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Discussion Starter #1
A few months ago the truss rod on my '99 American Strat bottomed out. I added four washers and straightened the neck. Recently it bottomed out again. The nut was getting chewed up from all the adjusting, so i ordered a new one and added two more washers as that was all that would fit. I got it straight, the neck very quickly shifted again and now it's bottomed out again.
I'm not sure where to go from here, is the neck toast, or is there something more I can do?
None of my cheap guitars have this problem, I'm not too thrilled with Fender right now.
 

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Wow, I'm no expert but it sounds like the body side of the truss rod is pulling through somehow.. Is the nut end securely on the threads or could they be getting stripped?
 
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Wow, I'm no expert but it sounds like the body side of the truss rod is pulling through somehow.. Is the nut end securely on the threads or could they be getting stripped?
Excellent logical comment and question.

I'm following with interest.
 

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Re Dan Erlwine helping the truss rod by clamping the neck, you can make some neck cauls with a hole saw on a piece of 2x4 and just split it after. Of course having clamps helps too. Also watch that your washers aren't "cupping" .. some soft thin washers will do that.
 

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Great thread guys ! These very days, I was thinking about just adding a washer or two under the bolt but I feared that putting more pressure between the neck and the fretboard could damage the fretboard (or cause a disruption of the glued joint).
I understand from Stewmac report that if the unscrewed truss rod show it slides too much along the neck, adding a washer or more could do it (unless the soldered joint is broken... but then a washer would not help, nor causes any damage).
Add on : I wonder how many necks were resetted instead of putting a washer on the truss rod...
 

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My guess is the truss rod is stripped. Already added a new nut and more washers, then tightened. Tune the guitar adding tension and it’s back to crap again. So either adding a bunch of the wrong size washers crushed or damaged the shoulder inside the neck or the truss rod itself has no threads left.

Nothing to do with being a fender, expensive or cheap guitar. Either something went wrong(truss rod screw chewed up by to many adjustments in the first place) or some sort of defect which if think is pretty rare.
 

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This is probably similar to yours see the gold washer in there. If you take the nut all the way off can you take all the washers out?

If not you probably have the washers jammed into the wood, so yeah it feels like the nut is tight only because the washers are jammed up. Try to remove the washers first. Also what washers did you use, flat washers or the one with the little slit which are actually lock washers.

9D6361D9-5CE2-4BC9-8917-BD61D81CE3BF.png
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is probably similar to yours see the gold washer in there. If you take the nut all the way off can you take all the washers out?

If not you probably have the washers jammed into the wood, so yeah it feels like the nut is tight only because the washers are jammed up. Try to remove the washers first. Also what washers did you use, flat washers or the one with the little slit which are actually lock washers.

View attachment 239116
I used lock washers but I flattened them before I inserted them.
 

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Yup that’s how I ruined my 62 jazz bass. I went to the local Home Depot, grabbed a bag of the lock washers, flattened them and tossed one in.

So when you flatten it, tighten it down, that lock washer has now opened up and is biting into the should of neck(where the base of the nut seats), check out the previous picture.

So it feels tight only because the now multiple lock washers cannot move. The proper flat washers will spin with the nut allowing you more adjustment out of the rod.

That’s why I asked if you can remove the washers, they are probably jammed in and may not be able to come out. See the washers to the right, that’s what I used. They do not stay flat.
7CB3D6B7-B0BE-4D14-9346-E6D77282B586.png
276FEFE4-5B90-4323-9E68-3C4AFB45FD40.png
 

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Yup that’s how I ruined my 62 jazz bass. I went to the local Home Depot, grabbed a bag of the lock washers, flattened them and tossed one in.

So when you flatten it, tighten it down, that lock washer has now opened up and is biting into the should of neck(where the base of the nut seats), check out the previous picture.

So it feels tight only because the now multiple lock washers cannot move. The proper flat washers will spin with the nut allowing you more adjustment out of the rod.

That’s why I asked if you can remove the washers, they are probably jammed in and may not be able to come out. See the washers to the right, that’s what I used. They do not stay flat.
Sad news about the 62 Jazz Bass. Sorry to hear. Tough way to learn.

Excellent information!
Thanks for taking the time to write this and for posting the pics.
 

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It was a American reissue 62(not a actual vintage) but yeah it was not a good day. I did end up replacing the truss rod though for a total of $20. Hours of labour but still in the end it was fixed. Since it was a heel adjust type I had to cut out the rosewood section of the first fret, exposing the truss rod anchor. Removed that and pulled the truss rod out.

The headstock adjust type and depending on maple or rosewood board is a little more involved.
 

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Seems to me that there is possibly one of two things happening here.
1) the fixed end of the trust rod is somehow slipping forward within the neck.
2) the shoulders of the pocket at the threaded end of the rod are compressed exposing the un-threaded section of the truss rod.

In regards to the lock washers if you physically twisted them flat I think they would be ok (I would not recommend using them tho)
Lock washers are designed to prevent loosening and the damage to the nut portion suggests you did not truly flatten the washers.

if i was to guess what is happening to your guitar i think you started out with the a guitar that left the factory with the un-threaded section of the truss rod very close to being exposed, you addressed the issue with the washers but have chewed up the nut and the truss rod pocket possibly exposing a bit more of the un-threaded rod .

you have to get all those lock washers out and see exactly what has happened. hopefully some correct washers will fix things up.... :)

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Thanks to this thread I learned that fender sells the washers ;-)
when i needed some washers for a similar issue i modified some flat washers
I cut off a bolt and fastened a bunch of washers between hex nuts, chucked it into a cordless drill and ran it against a grinder to turn them to size .
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yup that’s how I ruined my 62 jazz bass. I went to the local Home Depot, grabbed a bag of the lock washers, flattened them and tossed one in.

So when you flatten it, tighten it down, that lock washer has now opened up and is biting into the should of neck(where the base of the nut seats), check out the previous picture.

So it feels tight only because the now multiple lock washers cannot move. The proper flat washers will spin with the nut allowing you more adjustment out of the rod.

That’s why I asked if you can remove the washers, they are probably jammed in and may not be able to come out. See the washers to the right, that’s what I used. They do not stay flat.
View attachment 239148 View attachment 239150
Maybe that is the problem. I'll see if i can get the washers out, thanks.
 

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Is it a bi-flex truss rod? Those are not easy to replace.
What’s the string gauge?

If it was me, as was advised already, I’d get the lock washers out, check that the trussrod nut isn’t stripped, and then check the threads on the rod.
 

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My searching for a late 90’s early 2000 American standard neck shows around $500-$700 for a replacement. So hopefully you can get those washers out.
 
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