bent truss rod nuts on old 4001, how to get rods out?

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bent truss rod nuts on old 4001, how to get rods out?

Postby (Sir Ricardo) » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:12 pm

Greetings all

I've got an old 4001. Although the neck is perfectly set up, the truss rod nuts are angled down at a lousy angle. See photo. What I'd ideally like to do is take the rods out, and then bend the tips back straight, then reinsert the rods.

But, I can't get the nuts fully off because of the bent angle. As it stands, the tips of the rods are touching the wood, and so you can't unscrew the nuts off. They are stopped by the wood., and can't be unscrewed much more.

Any thoughts? Either how to unscrew them, given their bent angle, or....how to simple straighten the rods without unscrewing the nuts?

All thoughts welcomed -

thanks

Richard

http://s973.photobucket.com/user/ricard ... e&sp=false
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Re: bent truss rod nuts on old 4001, how to get rods out?

Postby (jps) » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:33 pm

Gently bend up on the TR nuts to straighten them out enough to remove them using a combination of small screw driver, pliers, sheer physical hand strength, etc. Before you do this though: clamp the neck (front to back) between the nut and the first fret to ensure you don't go popping the fingerboard off the neck while prying the TR nuts up. As you unscrew the TR nuts push the rods into the neck to provide enough room to fully remove them from the rods, then remove the spacer bar. To get the rods out of the neck, remove the pickguard to enable you to push the rods back up through the neck (using aforementioned small screw driver) and out through the truss rod cavity in the headstock enough to grab the rods with pliers and pull them all the way out of the neck (watch the orientation of the rods as they only go in one way to work properly. Note the end of the half that has the beveled end, it goes on the fingerboard side of the channel). Depending on the condition of the threads at the end of the rods you might want to re-chase them with the proper size die (someone should come along here and provide what that size is (IDRATM). If the rods look okay just make sure the ends are straight then reinstall everything in reverse order. Usually there is a thin piece of tape (electrical?) between the two halves of the rods all along the length of them. I am not sure if it is absolutely necessary to have that but that is easy enough to replace if needed. Are the TR nuts in good shape? Same with the space bar? Something that folks do is to make a new spacer bar that is a bit thicker to help minimize its tendency/desire to rotate downward, which is a major contributor to the TR nuts bending down.

I had a minimum of this knowledge when I did this the first time, on my old 4005WB. The operation was a success so you should be able to tackle this, too. When you clamp the neck, put something between the neck and fingerboard and the clamp's jaw to protect the neck. Nowadays I use a small clamp made by Stwe-Mac that has cork pads on its jaw.

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Ty ... Clamp.html
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Re: bent truss rod nuts on old 4001, how to get rods out?

Postby (radapaw) » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:18 am

think it's a 10-32 die..... there is a good article on ric truss rods here as well viewtopic.php?f=2&t=387829 .

I did this on a '76 4001 yesterday, its rods and neck were in bad shape... lets just say it was slightly more agressive than 'tapping' and pulling with my fingers :twisted: ..... hopefully yours will be a little more cooperative.
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Re: bent truss rod nuts on old 4001, how to get rods out?

Postby (jps) » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:41 am

it can be a bit tight in the channel (we all wish for this, don't we?) so my recommendations, earlier, for pliers will be the best approach.
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Re: bent truss rod nuts on old 4001, how to get rods out?

Postby (maxwell) » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:12 am

I found it difficult and somewhat frustrating to remove the truss rods on my RM 1996, and I can’t imagine how hard removing stubborn bass rods would be. But I offer my experience on a couple of minor points that might make things go a little safer and/or easier.

Tapping rods: I experimented and found that one of my hex (Allen) wrenches worked best instead of using a screw driver. I have the long ones. I selected a diameter slightly smaller than the truss rod diameter. I felt that there was less chance of the end slipping off to the side of the rod, plus there was no handle like on a screw driver that might have kept me from aligning the “driver,” e.g., at the pickup end of the neck. One good thing about the “L” shape is that you don’t have to tap exactly on/over the long axis of the wrench that goes into the neck to the end of the rod you’re tapping, e.g., at the pickup end of the neck where things may be a little tight using your hammer. You can use either the short or long leg of the wrench, e.g., after tapping/exposing the pickup end of the rods and their attached acorn nuts & washers and then removing those, I used the short leg to get the rods back in the neck as far as that would allow, and then switched to the long end to tap the rods out further at the adjustment end of the neck. (The further you can tap the rods up towards the neck's end, the more rod end you'll have to get a grip on with pliers and the (somewhat) less resistance you'll have when pulling them out.)

Pulling the rods out with pliers: I thought, “No sweat,” but was really, really surprised to find that these were really hard to pull out. I just doubled down with my grip on my regular pliers and pulled; I thought the threads on the rods end engaging with the serrations on my pliers would help with grasping the rods. But no! I kept slipping off the rods as I used all my strength to pull. It finally dawned on me (learn as you go) to screw the nuts back on and use these as stops for my pliers. This made all the difference. It was still a struggle, but at least I got them out. What I discovered later was that I messed the threads up quite a bit, especially on the first (learning experience) rod I removed. The gripping and sliding of the plier on the threads flattened a lot of the threads making them too dinged up to screw the nuts back on. My mistake, in addition to not re-installing the nuts in the first place, was to not thread the nuts all the way down on the rods so that my pliers would only engage the smooth, unthreaded part of the rods where inadvertent scoring by the pliers would not be a problem. Taking this simple precaution could make the difference in having to ‘chase’ the tread end or not.

The most important thing to know is that the time (and effort) to remove the rods can far exceed the 30-to-60 minutes your naïve self thinks it will take. Just work slowly. Stop when you’re hot, sweaty, worn out, so fatigued that your arm muscles are starting to shake, you find yourself cursing, etc. That’s when you do something rash in frustrated desperation and really mess things up. (The primal male response to something that won’t cooperate when using finesse is to beat the **** out of it.) Walk away, go to bed, and continue the next day. What’s the rush? (My two cents.)
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Re: bent truss rod nuts on old 4001, how to get rods out?

Postby (radapaw) » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:12 am

I used the hex/allen approach too, when the truss was out of reach I slipped a steel rod into the channel. I found switching back and forth from tapping and pulling helped when things seemed to get stuck too.
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Re: bent truss rod nuts on old 4001, how to get rods out?

Postby (maxwell) » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: 4001 truss rods

I stumbled across this while looking for something else:

http://fretsnet.ning.com/forum/topics/rickenbacker-truss-rods
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