Hi I went to play my red strat and the trem arm fell out, it seems the thread is stripped out, I’m not sure if I should cut a bigger thread or try and re sleeve it, has anyone else had this problem? Matthew
hi mate, ive suggested this to people on here before .mine was so stripped I could push the arm in and out without even turning it.all you need is some sewing cotton .wrap it tightly and neatly up and down the thread trying to keep it a uniform thickness.youll have to try a few different amounts ,it wants to be so you force it in whist turning.when you get it right you will have a positive trem action and it will stay where you want, but still move easily. seeemples !
drill the hole out to 7mm, insert a bit of clear plastic tube ( 5mm I/d and screw arm back in, it will last a lifetime, the arm stays where you place it and no free play, this is a permanent fix and costs next to nothing, I have done around 6 Strats using this method
I know it sounds drastic, but with a modicum of care, the results are spectacular, Somewhere in the archives there is a video of a guy in Australia demonstrating how to do this mod. ( he was a regular contributor at one time )
Hi Mathew, i ordered this bridge from China to replace a friends dodgy bridge, it was good enough for me to order one for myself too! It takes a couple of weeks though. The trem is push in and tightens with an Allen screw. Cheers ps just over £16
www.the well known auction site.co.uk/itm/Wilkinson-52-5mm-Vintage-Guitar-Tremolo-Bridge-For-Squier-Mexico-Fender-Strat-ST-/392766261722?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292
Yep, if you don't want to do too much, what Mick says works well, PTF tape, is useless , cotton is a bit better, even throwing a lot of money at it works, but Mick and my version is the best that I have come across.
All depends how much deterioration you got on your screw thread! Also into the mix is, how much play/rattle you allowed/wanted on your trem arm. Some like to have zero play on the arm. Some like zero play and when the arm is released it falls in position.(so it's easy and quick to grab) Some like a little play,so they have a kind of "delay" on the arm so they don't detune the strings while holding the arm. Some like so much play, the arm falls downward very quick when let loose. If you have a little play PTFE tape works for thousands of peeps including Hank, before he had the VML system. If you have some more play cotton is the way to go. If you have such play you almost stripped out the zip method is game. When your arm fall out your block when you hold the guitar in a certain angle, only a new block helps. Of course when your a handy DIY and you are brave enough and can drill out your block, to insert an steel or plastic probe or a plastic tube etc. your happy as Larry too. When I read peeps done the plastic/rubber tube insert, I'm always curious what kind and measurement those tubes are.
All above depends also, if you take out the arm every time when you cased the strat. When your arm isn't angled to high away from your guitar...it's easy to keep the arm in,when the case is closed. Just turn the arm approx towards/above the jack plate pointing the tip to the corner of the case. Burns Marvin users keeping the arm on the guitar almost always. When you screw the arm out every time, it ads to the wear of the block, and in case you use PTFE tape or cotton that won't last long.
The garden zip ties that I use are made of plastic. In normal use the tail end is threaded through the head at the other end to form a loop and as it is pulled through it gets tighter They come in all sorts of sizes, but you only need the tail end of a suitable small tie for our purposes. If the one you use does not tighten the arm sufficiently - try another one that is a bit bigger. - and visa versa.
The problem with a floppy tremolo arm is really the result of constantly pushing down on the arm causing the threaded area in the hole to open a little. If the Arm and the block are both made of hard steel this would not happen, but blocks are often made from a softer material. A garden tie takes up the slack.
I agree with you, but we can only deal with what manufacturers choose to provide.
The stock push in tremolo arm provided on my Fender Elite 1983 Strats is as good as any I have ever had. The Spring system was not liked by some, but once set up - with patience - is very good and the plug in arms are still great. Only Fender can explain why the new brush that came in when the company was taken over a couple of years later discontinued the good with the bad. That said the Elite type of string trees introduced in 1983 have been brought back on some guitars such as the Nashville Tele which also has 1983 12 inch radius board. What didn’t they do on that great guitar? Put in 7 way Burns type pickup switching and the slightly wider neck at the nut, which has yet to come. (We are only talking about 1 1/2 mm or so that makes all the difference on those first few frets).
Some of this might explain why Wilkinson push in tremolo’s are so popular. PRS trem’s also have the push in system and they go for quality.
I expect the dilemma that Fender have is maintaining certain historic features that certain players seem to want, despite their faults, rather than improving to the best possible.
Why it was designed that way at the start? Well it was the second try by Leo because the first was not hitting the mark at all and was thrown away including the abandoned tooling die etc. So a retooling was needed and costed quiet a lot! Leo adagio was, just replace a part when needed, with a new from factory. On top of that Leo couldn't know, his guitars would be still around 70 years later. I'm not a metal specialist, but to mill a harder block and arm... the equipment was perhaps to expansive for Leo? Maybe the unit price became to high? Also a when the strat entered the scene, nobody hold the arm for longer then a few seconds for a subtle wobble. It's almost save to say Hank was the first pro who hold the trem for longer time, day in day out. Then the likes of Jimy Hendrix did things with the poor arm nobody could foreseen... For me it's a riddle too, why Fender didn't upgrade the arm and it's block. A beefier arm of better steel (downside much difficult to bend for the guitar-players need) and a harder steel block...
I have one of the latest Fender Elite range and agree with the comments about the plugin arm, but I still feel they lack the weight and sustain of the Callaham block which I fitted to a Mexican Strat a few years ago (virtual pop in type with their 130mm arm), for me it transformed the guitar!
The Callaham blocks have internal Delrin bushing which supports the arm above the threads at the top of the block, it acts as a bearing surface and has low frictional properties, the arm moves freely and tends to stop where placed.
In this link they describe the technical differences:
Fender had those grub screws on the tremolo plug socket in the 1983 Elite guitars .......it was one of the things that the new people brushed aside..........though it seems from what Gary has just said - they've decided it can come back for some guitars after all.
I suppose the bean counters have to decide just how much of a good thing you do or don't get for each model!!!! It's sort of 2 steps forward and 1 step back each year.
By now all Fenders should have:-
- Proper hard metal Trem Blocks
- Push in Tremolo arms
- truss rod adjustment at the nut
- (In my view) 12' radius neck option
- Locking tuners option
- Medium Jumbo frets option
- Bridge tone control
- 7 way pickup selector as per the much cheaper Burns Marquee (see, it can be done on a cheaper guitar!!!!)
- Slightly wider neck at nut end as per 1983 Elite range
Yes I believe Ibanez and Wilkinson trems as on the Brian May guitar have push in trem arms, the Floyd Rose has a screw on to the outside which is a better design also, you think Fender would have improved this by now Matthew