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 Post subject: Truss rod seems stuck
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 4:57 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:51 pm
Posts: 4
Hi, folks!

I'm trying to fix a mismanaged 360 from 1990 (serial i3 6111). I bought it on ebay around 2009 IIRC and, not knowing better, handed it to a luthier for him to make sure it well adjusted (it seemed fine to me, but I didn't know much about guitars at the time). Without asking me, he filed the string groves in the nut, thereby lowering the action, but introducing a buzzing sound on the G string (the guitar had arrived with a wound G, he replaced the strings and put a non-wound one which was clangy as hell on top of the buzzing).

I was unhappy with the result, to say the least, but I didn't want him to touch the guitar again, and had no good options either. I let the guitar sit as is for 10 years.

I've since learned quite a bit about guitar making and tuning, and I'm trying to get it back into shape. I may ultimately have to get the nut replaced, but I'm trying to avoid it for now.

I've replaced the strings with .054/.012 compressed round from Ricky Sounds, adding some traction on the neck, especially on the high end (they were .052/.010 from Ernie Ball). I've also raised the bridge to the max.

The buzzing on the G is gone, but now I the low E buzzes when I strum strongly.

I've thus tried to relieve the neck by unscrewing the nut of the corresponding truss rod (using a 1/4'' bit), but to my surprise, while the nut turns freely, the rod seems stuck (see attached pic). The rod of the low end strings sticks out further out than the one of the high end (which I didn't touch), even with the nut unscrewed.

There was some kind of dried white goo in the truss rod cavity in the head, which may have seeped into the steel spacer block. I've scraped most of it out, but you can still see some of it, especially near the spacer.

For now, I've screwed the nut back manually, leaving it just touching the spacer without tension so that there isn't a shock if the rod got abruptly unstuck from the vibrations when I play.

I'd be tempted to slightly unscrew the nut then gently tap the rod while the neck is under tension, to get it unstuck, but I'd rather have your opinions first...

Aside: One thing that surprised me is the fact that, while I seem to have a steel spacer (like post 1984 models according to ... adjustment), the truss rod channels are not covered (mimicking the pre-1984 models described in that page). I suppose that the channel covers where either shorter or absent in 1990. Any additional info is welcome.

1990 Rickenbacker 360 truss rod cavity.jpg [94.35 KiB]
Not downloaded yet
 Post subject: Re: Truss rod seems stuck
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2020 2:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:16 am
Posts: 235
There isn't much activity on this website nowadays. You've written a nice, informative post here. I suggest you register here, then copy & paste your narrative there:

There are a few sub-forums that might work for your question, however, there's been a lot of "what's going on with my guitar" type of posts lately in "Rickenbacker Guitars: by John Simmons."

Attaching photos is easy there. You'll see the option near the page bottom after opening up your reply window. A safe horizontal pixel width on that site is 1250 (max = near-1300?). You just load them up from your computer.

 Post subject: Re: Truss rod seems stuck
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2022 12:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Central New York State
You'll need to pull them both out of the guitar and make sure they work fine in free air. (Make sure the strings are off or completely loose first.) If the rods are bare metal, get a long piece of heat-shrink tubing and cover each one separately the full length up to the threads. Wax the outside of the shrink tubing after it is tight (shrunk) over the rod, so that the rod will slide easily in the track when it's fully seated in the guitar. Oil the threads and you're in business.

For what it's worth, 12s are too big for standard neck guitars. I use 10s or 11s on mine.

IMPORTANT: Always first bend the neck by hand to where you want it, and then tighten the rod nuts to keep it there. Never use the rod adjustment nut to bend the neck for you!

 Post subject: Re: Truss rod seems stuck
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 7:31 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:07 am
Posts: 3870
Again, as in the other thread about 12's, I completely respectfully disagree with magicfingers: 12's will work on a regular scale guitar for the reasons I post in his other post about 12's in another thread.

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