_7546.jpeg IMG_7547.jpeg IMG_7549.jpeg IMG_7550.jpeg
     
  2. Fenderbaum

    Fenderbaum Strat-O-Master

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    A few models can have US trems.
     
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  3. Impulsive guppy

    Impulsive guppy Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I think it's unusual to have the saddle "Fender" stamps going the same direction. This may be an upgraded trem.

    The plate hole for the arm doesn't look concentric with the hole in the block. Or is it the photo?
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
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  4. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather

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    I had a mexistrat from around the same time, I wedged an American trem in there.

    Things aren't always what they should be, but they're always what they are. There are only a couple of choices, if one doesn't work try another.

    Also it is entirely possible that the threads are stripped...the stock trend block on those older mexistrats were pretty cheesy. It's been almost 30 years since I swapped out that tremolo, but I think I did it because mine stripped. In addition to trying out a 10-32 screw, try chasing the threads
     
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  5. Exhead

    Exhead Strat-Tinkerer Gold Supporting Member

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    Looks like a replacement block that does not line up correctly. One solution
     
  6. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster

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    The Fender Vintage (0054619000) bridge will not fit, the screw fixing hole spacing is wider than the Standard.

    The last version of the Standard bridge (0071014049) with the "Big Block" would possibly be an upgrade if the existing block is the thin cast zinc alloy one. Arm is 10-32 thread

    Image of both types
    Mex_Std_Trem_blocksx.jpg


    There is a UK Ebay seller here. I don't know if they ship to the Netherlands
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/274867104236?epid=25012038815&hash=item3fff5b29ec:g:SMIAAOSws41g7ZnX
     
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  7. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    OP doesn't state what model, but the early standards had the saddle stamps in the same direction.

    That whole trem business is a huge PITA. The only effective way I've found is to take the guitar to a shop and try out the trem arms to find the proper fit.
     
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  8. thijst

    thijst New Member!

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    Thank you all for thinking along. I have no idea what model this is, I can only make out that it's a '94 model based on the s/n. The plate hole is not concentric with the block hole, but as far as I can tell that should not cause the problem. The M5 screw will not go in the block hole. From what you guys said I will assume that this is a US block (etiher stock or replacement). I will order a 10-32 and see if it fits.
     
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  9. CeltRocka

    CeltRocka Senior Stratmaster

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    The block looks a brass colour - is it brass block thats been changed out?
     
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  10. sjtalon

    sjtalon Senior Stratmaster

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    Acually that is a typo by Fender. The "upgrade" (1/2006) High Mass block (PW29 mfc. by Ping) is M5 .8 thread.

    Arm is #0992310100
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  11. Leofender

    Leofender Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    There is one way to get her done...
    Open her up for some open heart surgery... The Trem Block is the issue, then you can replace it with the correct type.

    OR

    If you are not going to do the above, it's anyone's guess how to get a proper solution.

    Bottom line is there are Imperial or Metric thread types. An American or Mexican made guitar, if genuine, will have Imperial threads.
     
  12. sjtalon

    sjtalon Senior Stratmaster

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    Not so.
     
  13. thijst

    thijst New Member!

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    The plot thickens… or thinnens, if you will. I ordered a 10-32 tremolo arm for Am Std strats, but guess what? It’s too big.

    So M5 is too big, 10-32 is too bog, M4 is too small. Are there any other sizes? And yes, the block is brass colour. Does that mean it is a replacement?
     
  14. sjtalon

    sjtalon Senior Stratmaster

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    >Does that mean it is a replacement<

    Yup
     
  15. sjtalon

    sjtalon Senior Stratmaster

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  16. sjtalon

    sjtalon Senior Stratmaster

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    Now that I took the time to look at your pix better:

    The bridge plate is quite out of alignment with the block. I would remove the block, and then try the arm again, or match a screw to it.

    In other words, the hole in the plate isn't aligned with the block hole.

    When you get the block threads figured out, you can always ream the plate hole a tad if need be.
     
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  17. CeltRocka

    CeltRocka Senior Stratmaster

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    You wont get smaller arm than 10-32 [3/16"] it looks like the trem hole is misaligned with the plate, so the arm wont start to thread that is the issue
     
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