Wah Pedal Question-Help

Discussion in 'The Effect effect' started by Jason D, May 6, 2020.

  1. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

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    This is probably a total novice question, but here it is anyway.

    Do any of you have a recommendation for greasing/lubing the pedal of a Wah?

    I have an old late 70s Crybaby and it’s my absolute, bar none favorite pedal. However, the old pedal has a super tight action. It doesn’t want to move freely and smoothly anymore. Have any of you had this problem, and what did you do to fix it? Any other pedal I would just crack it open and get to work, but I’m paranoid of doing something that would hurt this particular piece of equipment.

    thanks everyone.
     
  2. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

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    CRC 5-56
     
  3. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir V----V

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    THIS is the inside of my personal late 70s CryBaby wah:
    IMG_0482.JPG
    IMG_0481.JPG
    It's a pretty simple thing, really, especially on the mechanical side...
    there is a cog on the shaft of the potentiometer, and a toothed rod
    attached to the foot pedal.
    When you move the foot pedal up and down, the rod turns the cog
    on the shaft of the pot.

    Your problem is most likely to be one of two things:
    either there's something stuck in the mechanical connection between the
    cog and the rod that's preventing the cog from turning as you press down
    on the foot pedal, or the potentiometer shaft isn't turning because the pot
    is stuck. If it's something stuck, you'll see it as soon as you open up the pedal.
    From the symptoms you're describing, i think that it's more likely that it's an
    issue with the internals of the potentiometer.
    If it's the pot, you could try some contact cleaner... if that doesn't clear it up,
    you'll probably need to replace the pot.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  4. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    You could use Vaseline, or preferably a non-migrating white "lithium" grease for the plastic rack and pinion gear.
    If the friction is from the pot binding up, it should be replaced with a modern "correct" replacement.

    A bit of investigative troubleshooting should reveal the nature of the problem.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  5. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

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    I appreciate the help guys. I will try cleaning the potentiometer and see if that helps. I looked inside and it’s about as dusty and dirty as can be. If it’s worse case and I have to swap the pot out, I’ll try and remember to let you know how things went. Thanks again.
     
  6. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

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    I grabbed the potentiometer and it is definitely the issue. I actually have another newer crybaby that I never liked, so I will probably swap the pots between them. I never really thought about the pot binding, so thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
     
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  7. The-Kid

    The-Kid Dr. Stratster Vendor Member

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    This and use white Lithium Grease....

    @dogletnoir. Trust it's only 2$ or 4$ and your pentometer and claw will love it. Also it actually makes your tone sweeter if you can believe it. Definitely makes the wah allot smoother. Been using the same time for 6 years now.
     
  8. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir V----V

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    Just make sure that the replacement pot has the same nominal value...
    although there is a large enough variance in pots of the same nominal value to make a difference in tone.
    Putting the pot from the newer wah may actually make the older one sound a lot more like the new one...
    Check out what Brian Wampler has to say about it in this video on Tube Screamers:

    You might want to measure the actual value of the old pot, and try to find a matching one.
    @The-Kid, i actually know about the White Lithium Grease and have some on hand,
    since i use it for some bicycle parts like bottom brackets and headsets and for some car stuff.
    i'm going to clean up the inside of the CryBaby and re-grease the mechanicals at some point later today, in fact.
    :)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  9. The_Whale

    The_Whale Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    Warning; changing pots can make a big change in sound.

    Are you certain that the pedal is moving freely at the hinge?
     
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  10. The-Kid

    The-Kid Dr. Stratster Vendor Member

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    that stuff makes it much better and def something we always forget about. It can operate without it but it just works so much better with a little dab here and there.

    CHheers
     
  11. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    First thing I'd check is the pedal pivot before messing with changing the pot, but the pot could be gummed up, and some DeOxit may help.
     
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  12. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

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    Thank you for the advise. I haven’t yet swapped it out.
     
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