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 Post subject: 1980s early style 360/12 Truss Rod Problems
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:43 am
Posts: 2

I've got what was advertised as a 1986 360/12 -
See here

but is clearly an older style somehow as the truss rod is pre 84' style.

When I got it the truss rod could not be adjusted ecause the nuts were too close to the headstock.
see here

So I took it to a shop and they installed these newer nuts. But when I tightened these nuts, they just dug into the truss rod spacer.
see here-

I pulled the nuts off and here's what I'm left with.
See here-

and here -

What do I do now? Should I pull the spacer out and clean it up and put something else on top? Does it require washers? Should I fab a steel plate for on top of the spacer so the torque doesn't damage it?

I've never taken one of these apart before, so I don't know if it's safe to remove the spacer or pull the truss rods out from the neck.

It's been a year since I had the guitar worked on, and had these nuts installed. I don't want to take it back to them, I've had it with their work.

I've looked up how adjusting an old rick truss rod is supposed to work, and I've read that folks have replaced the spacer with a taller one. I've never found any resources that say HOW to fix this though.

Also, the truss rod works fine. I just couldn't get it any tighter without the nuts digging into the spacer, and I didn't want to continue torquing. I was able to get about .006" of neck relief measuring with a feeler gauge around the 8th fret with the 1st and last frets fretted.

Can anyone offer advice or point me in the right direction?

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 Post subject: Re: 1980s early style 360/12 Truss Rod Problems
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 176
Location: Central New York State
It looks like you have the old-style truss rods, in which case, you will easily break them if you keep torquing on the nuts. Always bend the neck into position by hand first, and then tighten up the nuts to just enough to hold it there.

As you said, it may be time to pull them out and start again. The first photo has the wrong nuts. The second photo looks like the correct hardware.

Just take them off, then take off the spacer, and then pull out each of the rods. Be sure to loosen the strings first, or just take them off, as well. Once you have the rods completely disassembled, check that the threads on the nuts and rods are in good shape and not mashed or stripped anywhere. A tap & die of the proper size will clean them up. If the threads cannot be used anymore, you can cut off that section and re-thread the end. Mr. Hall has said that you could remove up to 6 inches of the rod without consequence to its proper operation.

These are "hairpin" rods that are folded back on themselves and then covered in a vinyl sleeve. Make sure they are not broken anywhere, and if the sleeve is ripped, you can replace it with heat-shrink tubing of that size. The vinyl sleeve allows the rod to remain frictionless inside the neck, and it doesn't hurt to coat it with wax either. Put a drop of oil on the threads.

Re-install everything and slowly bring the tension up to spec. Never turn the truss rod nuts if you feel any resistance. Rickenbacker necks should be flat with no relief. I usually put one or two thousandths of an inch relief on the low side, and keep it flat on the high side.

Good luck, and be sure to have fun!

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