4001 Truss Rod Adjustments

"Things We Said Today"
1974 4001 Fireglo under Examination
Copywritten Photo courtesy of Bjorn Eriksson

4001 Truss Rod Adjustment Notes:

The section of the Technical Pages provides information regarding the rewiring of the adjustment of 4001 model truss rods. It is important to note that for models made before 1984 that the truss rods were not designed to move the neck by tightening alone. For pre 1984 instruments, the neck should be moved into place manually and then the rods tightened to hold the neck in position. Failing to follow this procedure may pop the fretboard from the neck of your Rickenbacker.

From Michael Novak: alt.guitar.rickenbacker
Posted on March 1, 1999

Back off both nuts, then retighten just until you feel contact with the bearing plate. Tune to pitch. You need to flex the neck back towards straightness before tightening the rods. This can be done using simple gravity and (very little) muscle, or with a clamping setup.

The quick and dirty way is to put the neck across your lap. Hold down the first few frets with your left hand. Let the body hang in space. The body's weight will straighten the neck somewhat while you tighten the rods with your right hand.

The more accurate, but more slow and cumbersome way: You need two pieces of wood slim enough to sit on the fingerboard between your D + A strings. Pad the sides that will touch the fingerboard with cork. You need a reasonably stiff board as long as the neck. Last, you need one clamp with padded jaws that opens to at least 9-10". Place one small piece between the nut and first fret, the other around the 15th fret. Rest the long board on edge on these two pieces. Place your clamp at the 6th fret. Apply just enough clamp tension so that the whole affair will not fall apart. Get your straightedge. Tighten the clamp until you're satisfied (I never go for a totally straight neck). Snug up the rods. Release the clamp, and check your progress.

From RICK12DR: alt.guitar.rickenbacker
Posted on March 8, 1999

A little trick I do when I have had to remove truss rods[the old ones] is once I get them out, I use 4/0 steel wool to clean any rust and other crap off of them,polish them up a bit, and then I wax them up with Johnsons' paste floor wax and buff them with a clean towel or rag. This way, you kind of seal the metal against further rusting, as well as make the rods move easier.I also got myself a thread cutting die[a 10-32NF] and redo the threads to clean them up,as most efforts to adjust old rods ends up dinging the threads.I also put around 1/4" more thread length on the rod, too,and this always seems to help.I believe that die cutter size is stated correctly, but if in doubt, take one of the adjusting nuts to the hardware store with you to double check.

Rickenbacker Forum

Rickenbacker Resource